Beginning in Westchester County, about 35 miles north of New York City, the Hudson Valley is a convenient escape from the hustle and bustle of the nation’s largest city. Stretching nearly 150 miles to the capital city of Albany, the fertile valley is filled with family farms, orchards and vineyards committed to regenerative farming practices and sustainable food production.
In the small towns on both sides of the Hudson River, you’ll find a variety of cafes, coffee shops, bistros, and fine dining restaurants, almost all of which use local, seasonal ingredients that bring out the flavors of the region.
Whether you’re looking for a nice cup of coffee to start your day, a leisurely brunch, a quick bite, a gourmet meal, or a delicious scoop of ice cream, you’re sure to find it at one of my Hudson Valley favorites. restaurants!
Note: Since I recently visited the Hudson Valley on a road trip that started in Albany, my favorite restaurants in the Hudson Valley are listed from north to south.
If a visit to New York’s castle-like Romanesque capitol doesn’t make you feel like you’re in Europe, then walking into Athos Restaurant is sure to transport you to the Greek Isles. With food as delicious as anything I’ve experienced in Greece and friendly, attentive service, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better Greek restaurant this side of the Atlantic.
My favorite appetizers include the sampler plate of Greek spreads (hummus, tzatziki, and hot pepper), the tableside cheese flambé with ouzo, and the grilled octopus. When it comes to mains, all the Greek classics are out of this world, and you’re sure to love the moussaka, pastichio, or souvlaki. Or let your taste buds take a quick trip across the Ionian Sea to Italy with branzino.
With so many delicious options and generous portions, it’s easy to fill up at Athos, so be sure to save room for dessert! With almonds and walnuts filling layers of honey-soaked phyllo pastry, baklava is a classic choice. Or go for the loukoumades, fried dough puffs served with walnuts and cinnamon.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for a quicker, lighter meal, sit at the bar and order from the tavern menu. Athos offers four types of gyro sandwiches: beef, chicken, lamb, and salmon, plus oregano fries that hit the spot!
2. Iron Gate Cafe
As soon as you walk through the iron gate entrance of Iron Gate Cafe, you immediately trade Washington Avenue traffic for a tranquil garden patio and the rhythm and blues-infused Elvis rock and roll tunes. If you choose to dine indoors, you’ll enjoy your meal in the historic James Holroyd Mansion, with fine woodwork and detailed fireplaces created by the same European craftsmen who worked on the New York State Capitol.
In addition to classic breakfast items, the cafe also has foodie-friendly menu items, including raspberry brie French toast and La Bella Benedict, which swaps a warm buttermilk biscuit for an English muffin and substitute sliced applewood-smoked ham for prosciutto.
If you visit the Iron Gate Cafe for lunch, try the Mother Clucker, a delicious sandwich featuring a fried chicken thigh, cherry peppers, shredded lettuce, pepper jack cheese, chipotle aioli, and a fried egg on toasted ciabatta. And if you’re visiting the Hudson Valley with food allergies or dietary restrictions, you’ll be happy to know that Iron Gate Cafe also offers a nice selection of vegan and gluten-free dishes.
Pro tip: Iron Gate Cafe is across the street from the Albany Institute of History and Art, making it a great place to recharge before learning more about life in the Upper Hudson Valley for the past two centuries.
3. Gracie’s Lunch
This food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant makes everything from scratch, including ketchup! If you’re like me and happily eat a flakey cookie or fluffy plate of scrambled eggs anytime, you’ll be glad to know that Gracie’s Luncheonette serves breakfast all day. And if you prefer a delicious diner-inspired comfort food made with locally sourced ingredients, you’ll be equally delighted. Whether you opt for a full breakfast, grilled pulled pork mac and cheese, a Fried Green Tomato BLT, or another delicious entrée, don’t leave without trying a donut!
Pro tip: Just 10 minutes from Olana State Historic Site, Gracie’s Luncheonette is a great spot for lunch before or dinner after visiting the beautiful Victorian and Persian home of Hudson River Valley artist Frederic Church.
