Ithaca Commons is a four-block pedestrian shopping area in downtown Ithaca, home to over 100 stores, restaurants, cafes and pubs. Unfortunately, while we were visiting the entire area was being revitalized – the shops and restaurants were still open, but the place was completely under construction. We read online that there are often street vendors and street entertainers at Ithaca Commons, but there really wasn’t too much going on outside as the ground was all torn up and everything was roped off by construction fences. We did visit a cute shop called Home Green Home, which focused on sustainable living and sold lots of organic housewares. Otherwise, our time at Ithaca Commons was primarily highlighted by a delicious lunch that we enjoyed at an all-day breakfast/lunch joint called Waffle Frolic.
Waffle Frolic is located in Ithaca Commons, which is close to Cornell University so I am sure it is a popular place among the students. Living up to the name, Waffle Frolic serves single or double-sized waffles with your choice of toppings – everything from bananas and chocolate chips to slightly more obscure toppings like lemon curd, apple butter, or shredded coconut. We adore Waffle Frolic because they make a vegan waffle that also happens to be gluten-free. There are also vegan grilled sandwich options on the menu. Justin and I were absolutely starving after our hikes at Taughannock Falls and Robert H. Treman State Park, so we were drooling at the prospect of ordering all kinds of yummy dishes. In hindsight, yes, we ordered way too much food. We should have ordered single-sized waffles instead of the double-sized waffles that we did order because we were unable to finish all of our food. To be fair, the picture of the waffle didn’t look that big on the wall, plus the server did admit afterwards that the vegan/gluten-free waffles are a bit thicker and heavier than the regular waffles there.
I ordered my waffle with good ol’ classic maple syrup. Justin ordered his waffle with a big scoop of vanilla soy ice cream, which came dusted with powdered sugar. As you can see, these waffles were huge – bigger than the plate! We also ordered two vegan grilled cheese sandwiches (made vegan by using Daiya brand vegan cheese): Roasted Garlic & Portobello and Mediterranean (Spinach, Artichoke, and Kalamata Olive Spread). Other vegan options at Waffle Frolic include a black bean burger on a waffle bun, or a waffle dog (a vegan hotdog dipped in vegan waffle batter and fried).
It definitely was not the healthiest meal, but it certainly was delicious! We wouldn’t hesitate to come back here again. Perhaps when we return someday, Ithaca Commons will be fully repaired and resume its position as a vibrant city center.
146 East State
Monday-Thursday: 9:00am-8:00pm (open until 10:00pm in the summer)
Friday-Saturday: 9:00am-10:00pm (open until midnight in the summer)