14 Things to Do in Eastwood on Syracuse’s Northeast Side
July 1, 2022
Last updated on July 11, 2022.
Nicknamed the “Village within the City” in Syracuse, the Eastwood neighborhood is experiencing a renaissance. In the past few years, we’ve seen the revitalization of many buildings and businesses along James Street. From a refurbished theater to locally roasted coffee and Middle Eastern food to greenhouse heaven, the area is bursting with new energy. So next time you have a Saturday free, head over to the northeast side of the city. There are lots of things to do in Eastwood, and new events always happening.
First, Pick Up an Eastwood Local Discount Card
The first thing you should do when you visit Eastwood is to grab a local discount card. Several locations in Eastwood have partnered to offer discounts throughout the months of July and August. You can get your card FOR FREE at any of the 8 participating spots: The Curd Nerd, Marketplace on James, Found Things Co, Nav’s Popcorn, Eastwood Brewing Company, Bug, Bear, & Bean, Hiero’s, and The Cracked Bean.
Then, each time you make a purchase at one of the participating locations, you get a punch. When you have punches from all 8 spots, you can then return to each place to receive the discount on your next purchase!
Start Your Day Off Right at Café Kubal
The coffee chain that has established itself around the city of Syracuse started its first location right in Eastwood. Located at the end of the shopping plaza on James Street, Café Kubal futures coffee roasted right on premise along with various pastries and sandwiches. Not only that, but the café features a variety of teas and other healthy snack options. My go to? A French Toast Latte and an Upstate Grinder. Made with fresh ciabatta bread, the sandwich features sliced turkey, apple slices, cheddar cheese, and a maple mayo created in-house. It’s one of my favorite sandwiches in the city.
Stuff your Face at Mother’s Cupboard
Perhaps the most famous diner in Syracuse is located in Eastwood. Mother’s Cupboard is the tiniest spot with the biggest reputation. Having been featured on multiple Food Network shows, this Syracuse staple delivers great food in gigantic proportions. Be prepared to wait when you visit, because the place is always packed. It’s surprising to see how many people can fit inside the tiny restaurant. The most famous dish at mothers cupboard? The 5 pound frittata. It’s easily enough food for 3 to 4 meals. But if pancakes are more your style, be prepared for them to be bigger than your plate.
Adopt a New Plant from Found Things Company
Ever since Found Things Co. moved to its new home on Collingwood Avenue, the greenhouse has become a magical place for plant lovers to visit. Owned and operated by Sarah Hardy and her crew, Found Things may be a little on the pricier side for house plants, but they sure as heck know what they are doing. You can clearly see that all of the plants at the shop are well taken care of, various lights and misters provide exactly what each plant needs to thrive.
And if you’re not sure which plant is best for you? Don’t be afraid to ask! The staff is more than happy to give recommendations and offer advice for growing your own garden inside your home. Plus, when you purchase a plant, they will text you a receipt with a link to the care instructions for each plant you bought. Just another way they help keep their plants thriving. PS, keep an eye on their social media accounts. They regularly offer sales on their plants during different moon phases.
Have Lunch and a Beer at Hiero’s
“Food or beer?” That’s the first thing you’ll be asked when you step inside Hiero’s in Eastwood. Owner Ram Koganti explains that there are two types of people who visit the deli: those who come in for a quick meal, and those who come in for the beer. His goal is to merge those two communities by introducing each to the other half of the business.
Hiero’s opened in September 2019, and is now a spot where you can drop in and eat lunch, or grab a meal to go. All of the items on the menu are travel-friendly, so they are easy to order to go. Even better? The sandwiches and paninis are pretty incredible! Super flavorful and definitely made with love.
Ram takes a lot of pride in his craft beer offerings. He makes a point to only purchase beer that has at least 4/5 stars on Untappd, and mostly from New York State. At any given time you will find about 70 – 75 different beers available, none of them mass-produced. All of the beer is available to consume on site with your meal, or to go (with a small discount). New beers drop on Tuesdays.
Browse the Art and Antiques at Marketplace on James
If you love browsing through items from local artisans and vintage collectors, Marketplace on James is the place for you. Featuring products from 60 different vendors, you never know what new treasures you may discover. The best part? They currently have a section dedicated to 1984, in honor of the finale of Stranger Things on Netflix.
