Where to Eat While Visiting Upstate New York

Photo Credit: @sarahmclellanny

Some would call me Upstate obsessed—I mean, I did end up getting married up there—but I honestly think it’s one of the best secrets to balancing the hustle and bustle of life in the city. Being able to jump in the car (or even nab a seat on the train) to head an hour or two out of town for a quick getaway can be just what the doctor ordered. The best news is beyond its idyllic small towns and stunning outdoor scenery, this region of the state has some top-notch dining options to keep even the biggest foodies satiated. Of course, there are a plethora of great spots to try but we’re sharing some of our favorites to visit while you’re adventuring in the Catskills, Hudson Valley, and beyond.

Red Onion, Saugerties NY
This classic restaurant located in a massive house just outside of Woodstock in Saugerties is a local favorite and has the perfect atmosphere that balances being nice enough for a special occasion and also laid back enough for a mid-week dinner. Their martinis and cocktails are well made (along with a solid wine list) and their menu has everything from mussels and beet salads to start, to seafood risotto, delicious steaks, and even fish and chips on the mains list. The staff is attentive and knowledgeable and you’ll walk out feeling like you kind of ate a really excellent home-cooked meal. It’s the restaurant equivalent of a big, warm, hug.

Photo Credit: @sarahmclellanny

Harana Market, Woodstock NY
I am obsessed with this roadside Filipino restaurant and Asian food market that opened during the Pandemic. You’ll come for the incredible home-cooked specialties like Lumpia, Arroz Caldo—a congee-like soup with slowly simmered chicken thighs and a cornucopia of toppings—or one of their rotating chef’s specials like Beef Mechado, Sisig, and Patis Citrus Fried Chicken (which brilliantly sits on a bed of garlic popcorn!) The market inside stocks all your favorite Asian grocery ingredients with a fine selection of noodles, chili crisp, curry sauces, and condiments too. You’ll feel good supporting a family-run biz whose ethos is to champion, elevate, and give back to minority-owned businesses and the Asian and BIPOC communities.

Photo Credit: @sarahmclellanny

Silvia, Woodstock NY
Right on the main street of Woodstock, Silvia finds the perfect balance of casual and elegant—making it a great choice for a date night or a full family dinner. The menu boasts an impressive variety of dishes that change seasonally and get a boost of flavor from the wood-fired oven on show right in the center of the open kitchen. Whether you’re in the mood for a verdant salad or veggie-forward entree, or something more hearty like their plate-sized chicken schnitzel or grass-fed steak, Silvia is a win for a delicious night out. Another perk for those who may be staying in the area and want a cozy night in, you can order and pick up to take to-go.

Photo Credit: Silvia

Westwind Orchard, Accord NY
What happens when you have a born-and-raised Italian from Rome who opens an apple orchard to make cider and just happens to have a wood-fired oven on the property? Just some of the best thin-crust pies you’ve ever had. With seasonal toppings like butternut squash and gorgonzola, along with the classic faves like Marinara and Margherita—you’ll also love their housemade pasta with ragu or spaghetti carbonara. The outdoor area is huge with plenty of tables and firepits which makes it a good visit even in the cooler months of the year. Cozy up with your friends and fam with a bottle of their cider, a few pies, and def an order of pasta.

Photo Credit: @sarahmclellanny

Gaskins, Germantown NY
Feel-good eating is the perfect way to describe the menu and atmosphere at this corner favorite in Germantown. Opened by a husband & wife team with a bevy of experience from the NYC dining scene, it’s been a local favorite for years. Stop by on your drive up to Hudson or swing over from Woodstock or Kingston if you’re on that side of the river. You’ll find housemade pasta, slow-cooked meats and stews, and a stellar burger. The dishes often change daily so you can make this a repeat visit and try something new (based on seasonality) each time.

