Ithaca Farmers Market

Review by: Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

If good food, and its expression of place, interests you (as surely it does if you’re visiting, the Ithaca Farmers Market should be on any itinerary that finds you near the town by the shores of Cayuga Lake. The Ithaca Farmers Market captures the essence of Ithaca better than any other place in town. Farmers, artisan food producers, students and professors, local residents who have nothing to do with the schools, and people who simply appreciate fresh and high-quality food all gather by the banks of the lake to buy and sell produce, prepared foods, flowers, and crafts. Old-timey and bluegrass musicians play in the market and out back by the lake while people sit at tables and on rocks to eat or just hang out. A boat tour of the lake is available.

Tables billow with leafy greens of the utmost freshness. Root vegetables are often still moist with the soil they were growing in that morning. Homemade cheeses, maple syrup, and baked goods abound. Producers of local and organic lamb, pork, and poultry offer a large variety of cuts to start the creative cooking juices flowing. Local wineries offer free samples, and bottles to bring home.

Prepared foods circle the globe, with long stops in Asia and the Woodstock Nation. Cambodian pancakes, Indian samosas, tofu and seitan and soy products galore, noodles and rice and vegetables, good coffee, ice cream and sorbets (including one memorable Earl Grey Tea and Lime sorbet).

The market is covered and is open in good weather and bad, but not in the winter. They’re open Saturday and Sunday mornings and afternoons, and Thursday afternoons and evenings. On a gorgeous and sunny Ithaca Saturday morning, especially, there’s no place in the Finger Lakes we’d rather be.

What To Eat




Ithaca Farmers Market Recipes


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