Eat All the Cheese at The Curd Nerd
The newest addition to the Eastwood neighborhood is the cheesiest. In the best way possible! Sarah and Matt recently opened The Curd Nerd on the corner of James Street and Collingwood Avenue. It’s a delightful little shop that features cheeses from both local dairy farms and ones from around the world. Sarah has gone viral on TikTok several times for videos that talk about the various types of cheeses she sells in her shop. The cheese monger has so much passion for cheese, that she just wants to share it with the world. When you go into visit the shop, let her know what types of cheeses and flavors that you like. She will provide samples for a few that she thinks you will truly enjoy.
But the shop doesn’t just feature cheese, there are other snacks and locally sourced food products that can round out the perfect charcuterie board. PS, one of my favorite things to do at the shop is to look in the basket of “orphans”, the small cheese cuts. At just a dollar or two per piece, they are a great way to bring a few different types of cheese home to enjoy. Without a doubt, The Curd Nerd is one of my new favorite things to do in Eastwood.
Get Lost Among the Bookshelves at Books End
Syracuse may have just gotten a new bookshop downtown, but Books End has been in Eastwood forever. The well-loved bookstore specializes in rare, used, and out-of-print books. And you can easily get lost in the shelves. So give yourself a fair amount of time to stroll up and down every aisle. You’re guaranteed to find a new treasure to add to your summer reading list.
Eat at a Chinese Restaurant in a Sports Bar at Chadwick’s
If I told you that some of the best Chinese food around was located in a sports bar in Eastwood, you would probably think I was kidding. But truly, Susu Kitchen has become a local treasure, famous for its Chinese cuisine. Located inside Chadwick’s Sports Bar, this unique spot offers great drinks and great Chinese food. Check it out for yourself.
Sample the Selection at Nav’s Popcorn
If you are strolling down James Street looking for more things to do in Eastwood, check out Nav’s Popcorn. This little shop features a wide variety of flavored popcorn. From the traditional salty style to savory, sweet, and even sour, Nav’s has something for everyone. And yes, you can sample flavors while you are shopping. My favorite? Heart Island. It’s a mix of chocolate and peanut butter coated popcorn; in other words, perfection.
Grab a Pint at Eastwood Brewing Company
You can’t talk about things to do in Eastwood without mentioning the brewery by the same name. Originally known as Double Barrel Brewing Company, Eastwood Brewing Company is owned by Pete Kirkgasser, the mastermind behind all of the flavors styles. The brewery is located in the back of the plaza where Café Kubal is. Inside, the industrial space is decorated in Syracuse University colors. Some of their signature beers include their hoppy IPAs and a stout made with coffee beans from Café Kubal.
Smell all the Candles at Bug, Bear, & Bean
Owned by CNY-native Nikki, Bug, Bear, and Bean is a candle shop specializing in soy candles. Not only are the candles adorable, they smell great! The candles often feature cute shapes atop the wax, like little slices of cheese for the candles she makes for The Curd Nerd. Stop in and support a local woman-owned small business. You can always use a new candle, so treat yourself.
Have a Midday Pick-Me-Up at The Cracked Bean
Located right next to the Palace Theatre, The Cracked Bean Roastery features coffee roasted in-house and locally-made pastries. The coffee shop is owned by Michelle Cruse, who spent years researching coffee and perfecting the perfect roasts. After traveling across the country for inspiration, Michelle opened The Cracked Bean in 2018. She’s been serving coffee and pastries with a smile to the Eastwood community.
Try New Cuisine at Sinbad’s
Sinbad’s opened in May 2019 and specializes in authentic and traditional middle eastern food from family recipes passed down over several generations.
Born in Syria, and then living in Dubai, Assad was surrounded by the restaurant life since he was a child. His father taught him how to cook the traditional food of their family, as generations had done before. Assad moved to Syracuse in June 2016 with a dream of bringing authentic Middle Eastern food to the community. His customers rave that it’s the best they’ve ever had. Sinbad’s also employs several members of the refugee community in Syracuse, many of whom are learning the restaurant business or getting their first jobs. The dining experience is fantastic, and Assad reviews every single plate before it is served to the customer.
I was lucky enough to try some Nabki Harissa, a special dessert originating from the small Syrian town of Nabek. Made from semolina and pistachio (like all good Middle Eastern desserts), harissa is sweet and satisfying. Visiting Sinbad’s definitely made me reminisce about my time in UAE!
Watch a Show at The Palace Theatre
This beautiful theater is at the heart of the Eastwood community. Originally built in 1922, the community has brought new life to the Palace Theatre in the past few years. In the spot that once hosted old-fashioned movies, the stage is now home to screenings of Syracuse basketball games, comedy shows, Eat Local New York podcast recordings, and so much more. You can also rent the space out for private events.