Beginning in Westchester County, about 35 miles north of New York, 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 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 stylish cafes, cafes, bistros, and restaurants — and nearly all of them use seasonal, local ingredients that showcase the flavors of the region.
Whether you’re looking for a great cup of coffee to start your day, a leisurely brunch, a quick bite, a gourmet meal, or a scrumptious scoop of ice cream, you’re sure to find it at one of my favorite Hudson Valley 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 Romanesque castle-like capitol doesn’t make you feel like you’re in Europe, then step into Restaurant Atos will most certainly transport you to the Greek islands. With food as delicious as anything I’ve tasted in Greece and friendly, attentive service, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better Greek restaurant this side of the Atlantic.
My favorite entrees include the sample plate of Greek spreads (hummus, tzatziki and spicy pepper), the cheese flambé at the table with ouzo and the grilled octopus. As for main dishes, all the Greek classics are out of this world, and you’ll definitely 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 choices and generous portions, it’s easy to fill up at Athos, so be sure to save room for dessert! With almonds and walnuts filling flaky layers of honey-soaked phyllo, baklava is a classic choice. Or opt for loukoumades, fried puff pastry served with nuts 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 – as well as oregano fries that hit the spot!
2. Iron Gate Cafe
As soon as you walk through the iron front door of Iron Gate Cafe, you immediately swap the traffic of Washington Avenue for a peaceful garden patio and the rock and roll tunes of Elvis steeped in rhythm and blues. If you opt to dine indoors, you’ll enjoy your meal in the historic James Holroyd Mansion, with beautiful 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 offers foodie-friendly menus, including Raspberry Brie French Toast and La Bella Benedict, which replaces a warm buttermilk biscuit with an English muffin and replaces smoked ham with applewood with slices of prosciutto.
If you visit the Iron Gate Cafe for lunch, try the Mother Clucker, a delicious sandwich that stacks fried chicken leg, cherry peppers, chopped lettuce, pepper jack cheese, chipotle aioli and a fried egg on a toasted ciabatta bun. 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 gluten-free and vegan options.
Pro Tip: The Iron Gate Cafe sits directly across from the Albany Institute of History and Art, making it a great place to refuel before learning more about life in the Upper Valley of the Hudson over 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 indulge in a puff pastry cookie or a fluffy plate of scrambled eggs at all hours, you’ll be pleased to know that Gracie’s lunch serves breakfast all day. And if you prefer delicious comfort food inspired dinners using local ingredients, you’ll be just as thrilled. Whether you opt for a full breakfast, BBQ pulled pork mac and cheese, fried green tomato BLT or another delicious dish, don’t leave without trying a donut!
Pro Tip: Just 10 minutes from the Olana State Historic Site, Gracie’s Luncheonette is a great place for lunch before or dinner after touring the beautiful Victorian and Persian home of Hudson River Valley artist Frederic Church.
4. Alley Ice
Nestled in an alley between a jeweler and an antique shop, alley ice cream claims to be the smallest and hardest to find ice cream shop in the world. But it’s worth locating this 80-square-foot business in a former linen closet – food publication Eat this, not that! crowned Alleyway Ice Cream the best ice cream shop in the Empire State, not just the Hudson Valley.
While the Madagascar Vanilla, Belgian Chocolate, and Buttermilk Strawberry Balls are all delicious, be sure to try one of Alleyway Ice Cream’s more unique flavors, like the Thai Tea Cookies and Cream and the Ovaltine brownie. And if you follow a dairy-free or vegan diet, you can always find at least one tasty option on the menu.
Pro Tip: For tastier ice cream parlors 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, bias (pronounced bee-ya) is one of the only restaurants serving Emerald Isle food. Although you’ll find tempura beer-battered fish and chips with mint pea mash on the menu, this Gaelic gem is far from it. a typical shredder.
Be sure to order the Irish stout and molasses brown bread with cultured Irish butter for the table. And then dig into one of the many mouth-watering entrees, like the smoked haddock and spinach pie or the homemade Berkshire pork belly served with a black pudding croquette and granny smith pie mash.
For a bigger plate, try the lamb sirloin with bean stew and spring greens or the freshly caught seasonal fish of the day. And don’t be afraid to drink your dessert down, top it all off with an Irish coffee enriched with single grain Irish whiskey and rich cream.
Fun Fact: Wondering about the name? bias is the Gaelic word for food or sustenance.
Another delicious Hudson Valley restaurant offering farm-to-table cuisine is Amsterdam. Hit the bar or take a seat in the dining room of the renovated 18th-century Dutch colonial house, where you can gaze out over the open kitchen and watch the culinary team work their magic. For a more casual setting, dine out back or enjoy a craft cocktail in an Adirondack chair pulled up to a bright fireplace.
I recommend embracing the influence of Dutch immigrants on the Hudson Valley starting with a bowl of steaming mussels. And whether you choose duck, lamb, chicken, or another main course, you can order with confidence knowing the animals were raised on humane pastures without antibiotics or hormones.
After enjoying the restaurant’s offerings, explore Amsterdam’s upscale 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 Vanderbilt Mansion and the historic sites of Staatsburg, making it a fantastic place to dine after a day of touring these impressive Golden Age relics.
7. Goose feather
For a delicious meal and handcrafted cocktail in a historic white-porticoed mansion, head to Goose feather in Tarryville. Perched on a hill above the Lyndhurst Mansion (also known as the Jay Gould Estate), James Beard-appointed chef Dale Talde uses fresh, seasonal ingredients to produce some of the noodle, barbecue and of the most delicious dumplings outside of Guangzhou in this high-end. , Cantonese-inspired restaurant.
Although the menu changes with the season, be sure to order the crispy shrimp bao if it’s available. This dish combines fried shrimp, pickled daikon, shredded cabbage and General Tso sauce in a soft bao bun. Other favorites include everything else on the dim sum menu and the Cantonese roast duck with caramelized hoisin sauce, scallions and pancakes.
Pro Tip: Make your own reimagined Asian dishes at home with chef Dale Talde’s cookbook, Asian-American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from the Philippines to Brooklyn.
8. The Rotunda
With its maple-topped mountains and cascading waterfalls, the Hudson Valley’s scenic views and picturesque backdrops have inspired artists and writers for centuries. And with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame Fishkill Falls and its outdoor dining area, The rotunda is one of the best restaurants in the Hudson Valley for drinking while admiring the view.
I recommend visiting for appetizers and drinks in the late afternoon or early evening. Pair an artisan cheese platter, 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 delighted at these Hudson Valley restaurants!