Taverna Banfi

4.6
949 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
A Tuscan Inspired Italian Restaurant In Ithaca, NY
Tuscan culture embraces a cuisine that is inspired by availability and accessibility. At Taverna Banfi, our seasonal menus reflect this attitude. Located at the heart of Cornell University campus, our casual fine dining atmosphere is perfect for entertaining family, friends, and clients visiting Cornell University and the Finger Lakes region.

What 949 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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VF
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

All the members of our group had the buffet. The savory dishes were very good and varied. The desserts were pretty good but leaned too heavily towards puddings and parfaits. The staff was pleasant and made us feel comfortable about taking our time. Parking was easy and efficient.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was good, but our server, Isabelle, was GREAT. She was attentive, kind, prompt (and very easy on the eyes!). Would probably go again, but would definitely go again if Isabelle is still working there.

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m
New England
8 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 4

I would recommend for breakfast or brunch but not for dinner based on our experience on Sunday. The food was not good- surprising because we have eaten here before and enjoyed it. We ordered salads which were good, but the strip steaks were really awful. Steaks were like leather. I ordered mine Medium- it came well done. My daughters Medium rare was medium. No one ever asked how the meal was- we both left half of our steaks on the plate and orders Dominos later in the evening.

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w
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent brunch. Plenty of choices. All delicious

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SC
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always have such an excellent time at Taverna Banfi and so treasure our experiences there. Thank you!!

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DK
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Taverna Banfa does an great job on Sunday brunch. We have been there numerous times and have never been disappointed.

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FD
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Some days are better than others. Skip the weekend, weekday buffet fare tends to be better.

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M
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been wanting to try this restaurant for a while and it didn’t disappoint! Food was excellent and service was outstanding. Will definitely be back.

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MW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I used to work here so I knew it would be a good experience. Kind waitstaff and yummy food. Thanks!

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D
New England
7 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

It wasn't a great night. A couple had a loud yappy dog at their table. Another table was really loud college students. The steak was overcooked. The salad was over dressed. On the plus side, the scallops were excellent.

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OT
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The brunch buffet was rly good

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MN
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food! Waiter seemed very new, but that happens!

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e
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

I have been taking friends to Banfi's for lunch 2-3 times a year and have generally enjoyed it. It might be that it was "busy" (though it wasn't packed), but we were discouraged from ordering from the menu because of wait time, and the buffet was poorly maintained and skimpy. Though I've enjoyed the buffet vegan options and been satisfied with the variety in the past, this time there were only a couple vegan dishes, and the single dessert, a chocolate chip cookie for which I paid full fare, was a bad-tasting, sad mistake. If the menu says it includes vegan options, they should be plentiful, varied, and flavorful, not unfortunate, last-minute, make-do attempts to check the vegan box, rather than satisfy the pallet.

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BP
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

staff are wonderful and very accomodating. they took special orders from visitors i was hosting from Asia even though it was buffet only.

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KM
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food, friendly service. Will definitely return.

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UW
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent brunch choice when visiting at Cornell. An extensive buffet including freshly sliced roast beef, salmon, shrimp and enough vegetables and grains to please a vegetarian. Salads, fresh fruit and an extensive dessert buffet area ( creme brulee-yum!). Relaxed environment with attentive but not obtrusive service. Well worth the price!

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AF
New York Area
49 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

When visiting the Great Lakes, your visit is not complete without a visit to Cornell University and the Statler Hotel. If you can't stay there, eat there. The food was delicious. The selection was great and the price couldn't be beat.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Emily Turner and Samay were so wonderful! They made this special birthday so great!

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OT
New England
53 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great menu, everything was delicious and beautifully presented. Exceptional service.

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C
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding in every way -- ambiance; food and service. Gem of a dining spot. I highly recommend.

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AS
1 review
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely dining experience - good food, attentive wait staff, and welcoming ambiance

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SB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Our brunch was wonderful. Look forward to another visit soon, thanks, The Bloomers

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D
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

We ate brunch at Banfi's on Sunday. The food was excellent with a variety of choices. Our only minor observations were that our waiter did not come to our table after the first coffee/water serving and he did not bring our check in a timely manner. Another waitress saw us waiting and she delivered our check to us. Other than those two events, we will come again.

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PK
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to enjoy a quality meal after a long day of touring campus. The student run restaurant and hotel are very impressive. These students will go places as they know a lot about service, customer satisfaction, and overall good business. Best of luck to all that work hard to make this enjoyable for their patrons.

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MG
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I ordered crab cakes and they were dry and not very flavorful - mediocre. A sauce of some kind would have helped. Banfi's salmon is usually quite good, however, and their zucchini noodle dish is one of a kind. I would recommend, but with caveats.

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SC
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an absolutely delightful experience tin celebrate my older daughter's birthday. Thank you so much for the bottle of bubbly and the always excellent and caring service to mark this as a very special occasion for all of us - as always:) We'll be back soon!

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BD
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is excellently prepared and the staff do a wonderful job in taking care of its customers. Well worth the visit.

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AD
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food, great service. No complaints!

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L
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Service could be better. Food was great. Had to ask multiple times for coffee and our drinks

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MG
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Some days are better than others. I've been to Banfi's when it's been truly enjoyable, but this day's buffet fare was sub-par (for Banfi's). The green salad was overdressed, the greens starting to brown a bit and wilted. The chicken almond salad had little flavor (and why does Banfi's insist on dicing its salad chicken - chicken for salad should be torn/shredded as the texture's far superior). There was also something else--wish I could remember what it was, but it wasn't worth the calories.

I will say Banfi's does a good job with meats and fish. The turkey breast was well-seasoned and moist; the salmon there is always nicely done in my experience.

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D
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The brunch at Taverna Banfi's is fantastic. There are numerous food choices offered and all are great tasting. The service is outstanding and we especially want to give kudos to our waitress, Lori Sullivan, who was kind, friendly, and upbeat. We'll return often and bring along our friends!

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DB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The kitchen was under construction when I went for lunch, so only the buffet was open. It was very elegant and full of a lot of fresh dishes-- lots of variety. My favorite was the dessert buffet (: Our waitress was lovely and so attentive.

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RA
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

amazing food and service! great views of Cornell's campus and very convenient parking.

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M
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A praise worthy Sunday brunch. An excellent variety in appetizers, salads, main dishes and desserts, all offered with many selections for vegans and those with dietary requirements. All the dishes, and I emphasize "all", were delicious. Attentive service by staff trained in guest satisfaction. Wonderful atmosphere in an Italian taverna. A must experience. And, there is valet parking for those eating at Taverna Banfi.

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J
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

the food is not good as before. the service is not very nice. very noise.

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LR
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nick, Emily, and Martin were fantastic. The food was excellent. It was a great experience for us and our guest.

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CV
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just an overall pleasant lunch experience. The food was so good I ate too much. Everything was fresh and obviously made with great care. Great coffee, too.

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FS
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The regular dining room was closed for upgrading. This space was ok, but not as nice upstairs. The Buffet was good but not up to its normal operation. Service very good.

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AS
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place on campus, convenient, good food, good service, nice view, quality ingredients

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LJ
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We met two friends for brunch and really enjoyed the array of food choices. Food was well-prepared and attractively presented. Everything was fresh and tasty-not too much salt or oils. Vegetarians and carnivores would both be happy with the fare.

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