Best of Hudson Valley: Food and Drink in 2023

Our Best of Hudson Valley winners offer top-tier food, drinks, and dining experiences throughout the region.

Food

Acai Bowls

Chakra Bowls, Poughkeepsie

These smoothie bowls are almost too pretty to eat. Dig into varieties like Mermaid, So Matcha, Good Vibes, and Soul. Our favorite perk is the “you pick two,” where you can pair an acai bowl with toast (like avocado, nutella and peanut butter, or pesto ricotta). Bonus: order a doggy bowl to go for your four-legged friend!

Chakra Bowls
Courtesy of Chakra Bowls

Albany County Restaurant

The Cuckoo’s Nest, Albany

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American Cuisine

Mill House Brewing Company, Poughkeepsie

Artisanal Chocolate Shop

Alps Sweet Shop, Beacon and Fishkill

Artisanal Food Product

3 Hives Honey, Highland

Asian Fusion

Bonsai, Poughkeepsie

Bagel

Eastdale Ave Bagels, Poughkeepsie

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Bakery

The Pastry Garden, Poughkeepsie

Barbecue

Smoky Rock BBQ, Rhinebeck

Bar food
By Tipsy Social

-Reader’s Pick-

Bar Food

Melzingah Tap House, Beacon

There’s elevated pub fare. And then there’s Melzingah, which always goes a step above delicious. Pair your favorite local beer with lunch options like crispy Bavarian pretzel bites with cheese dip or shrimp po’boy. Stick around for dinner to order the smoked pork belly or mussels and sausage. Still hungry? Order the peanut butter explosion cake.

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Bread Alone
Photo by James Chororos

-Reader’s Pick-

Bread

Bread Alone, multiple locations

If you step foot in any local grocery store, there’s a good chance that you’ll see at least a few loaves from Bread Alone—and if you’ve ever bought one, then you know that they’re the best around. All of the company’s products, from their sourdough to their nine mixed grain, are made with organic ingredients—healthy and delicious.

Brisket

Smoky Rock BBQ, Rhinebeck

Brunch

Heritage Food + Drink, Wappingers Falls

Bubble Tea

Tea Talk, Poughkeepsie

Buffet

Shadows on the Hudson, Poughkeepsie

Burger (Beef)

The Dutchess Biercafe, Fishkill

Burger (Meat-Free)

Moonburger, Kingston and New Paltz

Burger Joint

21 Burgers and Wings, Wappingers Falls

Burrito

Mexicali Blue, Wappingers Falls

Butcher Shop

Frankie’s Superette, Hopewell Junction

Calzones

Giacomo’s Pizza, Poughkeepsie and Wappingers Falls

Candy Store

Samuel’s Sweet Shop, Rhinebeck

Charcuterie

Two Board Moms, Poughkeepsie

Cheap Eats

Pizza Mia, Highland and Newburgh

Cheese Shop

Cold Spring Cheese Shop, Cold Spring

Cheesesteak

Hudson Sandwich Company, Fishkill

Chef

Daniel Crocco, Mill House Brewing Company, Poughkeepsie

Chicken Wings

Smoky Rock Barbecue, Rhinebeck

Chinese Cuisine

Chan’s Peking, Poughkeepsie

Cinnamon Rolls

Kelly’s Bakery, Poughkeepsie

Coffee

Ready Coffee, multiple locations

coffee beans
Photo by Patrick Capriglione

-Reader’s Pick-

Coffee Beans/Roaster

Big Mouth Coffee Roasters, Beacon

At this roastery, the goal is to offer something for everyone. On any given day, you’ll find elevated medium and dark house blends, plus four rotating, single-origin roasts from locations like Ethiopia and Guatemala. Beans to go are available in store, online, and soon—at their anticipated new location on Lander Street in downtown Newburgh.

Coffeehouse

Crafted Kup, Poughkeepsie

Gaskins
Courtesy of Gaskins

Columbia County Restaurant

Gaskins, Germantown

A sleek, moody interior (think black banquettes and marble counters), an ever-changing menu of fresh takes on American dishes, and creative craft cocktails. What’s not to love about this eatery? Don’t miss plant-forward entrees like fried lion’s mane mushroom tacos, and year-round favorites like baked mac ‘n’ cheese or house-made ice cream.

cookies
Meghan Spiro Photography

-Reader’s Pick-

Cookies

Amanda’s Macaron Shoppe, Poughkeepsie

French macarons are hard to craft, but CIA-trained baker Amanda Giacalone has perfected them. Choose classic flavors like chocolate and vanilla or more unusual offerings like carrot cake and peach habanero—they are all delicious. We guarantee you’ll leave the shop with a dozen (at least) every time you visit!

