… of Ithaca’s best brunch locales
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day and dinner a satisfyingly hearty affair, but brunch is without a doubt, the fanciest of meals. Even the idea of brunch is rooted in a delicious decadence — sleeping in, enjoying a leisurely meal in the late morning, often staving off the effect of last night’s shenanigans.
Brunch, a rather self-explanatory meld of “breakfast” and “lunch” is thought to have originated in London by college students, as is evidenced by Punch magazine in 1896:
“To be fashionable nowadays we must ‘brunch’. Truly an excellent portmanteau word, introduced, by the way, last year, by Mr. Guy Beringer, in the now defunct Hunter’s Weekly, and indicating a combined breakfast and lunch.”
The aforementioned Mr. Beringer had indicated that brunch would allow fun-loving individuals to stay out later and get drunker on Saturday nights, while letting them sleep later on Sunday mornings, citing that, “brunch would make life brighter for Saturday night carousers.”
Now brunch culture has evolved; often called New York’s favorite meal, it has been immortalized in pop culture through countless Sex and the City episodes and the social doyennes of Guest of a Guest. What was once an innovation for a hangover has now become a socially charged affair. This doesn’t mean, however, that hangover recovery is not a factor; on the contrary, brunch may now be the reason for hangovers, with many restaurants now offering “boozy” or “bottomless” brunch with deals for unlimited mimosas and Bloody Marys for those who need a little boost to start their day.
Buzzsaw wholeheartedly believes in Saturday night carousing and making life brighter the next day, so here’s a list of the best places to grab brunch in Ithaca after a night of festivities.
1 Carriage House Three words for why you need to go to the Carriage House: brie French toast. This wickedly rich combination is well-worth the perpetual wait at this Collegetown eatery. Grab a coffee or baked good and head to the airy top floor/sitting room of the restaurant to wait and people-watch families and Cornell prepsters.
2 Café Dewitt
The Café Dewitt features a fresh, seasonal menu with natural ingredients. Located in the middle of the Dewitt Mall, it might lack ambience but it’s the best bang for your buck brunch in Ithaca.
3 Hai Hong
Try dim sum (Chinese brunch) at Hai Hong for a uniquely delectable brunch. At dim sum, many small dishes are shared family-style by the table, so you can taste everything. The fried taro cakes, wu tau goh, are reason enough to visit.
4 Collegetown Bagels CTB, a perennial student favorite, has a plethora of choices for brunching. From sandwiches to baked goods (or, of course, their famous bagels,) there’s something for everyone.
5 State Street Diner Open 24 hours, this classic diner caters to the late night/ early morning crowd with breakfast classics and typical greasy-spoon fare. Rumor has it, if your party is nine or larger, they’ll cut your bill in half.
A homey joint somewhat similar to the more popular State Street Diner, but here they’ll give you home fries for free with your brunch entrée.
7 Sunset Grille
A mere hop, skip and a jump from campus, facing Rogan’s, the Sunset Bar and Grille serves a great brunch. Try the western omelet, and enjoy the fall weather while you can with their al fresco dining.
Cady Lang is a junior journalism major who prefers beignets to the traditional donut. Email her at clang1[at]ithaca.edu.