Bon Appetit Magazine named Ithaca one of the foodiest towns in America for a reason. Downtown Ithaca boasts over 50 restaurants and bars with great dining diversity that would normally only be seen in much larger urban markets. Perhaps lesser known in the downtown area are the Gourmet Food establishments, dedicated to providing Ithacans access to oils and vinegars, ciders, wine and beer tastings, homemade chocolates, and more! To top it all off, many of these superb Gourmet Food establishments have opened within the past two years!
Arriving to the Ithaca Commons in the Spring of 2012, F. Oliver’s and Penelope Pankow offer hand crafted olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world. Having initially opened in Canandaigua in 2010, F. Oliver’s has enjoyed remarkable success, expanding to Rochester in 2011, Ithaca in 2012, and Pittsford in the near future! Customers are encouraged to stop by for samples of F. Oliver’s delicious oils and vinegars.
Opening in May of 2013, the Cellar d’Or offers small yet big in taste, production estate-bottled wines and ciders from New York and around the world. Cellar d’Or possesses the most extensive cider selection in New York. The Cellar d’Or hopes to demystify your experience into the wine world. Offering free wine tastings every Friday from 5-8 pm, the Cellar d’Or welcomes novice wine drinkers, wine enthusiasts, and anyone in between.
Having initially opened in the Community Corners Plaza in 2004, Sarah’s Patisserie expanded in the Spring of 2013 with a 2nd location at 130 E Seneca St. in downtown Ithaca. Chef Tammy Travis and her invaluable staff create their French-inspired pastries and chocolates in-house, affording Ithacans the option to consistently enjoy fresh and local sweets. Whether it’s a wedding cake, chocolate cake, or a yummy pastry on the way home from work, Sarah’s Patisserie has the sweets to leave you wanting more.
After winning the 2012 Race for the Space competition, Life’s So Sweet Chocolates opened its 2nd location (its first location is in Trumansburg) at 116 W Green St. in the Fall of 2012. Since the age of eight, Darlynne Overbaugh has continued to handcraft candy confections and fine chocolates for friends and family. Life’s So Sweet’s downtown location offers customers assorted chocolate boxes, a restored 1949 Bastion and Blessing soda fountain, and a multitude of delectable samples.
Ithaca Coffee Company located in Gateway Commons at 311 East Green Street, exceeds the limits of coffee hype! With an eclectic assortment of craft beer, delectable chocolates, kitchenware, and gourmet cheeses, the Ithaca Coffee Company will leave the sweet aroma of coffee lingering in the air. Hosting beer tastings every Thursday from 4 to 6pm, and also selling home brewing supplies, it’s not just for coffee lovers.
Green St. Pharmacy, located next to Urban Outfitters at Cayuga Green includes an old fashioned soda fountain serving up hand-mixed and cream sodas, sundaes, and floats. What could be called the best medicine, Green St. soda fountain will surely satisfy your sweet tooth!
With so many gourmet food locations, it’s hard to name them all. If you’re in the mood for gourmet cheeses, stop by Collegetown Bagels at 203 N Aurora Street or Greenstar Oasis at 215 N Cayuga Street. But, don’t forget to pair it with a housebrewed beer from Bandwagon Brew Pub! You can grab a great selection of local wines at Sam’s Wine & Spirits. If you’d prefer to try your hand at crafting your own gourmet foods, be sure to stop by Autumn Leaves Used Books and browse their assortment of cookbooks. Need a cookie cutter? Peruse the aisles of Now You’re Cooking for an array of cooking utensils and other baking supplies.