Let’s face it. Ithaca has its fair share of college bars. And it’s tempting to flock to the place with the cheapest beer and $3 shots because, well, it’s college. Ain’t nobody got money for anything but that. For those looking for a classier experience, your resident bartender sacrificed herself to find the best alternatives for you to check out.
Perfect for: Beer connoisseurs
Happy Hour: 4-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday; Tuesday All Night; 10 p.m.-1 a.m. every night
It’s all in the name, baby. Bandwagon brews its own beer in their brewery. They have 15 craft beers on tap as well as 5 house made taps. Plus, their High Step Weizenbock won the Gold Medal in 2012 for best beer in New York State by TapNY. They update their “daily” drink menu monthly, so be sure to check out what they have before you go. No matter what, you won’t be disappointed if you love beer like I love beer.
Felicia’s Atomic Lounge & Cupcakery
Perfect for: Crafty cocktail crazies
Food: Dinner Tuesday through Saturday; Sunday brunch; cupcakes
Happy Hour: Tuesday through Saturday 4-6 p.m.; All night Thursdays
Their website dons the slogan “for a HIP sip” and that’s just what you’ll get at Felicia’s. They not only take extra care with their cocktail crafting, but the swanky vibe of this lounge will have you movin’ to the groove of the local bands they book every Friday and Saturday. Plus, their Sunday brunch can’t be missed with their ever-changing frittatas and brunch cocktails. Step aside, boring mimosas!
Ithaca Coffee Company
Perfect for: Craft beer lovers and homebrew aficionados
Food: Café food; sandwiches
Happy Hour: 5 p.m. Fridays
You might not know this, but Ithaca Coffee Company does a whole lot more than just make a damn good cuppa Joe. I know it’s hard to take notice when you’re just trying to get a damn cappuccino with almond milk before your vegan yogalates class, but this place has it all, and in two different locations. Their craft beer taps rotate every week and they have free weekly beer tastings Wednesday at the Triphammer location and Thursdays at Gateway. Make sure you check their site to see what you’ll be sampling. You can also find everything you need to homebrew your own beer, but with all the selections they offer, you may never have to!
Perfect for: Agave-based drinks, and literally everything else
Food: Full on restaurant
Happy Hour: Every day 4-6 p.m.
You definitely know Agava for its stellar southwest-inspired cuisine, but did you know that it’s also a super cool bar? Their selection of beers, wines, and spirits are seemingly endless, and their cocktail selection is on point. Their menu does a good job of explaining the differences between tequilas and other Agave-based liquors, and they have flights that allow you to try a bunch. Plus, between their Monday Open Mic Nights, Wednesday Salsa Dancing, Thursday Trivia, and an endless array of bands playing, there’s always something going on besides food at Agava.
Rachel Maus is a senior Cinema & Photography major whose editor said she would be compromising her “journalistic integrity” by including the bar she works at, even though Silky Jones is one of the best places to get a cocktail and/or beer.