Hound & Mare provides a varied menu with a unique array of flavors for a breakfast cafe. 

There’s more than a nutritional reason for breakfast arguably being the most important meal of the day. If it’s nourishing, comforting and flavorful, it can set a positive tone for your next 24 hours. The meals served at  Hound and Mare add unprecedented pizzazz to any breakfast spread. They elevate the concept of the breakfast sandwich with exciting toppings while still catering to the tastebuds of picky eaters. 

With a matte black storefront, Hound and Mare sits within the hustle and bustle of the restaurant row on Aurora Street, just off the Commons. Decorated with stained glass windows and local art, it is a modern space tailored to a minimalist perspective. Customers can listen to soothing music while sipping one of the cafes’ specialty drinks, like a lavender latte, NY maple latte, or a basic drip coffee. The front counter is covered with freshly baked pastries and other tasty treats. Some of the standouts are the Oreo chocolate chip cookie, apple fritters, and the variety of brightly colored macaroons. 

Fair warning: If you’re not a dainty nibbler of an eater make sure to grab a good number of napkins. The centerpiece of each of their signature sandwiches is an over-easy egg. Although delicious, these sandwiches are layered with ingredients that will most likely drip down your fingers. One of their most popular items, the Pacific, is layered with crispy kale, honey-infused feta and a roasted tomato. Put all these ingredients between a sliced sesame bagel and you have a sandwich that packs a sweet bite with notes of umami. If you like to stay more on the savory side for breakfast, the Melrose is a fantastic option. With soft caramelized onions, crunchy bacon and a cheddar cheese crisp on top, this egg-centric sammie provides complex textures with rich and lasting taste. 

Other stars on the menu include the avocado toast and the Mar Vista burrito. With local sourdough as its foundation, the avocado toast is layered with tangy pickled red onions, tomato, and spicy Fresno chilis. If you want to elevate the flavor of the toast you can add an egg on top, but it is delicious either way. The Mar Vista burrito was filled to the brim with every breakfast item you could possibly dream of. Packed with scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, salsa and black beans, this massive burrito will satisfy any appetite. 

Hound and Mare was launched in 2019 by Tam and Christine Lam whose parents have made their mark on the Ithaca dining scene with Saigon Kitchen, located on West State Street. The Lam sisters have brought their own L.A.-inspired approach to the Ithaca food scene. Eclectic and stylish, Hound and Mare provides a varied menu with a unique array of flavors not commonly found in other breakfast cafes, whimsical baked goods, and a quiet environment to enjoy it all in. 

Hound & Mare, 118 N Aurora Street, (607) 319-4463, https://www.houndandmare.com/, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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