ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Elmira is home to some great local restaurants that are well-kept and hard to find unless you’re a native that’s been to every restaurant in the city. When it comes to the best places to eat in Elmira, Yelp is often a tool people go-to to see reviews and photos before deciding if they want to do business there.
Looking at ratings alone, here is a top 10 of the best-rated restaurants/cafes in Elmira, according to Yelp.
10. Hill Top Inn
With 59 reviews on Yelp, Hill Top Inn is currently sitting at a four-star rating and number 10 on this list. Sitting atop Jerusalem Hill, the restaurant overlooks the city and gives guests a beautiful view at any time of year.
Opened in 1933, the Hill Top Inn is the oldest licensed restaurant in Elmira, and now is a third-generation family restaurant with rustic charm, great food, and Irish hospitality.
Speaking of food, the restaurant serves a variety of dishes from seafood to pasta, to steaks and burgers. Each season hosts a unique set of dishes themed to the season to keep things fresh and unique.
Overall, Hill Top Inn has a mix of reviews, most being 4-5 stars, with a few negative ones. When looking through reviews there is a common theme that the restaurant is seen as a bit pricey, but makes up for it with the best view in the city.
The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. From Tuesday to Thursday they are open 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday, they’re open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
9. Lib’s Supper Club
Coming in at number nine on the list with 67 reviews on Yelp there’s Lib’s Supper Club.
Located at 106 W. 5th St. in Elmira, Lib’s has been a staple in Elmira for over 50 years, serving up classic Italian dishes, seafood, and steaks.
When coming to Lib’s, there’s a message that showed up in multiple reviews that you need to come hungry. The restaurant is known for serving up enormous portions that will be able to keep you fed for days.
For reviews, the restaurant has received a plethora of five-star reviews within the past year, while only receiving two negative reviews in that same time frame.
Lib’s atmosphere is described as classy and can accommodate any sized party with up to 450 people and a 30-seat bar.
According to Yelp and Lib’s website, their hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
8. Charlie’s Cafe
At number eight on the list is Charlie’s Cafe with 46 Yelp reviews and a rating of four stars.
Located at 205 Hoffman St., Charlie’s is said to have a very ‘unique’ dining experience with great service, a neighborhood atmosphere, and great food.
The Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as expanding and putting in a full-sized bar inside to attract the nighttime crowd. On Yelp the restaurant is reported to have many vegetarian options for those seeking that type of diet.
Charlie’s has overwhelmingly good reviews being in the four to five-star range. Some of the more negative reviews came in years ago but pointed out issues of the restaurant being out of certain items at times, being a bit on the pricey, or just being an okay place to get a meal.
According to Yelp, Charlie’s Cafe is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
7. Anne’s Pancakes Natural & Vegetarian Foods
Coming in at number seven on the list is Anne’s Pancakes with an overall four-star rating and 28 reviews on Yelp.
The old-style diner is located at 114 S. Main St. in Elmira’s Southside and is one of the best in the city.
The atmosphere is described as a typical diner feel with fast service, and food for a good price. The restaurant serves breakfast all day, from pancakes, of course, to omelets, french toast, and other typical breakfast items you can find at a diner.
Anne’s serves lunch as well, with things like hot and cold sandwiches, cheeseburgers and hot dogs, and much more.
Most of the reviews on Yelp about the restaurant have been positive and point out how it’s a good place to go with good food at a good price. The negative things people had to say had to deal with the decor inside being fairly dated, and the wait staff being rude at times, but many of those reviews were multiple years ago.
According to their Facebook page, Anne’s is open seven days a week, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 6 a.m. to noon, and Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon.
6. Patrick’s Pub
With four and a half stars on Yelp, but with only 15 reviews, Patrick’s comes in at number six on the list.
Located at 303 College Ave, Patrick’s has been reviewed as one of the best Bars/Pubs in Elmira.
In terms of atmosphere, it’s one of the top things people talked about in their Yelp reviews. Many described the place as a friendly, locally owned pub with good service, food, beer, and entertainment.
Overall reviews are positive and give praise, with very few negatives, and those that were negative were based on a particular visit rather than the quality of the restaurant.
According to Yelp, the hours of operations are Monday – Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday -Friday, 3 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday 5 p.m. to midnight, with Sunday being closed.
5. Beijing Garden
Number five on the top 10 restaurants in Elmira according to Yelp is Beijing Garden with an overall four stars from 41 reviews.
Located at 145 W. Gray St., Beijing Garden has been providing Chinese food at mid to low costs for years.
The restaurant is one of the only true dine-in Chinese restaurants in the area, so, If deciding to dine in, the restaurant has a medium-sized room with a number of tables for different-sized parties. Reviews have described the interior as traditional/vintage, while others have stated they consider it to be dated.
The menu is large and has something for everyone, lunch specials, dinner specials, and even platters to serve a large group of people. Reviews have been largely positive giving praise to the food.
The restaurant doesn’t shy away from criticism though as a handful of reviews have gone after the food, saying it’s terrible, while others just saying the food is ‘okay’ at best. Out of the 41 reviews, only 9 of them are below a four-star.
According to Yelp, the restaurant is open Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and on Saturday from noon to 9:30 p.m., with Sunday being closed.
4. Rye Bar & Restaurant
At number four on the list of best restaurants in Elmira according to Yelp, we have Rye Bar & Restaurant with a four-star rating and 42 reviews.
