The Best Restaurants & Bars In Hudson, New York
photo credit: @angrybaker
If you or someone you know has said “we should go Upstate” in recent memory, you probably were thinking of the idyllic, antique-filled streets of Hudson. As one of the more accessible Hudson Valley cities (you can get there by train), it sometimes feels like an extension of Brooklyn. That might kind of bum you out, or you might start looking up boutique hotel listings, but either way, you should know that the restaurants in Hudson keep getting better.
There's enough to eat (and do) in Hudson that you could spend a whole weekend getaway without ever leaving town, but its location also means other Hudson Valley cities like Kingston or even the Catskills are just a short drive away.
There's a handful of newer restaurants that would probably fit right in if they opened in Williamsburg or Bushwick, but you'll also find restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that have been serving the community for years. And all of it is worth exploring between bouts of looking wistfully across the river or vintage shopping.
Cafe Mutton feels like it was made for a rapidly disappearing version of Hudson—one that remains eccentric, affordable, and connected to the natural world around it. Things like sausages and head cheese are made in house, with the kind of care and attention you couldn’t manage in New York City without charging at least three times as much. The country pâté, served in sandwich form, is the kind of dish you should go out of your way to eat again and again. The atmosphere is pretty casual, and it’s best to check the restaurant’s Instagram for the most up-to-date hours and menu, since both seem to change often. Expect crowds and a constant wait on weekends, while weekdays are usually a bit more relaxed.
Kitty’s, a daytime cafe and restaurant located right across from the train station, sells some very good rotisserie chicken plates, pastries, and one of the better breakfast sandwiches we’ve had in recent memory. Between the blanket of mild muenster cheese, smoky bacon, and a bun that’s been blasted with sesame seeds, this thing should have its own Hudson tourism ad on Amtrak. There’s a free option to add housemade, chunky sauerkraut, which makes the BEC flavors pop even more. More egg dishes should come with sauerkraut, and you should make Kitty’s a priority when you stop in Hudson.
From the outside, this little pink spot with a neon sign in the window looks like a dive bar. But step inside and you’ll feel like you’ve arrived at a tropical artist retreat, with food better than anything you would ever find at an artist retreat. You'll see things like sweet plantains with cilantro yogurt, a fermented lentil dosa, whole fried fish topped with herbs and ginger vinaigrette, and vegan tamales. Everything you’ll try at Lil’ Deb’s is wildly delicious. They’re also serious about wine here, and by serious, we mean they have a huge list of interesting options, each described with lists like “loving your nail tech, the wind beneath my wings, girly pops, melon baller.” We wish we lived in Hudson just so we could be regulars here.
Wm. Farmer & Sons is connected to a hotel of the same name where the rooms average about $350 a night, and it feels like a much nicer-than-average hotel restaurant. The service is great, and the food menu has all the familiar trappings of a hotel restaurant, like a grass-fed beef tartare or chicken française, but includes tweaks like serving charcoal-roasted beets with rose petals, or topping a fantastic burger with butter-braised onions and tomato relish. They also have an exhaustive, annotated cocktail list that sources inspiration from historical cocktail books and modern bars like Dutch Kills and Attaboy.
There’s a world outside of Warren St. in Hudson and it’s absolutely worth exploring, especially when you’ll have a sandwich from Quinnie’s to show for your effort. You’ll need a car to get here, as it’s located just on the outskirts of Hudson, but it’s worth it for the schmaltzy chicken salad and saucy tikka masala sandwiches. While waiting for your sandwiches, plop down at one of the picnic tables in their sprawling outdoor area, or kill time at their ping pong table. Always get a buttery, sandy halva shortbread cookie as a post-meal treat.
You should use Talbott & Arding as a pit stop before heading out into nature for the day. This fancy market in the middle of town has everything you need (and definitely don’t need) for a picnic, like caraway rye crackers, fancy tinned fish, and shabby chic cooler bags. It’s not a matter of if browsing the vast array of cheeses, cured meats, and bread will make you hungry, but when. Thankfully, the prepared food counter opens at 11am and serves a daily changing menu of salads, sandwiches, and focaccia pizzas.