Deli

Rossi & Sons Rosticceria, Poughkeepsie

Desserts

Katie Rose Bakery, Hopewell Junction

dessert bars
Adobe Stock / Rickegrant

-Editor’s Pick-

Dessert Bars

Violet’s Bakery, Saugerties

This tiny, Euro-style spot bakes up the most delicious lemon bars around. The shortbread is light and melts in your mouth; the creamy lemon curd is tart and addictive. Violet’s buttery blueberry crumb bar is a very close second place.

Diner

Red Line Diner, Fishkill

Glazed Over Donuts
By Dawn Sela Photography

-Reader’s Pick-

Donuts

Glazed Over, Beacon

This is the place to create your own perfect donut. With over a dozen toppings, glazes, and drizzles, the options are endless. Short on time? Order the donut of the day. Our fave combos are maple-graham cracker-caramel and lemon-sugar-raspberry. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the donut ice cream sandwich.

Dumplings

Palace Dumplings, Wappingers Falls

Dutchess County Restaurant

Il Figlio Enoteca, Fishkill

Empanadas
Adobe Stock / Lblinova

-Editor’s Pick-

Empanadas

Empanada Nirvana, Walden

There are almost 25 varieties on the menu—and they’re all great. Must-tries include Komodo dragon (hot Italian sausage with Puerto Rican spices), Cajun shrimp, and truffle mac ‘n’ cheese. Dessert empanadas? Check! The apple pie pocket is excellent.

Family Restaurant

Café Con Leche, Wappingers Falls

Farm-to-Table Restaurant

Farm to Table Bistro, Fishkill

Farmers’ Market

Beacon Farmers Market, Beacon

Fish & Chips

Mill House Brewing Company, Poughkeepsie

Fish Market

Adams Fairacre Farms, multiple locations

Fondue

Canterbury Brook Inn, Cornwall

Food Pop-Up

Reconnect Foods, Poughkeepsie

Food Truck

Empanada Mama, Poughkeepsie

French Cuisine

Le Petit Bistro, Rhinebeck

French Fries

The Dutchess Biercafe, Fishkill

Fried Chicken

The Hog, Wappingers Falls

Fun Vibe

Mill House Brewing Company, Poughkeepsie

Gluten-Free Menu

Kitchen & Coffee, Beacon

Gelato

Midnight Ferry, Newburgh

Germna Cuisine
Photo by Veronica O’keefe Ruoff

-Reader’s Pick-

German Cuisine

Mountain Brauhaus, Gardiner

Prost! Tucked along The Gunks is a little slice of Germany where the staff wears dirndls and lederhosen and the pints are always flowing (there are over a dozen types of draught and bottled German beer). Go traditional with three styles of schnitzel with spaetzle, beef roulade, goulash, or a variety of savory wursts.

Girls Night Out

Reserva Wine Bar, Beacon

Gourmet Grocery Store

Adams Fairacre Farms, multiple locations

Greek Cuisine

Athena Gyro, Lagrangeville

Greene County Restaurant

Frank Guido’s Port of Call, Catskill

Gyro

Athena Gyro, Lagrangeville

Hawiian Takeout
Adobe Stock / Anna Shepulova

-Editor’s Pick-

Hawaiian Takeout

iGrill, Nanuet

There’s one spot in the Valley that’s serving up authentic Big Island-style comfort food. The top-seller is the Aloha plate—your choice of a protein, sauce, and two sides like macaroni salad or pineapple fried rice—but we love the savory loco moco (beef, sunny side egg, rice). Over a dozen bubble teas is the icing on the cake.

Hot Dogs

Pete’s Hot Dogs, Newburgh

Hotel Restaurant

The Beekman Arms, Rhinebeck

Ice Cream
By HV Food Photography

-Reader’s Pick-

Ice Cream

Zoe’s Ice Cream Barn, Lagrangeville

Readers adore this cow-to-cone destination. The ice cream is made fresh with Hudson Valley dairy and their unique flavors of orange pineapple, chocolate peanut butter brownie, and lavender honey are addicting. (There’s classic soft serve, too!) Follow their Insta for the “shake of the month” and sundae specials.

