Neighborhood Guide: Westcott

Get to know Syracuse, one neighborhood at a time. Up first: Westcott; from pretty parks to several restaurants to organized bike rides, there is plenty to eat, drink, see, do and shop when you tour through Syracuse's "hipster-ville."


When it comes to food in the Westcott area, vegetarians and vegans have nothing to worry about. On Westcott Street alone, you can pretty much eat your way from breakfast to late night bites.

Photo: Antoinette Siu
Pretty day outside? Go check out the rose garden at Thornden Park in the Westcott neighborhood.

GO EAST: For a change from popular Mexican restaurant Alto Cinco, head over to Taste of India for a Sunday brunch. Some Tandoori chicken and mango lassis keep things interesting; take a break from the usual eggs benedict and mimosas.

BAR BITES: If you're looking for more of a pub food scene, Beer Belly's turkey hoagies and eggplant wings bring a twist to your bar food classics. Beer and wine are perfect complements.

BIKES AND BREAKFAST: Mello Velo, a funky, hipster half bike shop, half cafe, is a hot spot signature for mismatched furniture, all-day breakfasts, tempeh and organic tea. Plus, you can fix up your bike with some used parts while you munch down whole wheat pita pizza pockets.

SWEET THINGS: Although a new kid on the block, Picasso's Pastries is serving up the kind of baked goodness that sends you on extra trips to the gym. Indulge in cinnamon buns, cheese rolls and cream puffs, finished with a nice cup of Joe.

Laptop campers and coffee lovers, swing by Recess Coffee. When you walk in, it'll feel like you're in someone's living room. Free wifi is available, and you can enjoy your caffeine like you're working out of your apartment.


During the day, make your way to the Rose Garden right off of Ostrom. A gem of the Thornden Park, the garden is a popular photoshoot and wedding destination. Roses peak in June, but flowers are still blooming beautifully this time of year. Before you leave, take a walk around the Lily Pond across from the garden.

While you're still in Thornden Park, keep on Thornden Park Drive, and you'll eventually come across the Amphiteater. In the summer, Shakespeare in the Park ran on these stages.

If you're looking for some quiet views and benches, navigate to Euclid Avenue. You'll find several flights of stairs that lead you up to the Westminster Park. Once up there, go for some quality reading time or picnic with friends. Take in the view of SU's greenery and beyond.


The Westcott Community Center is a good start if you're new to this area. Events like the Community Art Center's gallery receptions and Japanese brush painting classes bring together locals and community members in a great space. Membership is required, but individuals only pay $15 for the year. 

If you're looking to get some fitness and fun, the One Village Dance Center offers classes like Zumba, martial arts and African drums.

Cruise the city with bike enthusiasts. Mello Velo's bike shop organizes weekly mountain bike rides, road rides on Wednesdays, and a "Fun Ride" every Thursday night. All rides meet in front of their shop.

Go for a run. Head up Thornden Park Drive until you reach the top of a hill where the Elon P. Stewart Standpipe sits. SU is the university on the hill, but you don't really feel it until you're up here.


There's nothing that screams vintage like Boom Babies on Westcott Street. This place will take care of all your transitional needs this fall, and they've also got a big selection of prom dresses and gowns.

Somewhat hidden on S. Beech Street is Cluttered Closet, a thrift store that's surely a one-stop-shop for all things hipster.

In need of flowers? Westcott Florist has arrangements for pretty much every occasion and season. Best part is, you can place your order online if you’re pressed for time.




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