HVGuide

The Best Restaurants In The Hudson Valley

Our favorite spots in the upper Hudson Valley, from Cold Spring to Kinderhook and lots of towns in between.
Kofta burger and za'atar fries.

photo credit: Anne Cruz

The Hudson Valley might as well be considered the sixth borough of New York City at this point. It’s easy to get up here by car or train, and you can choose between actually enjoying the great outdoors or just cosplaying as a Nature Person by shopping for cute ceramics while wearing your finest chore jacket. And in the last few years, this area has also seen a huge migration of chefs and restaurateurs from the city, and there are more great places to eat than ever. 

There’s a lot of ground to cover here, so we’ve listed everything by town, alphabetically. You’ll find a general store with excellent focaccia sandwiches, a romantic tavern dating back to the 1800s, and a lemongrass pork breakfast sandwich that goes toe-to-toe with our favorites in the five boroughs. If you're also headed to the Catskills, we have lots of ideas on where you should eat there, too.

Some spots we’re excited about lately: Cafe Mutton, The Aviary, Stissing House, Ziatun, and Tivoli General.

BEACON


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Beacon

$$$$Perfect For:Dinner with the ParentsDate NightOutdoor/Patio Situation
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The Roundhouse should be your Beacon dinner spot. This fine dining restaurant is located in a very nice hotel, and every table has a view of the nearby creek and waterfall, whether you’re seated inside next to the floor-to-ceiling windows or on the patio. Park yourself outside under the string lights on a cool evening for maximum tourist-and-dog-watching, and order plates of deviled eggs and housemade pasta for a lovely dinner. 

photo credit: Anne Cruz

Even on weekdays, when Beacon is quieter with fewer tourists, this Palestinian spot is consistently packed with families and friends sharing mezze. Join them for lunch, but be prepared to wait about 40 minutes for a prime table—it’s worth it to dive into plates of hand-rolled kibbe and halloumi. The moist and impossible-to-put-down kofta burger is exactly what you’ll need after walking 10,000 steps throughout Dia or climbing your way up the firetower. We’ve found ourselves coming up with excuses to take the Metro-North again just to get another spicy tahini-filled bite and a fistful of za’atar fries.

HUDSON


Whether you catch the morning train or have to claw your way through Friday night traffic, Kitty’s should be your first stop when you arrive in Hudson. During the day, you’ll find Vietnamese coffee-glazed crullers, cloud-like hash browns, and a breakfast sandwich with fluffy eggs, tangy sauerkraut, and creamy aioli. At night, they open up the airy dining room for cassis cocktails, oysters, and beef cheek ragu. The market section of the cafe is also perfect if you need to pick up some fancy provisions for the luxe cabin or guesthouse you’re staying in.

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 buckwheat scones 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 to go out of your way to eat again and again, and the savory pig head porridge is the perfect way to warm up when you overestimate how warm it would be Upstate. Expect crowds and a constant wait on weekends, while weekdays are usually a bit more relaxed.

Lil Deb’s Oasis is full of serious food and wine in a place that makes a point not to take itself too seriously. Pretty much everyone here is wearing a crop top, and wine descriptions read like cryptic Connections solutions (tasting notes include “tiny pants and “overdue apology”). Always order the whole fried fish—digging into the crisp, piping-hot flaky goodness with your bare hands before dipping it into the citrusy sauce is a sensual experience. Everything is delicious, but don’t leave without getting a slice of kabocha chocolate mousse cake for dessert.

KINDERHOOK


If you find yourself in the sleepy village of Kinderhook, bee-line to Morningbird and order their breakfast sandwich. It’s made with lemongrass pork sausage, a golden fried egg, scallion chimichurri and sambal-flecked mayo, and a fluffy milk bun that easily soaks up runny egg yolk. Morningbird is also a solid option for a leisurely lunch—a warm bowl of green curry with hearty mushrooms is ideal for enjoying at the window bar on a rainy day. There isn't much seating inside and people tend to stay a while typing manuscripts or thumbing through the latest edition of Kinfolk, so just know it can be hard to snag a table.

The Aviary’s eclecticism satisfies just about every Hudson Valley restaurant trope. The space is a renovated 1800s textile mill with white marble and mismatched velvet armchairs, and the mostly Southeast Asian menu is filled with local ingredients from farms that are meticulously listed out on their website like a bibliography. Come for dinner and order some pan-seared scallops in a green peppercorn sauce and some tart calamansi pie after finishing off a day of shopping for minimalist wooden toys.

KINGSTON


This cafe in Kingston will make you consider moving Upstate just so you can live out your Hudson Valley meet-cute fantasies with a barista that cuts their own firewood. The coffee here is excellent, and their cozy dining room two doors down is a great place to park yourself with a laptop and a breakfast plate full of steelhead trout, folded eggs, sourdough toast, and crème fraîche. It’s also good for lunch, which is when you should get whatever seasonal salad or bowl is available. If you’re not hungry enough for a full meal, head straight to the pastry case filled with tomato focaccia loaves and perfectly laminated croissants.


