Spencer’s Brunch Hall of Fame: Sunset Grill

By Spencer Sigalow
Sun Staff Writer

Congratulations! If you are reading this, odds are you or a loved one is starting their exciting adventure at Cornell University. That’s something to celebrate, unless Cornell was your safety school, in which case, I guess I’m sorry? Regardless, you’re here in Ithaca and are probably unsure of where to grab a bite to eat between your fifteen trips to Bed Bath & Beyond (who knew command strips and husband pillows were so expensive!).

While my official major is Industrial and Labor Relations, having spent the last three years at Cornell maturing my palate and experiencing the many diverse culinary offerings of Ithaca, I am unofficially double-majoring in brunch. In fact, I even started a brunch club with three of my closest friends. Therefore, based on my brunch expertise, I implore each and every one of you to try my all-time favorite diner to satisfy your breakfast or lunch cravings: Sunset Grill.

I remember my first visit to this brunch haven as if it were yesterday. I was visiting my brother at Cornell during admitted students weekend, and I’m fairly certain that Sunset was the most convincing reason for me to commit to Cornell. After a late night out enjoying all the festivities that Cornell nightlife has to offer, I was craving a hot cup of coffee and large serving of breakfast food. My brother loaded me into his car, drove me to this hidden gem and we feasted like kings. Needless to say, this has become an integral part of my weekend routine, as I now bring my friends, girlfriend, family and brunch club whenever the opportunity arises.

Sunset Grill, located past the Commons and close to Ithaca College, is about a 15-minute drive from North Campus, but it’s definitely worth it. With an extensive and eclectic menu, there is certainly something on the menu for everyone, no matter how picky the eater! While I oftentimes opt for sunny-side up eggs, bacon and home fries (well-done), the buffalo chicken wrap is a safe bet for lunch. Some other favorites from my fellow brunch club members include the chicken caesar wrap, the veggie omelette and the bo burger. I’ve never had a bad meal here! Additionally, most menu items are very inexpensive; I never spend more than $12 on a full meal with a drink, pre-tip.

Sunset is the perfect destination for any day, even during more crowded times like move-in or parents’ weekend. There is ample seating both inside the restaurant and on the scenic outdoor porch. The ambience is casual and homey, creating a cozy vibe that is typical of a classic diner. Sunset can also accommodate larger parties, so don’t fear if you have a big family! Furthermore, the staff is always on top of their game, ensuring speedy service and quick turnaround time. Even if there is a line out the door, the wait won’t be more than ten minutes.

All in all, Sunset Grill has rightfully earned its spot atop my Ithaca Brunch Hall of Fame. With friendly staff, delicious and reasonably priced food and speedy service, it is the ideal brunch destination.


Serves: Diner fare
Vibe: casual, homey
Price: $
Overall: ★★★★★

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