Indian Cuisine

Cinnamon, Rhinebeck

Cosimo's
Photo by Daryl Estrine

-Reader’s Pick-

Italian Cuisine (Not a Pizzeria)

Cosimo’s, multiple locations

After a trip to any of Cosimo’s four locations, you’ll be dreaming of their exceptional fried calamari, spaghetti with white clam sauce, and grilled pesto chicken salad. A smooth shot of their authentic Italian espresso (served with almond biscotti) and apple zeppoles with caramel sauce are not to be missed.

Japanese Cuisine

Kobe Hibachi, Poughkeepsie

Juice Bar

Fresh, Hopewell Junction

Korean Cuisine

Toro, Fishkill

Late Night Menu

Red Line Diner, Fishkill

Four Fat Fowl
Courtesy of Four Fat Fowl

-Editor’s Pick-

Local Cheese

Four Fat Fowl, Stephentown

Made with regionally-sourced ingredients and absolutely delicious—what more could you ask for in a cheese? Their buttery triple crème, earthy camembert, and milky ricotta are all top-notch, and have won awards from the New York State Fair and the World Cheese Championship.

Latin Cuisine (Other Than Mexican)

Café Con Leche, Wappingers Falls

Poor Devil Pepper co.
Courtesy of Poor Devil Pepper co.

-Editor’s Pick-

Local Hot Sauce

Poor Devil Pepper Co., Hudson

These vinegar-free, fermented sauces pack a punch. From the mild Evil Possessor to the extra-hot Creeping Death—we love them all. Add a few dabs to spice up any sandwich, egg dish, or noodle bowl.

Mediterranean Cuisine

Aba’s Falafel, Rhinebeck

Middle Eastern Cuisine

Ziatun, Beacon

Mexican Cuisine

Café Maya, Wappingers Falls

Milk Shakes

Joe’s Dairy Bar and Grill, Hopewell Junction

Nachos

Maya Cafe, Fishkill

New Restaurant (East of Hudson River)

The Hog, Wappingers Falls

New Restaurant (West of Hudson River)

Primo Waterfront, Newburgh

Hibino Day-By-Day
Courtesy of Hibino Day-By-Day

-Editor’s Pick-

Onigiri (Rice Balls)

Hibino Day-by-Day, Newburgh

This versatile Japanese delicacy can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner—but it’s hard to find in the HV. Lucky for us, Chef Yasuyo Hibino is an onigiri pro and packs her rice balls with fillings like grilled salmon, kimchi tuna mayonnaise, and salted plum at her lunchtime pop-up at Lodger on Liberty Street. Pro tip: pre-order on Instagram—they sell out fast!

Outdoor Dining
By Elizabeth Steckel

-Reader’s Pick-

Outdoor Dining

Gunk Haus, Highland

A delicious meal of Bavarian schnitzel and spaetzle at the Gunk Haus is only enhanced by the stunning mountain views. Their spacious patio affords panoramic vistas of the Shawangunks and adjacent apple orchards. Pro tip: make reservations at golden hour to watch the sunset over the ridge.

Oak + Reed
Photo courtesy of Oak + Reed

-Reader’s Pick-

Orange County Restaurant

Oak + Reed, Middletown

Culinary magic is alive on North Street. This farm-to-table spot consistently serves up unique, seasonal dishes. Anything with cheese is a winner from the burrata with grilled apricot and honey vinaigrette to ricotta dumplings stuffed with wild mushrooms and spinach-walnut pesto.

Oysters

Le Petite Bistro, Rhinebeck

Pasta

Il Figlio Enoteca, Fishkill

Patio

Billy Joe’s Ribworks, Newburgh

Pho

Miss Saigon Pho, Wappingers Falls

Pitmaster

Ed Randolph, Handsome Devil BBQ, Newburgh

Pizza
Adobe Stock / Pixel-shot

-Reader’s Pick-

Pizza (Gourmet)

Pizzeria Posto, Rhinebeck and Poughkeepsie

Discover the taste of Italy in Dutchess, where Chef Patrick Amedeo cooks Neapolitan-style pies (no slices!) in a wood-fire oven. Cult faves include the Mama Mia (mozzarella, onions, fennel sausage) and Terra Bianca (mozzarella, Grana Padano, ricotta, arugula). Even Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports and host of the acclaimed Barstool Pizza Review, declared Posto to be “spectacular.”

