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14 Ithaca dining, dessert and drink options to try this spring

With spring comes new beginnings –– and a chance to try new things.

As friends, family and new associates join together, food is one medium through which memories are formed, palates expanded and the warmer weather celebrated in colorful, beautiful scenery.

From dine-in to on-the-go meals, from Cayuga Heights to Ithaca Commons, this roundup provides a range of restaurants, dessert shops and drink spots to try.

This spring, check off the stops on this list — we’re arranged it in alphabetical order — one by one.

Where to find savory eats this spring

Boat Yard Grill

For diners looking for a beautiful waterfront view as the weather warms, this restaurant gives exactly that, along with inviting foods.

With surf and turf offerings, this menu includes a classic Seafood Fra Diavolo (jumbo shrimp, calamari, bay scallops, toasted capers, spicy arrabbiata sauce and linguine), a Filet Mignon 8-ounce steak, wines, locally sourced beer and cocktails, as well as succulent desserts, such as the molten chocolate cake.

Location: 525 Old Taughannock Blvd., Ithaca.

Hours: 4-9 pm Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday; 4-10 pm Friday-Saturday.

Hawi Ethiopian Cuisine is open at 113 S. Cayuga St. in Ithaca.

Hawaiian Ethiopian Cuisine

As the sun comes out and more gatherings are planned, Hawi provides large portions and combos for friends, families and individuals to enjoy –– from their vegetarian meal Misir Wat (split red lentil in onion and tomato sauce and Ethiopian spice, berbere) to their Yebeg Alicha (a halal meal with lamb in an onion and turmeric stew).

As the only Ethiopian restaurant in Ithaca, this 113 S. Cayuga St. location is home to tasteful foods for a range of palates and dietary needs, including for meat, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free eaters.

Location: 113 S. Cayuga St., Ithaca.

Hours: 3-9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.

Mama Said Hand Pies sells a variety of savory hand pies in Press Bay Alley.

Mama Said Hand Pies

These sweet and savory pies are a delicious hand-held option for people to bring along with them on their spring adventures, work breaks and dates.

From their best selling potato and New York Cheddar pie to the tempeh patty (tempeh, coconut milk, scotch bonnet peppers, sofrito) and their blueberry hand pie, Mama Said Hand Pies, located at the Press Bay Alley, has flavors from around the world in one small business.

While the storefront is open and available to all from 11:30 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Saturday, pre-orders on their website are recommended to ensure you get to enjoy the particular pies you crave.

Location: 118 W. Green St., Ithaca.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

Soyong Lee and Chris Kim are the co-owners of Maru Ramen.

maru ramen

With its colorful exterior, Maru Ramen specializes in home-cooked broth curated with time and care for ramen lovers. The restaurant also serves appetizers like seaweed salad, rolls including the Spicy Crab sushi roll, savory dishes like beef Bul-Go-Gi (marinated beef, rice and salad) and desserts for diners to enjoy.

Pickup and delivery are available.

Location: 512 W. State St., Ithaca.

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

The legendary Moosewood Restaurant opened in 1973. The restaurant, which is collectively owned and features a healthy vegetarian menu, is still in its original location in the DeWitt Mall.

Moosewood Restaurant

Looking for vegetarian options and a chance to try a new seasonal menu?

The classic, renowned Moosewood Restaurant is open and with an outdoor seating space for when the warm weather permits. You can reserve a table, order for curbside pickup and delivery.

Location: 215 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca.

Hours: 5-9 pm Wednesday-Sunday.

Previous coverage:Ithaca staple, Moosewood Restaurant, returns with new leadership and menu

Silo Food Truck's telekinetic chicken

Silo Food Truck

For Ithacans on the go this spring in search of food from locally sourced ingredients, the Silo Food Truck is the place to go.

They serve their signature fried chicken (a half pound of fried chicken, cornbread and honey butter, gravy and coleslaw), mac and cheese (served with extra sharp cheddar béchamel sauce) and sides like vegan green coconut curry (green curry with purple coconut sticky rice, greens from Remembrance Farms, cashews and pickles), along with other variations to create a full meal to share or to enjoy alone.

Location: 620 W. Green St., Ithaca.

Hours: 4-9 pm Wednesday-Thursday; 4-10 p.m. Fridays; noon to 10 pm Saturday; 2-8 p.m. Sunday.

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