The Best Restaurants In The Hudson ValleyOur favorite spots in the upper Hudson Valley, from Cold Spring to Hudson and lots of towns in between.
The Hudson Valley is easy to get to by car or train from NYC. Once you’re there, you can choose between experiencing “river nature” or “mountain valley nature,” and there are lots of little shoppy shops selling cute ceramics and $200 throw blankets. But arguably the largest tourist attractions in the area nowadays are the countless amazing restaurants where you can eat incredible produce that tastes like it was picked that day (and probably was). So before you start researching which hiking trails and historic homes to visit, let’s first address where you should eat.
There’s a lot of ground to cover here, so we’ve listed everything by town, alphabetically. You’ll find general stores with excellent focaccia sandwiches, a hidden ice cream spot with ube heath bar scoops, and a breakfast sandwich with decadent lemongrass pork sausage. If you're also headed to the Catskills, we have lots of great ideas here.
Little King feels like a beautifully curated trap designed to make you spend money on a melon chopstick rest or a $200 baguette lamp. You might also find yourself splurging (to a lesser degree) on the cafe’s excellent baked good selection, with options like rye brioche egg buns, black sesame butter mochi cakes, and rhubarb mascarpone tarts. After three hours of walking and staring at shards of glass (excuse us, art) on the ground at Dia Beacon, Little King’s focaccia sandwiches and seasonal banchan are the perfect pick-me-up that’ll keep you from getting too hangry before catching your Metro-North train home.
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.
Dogwood is a solid pub with very good cocktails and live music almost every night. They have a great selection of beers from Upstate New York, and their very good cocktails include an expert Bloody Mary and the Dogwood Rita. If (when) you get hungry, you can also get pub food like a pimento grilled cheese or a stacked burger with bacon, jalapeño, and barbecue sauce.
The Best Restaurants In Beacon, New York
Hudson Hil’s is the restaurant that will convince you to buy property (or at least look up Zillow listings) in Cold Spring. This is a daytime cafe that serves super fresh, locally-sourced food and employs some of the nicest people we’ve met in restaurants.
An example of a phrase that was said to us while eating here: “I’m going to warm up your pie for you, is that OK?” (It is always OK.) Everything we’ve tried here for both breakfast and lunch is outstanding, but the biscuits and country sausage gravy should not be missed.
There’s one main street in Cold Spring—filled with charming cafes, antique shops, and design stores that look like they belong in a much bigger city—and after you walk the entirety of it, you’re going to want some ice cream. Get it at Moo Moo’s, then walk across the street to the park on the river for an extremely scenic ice cream experience. If you happen to be the planning type, you can check out their current flavors on their Instagram.
The Best Restaurants In Cold Spring, New York
Wm. Farmer & Sons is connected to a hotel of the same name, and feels like a much nicer-than-average hotel restaurant. The space is attractive, the service is great, and the food all looks familiar, but includes tweaks like serving charcoal-roasted beets with rose petals, or topping a fantastic burger with butter-braised onions and tomato relish. Reservations are encouraged.
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 to 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. Kitty’s 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 only makes the BEC flavors pop even more. More egg dishes should come with sauerkraut. Make Kitty’s a priority while you’re in Hudson (especially before noon when they stop selling the breakfast sandwich).
From the outside, this pink little 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 we 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 described with words like “hiding from the chaperone, gucci loafer, nilla wafer, stained glass, Sunday gossip.” We wish we lived in Hudson just so we could be regulars here.
The Best Restaurants & Bars In Hudson, New York
If you find yourself in the sleepy village of Kinderhook, make a bee-line to Morningbird and order their breakfast sandwich. The dish is something you’ll find yourself incapable of shutting up about, and is 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. There isn't much seating inside and people tend to leisurely stay a while, so it can be hard to snag a table here. But if you can find a spot to sit, you might find yourself eavesdropping on a couple co-working on their laptops or a group of academics discussing the etymology of the word “diaspora.” 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.
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 is excellent here, 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 all the way 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.
The Best Restaurants In Kingston, New York
Copperfield’s is a pub where locals come to watch sports and sing along loudly to the songs coming out of the jukebox. There’s a chalkboard at the bar of what’s on tap that day (Guinness all the time, though), and like a true sports bar, there are TVs showing whatever big sports game is on. There are several places besides the bar to sit down for British/Irish favorites like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, or even the Irish nachos loaded with ground beef, cheddar cheese, and Guinness gravy over waffle fries.
Pine Plains isn’t exactly the busiest hamlet in the Hudson Valley, but if you find yourself passing through on the way to Red Hook or Saugerties, make some time to stop at Stissing House. Run by the chef of King in NYC, the history of the revived restaurant includes a tavern and inn for weary travelers, and it was once a biker bar. There are a variety of fireplaces in the dining rooms, but the scene stealer is the open-air kitchen with its two wood-burning ovens and large bar. The menu isn’t big and the prices can run expensive—think rabbit and tarragon pie for $68 and chicken with a few potatoes for $33—but the ingredients are top-notch and it’s a really good special occasion spot. The coconut cake is delicious and worth seeking out alone.
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.
The Best Restaurants In Rhinebeck, New York
Alleyway Ice Cream has a tiny window hidden off of Saugerties’ main drag. They’ve developed a bit of a cult following for inventive flavors like Thai tea cookies and cream and ube heath bar crunch, and locals wait with bated breath every year for them to reopen for the summer. Stop by on a warm afternoon when you’ll see families and teenagers hanging out on the shaded back patio. Or you can take your cup to go and walk through Saugerties’ various boutiques nearby.
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 at all ashamed of the fact that we like dipping our fries in mayo. You can’t go wrong with anything on the comfort food-leaning American menu, which has things like a kale caesar and steak frites, and whenever you come, try their Bloody Mary.
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.
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. The sausage platter is also a great choice if you’re having a hard time making a decision on what to get—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.
If there’s ever a case to be made for visiting the Hudson Valley during the summer and fall, it’s Fortune’s. This dessert spot is only open seasonally, and makes some of the best ice cream in the area. The local produce that studs each flavor tastes like it was literally picked that morning, which you can especially taste in their labne-based scoop that has rotating fruit (the best is sour cherry). The sundaes and milkshakes are often a combo of ice cream, housemade sauce, and some sort of crumbly, crunchy cookie topping. Sit and enjoy it on a bench in their shady side yard to minimize getting drips and/or crumbs all over yourself.
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 sound so good it’s nearly impossible to make a choice. 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 shared with shelves of shokupan rye bread and Maldon buckets.