The Birders' Nest Guide to All Things Ithaca

Heather

The Birders' Nest Guide to All Things Ithaca

Noshes from Diner to Dinner (and Drinks- oh my!)
We've all gotta eat. And good food is like a religion to Ithacans. So, skip the familiar spots you can hit at home and delve into the epicurean delights that abound... don't worry, you can always hike the calories off! These are some of our favorite spots for bites and bevvies!
Brilliant selection of baked goods, local coffee, deli selections and beverages for eat-in, or takeaway! Order up, or grab ready-made! Veggie & vegan options.
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Ithaca Bakery
400 North Meadow Street
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Brilliant selection of baked goods, local coffee, deli selections and beverages for eat-in, or takeaway! Order up, or grab ready-made! Veggie & vegan options.
Local food, local beer, & local music... The trifecta of a great time! Soak up a sunset, stroll through the fields, or eat in at table seating, or bar. Often busy, so plan accordingly! Veggie & vegan options.
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Ithaca Beer Co
122 Ithaca Beer Drive
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Local food, local beer, & local music... The trifecta of a great time! Soak up a sunset, stroll through the fields, or eat in at table seating, or bar. Often busy, so plan accordingly! Veggie & vegan options.
Open 24/7, Shortstop is an Ithaca staple. You'll enjoy some of the best made-to-order deli sandwiches in town and (if your lucky) some late-night mac-n-cheese! Veggie & vegan options.
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Shortstop Deli
200 West Seneca Street
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Open 24/7, Shortstop is an Ithaca staple. You'll enjoy some of the best made-to-order deli sandwiches in town and (if your lucky) some late-night mac-n-cheese! Veggie & vegan options.
Because the Pinesburger. This is where the locals eat. Featuring daily specials and a spectacular fish fry, Glenwood Pines is a great place for eats overlooking Cayuga Lake. Veggie & vegan options are limited.
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Glenwood Pines
1213 Taughannock Boulevard
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Because the Pinesburger. This is where the locals eat. Featuring daily specials and a spectacular fish fry, Glenwood Pines is a great place for eats overlooking Cayuga Lake. Veggie & vegan options are limited.
Amazing ice cream, truffles, pies, cakes, cookies... Oh, and a delightful brunch menu! Iconic Ithaca. Birthplace of the sundae! Veggie & vegan options.
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Purity Ice Cream Co.
700 Cascadilla Street
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Amazing ice cream, truffles, pies, cakes, cookies... Oh, and a delightful brunch menu! Iconic Ithaca. Birthplace of the sundae! Veggie & vegan options.
Stall after stall of fresh local produce, delicious treats, brunch items, artists and so much more... Live music, located right on the inlet and the Waterfront Trail. Dogs welcome on Sunday! Veggie & vegan options.
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Ithaca Farmers Market
545 3rd Street
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Stall after stall of fresh local produce, delicious treats, brunch items, artists and so much more... Live music, located right on the inlet and the Waterfront Trail. Dogs welcome on Sunday! Veggie & vegan options.
Local pub and eatery great for a pint and a sandwich, pizza, or salad. Veggie & vegan options limited.
Ron Don's Village Pub
1 Old Main St
Local pub and eatery great for a pint and a sandwich, pizza, or salad. Veggie & vegan options limited.
If you're in town on Tuesdays, jazz night is worth your time to pop into. Just on the Commons, amazing food indoors, or out, drinks, but don't miss the desserts... they are heavenly.
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Madeline's
215 East State Street
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If you're in town on Tuesdays, jazz night is worth your time to pop into. Just on the Commons, amazing food indoors, or out, drinks, but don't miss the desserts... they are heavenly.
Incredible Thai cuisine. Not fancy, so don't be afraid to go casual. The dishes, curries, soups and appetizers are some of the best Thai you'll find. Tastier when eating in, but takeaway is readily available and usually pretty timely.
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Taste Of Thai Express
209 South Meadow Street
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Incredible Thai cuisine. Not fancy, so don't be afraid to go casual. The dishes, curries, soups and appetizers are some of the best Thai you'll find. Tastier when eating in, but takeaway is readily available and usually pretty timely.