This spot looks like a Pixar animator’s rendition of an antique shop-slash-general store, right down to the flawless natural light. And while the line at Rosie General can wind around the block on weekends, the wait is worth it for the baked goods and excellent sandwiches. The bread is some of the best in the area, and you’ll find lots of deli items like bright, snappy giardiniera and miso potato salad. They’re best known for their thick-cut, grilled pastrami sandwiches, but the smoked trout with dill and mayo on sourdough tastes like it just jumped out of the river (in a good way), and represents everything we love about the Hudson Valley.


Does the world (and New York) need another wood-fired pizza and natural wine spot? Probably not, but we’re still glad that Lola exists. While pies topped with robiola and black fig drizzle are the main attraction, try at least one of the non-pizza options, like their housemade rigatoni alla vodka or calamari with tiny spears of fried zucchini. Get a little bit of everything, plus a bottle of barbera to celebrate thrifting the perfect vintage valise to store your throw blankets. For dessert, go for the affogato. Lola’s version is made with soft serve instead of hard ice cream, in honor of New York state’s affinity for gravity-defying swirls.

PINE PLAINS


Pine Plains isn’t the most magical hamlet in the Hudson Valley, but Stissing House might be the region’s most magical restaurant. There are multiple fireplaces and countless candlesticks scattered throughout this building, which was once an 18th-century tavern complete with beds for travelers. You’ll likely walk by a mountain of butter on your way to your Little House On The Prairie-chic farm table, and it’s hard to avoid feelings of romance when you’re splitting a rabbit and tarragon pie with someone in the candlelight. The menu is slightly similar to its NYC sibling King (see: their simple, plump roasted chicken), but it’s still worth driving out of your way to eat dinner here. If only to spend a few hours watching the lights slowly dim with the sunset and pretend you’re a main character in a novel where cell phones don’t exist. 


RHINEBECK


Gigi is all about Mediterranean dishes made with as many locally-produced items as possible. The Skizza flatbread pizzas are a favorite, especially the garden option with peppers, zucchini, and pesto that really showcases nearby farms. The sit-down restaurant has a ton of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes, and the sunny sidewalk patio makes for a great lunch or dinner stop in town.


Cinnamon is your best option in Rhinebeck for dishes like lamb shank rogan josh, tandoori shrimp kebabs, and goat cheese naan that you can get from their buffet option or order a la carte. Their menu highlights dishes from regions throughout India, like South Indian dosas or fish curry from Goan. They’ve got individual tables, but there’s a large one meant for communal meals, so it’s ideal for bigger groups or large parties.


With a gallery wall full of paintings and Hudson Valley maps in the dining room, staff in suspenders, and a space inside a brownstone, The Amsterdam feels like a rich Dutch person’s library. But you can avoid that initial stuffiness in two ways: hang out at the bar or head to the giant backyard filled with Adirondack chairs and firepits. Both are excellent dinner options where you can have a quality cocktail and some very good, seasonal American food, like beef tartare and fresh pasta with mushrooms and aged balsamic vinegar.

SAUGERTIES


If we lived in Saugerties, the people working at Miss Lucy’s would probably know our first names, our dogs’ middle names, and the fact that we’re not ashamed of dipping our fries in mayo. The homey dining room is full of mismatched farm chairs that will give you inspiration for your Upstate antiquing adventures, and you can’t go wrong with anything on the comfort food-leaning American menu, which has things like a kale caesar and steak frites.


This studio-sized fancy market stocks local, artisanal grocery items, and serves coffee, sandwiches, salads, and sides. It’s an ideal place to pick up something for the road when passing through Saugerties, or to get supplies for a picnic, but if you need to stretch your legs, they have indoor and outdoor seating, too.

TIVOLI


Jaeger Haus tends to get overlooked because it’s not on Tivoli’s main drag, but you should make it a priority to stop here for a German lunch or dinner. The schnitzel is wonderfully crisp and juicy, and you’ll find yourself ordering a side of spaetzel or other carbs to wipe up all the delicious sauces on your plate. If you’re having a hard time deciding on what to get, order the sausage platter—it comes with three different types of sausages, warm potato salad, and lots of spicy mustard and sauerkraut. They also have a wide selection of local and German beer, if you want something to wash the schnitzel and spaetzle down with.

Tivoli General is a store where you can buy handfuls of heirloom tomatoes, a four-pack of craft beer, and jars of fancy chili crisp. They also make a variety of sandwiches on housemade focaccia that smell so good you’ll float towards the display case like a cartoon animal sniffing for pie. You should absolutely get a dolma sandwich with smashed grape leaves, red pepper cream, and sundried tomatoes if they have it, but their classic options like Italian ham and turkey will be a welcome addition to any picnic spread. On weekend evenings, they also have a night menu full of small plates, natural wine, and local beer, so you can cap off your Hudson Valley experience with oysters in a space with shelves of shokupan rye bread and Maldon buckets.

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