I spent a wonderful (yet ridiculously cold) 4 years in the most beautiful (yet ridiculously cold) town in the world. Ithaca, NY holds a very important place in my heart. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in May 2012 in Ithaca right after I finished my sophomore year at Cornell. The year leading up to my diagnosis was painful and long: I lost 10 pounds yet was as bloated as could be, my hair was falling out, I couldn’t hold down food, I rushed to the bathroom every time I ate, my teeth were discoloring from malnutrition, I had canker sores galore and constant headaches. I went to doctors who diagnosed me with ulcers, gave me proton inhibitors, and told me to just eat peanut butter on bread to keep it mild and bread-y. Probably the worst thing I could have done. I was wasting away to nothing….when I finally connected the dots. I asked them to test me for celiac disease—and after a lot of arguing, they finally did. They couldn’t use the blood test because I had virtually no IgA (which is rather common in Celiac disease) so we proceeded to the colonoscopy/endoscopy, which confirmed that I have celiac disease. Before even getting the pathology report back, the doctor told me that my intestines were so horrible flat and she could immediately tell that I had celiac disease…..So I began my gluten free journey in Ithaca, NY!
There will be a series of gluten free posts for Ithaca, NY, but here is the first….**remember to always check with the restaurant to make sure they can accommodate your dietary restrictions
Collegetown Bagels (CTB) (http://collegetownbagels.com): Three locations: 415 College Ave (Collegetown), 203 N Aurora St (Downtown), and 329 Pine Tree Rd. This is a special place for me because it was the first place I ate at in Ithaca after being diagnosed. If you come to Ithaca, this is one of those places you will have to try! They have fantastic gluten free bagels, gluten free bread (mediocre) and gluten free wraps. They take precautions against cross contamination and I have never gotten sick here. If you tell them you have an allergy, they mark a big red A on your ticket to allergy the staff. I still get nervous with spreads that knives could accidentally be shared so I always double check to see if they can use a different container/can still be cautious. Service is somewhat fast and this is by far the most popular eating place in all of Ithaca for Cornell students. You can get pretty much anything and staff is very knowledgable about what is and is not gluten free. Perfect for a late night sandwich/bagel—you can even order online now! Their sangria is gluten free too (see below for a throwback to me celebrating the start of senior year with a lovely sangria). They also often carry gluten free desserts and snacks.
Ithaca Bakery (http://ithacabakery.com/gluten-free-products.html): Located at 400 N. Meadow Street and 2255 N. triphammer Road. Ithaca Bakery is quite similar to CTB, but isn’t as college-y. I love Ithaca bakery! They carry so many different gluten free products–see the link for a list of their products! Since it is not a gluten free facility, there is always a risk for cross contamination, but I have never had a problem myself because they do take precautions to prevent cross contamination. Wonderful options for a lovely lunch. Highly recommend. Staff is knowledgable about what is and is not gluten free.
Greenstar (http://www.greenstar.coop): Located at 701 W. Buffalo St and 215 N. Cayuga St. Similar to Ithaca Bakery and CTB, Greenstar carries gluten free bread with great deli options. The staff is also knowledgable about allergies so I always loved coming here. They are organic and local when possible. They also carry fantastic gluten free cupcakes!!!!! 🙂
**Please note that this review solely reflects my own honest opinion. I was neither paid nor compensated for my visit here.**