A bit off the beaten path, unless you're already up at Cornell campus this little local gem serves American classic cuisine in an intimate and charming atmosphere. Check out the daily specials for lobster, prime rib and more!
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The Antlers Restaurant
1159 Dryden Road
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A bit off the beaten path, unless you're already up at Cornell campus this little local gem serves American classic cuisine in an intimate and charming atmosphere. Check out the daily specials for lobster, prime rib and more!
You don't have to be a veggie or vegan to LOVE the famous Moosewood! Whether you're having dinner, appetizers, drinks, or coffee, it's well worth checking out. Don't miss their selection of popular cookbooks and gifts!
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Moosewood Restaurant
215 North Cayuga Street
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You don't have to be a veggie or vegan to LOVE the famous Moosewood! Whether you're having dinner, appetizers, drinks, or coffee, it's well worth checking out. Don't miss their selection of popular cookbooks and gifts!
Heading to the Commons? Some of the best Mexican food in town! And the margaritas? Hang on to your sombrero!! Veggie & Vegan options.
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Viva Taqueria & Cantina
101 N Aurora St
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Heading to the Commons? Some of the best Mexican food in town! And the margaritas? Hang on to your sombrero!! Veggie & Vegan options.
Love fresh? Live local? Enjoy exquisitely prepared and presented food? Coltivare has all that and much, much more. Veggie & vegan options abound.
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Coltivare
235 South Cayuga Street
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Love fresh? Live local? Enjoy exquisitely prepared and presented food? Coltivare has all that and much, much more. Veggie & vegan options abound.
What can you put on a waffle? At Waffle Frolic, the options are limitless! A full espresso bar, grilled sandwiches, smoothies and delicious Purity Ice Cream are just a sampling of their ethically sourced offerings! Veggie & vegan options.
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Waffle Frolic
146 East State Street
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What can you put on a waffle? At Waffle Frolic, the options are limitless! A full espresso bar, grilled sandwiches, smoothies and delicious Purity Ice Cream are just a sampling of their ethically sourced offerings! Veggie & vegan options.
Located in the repurposed high school, a funky and fun spot for fresh locally and regionally sourced breakfast, brunch and lunch! Save room for dessert! Limited seating. Veggie & vegan options.
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Cafe Dewitt
215 North Cayuga Street
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Located in the repurposed high school, a funky and fun spot for fresh locally and regionally sourced breakfast, brunch and lunch! Save room for dessert! Limited seating. Veggie & vegan options.
Spice up your visit with fine Indian cuisine! Family owned by the Sekhon family originally from Punjab, they offer authentic Northern Indian selections. The lunch buffet is brilliant, but every meal offers many, many choices! Don’t miss the pakora and samosa and garlic naan as a starter! Veggie & vegan options.
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New Delhi Diamond's
106 W Green St
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Spice up your visit with fine Indian cuisine! Family owned by the Sekhon family originally from Punjab, they offer authentic Northern Indian selections. The lunch buffet is brilliant, but every meal offers many, many choices! Don’t miss the pakora and samosa and garlic naan as a starter! Veggie & vegan options.
Culture, family and great food! Family owned and operated by the Lam family, Saigon Kitchen is a destination for fresh, delicious Vietnamese food. Veggie & vegan options.
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Saigon Kitchen
526 West State Street
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Culture, family and great food! Family owned and operated by the Lam family, Saigon Kitchen is a destination for fresh, delicious Vietnamese food. Veggie & vegan options.
Rich, mildy spicy (or spiced to your taste!) Ethiopian cuisine is a must experience! Sizeable portions and side dishes. Lunch specials and combos. BYOB. No wifi. Veggie & vegan options.
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Hawi Ethiopian Cuisine
113 S Cayuga St
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Rich, mildy spicy (or spiced to your taste!) Ethiopian cuisine is a must experience! Sizeable portions and side dishes. Lunch specials and combos. BYOB. No wifi. Veggie & vegan options.
