Where To Eat & Drink In The Catskills guide image

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Where To Eat & Drink In The Catskills

Breweries, bakeries, BBQ spots, and other places where you should be hanging out in the Catskills.

The Catskills have changed quite a bit since the days of Dirty Dancing-style resorts and anybody trying to put baby in a corner. (There are fewer Hemlock trees and way more breweries now, for example.) But the area still has plenty of beautiful, pointy mountains to climb, non-polluted air to breathe, and fresh trout to eat. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend, going to seven barn weddings in a row, dropping off your kid at camp, or living in the area, use this guide to find all the best restaurants and bars in nine towns in the Catskills.

The Best Places To Eat & Drink In The Hudson Valley guide image

HV Guide

The Best Places To Eat & Drink In The Hudson Valley

Kingston

Village Coffee and Goods review image

Village Coffee and Goods

$$$$

17 Railroad Ave, Kingston
Earn 3X Points

This cozy cafe in Kingston will make you consider moving upstate just so this can be your local spot. They serve high-quality coffee in aesthetically-pleasing locally-made ceramics (which you can buy to take home), and the food is worth going out of your way for. A seasonal salad is never a bad choice; they’re usually bulked up with interestingly-seasoned nuts or seeds and some local cheeses. There are also breakfast sandwiches, a variety of toasts, and a pastry case filled with good looking things you’ll have a hard time choosing between.


The line at Rosie’s General can wind all the way around the block on weekends, but the wait is worth it. This little spot looks like a Pixar animator’s rendition of an antique shop-slash-general store, right down to the flawless natural light. Everything is baked in house, and the bread is some of the best in the area, so you can’t go wrong with a sandwich. We especially love the smoked trout with dill and mayo on sourdough. A sandwich with a strong sense of place, it tastes as though it was pulled directly out of the Hudson. We mean that in a good way.


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The smashburgers at this sleek vegetarian drive-through are so good you’ll forget that no cows were harmed in their making. The oversized patties are juicy, griddle-crisped, and loaded onto a potato bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and “special sauce.” They usually have two vegan milkshakes on offer, and one is always a brownie batter variety that tastes exactly like eating straight boxed brownie mix. The other is a rotating seasonal flavor. Get an order of crisp, spicy hot fries to round out your meal. You can add cheese to your burger or cheese sauce to your fries, just note that they use real cheese, not the plant-based kind. 


This is more of a grab-and-go spot than a place to sit down for a full meal, but it’s absolutely worth a visit when you’re coming through Kingston. In addition to a wide variety of Indian grocery items, housemade simmer sauces, and prepared foods, Calcutta Kitchens serves some rotating daily to-go meals. There’s usually a plant-based and a meat-based tiffin option, as well as classic snacks like samosa chaat and chai. The ingredients they use are always vibrant and in-season, which makes the food here especially great. 


Woodstock

If you’re looking for bagels and breakfast sandwiches, Mud Club serves our favorite versions in the entirety of the Catskills. They’re hand-twisted and wood-fired, with the kind of proper chewiness that the best bagels in NYC and NJ often have. Pick up a dozen for the weekend or sit on their lawn with a “Tinker Tuesday” sandwich that comes layered with smoky bacon, sharp cheddar, and horseradish aioli on an everything bagel. Just know that Mud Club is only open Friday through Sunday, starting at 9am.


photo credit: Hannah Albertine

Harana Market review image

Harana Market

Part Asian grocery store and part Filipino takeout spot, Harana Market is where you should go to grab a post-hike snack or gather cooking supplies for a big family dinner. The rotating menu of homestyle Filipino food is all made by Christina Mauricio (in part, based on recipes from Christina’s lola), and they’ve set up some chairs and hammocks outside where you can eat. Harana Market stocks their shelves to support Asian and other BIPOC-owned food companies, and you can learn more and check on any upcoming events via their Instagram.


The team behind The Phoenicia Diner opened this barbecue spot in Woodstock, and it’s perfect for outdoor dining. The menu unsurprisingly has a bunch of meat (brisket, fried chicken sandwiches, pulled pork, etc.), as well as daily specials and not-boring options for vegetarians like an oyster mushroom bánh mì. Make sure to get a side of baked beans made with molasses and thick-cut bacon. Come when the weather is nice and sit outside in the covered patio or picnic area.


When we say margaritas, you may be wrongly conditioned to think “beach.” But have one next to a stream at Tinker Taco Lab, and it will confirm that there’s no bad place to drink a good margarita. This casual counter-service spot is our first recommendation for anyone looking for Mexican food in the area. It’s hidden behind a sunglasses boutique, and while the indoor space is small, there’s some nice outdoor seating and a separate indoor bar area where you can order food as well as drinks. Get the barbacoa tacos on homemade tortillas.


