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Proud of our Food Communities

It’s times of uncertainty when a community’s true character shines through. The community mindset across Ithaca and Tompkins County is focusing around supporting people and local businesses in the safest way possible. Many citizens are taking to our numerous trails, waterfalls, scenic paths and wide-open spaces as a way of finding their peace. Many of our businesses are finding creative solutions to feed people and to continue supporting the essential farmers from which they source. Visit Ithaca is constantly amazed by the ingenuity of the food and beverage producers that exist in our community.

Making all their offerings from scratch and earning the title of “Ithaca’s Best Brunch,” the Carriage House Café is located right around the corner from Cornell’s Collegetown. Known for their breakfast and lunch menus, the Carriage House has expanded to offer family-style dinner boxes. Free delivery or curbside pick up allows more of the community to enjoy their meals. 

Hazelnut Kitchen is a restaurant in the village of Trumansburg that excites all their customers. With a seasonal approach and operating off a daily changing menu, owners Lisa and Justin are used to having a dynamic restaurant. They have created a special take away menu that features four courses and utilizes numerous farms and local producers. You can even purchase bottles from their collection of locally sourced wine, cider, and spirits.

table of takeout food from Hazelnut Kitchen

Community organized efforts have brought residents a database of local farmers and producers serving Tompkins County. Broken down by the towns they’re serving, their offerings, contact information and their delivery or pick up options, citizens can source their food in a socially distanced way and support local farms at the same time.

We’re extremely proud of Collegetown Bagels and their partnership with the World Central Kitchen to create a community kitchen that provides food to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. At their new City Centre location (301 E. State St), CTB is operating a “pay what you can” or “pay it forward” model. People can get up to two of their pre-packaged soups, salads and entrees at the table step up outside of their doors, curbside pickup, or take-out. They are also offering 10% off for hospitality industry employees.

An Ithaca institution, Ithaca Beer Co., has established an Hourly Taproom Employee Fund for their employees who are impacted by the crisis. In addition, when customer purchase gift cards online, 20% of that amount will go towards this fund. Gift cards are redeemable for any merchandise, food, or beverage purchased in the taproom. By supporting this iconic Ithaca business, you’re also helping their hard working employees who need it most.

Through these uncertain times, many Finger Lakes businesses have adapted their offerings, many leaders have stepped up to inspire hope, and communities have virtually come together to aid and support where they can. From Ithaca’s peaceful waterfalls and open trails, to wherever you may be located, we encourage you to stay safe, socially distance, and be thankful for the signs of support and connection in your community. We are.

Here are some additional resources for staying connected to Ithaca from anywhere. Purchasing gift cards now for future visits, shopping online, or writing reviews for some of your favorite restaurants or tasting rooms are few ways you can support the independently-owned food & hospitality businesses that make the greater Ithaca area such a enjoyable place to live and visit.

"People are retooling; repairing what needs mending, learning to bake bread, learning to sew masks and make tools when there are none to buy. Many are moving more slowly and taking more walks, observing the natural world and our place in it more closely than they have in years."

--Silver Linings Everywhere, a message from Finger Lakes Cider House

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