Hands down the best pizza in Ithaca! Locally owned and operated and beyond delicious. Choose from one of their scrumptious signature pizzas, or build your own! Ask about their traditionally prepared tamales and other delights. Seating is limited. Veggie, vegan, gluten-free options.
Pizza Aroma
128 South Cayuga Street
Hands down the best pizza in Ithaca! Locally owned and operated and beyond delicious. Choose from one of their scrumptious signature pizzas, or build your own! Ask about their traditionally prepared tamales and other delights. Seating is limited. Veggie, vegan, gluten-free options.
Love Chinese food, but have a hard time finding it true vegetarian, or vegan? These folks have you covered! Just one block from the famous Ithaca Commons! Veggie & vegan options.
Capital Corner
140 W State St
Love Chinese food, but have a hard time finding it true vegetarian, or vegan? These folks have you covered! Just one block from the famous Ithaca Commons! Veggie & vegan options.
A divine mix of cultures & cuisines for breakfast, brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner as well as rotating tasting menu… save room for dessert, or take some with you! Veggie, vegan & gluten-free options.
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MIX
205 Elmira Rd
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A divine mix of cultures & cuisines for breakfast, brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner as well as rotating tasting menu… save room for dessert, or take some with you! Veggie, vegan & gluten-free options.
Exotic Thai and Asiatic cookery.. absolutely mouth-watering. Brilliant dine-in experience; marginal pick-up/delivery. Some of my favorite Thom Kha on the planet! Veggie & vegan options.
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Tamarind Thai Restaurant
503 North Meadow Street
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Exotic Thai and Asiatic cookery.. absolutely mouth-watering. Brilliant dine-in experience; marginal pick-up/delivery. Some of my favorite Thom Kha on the planet! Veggie & vegan options.
Community-oriented globally-inspired sandwiches, subs and so much more. Breads baked fresh in house daily. Extras all donated to the local food bank as a zero-waste restaurant! Join the Revolution! Veggie & vegan options.
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Gorgers
116 W State St
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Community-oriented globally-inspired sandwiches, subs and so much more. Breads baked fresh in house daily. Extras all donated to the local food bank as a zero-waste restaurant! Join the Revolution! Veggie & vegan options.
Ramen, buns and savory dishes to eat in or takeaway! Limited seating, but dang, it’s worth the wait! Comforting food for the soul crafted with love. Veggie & vegan options.
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Maru Ramen
512 W State St
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Ramen, buns and savory dishes to eat in or takeaway! Limited seating, but dang, it’s worth the wait! Comforting food for the soul crafted with love. Veggie & vegan options.
Breakfast and lunch, or if you have a sweet tooth, fresh baked pies and baked goods. Try the truffles… you may have to take a wee hike, but you won’t be sorry.
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Dolce Delight
1080 Danby Rd
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Breakfast and lunch, or if you have a sweet tooth, fresh baked pies and baked goods. Try the truffles… you may have to take a wee hike, but you won’t be sorry.
Tucked away in the Statler Hotel at Cornell, Banfi's is a locally focused hotel trattoria offers a Tuscan-inspired menu. Stunning Sunday brunch and regional wines. Veggie & vegan options.
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Taverna Banfi
130 Statler Drive
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Tucked away in the Statler Hotel at Cornell, Banfi's is a locally focused hotel trattoria offers a Tuscan-inspired menu. Stunning Sunday brunch and regional wines. Veggie & vegan options.
