The Catskills have changed quite a bit since the days of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Dirty Dancing-style resorts, and anybody trying to put baby in a corner. (You’ll find fewer Hemlock trees and way more breweries now, for example). But there’s still plenty of beautiful, pointy mountains to climb, non-polluted air to breathe, and lots of 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 our guide to find all the best restaurants and bars in seven towns in the Catskills.
And if you’re looking for great spots to eat and drink in the Hudson Valley, check out our guide here.
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The Mud Club
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 in the bakery, 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. The Mud Club recently started making wood-fired sourdough pizza on Friday and Saturday nights, which you can preorder ahead of time here. Just know that Mud Club is only open Friday through Sunday, starting at 9am.
Cucina is a big, beautiful restaurant inside a converted farmhouse on the edge of Woodstock’s main street. They serve Italian food in a nice-but-comfortable space, and a meal here could easily be the best you have while you’re in the Catskills - especially if you sit on the wraparound porch and order the daily-changing risotto special or the rigatoni with sausage in a spicy, cream-based tomato sauce.
Harana Market is the most exciting new opening in Woodstock, because there’s really nothing else like it in the area. Part Asian grocery store, and part Filipino takeout spot, you should come here for something delicious after a hike, or to gather cooking supplies for a big family dinner. The weekly-rotating menu of hot 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. This summer, expect dishes like crispy lumpia, halabos na hipon (garlic butter head-on shrimp), and tapsilog (dry-rub hangar steak with garlic fried rice and a fried egg). Plus, Harana Market intentionally stocks their shelves to support Asian and other BIPOC-owned food companies, and runs tons of cool partnerships. Learn more via their Instagram.
In 2020, the team behind The Phoenicia Diner opened this new barbecue spot in Woodstock, and it’s perfect for outdoor dining without a server taking your order at a table. The menu unsurprisingly has a bunch of meat (like brisket, fried chicken sandwiches, and pulled pork), as well as daily specials and not-boring options for vegetarians like a reuben made with carrots or smoked squash with feta produced in the area. Make sure to get a side of baked beans - it’s made with molasses and thick-cut bacon. Come when the weather is nice and sit outside in their covered patio or picnic area.
If you haven’t been to Woodstock in some time, you might not know Silvia yet. Let’s change that. This new-ish restaurant serves seasonally-focused food like a vegetarian lentil and mushroom pate that we’re pretty sure is the work of a sorcerer, and a whole grilled trout (the official fish of the Catskills) that comes with a Szechuan-tamari sauce, jasmine rice, and garlicky green beans. It’s the kind of place where you can spend the evening sitting in a nice velvet banquette and planning your eventual retirement. As a point of reference, Silvia feels slightly more upscale than Cucina, and it’s fairly expensive with some entrees costing over $30.
Tinker Taco Lab
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.
Woodstock only has a couple of its hippie community origins left. 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 or a portobello panini). Go for brunch or dinner - and know that they just built a new outdoor bar space.
Shindig definitely falls into the category of “this could be in Brooklyn” - but so does most of Woodstock at this point. We like this place best for its classic breakfast foods - granola, scrambles, pancakes, and the like, or sandwiches and salads during lunch. They also have a tiny alley next door with a coffee takeout window if you need some caffeine between vintage shopping, hiking, and buying tubs on berries.
The other, older breakfast/brunch/lunch go-to in town. Oriole 9 feels a little more true to what you might expect to find in Woodstock: art on the walls, chalkboards where you can write inspirational quotes or play tic-tac-toe, and plenty of produce-forward options. We could sit in here for four hours without realizing it (in fact, we have). Get the classic Woostocker breakfast plate, which is basically their equivalent of a diner breakfast platter.
Yum Yum Noodle Bar
Yum Yum is in the middle of Woodstock’s main drag, and serves a wide array of Japanese noodle bowls as well as Southeast Asian dishes like satay, bánh mi, and pad thai. It’s a full-service restaurant, but still casual enough for a low-key date night or a group dinner that doesn’t need to be a big deal (even with your neighbors who make everything a big deal). Also worth mentioning: Yum Yum Noodle Bar has locations in Kingston and Red Hook as well.
This funky-looking wine bar and small plates spot is right next door to Mud Club on the main drag in Woodstock (they’re owned by the same team). It’s open later than most other spots around town, and therefore the perfect place to sit and drink something outside with someone you do couple-y things with - like going upstate for the weekend. Get a spot next to the firepit so your clothes smell like beef jerky the next day, or hang out inside underneath a disco ball. If you’re snacking on something, we like the mezze-style dips that come with crunchy Mud Club bagel chips you truly will not 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). In case you need to do some work on a laptop early in the morning one day, consider their spaced-out outdoor table area 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.