In Woodstock, you’ll find the political conspiracy theory hippie, the artisan jewelry making hippie, and the Garden Cafe hippie—who is strictly into healthy and locally-sourced things. This place makes really good vegetarian and vegan food, and it feels authentic to the Woodstock spirit without being kitschy. While a lot of dishes include meat substitutes like tofu or tempeh, there are also some really good ones that won’t make you miss meat at all (like spinach basil pesto pasta and a portobello panini). Go for brunch or dinner, and sit in the outdoor area if it's nice out.


This funky-looking wine bar and small-plates spot is right next door to Mud Club (from the same team) on the main drag in Woodstock. It’s open later than most other spots around town and is therefore the perfect place to sit and drink outside with someone you do couple-y things with. Get a spot next to the fire pit so your clothes smell like beef jerky the next day, or hang out inside underneath a disco ball. If you want to snack on something, we like the mezze-style dips that come with crunchy Mud Club bagel chips you won't be able to stop eating. Stop by Thursday through Sunday, since they’re closed during the week.


You’ve probably seen Bread Alone products in your nicest neighborhood bodega, but the Catskills are their homeland, and the bread tastes way better here. At their cafe in Woodstock, you can get everything from chocolate cakes and buttery croissants to smoked salmon on rye and pesto halloumi sandwiches (plus coffee for the drive home).If you need to do some work on a laptop, think of their spaced-out outdoor table area as your new favorite office.


A classic-feeling bar in an old train station, this is one of our favorite place for drinks in Woodstock. They have a pool table and a jukebox in the back, and a fairly large outdoor area with tables. It’s possible you’ll meet a man with a motorcycle named Clark, because we did. Go and find your Clark.


There’s a little taco spot between lifestyle boutiques on Tinker Steet called Taco Juan’s—but you really don’t need to concern yourself with the tacos there. Go into Taco Juan’s and head straight for the ice cream counter where they serve Jane’s Homemade. This Kingston-based ice cream company makes the creamiest dark chocolate flavor that has ever graced our stomachs. It’s called “Killer Chocolate,” and we’d encourage you to try it (along with another scoop flavor like mint chip and salty caramel pretzel). Just know that this spot is cash-only. There’s an ATM in the store in case you need it.


Just down Tinker Street is another great (and newer) ice cream option called Nancy’s. If you're looking for seasonal flavors and vegan options, this is where you should go. We especially like the sorbet.


Catskill

An annoying number of restaurants in the Catskill-proper area are only open Thursday-Sunday to cater to weekend visitors, but J&J Smokehouse BBQ is open seven days a week. Housed in a 1940s-era gas station, this place doesn’t limit itself to one specific regional style. Instead, you’ll find smoked meats and sides that pull from the wide variety of American barbecue techniques. Everything is solid, but they do spicy foods especially well. We love the sausage of fire and spicy pickled cauliflower. The burnt ends tend to sell out quickly, so if that’s your favorite meat, we recommend coming earlier in the day.


Red Hook

One of the best remaining examples of the 1920s-style Silk City dining cars in America, this classic spot has a devoted local following. It’s the kind of place where the servers seem plucked directly from a ‘90s romcom, and everyone seems to know everyone’s name and preferred bacon doneness. The portions here are generous, and the food is old fashioned diner fare at its best. Nothing is “modern” or “elevated,” and nothing needs to be. Come for things like reuben sandwiches, giant piles of fluffy pancakes, and sweet, gooey cinnamon rolls. 


Bovina

Brushland Eating House is on the far western side of the Catskills, and it’s worth driving out of your way for (even if that means navigating dark dirt roads without cell service). It’s on the first floor of an old farmhouse, and the space has floor-to-ceiling windows, a giant bar, and nice wooden banquettes. (Vogue Catskills doesn’t exist, but if it did, they would be all over this place.) Dinner costs $75, and it consists of a three-course family-style meal. The menu changes weekly, so check Brushland's website to see what's in store. If you’re picking just one restaurant to go to in the Catskills, this is it.


Phoenicia

Peekamoose is an even better restaurant than it is a word, and that’s saying a lot. The space feels like a giant ski lodge, with more options for seating right now than any other Catskill spot we know of. In addition to an indoor area, there’s a big outdoor deck with spaced-out tables, a grassy area with a movie-screen and seat-yourself picnic benches, and a takeout window if you’d rather stop by to pick something up. As for the food, the menu seems to have been created to make you want to order everything—think garlicky bread and housemade pastrami, beet tartare with horseradish cream, rainbow trout, and the mintiest mint ice cream you’ll ever eat.


Even if you think you’ve never heard of this place, you’ve probably seen its pancakes, placemats, or perfectly-updated classic diner space on your social media. And as much as you’ll feel like you’re walking into Portlandia Goes To Woodstock, it’s hard not to love it here. Just know that if you come anywhere remotely close to brunch time on the weekends, you’re going to have to wait.