A feel-good neighborhood joint…scratch cooking with an ITH-Orleans style. Hyper-fresh east coast seafood, local, natural foods; craft bevvies, killer music. Oyster specials from 4-6 daily. https://www.maxiesithaca.com
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Maxie's Supper Club & Oyster Bar
635 West State Street
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A feel-good neighborhood joint…scratch cooking with an ITH-Orleans style. Hyper-fresh east coast seafood, local, natural foods; craft bevvies, killer music. Oyster specials from 4-6 daily. https://www.maxiesithaca.com
Be Hungry. Most dishes are not only delicious, but also a filling portion. Check out the lunch combos, happy hour and dinner combos. Wine, beer & spirits available as well as a complementary basket of chips & house-made salsa! http://www.oldmexicoithaca.com
Old Mexico Restaurant and Cantina
357 Elmira Rd
Be Hungry. Most dishes are not only delicious, but also a filling portion. Check out the lunch combos, happy hour and dinner combos. Wine, beer & spirits available as well as a complementary basket of chips & house-made salsa! http://www.oldmexicoithaca.com
Contemporary Italian dining… absolutely exquisite for special occasions, or every day. http://www.zazascucina.com/menu
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ZaZa's Cucina
622 Cascadilla Street
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Contemporary Italian dining… absolutely exquisite for special occasions, or every day. http://www.zazascucina.com/menu
Who doesn’t love tapas? Exquisitely crafted tapas perfectly paired with the beverage of your choice. An Ithaca institution. Much loved. Highly recommended. https://www.just-a-taste.com
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Just A Taste
116 North Aurora Street
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Who doesn’t love tapas? Exquisitely crafted tapas perfectly paired with the beverage of your choice. An Ithaca institution. Much loved. Highly recommended. https://www.just-a-taste.com
Entertainment & Activities
The Ithaca Commons is World-Renowned for it's design and facilitation of community. Shops, eateries, cafes, galleries, as well as open-air concerts, festivals and art make a stop at the Commons a must .
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Ithaca Commons
171 East Martin Luther King Jr. Street
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The Ithaca Commons is World-Renowned for it's design and facilitation of community. Shops, eateries, cafes, galleries, as well as open-air concerts, festivals and art make a stop at the Commons a must .
Arts & Culture
Check out our local theatres when planning your visit! The Hangar, the Kitchen, Cornell & Ithaca College all offer brilliant entertainment and engagement. Ithaca is also home to the Ithaca Art Trail where you can meet artists in their natural habitat! Gallery night on the Ithaca Commons is every First Friday of the month! Also a must, the Johnson Art Museum at Cornell University! (Tip: Lots of free summer concerts!)
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Hangar Theatre
801 Taughannock Boulevard
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Check out our local theatres when planning your visit! The Hangar, the Kitchen, Cornell & Ithaca College all offer brilliant entertainment and engagement. Ithaca is also home to the Ithaca Art Trail where you can meet artists in their natural habitat! Gallery night on the Ithaca Commons is every First Friday of the month! Also a must, the Johnson Art Museum at Cornell University! (Tip: Lots of free summer concerts!)
Brilliantly curated art collection and host to many activities for individuals, groups and families. Entrance is always free (donations always appreciated!)
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Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
114 Central Avenue
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Brilliantly curated art collection and host to many activities for individuals, groups and families. Entrance is always free (donations always appreciated!)
Located downtown, engaging education and research center also offering self-guided tours for COVID-times. Open Thursday-Saturday 10-5, closed Sunday-Wednesday. Free admission (with suggested donation.) https://thehistorycenter.net
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The History Center in Tompkins County
401 East State Street
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Located downtown, engaging education and research center also offering self-guided tours for COVID-times. Open Thursday-Saturday 10-5, closed Sunday-Wednesday. Free admission (with suggested donation.) https://thehistorycenter.net
Shopping
My friends and family will tell you that a trip to Ithaca isn't complete without a pop in to Wegman's. They offer a wide variety of, well, just about anything you may have a hankering for! Not to mention dry-cleaning, Redbox, children's play area and more.
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Wegmans
500 South Meadow Street
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My friends and family will tell you that a trip to Ithaca isn't complete without a pop in to Wegman's. They offer a wide variety of, well, just about anything you may have a hankering for! Not to mention dry-cleaning, Redbox, children's play area and more.
If you're looking for specialty items, local food stuffs, gluten-free, free-range, organic, homeopathic, etc... GreenStar is the place. (Also a second location just off the Ithaca Commons in Dewitt Mall.)
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GreenStar Food Co+op
701 West Buffalo Street
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If you're looking for specialty items, local food stuffs, gluten-free, free-range, organic, homeopathic, etc... GreenStar is the place. (Also a second location just off the Ithaca Commons in Dewitt Mall.)
