At this point, Hudson isn’t really an escape from New York City. Warren St., the main drag, is filled with coffee and charcuterie shops and vintage furniture stores and places where you can spend $105 on a spoon rest or $65 on a healing crystal. In other words, it feels like Brooklyn. Whether that bums you out or makes you want to steal a car so you can go immediately, this also means the restaurants in Hudson keep getting better and better. Here are our favorite places to eat in town - all of which are better decisions than a $105 spoon rest.
And if you’re looking for restaurants in the Catskills, check out our guide here.
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. Like hot plantains with cilantro cream sauce, octopus on top of radicchio with smoky avocado dressing, whole fried fish, and chorizo larb. Everything we’ve tried at Lil’ Deb’s is insanely good. 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.
Halfway through a meal at Barlett House, we felt the need to ask our server if there happened to be a hotel hiding on the premises. We did not want to leave. Technically this place is in Ghent, about a 15-minute drive outside of Hudson, but you should make the drive for it. In an old brick building with a striped-awning-covered front porch, Bartlett House is the kind of exceedingly pleasant place you picture when you start daydreaming about a weekend escape when it’s only Monday morning. They serve a big menu of French-ish farm-fresh classics at both brunch and dinner, and we haven’t had a disappointing thing here.
Le Perche has been in Hudson for years, but it was recently revamped by the people behind one of Hudson’s most established restaurants, Swoon Kitchenbar. The wood-covered interior and long bar would be 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 that’s when you’re here, get a chocolate croissant (they make their own, and they’re excellent), a breakfast sandwich, and a side of breakfast potatoes. You didn’t come to Hudson to eat a salad.
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, mid-century furniture, and walls covered in books, and they both use and sell the kind of ceramic mugs you decide you need for your apartment - until you realize they’re $45 each. In the lobby on weekends, they serve what is probably our favorite Hudson breakfast, with dishes like a savory carrot pancake and a lemony Dutch baby, and they have a separate restaurant space for dinner, served Fridays through Tuesdays. Make this place a priority whether you’re staying in the hotel or not.
If you’re looking for a great dinner in Hudson, but don’t necessarily feel like shelling out more than the cost of a night at your Airbnb, consider Hudson Food Studio - a casual spot serving excellent modern Southeast Asian food. The atmosphere is relaxed but not boring, and the noodles and soup are exactly what you want to eat on a cold night after a long day outside.
This is Hudson’s go-to place for Neapolitan pizza, although the menu goes way beyond pizza. They have a huge selection of small plates ranging from cheese and charcuterie to vegetables to seafood, all of which you can order on their own, or as tasting flights in groups of three or five. The wine list has just as many options by the glass, half-glass, and bottle. This would be a great place for a group lunch or dinner.
Located in the back of one of the 3,000 antiques stores on the main street in Hudson is Backbar, a cocktail bar that also serves small plates like green curry hummus and sesame noodles. It’s a funky, cool spot with big garage doors that open up onto a giant string-light-covered backyard great for hanging when the weather’s nice. We’d recommend you use Backbar for a pre-dinner or late-night drinks-and-snacks spot rather than a full meal - the food is tasty, but the atmosphere is better for tipsy fried chicken eating.
If you’re heading out into nature for the day, you’ll find everything you need (and definitely don’t need) for a picnic at Talbott & Arding, a fancy market in the middle of town. Everything about this place is well thought-out, and after loading up on sandwiches, salads, sides, and sweets, you’ll probably have to resist the urge to grab some of their merch too. Do not skip the chocolate chip walnut cookie.
Or Gallery & Tavern is somewhere between a bar, a restaurant, a store, and a gallery - and the look of the place is about as edgy as you’ll find in Hudson. It’s a big, cement-covered converted garage, with a nice patio for the warmer months and plenty of seating inside for when it’s cold. If you’re looking to kill some time between lunch and dinner, come here to sit at the big circular bar, have a beer on tap and a charcuterie plate, and talk with some locals (or more realistically, some other NYC people who are visiting for the weekend).
Fish & Game is one of the most-hyped restaurants in Hudson. And while the space is beautiful (you feel like you’re in an extremely fancy country club lodge), we’d direct you to other restaurants in town for your full dinner needs. But we do like Fish & Game for one situation: get here on the early side, snag a seat at the bar or in the lounge, and order a cocktail here before you move on to your main-event meal elsewhere.
A step down from Fish & Game in terms of fanciness, but a step up in terms of food. Wm. Farmer & Sons might be connected to a hotel, but it’s much more appealing than your average hotel restaurant. The room is attractive, the service is great, and the food is all familiar stuff that’s solid (though not particularly memorable). We especially like the burger here.
An old-school diner setup with definitely not old-school prices, Grazin’ is a good, casual option for lunch in Hudson. They’re known for their super local, non-GMO, all-those-good-things burgers, and the rest of the farm-to-table food is overall solid as well.
Swoon has been around a lot longer than most of the Hudson restaurants people tend to talk about, but it’s still very good. Come for wine and cheese at the bar, or a dinner full of reliably satisfying things like pan-seared scallops and salmon. It’s not the most exciting of your options in Hudson, but it’s perfectly pleasant.
If you get excited about craft beer, stop into Spotty Dog, a bookstore and craft beer bar. Get a local beer, pick up a book, and park yourself in a comfy chair.