4. Alley Ice Cream
Tucked away in an alleyway between a jewelry store and an antique store, Alleyway Ice Cream claims to be the smallest and hardest-to-find ice cream parlor in the world. But it’s a worthwhile endeavor to locate this 80-square-foot business housed in a former linen closet – Food Post Eat this, not that! crowned Alleyway Ice Cream the best ice cream parlor in the Empire State, not just the Hudson Valley.
While the Madagascar Vanilla, Belgian Chocolate, and Strawberry Buttermilk balls are delicious, be sure to try one of Alleyway Ice Cream’s more unique flavors, like Thai Tea Cookies & Cream and Ovaltine Brownie. And if you follow a vegan or dairy-free diet, you can always find at least one tasty option on the menu.
Pro tip: For the tastiest ice cream parlors from coast to coast, check out the 15 Best Ice Cream Parlors in the US.
While you’ll find several English-style pubs in the Hudson River Valley, Bia (pronounced bee-ya) is one of the only restaurants serving Emerald Isle dishes. Though you’ll find beer tempura battered fish and chips and mint mushy peas on the menu, this Gaelic gem is far from your typical chipper.
Be sure to order the Irish stout and molasses brown bread with Irish farmed butter for the table. And then try one of the delicious entrees, like the Smoked Haddock and Spinach Pie or the Canned Berkshire Pork Belly served with a Blood Pudding Croquette and Granny Smith Mash Pie.
For a larger entrée, try the lamb tenderloin with bean ragout and spring vegetables or the fresh seasonal fish of the day. And don’t be afraid to drink your dessert topped with an Irish coffee spiked with single grain Irish whiskey and rich cream.
Fun fact: Wondering the name? bia is the Gaelic word for food or sustenance.
Another delicious Hudson Valley restaurant that offers farm-to-table cuisine is The Amsterdam. Pull up to the bar or take a seat in the dining room of the renovated 18th-century Dutch Colonial home, where you can gaze into the open kitchen and watch the culinary team work their magic. For a more casual setting, dine in the back or enjoy a handcrafted cocktail in an Adirondack chair near a blazing fire pit.
I recommend embracing the influence of the Dutch immigrants in the Hudson Valley by starting with a steaming plate of mussels. And whether you choose the duck, lamb, chicken, or other entree, you can order with a clear conscience knowing the animals were humanely raised on pasture and without antibiotics or hormones.
After enjoying the restaurant offerings, explore Amsterdam’s unique food market, which sells farm-fresh ingredients that you can turn into a picnic to take with you as you explore the Hudson River Valley.
Pro tip: The Amsterdam is about 15 minutes north of the historic sites of the Vanderbilt Mansion and Staatsburg, making it a fantastic place to dine after a day touring these impressive relics of the Gilded Age.
7. Goose feather
For a delicious meal and a craft cocktail in a historic white porticoed mansion, head to Goosefeather in Tarrytown. Perched on a hill above Lyndhurst Mansion (also known as the Jay Gould Estate), James Beard-nominated chef Dale Talde uses fresh, seasonal ingredients to produce some of the most delicious noodle, barbecue and dumpling dishes outside of Guangzhou in this exclusive restaurant. , Cantonese-inspired restaurant.
While the menu changes seasonally, be sure to order the crispy shrimp bao if it’s available. This dish combines fried shrimp, pickled daikon, shredded cabbage, and General Tso’s sauce inside a fluffy bao bun. Other favorites include everything else on the dim sum menu and Cantonese roast duck with caramelized hoisin sauce, scallions and pancakes.
Pro tip: Prepare your own reinvented Asian dishes at home with Chef Dale Talde’s cookbook, Asian American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from the Philippines to Brooklyn.
8. The roundabout
With its maple-clad mountains and waterfalls, the sweeping views and picturesque settings of the Hudson Valley have inspired artists and writers for centuries. And with floor-to-ceiling windows framing Fishkill Falls and its alfresco dining area, The Roundhouse is one of the best restaurants in the Hudson Valley to take in the view.
I recommend visiting for snacks and drinks in the late afternoon or early evening. Pair a platter of artisan cheeses, charcuterie board or giant crab cakes with a glass of wine. Or try one of The Roundhouse’s signature cocktails, like the peach rum white sangria or the barrel-aged boulevardier.
From coffee to cocktails and everything in between, your taste buds will be in for a treat at these Hudson Valley restaurants!