Despite the name, Woodstock Brewing is technically located in Phoenicia (on route 28, a mile or so from Phoenicia Diner). But don’t harp too much on that or else no one will let you do nice things, like sit in the front seat of the car. This spot has tons of picnic tables, a full food menu, and outdoor games that you can play next to a fire pit (a.k.a. extreme cornhole). They’ve really expanded their beer menu since opening a few years ago, and the IPAs and sours are all categorically delicious. Also, they make one of the best brewery burgers we’ve ever had.


The menu at Brio's is encyclopedic in length, so we’ll save you some time and tell you to just focus on the pizzas (and the 14 flavors of frozen margaritas). This old-school Phoenicia spot makes very good thin-crust Neapolitan-style pies in both personal and large sizes. Heads up: They don’t start making pizzas until noon.


Andes

Aside from hiking and the coffee shop, the biggest attraction in Andes is Wayside Cider. You can go ahead and add this cider brewery to your list of Catskills wedding venue fantasies (even if you’re already married or insist you don’t believe in the concept of marriage). There are a bunch of spaced-out tables in the grass, as well as a barn with picnic tables where you can sit when it starts pouring. The cider here ranges from funky to crisp and classic. When you get hungry, order a charcuterie board or the smoked trout plate.


Andes doesn’t feel nearly as New York City-invaded as Phoenicia or Woodstock, and there’s really just one small section of Main Street with a wine shop, general store, a farmer stand, and this very cute Italian coffee shop. In addition to drinks, Dragonfly serves sandwiches and Italian pastries like a flourless almond cake that somehow stays moist. Stop by and recharge on their back deck next to a little stream before you go hiking.


Livingston Manor

You may not know about this place yet, but you absolutely need to check it out. In addition to a short menu of highly-drinkable beer (get the Opiate IPA), Upward has a full food menu with things like crispy fried trout nuggets, kimchi and cheese covered fries, and a bunch of meat and vegan-based sausages. But the real draw is the 120+ acre property. There are tons of spaced-out tents set up around a pond, and the brewery even has its own mountain you can hike called Beer Mountain. This is a great stop if you’re anywhere near Livingston Manor.


This place is half grocery store and half cafe. On the cafe side, you’ll find great sandwiches, salads, and soups. But you can also buy most of the ingredients on the menu in the store section on the left side—including cured meats, trout, local tomatoes, and pickles. This is our favorite place in the area for a quick lunch to-go, and works well if you want to pick up a couple snacks before a hike. In the summertime, there’s often a farmer’s market set up in front with even more fresh produce.


The Kaatskeller is right across from Main Street Farm. They’re managed by the same people, and we’ve witnessed the owner running from one to the other carrying a wheel of parmesan in his hand. Kaatskeller is a pizza place that’s 85% outdoors (including their kitchen and most of the seating), and very family-friendly. The patio space feels a little like a German beer garden, but with the addition of Neapolitan-style pizza, dogs, children, and a fire pit in the back. Make sure to order the “White Album” pizza and the trout rillettes.


This is where you go to drink the best beer in the Catskills, the Devil’s Path IPA. It tastes much better here than in Yankee Stadium (where they also serve it on draft). They have a picnic area outside and a small bar inside. Bring your dog and maybe some food from Main Street Farm to eat outside—or just keep going up to the bar for free refills of popcorn.


This biscuit-focused bakery makes square-shaped, flaky biscuits and other breads. Place your order at The Walk In’s counter on Pleasant Street then grab a table outside with your dog, who we presume will also be interested in your curry chicken salad sandwich and BEC on a biscuit. We like stopping here after a hike at Willowemoc Wild Forest or a trip to Catskill Brewery for something quick and filling.


A few miles from the main street in Livingston Manor, you’ll find the farm/restaurant/venue where you should plan a date or a group dinner. In addition to the big barn space where they play live music on the weekends, the communal fire pit, the porch seating, and the banquet space in the back, there’s a restaurant and bar here. The food is American and mostly kind of heavy, with dishes like a fried chicken sandwich (get that) and pork chops (get those, too). It’s all good, but the real draw here is the huge and beautiful space.


Hunter

West Kill brewery is one of our favorite places to hang out in this part of the Catskills. Mostly because it’s located right on the side of a mountain, which gives you the best possible view you can have while drinking a beer without actually going on a hike (although, you should also do that). They typically have an outsourced food vendor serving snacks like tacos or sausages and pretzels, in addition to tons of games and picnic tables available.


The people behind Scribner’s Lodge used a formula discovered by many Williamsburg expats before them: buy an old, run-down Catskill building, make it look like Brooklyn, and the people will come. Scribner’s is a beautiful space, with impressive views of Hunter Mountain on display from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the hotel’s restaurant, Prospect. The upscale food is both creative and crowd-pleasing. Don’t miss the octopus. Or the cocktails. Or the dessert.


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