Pizza (Traditional)

A Touch of Naples, Poughkeepsie

Putnam County Restaurant

My Cousin’s, Mahopac

Ramen

Yum Yum Noodle Bar, multiple locations

Raw Bar

Blu Pointe, Newburgh

Restaurant and Bakery
Photo by Eva Deitch

-Editor’s Pick-

Restaurant and Bakery

McKinney & Doyle, Pawling

A bakery by morning and fine foods café by night, we love this spot because they do it all. Grab a still-warm, fresh Danish or muffin for a sweet breakfast, and come back for dinner to enjoy best-selling dishes like the creamy lobster risotto or the brook trout with lemon and capers. Bonus: the bakery features an old-fashioned soda fountain.

Rensselaer County Restaurant

Tipsy Moose Tap & Tavern, Troy

Restaurant for College Kids

Lola’s, New Paltz and Poughkeepsie

Restaurant When Someone Else Is Paying

Ship Lantern Inn, Milton

Restaurant With Live Music

Daryl’s House, Pawling

Ribs

Brothers BBQ, Cornwall

Rockland County Restaurant
Courtesy of Nova Kitchen Restaurant & Bar

-Reader’s Pick-

Rockland County Restaurant

Nova Kitchen Restaurant & Bar, Blauvelt

Elevated American fare shines at this fine-dining hotspot. Regulars rave about the selection of prime steak and signature sides like crispy Brussels sprouts with bacon and bourbon-maple glaze and truffle Parmesan pomme frites. Save room for dessert: the chocolate chip croissant bread pudding is amazing.

Romantic Restaurant

The Roundhouse, Beacon

Salad

Double O Grill, Wappingers Falls

Seafood Restaurant

Blu Pointe, Newburgh

Smoothie
Adobe Stock / New Africa

-Reader’s Pick-

Smoothies

Blend Smoothie and Salad Bar, multiple locations

With six locations around the HV—and a new shop opening in Newburgh—Blend has the recipe for success. Choose from six nutrient-packed smoothies, like Love My Body (pineapple, mango, orange, vanilla yogurt) and Energy Booster (pineapple, apple, blueberry, grape, almond milk). Or make your own drink with three fruits and a base of choice, plus supplements such as chia seeds and cacao nibs.

Soul Food

Essie’s Restaurant, Poughkeepsie

Southern Food

Ole Savannah, Kingston

Sports Bar

Max’s on Main, Beacon

Steakhouse

Poughkeepsie Steakhouse, Poughkeepsie

Sushi

Bonsai, Poughkeepsie

Tacos

Hudson Taco, Newburgh

Tapas

Flores Tapas & Bar Restaurant, Wappingers Falls

Tea House

Harney & Sons, Millerton

Thai Cuisine

Sukothai, Beacon

Ulster County Restaurant

Ship Lantern Inn, Milton

Vegan Fried chicken
Courtesy of Darlings

-Editor’s Pick-

Vegan Fried Chicken

Darlings, Tillson

Who says delicious, Southern food can’t be vegan? While Darlings’ classic fried chicken is great—their plant-based version (made with local oyster mushrooms)is the best around. Pair with sides like poblano mac ‘n’ cheese, grits, and corn muffins.

Vegan Menu

Chakra Bowls, Poughkeepsie

Vegetarian Menu

Kitchen & Coffee, Beacon

Vietnamese

Miss Saigon Pho, Wappingers Falls

Waterfront Dining

Shadows on the Hudson, Poughkeepsie

Westchester County Restaurant

The Cookery, Dobbs Ferry


Drink

Bar

County Fare Bar & Grill, Wappingers Falls

Bar Staff

Hudson Taco, Newburgh

Bartender

Luke Riley, Melzingah Tap House, Beacon

Beer Garden

Schatzi’s Pub and Bier Garden, New Paltz and Poughkeepsie

Beer Selection (Restaurant/Bar)

Scotchtown Craft Bar & Kitchen, Middletown

Beer Selection (Retail Store; Not a Chain)

Half Time, Poughkeepsie

Bloody Mary

Erin O’Neill’s Pub & Grill, Poughkeepsie

Brewery (East of Hudson River)

Sloop Brewing, East Fishkill

-Reader’s Pick-

Newburgh Brewing Co.
Courtesy of Newburgh Brewing Co.

