The Best Restaurants In The Hudson Valley
Our 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, there’s a whole lot of nature, and “artisanal” applies to more than just $15 cocktails. But before you start researching hiking trails and Airbnbs, let’s address the most important thing first: where you should eat.
The region is made up of 10 counties, and in this guide, we’ve pulled together the best restaurants in most of the major towns in the upper part of the Hudson Valley—if you're looking for something more in-depth, we also have guides to Beacon, Cold Spring, Hudson, and Rhinebeck. If you're headed to the Catskills, we have lots of great ideas here.
The Roundhouse should be your Beacon dinner spot. This restaurant that’s located in a hotel of the same name is the most upscale option in Beacon. Both the dining room and the big, string-light-covered outdoor patio overlook a waterfall, and they’re each great places to eat some deviled eggs, blistered shishito peppers, and housemade pasta on a nice evening.
Homespun Foods serves the kind of food that won’t fill you up too much before your hiking plans. We’re talking about things like a gouda pecan salad and turkey avocado sandwich, and their back patio—with plenty of umbrellas for shade—is a particularly pleasant place if the weather is nice. Homespun is also on Main Street, and is close to a bunch of boutiques and the farmers market.
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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. Eat Church is now serving food at Dogwood six days a week, so expect an Asian-influenced menu Tuesday-Saturday, and Indian dishes on Sundays.
The Best Restaurants In Beacon, New York
Hudson Hil’s is the restaurant that will convince you to buy property 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.
Moo Moo's Creamery
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
photo credit: @angrybaker
Wm. Farmer & Sons
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.
We recently took a last-minute train to Hudson for a weekend trip and had three of our five meals at 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
Village Coffee and Goods
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.
The smashburgers at this sleek vegetarian drive-thru 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, 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.
Brunette is a ridiculously charming wine bar—there’s floral wallpaper, a white marble bar, vintage stemware likely sourced from Kingston’s many antique shops, and a bathroom that's giving us interior design inspiration. While they have limited tables inside, you can always opt for a table out on the side. Either way, make use of the highly curated by-the-glass wine list, and order snacks like shrimp rolls, hot dogs, and trout roe nachos.
Hickory BBQ & Smokehouse
There are plenty of arguments about what “good” barbecue means, and don’t even get us started on the debates about the sides. But Hickory BBQ’s roadside spot on Route 28 just outside of Kingston proper makes some of the best smoked meats in the area. Sit at a picnic-style table and inhale a rack of St. Louis-style spare ribs, hush puppies with maple butter, macaroni salad, and wash it down with a Witte beer from Cooperstown, NY. The restaurant is pretty casual, but you could hypothetically have them cater your wedding reception if you simply must have some brisket on your special day.
This is the best place for cocktails in Kingston. Stockade Tavern has an old-timey feel to it, with a fireplace, tin ceilings, and plenty of candles. Outside there's a patio and a cocktail truck serving on-tap cocktails, and on some nights Stockade hosts food pop-ups and DJ sets.
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 such as fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, or even the Irish nachos loaded with ground beef, cheddar cheese, and Guinness gravy over waffle fries.
photo credit: Nathan Zucker
City Winery, which has locations in NYC and around the country, opened a massive multi-use project on a 22-acre plot centered around a converted mill. The majority of the wine sold across all City Winery locations is made on site, and they have a tasting room and restaurant with outdoor seating overlooking a river and waterfall. They have events all summer long, including murder mystery brunch, live music, comedy shows, and more.
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 Hudson Valley
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 Indian Cuisine
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
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.
Olsen & Company
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.
Slices of Saugerties
This is where you should stop if you’re looking to grab a slice on your way through Saugerties. You can place your order ahead of time through their website, and it should include multiple grandma slices and an order of garlic knots.