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“Overpriced and overrated” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Ithaca Bakery

Ithaca Bakery
400 N MEADOW ST, Ithaca, NY 14850
+1 607-273-7110
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Ranked #8 of 241 Restaurants in Ithaca
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Takeout, Delivery, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Takeout, Delivery, Late Night
Ithaca, NY
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Overpriced and overrated”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2010

I cannot stand Ithaca Bakery. They never seem to get my order right. Their sandwiches are extremely overpriced.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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237 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Ithaca Bakery-- Butter Side Up or Butter Side Down?”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2009

I found Ithaca Bakery a nice little place to get a remarkable assortment of freshly made food, although the quality was sometimes inconsistent.

The bagels are superb, but get them early in the day (before noon). The bagel selection is quite varied, with different specialty bagels offered every month or so. I especially liked their jalapeno bagels slathered with jalapeno cream cheese. They bake every day which means you'll never buy a bagel greater than 12 hours old.

The breads are equally good, especially their sourdoughs. The rye is outstanding. The rosemary foccacia is heavenly (when fresh). The pumpernickel is OK.

The coffee products seem tasty, especially an icy concoction of espresso, half and half, chocolate syrup, and vanilla flavoring called Jeff's Java Jolt. An employee made one of these for me (on the house) and it knocked my socks off.

Their entrees, distributed in several showcases are delicious, but it takes a good eye to see which ones were made the same day and which ones are left overs from a few days prior. The broccoli and cashew burritos were superb, as wa the ravioli with pesto sauce and shrimp cakes, to name a few. The leaf and pasta salads are good but get them same-day. The older ones get too soggy.

The soups are very good. Roasted Red Pepper was the one I thought yummiest. Clam Chowder wasn't bad either.

Their sandwiches are quite good, but I noted quite a bit of inconsistency based on who was making the sandwich. I prefer the vegetarian Cayuga Crosisant, which can either be bursting with avocado and parsley-garlic sauce, moonlight mushrooms and sprouts, or looking like a plain cut croissant with barely any filling between. Michigan's Hollow, a portabello mushroom sandwich, is quite good, especially if the mushroom is cut into thin slices and plenty of well-melted provolone is draped over it. Sometimes however it isn't warmed thoroughly. The foccacia-based Viva Chelsea! is probably the best veggie 'wich they offer, although you can either get one bursting with ingredients (fresh mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, and EVOO) or one made by one of the owners/supervisors, who seem to be a bit more skimpy in the amount of toppings they put between the slices of delicious foccacia bread.

Meateaters will adore their Reuben, Octopus, (Turkey, Cole Slaw and Swiss on russian-dressing drenched Pumpernickel) and their Milestone (sliced chicken, chutney on 3 pieces of sourdough) sandwiches. Again, just hope that you get one of the employees who fill up the sandwich. I find coming later in the evening (perhaps after the owners/supervisors leave) all but guarantees that you'll get a bigger portion. The sandwiches are fairly pricey so this inconsistency makes or breaks the experience.

Their dessert pastries are only OK. The crystallized ginger cookies and snickerdoodles are tasty (when fresh) but the cold pastries in the showcases tend to taste old and dry. The cakes aren't especially noteworthy. That being said, their lemon bars and pecan diamonds do rock.

Ithaca Bakery offers a nice selection of cheeses, and also will cut lox for you-- sometimes you'll get an employee that has been slicing lox their whole life and slices it in thin delicious layers, or some dropout who hacks it into chunks. Still, the inconsistency of the fare should not keep anyone from going to this place, which is one of the nicest places to eat in the city.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Modesto, California
Top Contributor
451 reviews 451 reviews
181 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 188 cities Reviews in 188 cities
458 helpful votes 458 helpful votes
“I love this place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2009

Ate here twice while visiting for several days in Ithaca. I was really taken with the place. I love a good bakery and the bakery items, especially the bread look wonderful. There are so many other things to eat here, which is what makes the place so great. A number of sandwich options to choose from plus a great salad/food bar where you pay for the food by the pound. I made up a wonderful salad the first time I ate here. I also had some of their soup which was quite tasty. The second time I ate here was at breakfast and they had a variety of breakfast sandwiches to choose from as well as other items such as bagels, etc. My husband and I really enjoyed the food both times we ate here. I can't imagine anyone not liking the food here as there seems to be something to appeal to most people's tastes. The food is not cheap, but also not too expensive. The people are friendly and the workers are busy getting orders completed. I thought it had a great atmosphere as well. As I ate here I thought how much I would like to have a bakery like this where I live. I would eat there frequently! Not often do you see a place with this kind of quality, variety and service!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Highland Park, Illinois
Top Contributor
248 reviews 248 reviews
171 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Which Sandwich....Wrong Choice”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2009

I recently ate at Ithaca Bakery with my 17 year-old son while on a college visit to Cornell. We had heard good things about the restaurant but were somewhat disappointed. We used to live in Ann Arbor, MI and they have a place similar this but so exceeds it, Zingerman's. The menu looks very intriguing, with tons of sandwich combinations offered. My son loves a good BLT, so that is what he ordered. The sandwich had plenty of bacon in it but the lettuce was kind wilted. I couldn't decide what to order so asked the gentleman at the counter what he recommended. He and his co-worker were very helpful and made a couple of suggestions. They actually put together something that wasn't exactly on the menu. This was where I went wrong. The sandwich, which sounded good, turned out to be not so great. There really wasn't much flavor and everything was too mushy.
The servers are very friendly and the sandwiches came very quickly. I would be hard pressed however to recommend this place however since the prices are kind of high and the food only average.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Charleston, SC
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Cup of Tea? Snack? It's all here!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2009

Well deserved reputation for good food, quick and very friendly service, and great value. Not just a bakery -- sandwiches, soups, meal deals, breakfast, gourmet items.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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