Brewery (West of Hudson River)

Newburgh Brewing Company, Newburgh

The beers aren’t the only thing that make this brewery great—its large taproom overlooking the Hudson is always hopping with entertainment and events. In addition to live music Friday–Sunday, Newburgh offers happy hour specials every Wednesday and Thursday (plus trivia and karaoke) and monthly concerts in partnership with station WRRV.

BYOB

La Casa Vicina, New Windsor

Canned Cocktails

Liquid Fables, Beacon

Cidery

Bad Seed, Highland

College Bar

Mahoney’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse, Poughkeepsie

Craft Cocktails

Goodnight Kenny, Poughkeepsie

Distillery

The Hudson House & Distillery, West Park

Dive Bar

The White House Bar, Fishkill

Vosburgh Brewing Co.
Courtesy of Vosburgh Brewing Co.

-Editor’s Pick-

Farm Brewery

Vosburgh Brewing Company, Elizaville

Start with an antique barn that has a roomy bar, plenty of tables, and features live music on Sundays; add 140 acres of apple trees, wildflowers, and hops which you can gaze upon while enjoying excellent craft beers (from IPAs to lagers to stouts) in the outdoor garden; mix in food trucks and comfy Adirondack chairs—and you’ve got the recipe for the region’s most outstanding farm brewery.

Frozen Drinks

The Roosevelt Bar, Beacon

Happy Hour

Hudson Taco, Newburgh

IPA

Wrench, Industrial Arts Brewing Company, Garnerville and Beacon

Liquor Store

Viscount Wines & Liquor, Wappingers Falls

Local Beer

Sloop Brewing, East Fishkill

Local Cider

Doc’s Cider, Warwick

Local Spirit

Maid of the Meadow by Denning’s Point Distillery, Beacon

Local Whiskey

Taconic Distillery, Stanfordville

margarita
Adobe Stock / Karendaev

Margarita

Café Maya, Wappingers Falls

Every flavor of margarita you could imagine is on the menu and offered frozen, on the rocks, or straight-up. Top picks are de la casa (house), hibiscus, blood orange, mango, and pomegranate. Go big with the Bulldog—it’s made with Casa Noble tequila and topped with an upside-down Corona.

Martini
Adobe Stock / Billiophotos.com

-Reader’s Pick-

Martini

Wonderbar, Beacon

This art-deco spot goes above and beyond with its cocktail offerings, so it should come as no surprise that the bartenders can mix a mean classic martini. Order it dirty and relax in the uber-cool lounge.

Negroni

Cosimo’s, multiple locations

New Bar

Erin O’Neill’s Pub & Grill, Poughkeepsie

Old Fashioned

Wonderbar, Beacon

Pomelier
Adobe Stock / Fahrwasser

-Editor’s Pick-

Pommelier

Boutique Wines, Spirits and Ciders, Fishkill

You can find over 225 types of bottled and canned cider here. Not sure where to start? Taste-test a dozen ciders at the taproom and share your flavor preferences with staff. We promise you’ll leave with a smile and a growler (or two). And don’t miss their cider events throughout the year.

Riesling

Brotherhood Winery, Washingtonville

Romantic Bar

BarVino Bar & Lounge, Fishkill

Rooftop Bar

Zeus Brewing Company, Poughkeepsie

rose
By Meghan Spiro Photography

-Reader’s Pick-

Rosé

Milea Estate Vineyard, Staatsburg

Milea’s winemakers craft rosé with terroir (specifically shale and slate soils) in mind: grapes are picked on a specific schedule to maintain acidity and freshness. It’s blended with cabernet franc, Bordeaux, and muscat grapes and fermented without sugar. The result is a crisp flavor with aromas of orange, lemon, lime, and rose petals—a perfect sip for summer.

Sommelier

Heather Barr, Homespun Foods, Beacon

Taproom / Tasting Room

Newburgh Brewing Company, Newburgh

Tom Collins

The Roosevelt Bar, Beacon

Wine Bar

di’Vine Wine Bar, Wappingers Falls

Wine Store

Viscount Wines & Liquor, Wappingers Falls

Winery

Benmarl Winery, Marlboro


Related: 12 Mexican Restaurants for Food Lovers in the Hudson Valley

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