Located at 365 Davis St., Rye Bar has been the scene of recent popularity, as it is a newer restaurant, being open for a little over two years now.
Rye Bar has been the scene of public events, such as Alive After 5 while providing a classy and friendly atmosphere to Elmira.
Being in the realm of American-style foods, Rye Bar serves burgers, wings, ribs, seafood, pasta, salads, and more, all while trying to find as many local foods as possible.
Keeping things local comes with a price, however, as many fresh foods are expensive right now, according to a comment the owner made on Yelp four months ago.
Besides a slight increase in prices, reviews are largely positive with love for the food and drinks, as well as the decor of the place, being clean and beautiful, as one reviewer called it.
Overall reviews of Rye Bar are good, with only nine reviews being three stars and under, and the rest being four and five-star reviews for the restaurant.
According to Yelp, Rye Bar is open Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
3. Siam Elephants Restaurant
Coming in with the top three we have Siam Elephants Restaurant in downtown Elmira, with four and a half stars an
Siam Elephant is a very new restaurant, with being open for slightly over a year, and bringing something different to downtown Elmira in the form of Thai food.
Located at 200 W. Water Street, Siam Elephants has been a place for local residents to get their hands on unique Thai cuisine.
The food ranges from Pad Thai, Red and Green Curry dishes, to seafood, noodle dishes, fried ice cream, Thai tea, and so much more. Reviewers that have sat inside to eat have raved about the plate presentation for many of the dishes
Reviews complimented the staff on being very welcoming and that the location was very clean.
Out of the 27 total reviews, there were 0 in the one or two-star range and only three with three-star reviews. The remaining 24 reviews were in the four to five-star range, giving compliments on the food and saying they would go back for more.
The lower-rated reviews that the restaurant had regarded the food as being “subpar” and “OK for what it is,” but those reviews made up two of the total 27 reviews made by Yelpers.
The overall review of Siam Elephants is that it’s a great place to get Thai food in downtown Elmira with good service and a nice atmosphere for a good price.
According to Yelp, the restaurant is open Wednesday through Monday and is closed on Tuesday. For weekday hours, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., closes for two hours, and reopens from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Saturday they open from noon to 3 p.m., close for an hour, and open again from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Sunday they open from noon to 3 p.m., close for an hour, and reopen from 4 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
2. 1157 North
In second place for the top-rated restaurants in Elmira, there’s 1157 North with four and a half stars on 81 total views on Yelp.
Formerly known as The Palms, 1157 North has been providing quality Italian-American food, and seafood, in Elmira for decades.
Located at 1157 N. Main St., the restaurant gives a good sit-down atmosphere, that’s said to be quiet and classy, according to Yelp.
For food, 1157 has a large selection of Italian-inspired dishes like pasta, eggplant and chicken parmesan. The restaurant also has steaks like filet mignon and ribeye, as well as seafood dishes, such as salmon filet, shrimp scampi, scallops, and more.
Many reviews have raved about the calamari, with one reviewer saying it was, the “Best calamari I have ever had!”
The interior of the restaurant is rather unique as reviewers have called the interior vintage and “throwback to the 1970s,” while others call it outdated and dark.
One of the negative things people would bring up in their reviews is how the portions are small for the price, but were still satisfied with the food for the most part.
Out of the 81 reviews, only eight were in the one to two-star range, with the rest being three and above, with six reviews being three stars for the restaurant.
According to Yelp, the restaurant is open Monday through Saturday. From Tuesday through Thursday, the restaurant is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., while Friday and Saturday it’s open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
1. Turtle Leaf Cafe
Finishing the list and coming in at number one is Turtle Leaf Cafe with four and a half stars and 77 reviews on Yelp.
Turtle Leaf sits at 315 E. Water St., and has been a popular breakfast/lunch spot in Elmira for years.
With indoor and outdoor seating, a large and unique menu, and a convenient location for many in Elmira, there’s a reason this Cafe ranks number one on the list.
Turtle Leaf has a diverse menu when it comes to the food from made-to-order breakfast sandwiches and wraps to unique paninis like the ‘Strawberry Turkey Brie’ and ‘The Hearty Artie’. One is a sandwich with turkey, strawberries, brie cheese, and pepper jelly, and the other is a ham sandwich with green apple and melted brie cheese as well.
The cafe has a large selection of smoothies and different coffee variations to pick from.
The cafe, and reviewers, noted that they are able to accommodate different food preferences, as they have vegan options for meals and different dairy substitutes.
Many of the reviews compliment the food, the staff’s friendliness, and the ‘hip’ atmosphere inside.
Turtle Leaf does a lot for the local community as they have a collection box inside the restaurant for items for the homeless and have done events where they provide groceries to those in need.
Out of the 77 reviews, seven of them are between the two and one-star ratings, four being in the three-star rating, with the rest being four and five-star ratings on the restaurant.
The negative reviews consisted of a lack of cleanliness in some areas mentioning that dining tables weren’t cleaned off properly, while a few others had some issues with the food, but these are complaints seen only in seven total low-star reviews.
Overall, Turtle Leaf Cafe is a perfect, local, breakfast/lunch spot in Elmira, the cafe can always be seen with a healthy amount of customers in and outside the building enjoying food or a morning coffee. The number of five-star reviews is what pushes Turtle Leaf ahead to give it the number one spot in Elmira, according to Yelp.
Turtle Leafe Cafe is open Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.