Be prepared to stand in line at Culture Cream for live probiotic ice creams and sorbets made with kombucha and kefir. Flavors like blueberry thyme sorbet and miso ice cream with honey roasted strawberries not only taste great, but also answers the question of “what if ice cream were better for your gut health?” Interacting with the staff almost feels like you’re talking to a pharmacist, but instead of filling a prescription for probiotics, you’ll end up with a delicious cup of vanilla or cardamom ice cream that just so happens to have live enzymes in it.
If you’re looking for a backyard where you can eat a simple, extra thin-crust pizza and drink an interesting $25 bottle of wine, head straight to The Half Moon on Front Street. They also serve pizza by the slice in case you arrive to town hungry at 10pm after everything else has closed. The classic cheese pizza is a favorite, but it’s also worth venturing out to try the white pie with ricotta and garlic.
Hudson Brewing Co is great for your friend who named their cat after their favorite type of hops, and has lots of other food and drink beverages for the people in your group who just want to have some wings and fries on the dog-friendly patio. The beer selection has a super wide variety that includes a pineapple cider and a stout made exclusively from ingredients grown in New York State, so get a few flights to share with friends to try a bit of everything.
Located in the back of one of the 3,000 antique stores on the main street in Hudson is Backbar, a cocktail bar that also serves Southeast Asian small plates. Order some smashed cucumber salad, chicken lemongrass dumplings, and natural wine, and then find a table in the giant string-light-covered backyard. It's a funky, cool spot where you might even accidentally attend your first "bring your own backgammon" night (check their Instagram for more events).
Feast & Floret feels sort of like a curated playground for adults who like Nice Things. They sell everything from flowers and honey from their very own farm to glasses of 20-year-old port and eight different kinds of amaro. You can even put together your own bouquet from a cart with various Hudson Valley flowers that are priced per stem. Stop by for Italian-leaning dishes like escarole salad, tagliatelle bolognese, and octopus with calabrian chilies.
Swoon has been around a lot longer than most of the Hudson restaurants people tend to talk about, but it’s still very good. Snack on wine and cheese at the bar while you and your bestie speculate on which celebrity couple will break up next, or settle down for a reliably satisfying dinner with your parents. Dishes rotate frequently, but you can typically find a solid salad, burger, and pasta option that’ll satisfy everyone.
This cozy Italian restaurant is one of the more affordable options for a nice dinner in the area. Start with delicious (and free) garlic knots and move on to one of their wood-fired flatbreads or pizzas like the earthy mushroom truffle. Most entrees and pizzas can be made without gluten, and there are lots of vegetarian options if you’re fielding a dinner plan for a group with lots of different dietary restrictions. Savona’s has a few locations throughout the Hudson Valley, but this one is the newest and has a lovely outdoor patio.
Grazin’ is a good, casual option for a burger or weekend brunch in an old-school diner space. If you’d rather get your order to go, you could take your grass-fed beef or goat cheese salad across the street to 7th Street Park. They also have a distillery and tasting room, so you can peruse their selection of liquors and chase your burger with a snifter of whiskey.
Le Perche has been in Hudson for years, but it was revamped in 2018 by the people behind Swoon Kitchenbar. The wood-covered interior and long bar are nice places for a low-key dinner or drinks, and you should keep the greenery-covered patio in mind for all your brunch needs. If you’re here in the morning, get a chocolate croissant—they’re made in house and are super flaky.
The Rivertown Lodge is basically the real-life amalgamation of every well-styled photo of Upstate New York on the internet. There’s blonde wood everywhere, tiny light fixtures scattered across the ceilings, and they use and sell the kind of ceramic mugs you decide you want to buy for your apartment until you realize they’re $45 each.
They serve one of our favorite Hudson breakfasts on the weekends. There are lots of brunch staples like a maple ricotta Dutch baby or a focaccia egg sandwich with fontina and calabrian chili. It’s worth it to stop by for dinner, too, when you can get grilled pork ribs with sichuan five spice or a wild bluefish with grilled cucumbers, all of which clock in at less than $45 a plate. Remember this place whether you’re staying in the hotel or not.
A good cup of tea is the ideal pick-me-up if all your plans for an Upstate weekend went sideways. Here in this shop, you’ll find over 150 options that go beyond just chamomile and English breakfast. And of course, there's also chocolate—whether you're looking for dipped biscotti, cupcakes, or even a glass of iced hot chocolate. After you’ve enjoyed your treats, buy some tea-time essentials from infusers to French presses to take home with you.