Charlie’s Café and Bakery (205 Hoffman St., 607/734-1173) is back and a good choice for the downtown crowd, particularly for those with dietary restrictions.
Just out of town, Sophie’s Café (485 Maple St., Big Flats, 607/562-2880) is a must stop for scone and pastry lovers. Try the Grape Pie in season—it’s a regional delicacy. Combine pastries with tasty homemade soups, sandwiches, and salads (which come with a savory scone) for a great lunch. An extensive Hot Chocolate Bar, complete with homemade giant marshmallows and other accessories will put this café firmly in the hearts of anyone with a sweet tooth.
Third-generation Hill Top Inn Restaurant (171 Jerusalem Hill, 607/732-6728, $14) is just that and a friendly place to sit out on the large terrace and enjoy a gorgeous view of the valley below, just a stone’s throw from the lookout where Clemens sat so inspired in his since-relocated study. The spot is popular with locals and large loads of tourists stopping in as a midway point between Niagara and NYC. Fortunately, the establishment has the space to accommodate. Generous portions of items like Haystack Crab and Ahi Sesame Lollipops and a good-sized $20 wine menu keep the crowd happy.