Sweet, locally owned spot for Ithaca-related gifts and more.
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Sunny Days Of Ithaca
123 S Cayuga St
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Sweet, locally owned spot for Ithaca-related gifts and more.
While the “Friendly” is sometimes questionable, if you want to get in, get what you want and get out, Tops is a fabulous option. https://www.topsmarkets.com
TOPS Friendly Markets
710 South Meadow Street
While the “Friendly” is sometimes questionable, if you want to get in, get what you want and get out, Tops is a fabulous option. https://www.topsmarkets.com
If you’re hanging out near Cornell, P&C can be a perfect spot for some grocery shopping. Local produce, good selection & pricing. https://www.pandcfresh.com
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P&C Fresh - Ithaca
315 Pine Tree Road
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If you’re hanging out near Cornell, P&C can be a perfect spot for some grocery shopping. Local produce, good selection & pricing. https://www.pandcfresh.com
Essentials
Rasa offers day-passes and a wide variety of spa services, yoga and meditation. Soak in the tranquility room, sweat out your stress and watch the crew boats row past on the inlet (or nap, like I do.) A perfect place for an afternoon, or a few hours. Food can be ordered from the cafe downstairs, hot tea, robes, slippers, showers and meditation room are all provided with your visit.
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Rasa Spa
310 Taughannock Boulevard
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Rasa offers day-passes and a wide variety of spa services, yoga and meditation. Soak in the tranquility room, sweat out your stress and watch the crew boats row past on the inlet (or nap, like I do.) A perfect place for an afternoon, or a few hours. Food can be ordered from the cafe downstairs, hot tea, robes, slippers, showers and meditation room are all provided with your visit.
Everyday pharmacy needs.
CVS
625 West Clinton Street
Everyday pharmacy needs.
A penny-pincher’s haven. Perfect for some staples, non-GMO, organic, gluten-free options. https://www.aldi.us/en/weekly-specials/our-weekly-ads/
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ALDI
505 3rd Street
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A penny-pincher’s haven. Perfect for some staples, non-GMO, organic, gluten-free options. https://www.aldi.us/en/weekly-specials/our-weekly-ads/
Locally owned and operated. If you’re heading north, on the wine trail, or just want to pop into a chill shopping environment, Shur-Save is all that. Pizza, subs and deli items to-go, fresh veggies, backed goods and staples. Lots of vegetarian, gluten-free, organic options available.
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Shur-save
2085 New York 96
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Locally owned and operated. If you’re heading north, on the wine trail, or just want to pop into a chill shopping environment, Shur-Save is all that. Pizza, subs and deli items to-go, fresh veggies, backed goods and staples. Lots of vegetarian, gluten-free, organic options available.
Everything Else
Didn't bring your own kayak, or paddle board? Puddledockers has you covered! Reasonable rental rates for individuals or groups, located right on the inlet and steps away from Greenstar Market, inlet eateries and pubs.
Puddledockers Retail and Rentals
704 West Buffalo Street
Didn't bring your own kayak, or paddle board? Puddledockers has you covered! Reasonable rental rates for individuals or groups, located right on the inlet and steps away from Greenstar Market, inlet eateries and pubs.
Drinks & Nightlife
Great music, people and atmosphere. Stay inside, or hang out on the deck overlooking the water.
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The Haunt
702 Willow Ave
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Great music, people and atmosphere. Stay inside, or hang out on the deck overlooking the water.
Located in the Argos Inn, the Bar Argos is a delight to all of the senses. Now with an outdoor bar and extended patio seating, it’s summer AND winter friendly. Offering fire pits and private cabanas. Walk-ins are always welcome, reservations are available. Open 7 days from 5p.m.-10p.m. https://www.argosinn.com/bar-argos
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Bar Argos
408 E State St
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Located in the Argos Inn, the Bar Argos is a delight to all of the senses. Now with an outdoor bar and extended patio seating, it’s summer AND winter friendly. Offering fire pits and private cabanas. Walk-ins are always welcome, reservations are available. Open 7 days from 5p.m.-10p.m. https://www.argosinn.com/bar-argos