This is pretty much the only place in Woodstock where cocktails are the headliner act of the menu. Nearly all of A&P’s specialty drinks come with ingredients made in-house, like infused apple vodka or house-charred cedar bitters. In case you couldn’t care less about dehydrated garnishes and the oral history of gin, it’s possible you’ll be interested to know about the darts board and the full menu of American food. Stop by for a few drinks and some bacon-wrapped dates and sticky toffee pudding.
Jane's Homemade Ice Cream
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 (and there’s an ATM in the store in case you need it).
Nancy's Of Woodstock
Just down Tinker Street is another great (and newer) ice cream option called Nancy’s. This place has more seasonally-changing options and vegan flavors available than Jane’s/Taco Juan’s. We especially like the sorbet.
Brushland Eating House
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, and subsequent utter panic on the way there). 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. The menu is short, but they always do a few seasonal specials. We’d recommend focusing on those, and also getting the pork schnitzel, some excellent wine, and the olive oil cake for dessert. Catskills Vogue doesn’t exist, but they would be all over this place. And if you’re picking just one restaurant to go to in the Catskills, this is it.
Peekamoose is an even better restaurant than it is a word, and that’s saying a lot. We’d put it alongside Cucina as a must-visit for dinner if you’re spending the weekend around Woodstock or Phoenicia. 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 or its placemats or its 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 brunchtime 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.
Bread Alone Bakery
Hot tip: In addition to their Woodstock location, Bread Alone also has a takeout location right on Route 28 in Boiceville (between Phoenicia and Kingston) where you can pick up an excellent breakfast sandwich and coffee on your way home - and pet some wandering chickens who are partly responsible for your egg sandwich.
Brios’ menu is encyclopedic in both length and variation, but 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.
Aside from hiking, the coffee shop, and the unfortunately-closed Two Old Tarts bakery, the biggest attraction in Andes is Wayside Cider. You can go ahead and add this cider brewery to your list of Catskill wedding venue fantasies (even if you’re already married or you insist you don’t believe in the concept). There are a bunch of spaced-out tables in the grass, as well as a barn with picnic tables if it happens to start pouring during your hike on the Andes Rail Trail nearby. The cider here ranges from funky to crisp and classic, including an excellent beet-based option you should try if only to broaden your beverage horizons just slightly. 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.
Upward Brewing Company
Upward opened in the fall of 2019, and only just added a patio in the summer of 2020. In other words: 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. The real draw to Upward 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.
Main Street Farm
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, craft seltzer, 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. You can place your pick-up order for beer on their website and stop by their outdoor beer garden Wednesday through Sunday (check their Instagram page to see if there’s live music happening).
The Walk In
This biscuit-focused bakery opened in 2021 - making it the newest spot on the main stretch of Livingston Manor. They make their own square-shaped, flaky biscuits and other breads across the street in the old Brandenburg Bakery space (which we loved and has sadly closed). Place your order at The Walk In’s counter on Pleasant Street and then grab a table outside with your dog, whom 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.
The Arnold House
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.
Twin Peaks Coffee & Donuts
Aside from the name, and the fact that eating enough donuts might eventually kill you, Twin Peaks has nothing to do with the David Lynch show. In fact, the name isn’t even slightly important in comparison to the excellent cake donuts they make here. The place itself feels a little like someone’s grandparents’ kitschy living room, with a fireplace and funky mismatched furniture. In addition to donuts and coffee, they serve a full brunch and lunch menu, including a breakfast sandwich that comes on a non-glazed donut and pancakes made from donut batter.
Mama's Boy Burgers
The other spot to check out in Tannersville is Mama’s Boy Burgers. It’s an old-school burger restaurant where you order at a counter and, instead of a number, you get a card with a mom from a famous TV sitcom on it. The list of burger options is pretty inventive, with choices like the “Jersey Boy” with smoked mozzarella and Italian peppers and the “Happy Camper” - a turkey burger that comes with crispy kale, swiss, and rosemary. They also have hot dogs, fries, and locally-made ice cream. You’ll never be more excited to announce yourself as “Carol Brady” than when you’re here. Also important - they have soft serve.
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 Prospect Restaurant
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.