Cafe Mutton, Hudson NY
Comfort food is the name of the game here at Cafe Mutton. Located in a corner building that feels like you’ve walked into someone’s home, the menu here leans into uncomplicated classics that will fill you up and make you smile for the rest of the day. Whether you’re ordering their soft scrambled eggs with roasted mushrooms, a savory oat and mutton porridge, or even their cult-like crepes with button and maple syrup—it’s all worthy of the potential wait to sit at one of their tables. If you’re after something a little heartier, they are also open for dinner service on Friday evenings from 5–9 PM.

Photo Credit: @atyourleisurenyc

Ollie’s Pizza, High Falls NY
Located just outside of Kingston, is Ollie’s Pizza. A favorite for weekenders and locals alike, they have a massive indoor dining area along with a beautiful outdoor space with picnic tables for when the weather is a little warmer. The pies here fall into more of the traditional NY slice style and have a great variety of toppings featuring produce from local farms and purveyors. To round out your order, Ollie’s serves a few good-sized salads, apps, and even wings and meatballs too. We’re also big fans of the cacio e pepe arancini to start!

Photo Credit: @sarahmclellanny

Lil Deb’s Oasis, Hudson NY
If you’re looking for a place to go where the vibe is off the charts and the food is also outstanding then, Lil Deb’s is it. They call their cuisine, “Tropical Comfort Food” and with that, you’ll certainly feel like you’ve been transported somewhere far far away from Upstate as soon as you walk in the door. This is a great spot to go with a few folks so you can order a lot and share the bounty at the table. Get the party started with some tuna tartare and plantains and then double down on the whole fried fish and braised goat shoulder with all the sides (beans, rice, garlicky greens, and avocado). You’ll also have your pick of excellent cocktails, natural wines, and a whole section for an after-dinner Amari or two.

Photo Credit: AndNorth

Woodhouse Pizza, Greenville NY
I may be a wee bit biased as The Woodhouse Lodge (where Woodhouse Pizza is located) is actually where we got hitched back in 2019! The stunning property has a huge barn that’s been turned into a charming restaurant with an outdoor patio perfect for warmer month hangtime. Their menu features a variety of delicious pizzas, antipasto to share for the table, and apps like meatballs and chicory salad. A bonus here is a solid cocktail list and excellent natural wine offerings. Staying in the area? You can also pre-order to pick up your pies and take them to go.

Photo Credit: Woodhouse Pizza

Kitty’s Restaurant & Market, Hudson NY
Smack bang across from the Amtrak station in Hudson is Kitty’s—a restaurant, market, and cafe with provisions and other delights for you to grab a nosh on. There’s a counter with housemade pastries (hello Pop Tart & Cinnamon Bun), but we always go straight for the rotisserie chicken with sides like smashed and fried fingerling potatoes, broccoli Waldorf salad, and a riff on your favorite sauces (think Hudson Valley Ranch, Korean Honey Mustard + more). Their restaurant has an extended menu with everything from Pork Schnitzel and Mushroom Pot Pie to Tuna Melt, and Cobb Salads, along with a wee menu for the kiddos too.

Photo Credit: @sarahmclellanny

Bartlett House, Ghent NY
If you’re all the way in Hudson and feel like a little drive over to Ghent, NY you’ll find the epic bakery and cafe, Bartlett House. They serve excellent coffee and have a ton of homemade pastries, donuts, and sweet treats lined up to ogle on their display counter. They also have a fine selection of breakfast sandwiches, soups, and other tasty lunchtime snacks. My pick is their fried chicken sandwich piled high on pain de mie with Calabrian chili honey, chipotle mayo, house-made pickles, and garlic slaw.

Photo Credit: @sarahmclellanny

Author: Sarah McLellan Mee

Sarah is originally from Bundaberg, Australia and moved to NYC at 17 (over 22 years ago). Initially she worked as a dancer and singer on Broadway (42nd Street, Queen's We Will Rock You) and then toured around the world in a critically-acclaimed rock band. Transitioning from performance, she moved into the digital media world—mainly focused on clients in the travel and food space. Sarah has worked as an editor, agency social media strategist, VP of Marketing for a major restaurant group, and as branded content editor for Bon Appétit magazine and other publications at Condé Nast. Sarah lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with her husband Chaz and their one-year-old daughter, Alula.

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