If you live in the county, you know. If you don’t, we are here to tell you that the food scene is divine and diverse—from steamed Himalayan dumplings to Detroit-style pizza to chicharrón-topped deviled eggs, and everything in between. Getting hungry? Here’s a curated guide to 37 hot spots.
The cozy cuisine we all crave.
Beast and Dutchess Biercafe
These sister establishments on Main Street whip up southern barbecue with Latin flair (Beast) and Belgian-inspired classics (Dutchess Biercafe). Check out their draft lists for central European beers that are hard to come by. feedyourinnerbeast.com and thedutchessbiercafe.com
TRY THIS: The Beast platter (a sample of smoked brisket, pulled pork, Peruvian chicken, a half rack of ribs, and two large sides) and moules (comes in three styles: classic, Spanish, or red curry) with shoestring pommes frites.
Traditional coastal Italian meets modern twists at this family-friendly restaurant. Share a wood-fired pizza (there are over a dozen to choose from, we especially like the wild mushroom) or entrées such as chicken francaise and pork pappardelle. cosimospoughkeepsie.com
TRY THIS: Fried, seasoned calamari with spicy pomodoro sauce.
Brunch is always a good time at this farm-forward daytime spot with a pretty patio. The wine selections are curated by the on-staff sommelier. You can also bring packs of beer and cider home. Bonus: HV locals get 10 percent off orders on Mondays. homespunfoods.com
TRY THIS: Smoked turkey and avocado sandwich with dill Havarti, lettuce, and mayo on multigrain.
New head chef Michael Johnson (who has many culinary accolades in his native United Kingdom, including development chef at British Airways) serves elevated pub fare like spicy tuna crispy rice and heritage pork chops with polenta and miso-roasted carrots. melzingahtaphouse.com
TRY THIS: The chicken breast and potato dumplings (with seasoned green beans, peas, carrots, and pan jus) is well worth the wait while they make it fresh.
Rossi & Sons
Poughkeepsie and Eastdale Village
Most Hudson Valleyites know all about this popular deli. Every sandwich is piled high with meat, cheeses, and condiments (you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu). Both locations also offer frozen Italian dishes and fresh pasta to go. rossideli.com
TRY THIS: The Number Four hot panini is a best seller. Chicken cutlet, prosciutto, pesto, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and EVOO on your bread of choice. (You will have leftovers—the sandwiches are huge.)
Hot spots with CIA alums at the helm.
A bistro with elevated yet casual New American fare by chef Brandon Walker. Locals love their special events, such as Sunday brunch (including short rib hash and chicken ‘n’ waffles) and Italian wine or whiskey dinners, where four-course meals are paired with compatible drinks. essiesrestaurantpk.com
TRY THIS: Grit croquettes (with garlic aioli) and shrimp cavatelli with escarole, smoked country ham, and Parmesan.
Crew Restaurant & Bar
Seasonal dishes—from plant-based grain bowls to pink pepper and herb spaetzle—shine in this homey eatery with an open-kitchen concept. Chef-owner Thomas Kacherski is a member of Chaîne des Rôtísseurs, the oldest food and wine society in the world, so you know you’re in good hands. crewrestaurant.com
TRY THIS: Marinated ahi tuna tacos in wonton shells with guacamole and lime sour cream.
Heritage Food + Drink
Chef Frank Camey serves American comfort food with a twist. Can you name another restaurant with chicharrón- and olive tapenade-topped deviled eggs? heritagefooddrink.com
TRY THIS: Crispy pork belly glazed in a chili-honey sauce with burnt onions and cabbage-apple slaw.
Poughkeepsie and New Paltz
College kids and foodies alike flock to both locations (owned by Edward Kowalski) for delicious paninis, sandwiches, and wraps, half a dozen types of salads, and unique sides such as pesto pasta or black bean and corn salads. lolascafeandcatering.com
TRY THIS: Thai chicken wrap (grilled chicken, chopped romaine, Asian slaw, and spicy peanut sauce) with the popular spicy peanut noodles side.
Neapolitan pies—like sausage and onion, sweet and spicy ricotta, and soppressata—are cooked to perfection in a wood-fired Fiero oven that Kowalski (same owner as Lola’s) customized himself. The lumache pasta with spicy pomodoro sauce is fantastic. lolitaspizza.com
TRY THIS: Crispy three-cheese arancini and a mushroom pie with garlic cream, taleggio, truffle pecorino, and chives.
Mill House Brewing Company
Here you’ll find elevated pub fare and over a dozen types of beer. Regulars especially love Chef Danny Crocco’s Bavarian dishes (pretzels, kielbasa, pierogies) and seasonal Cookies & Cocktails nights, where you can hone your cookie-decorating skills and sip on fun drinks. millhousebrewing.com
TRY THIS: Buffalo-fried Brussels sprouts with blue cheese aioli and short rib gnocchi in truffle-Parmesan alfredo sauce.
Hudson & Packard
This veteran-owned joint (by chef Charlie Webber) will make you a Detroit-style pizza convert in no time. The pan pie has thick, fluffy focaccia-like bread, crispy-golden crusts, and unique topping combos. hudsonandpackard.com
TRY THIS: The Ambassador: Thick-cut pepperoni is laid underneath the cheese and then layered with more pepperoni (mini cups this time), red sauce, basil, and grated Parm.
Pigs in a blanket. Shrimp cocktail. Crab cakes. You’ll find all the best party food, plus mains like chicken pot pie and seared tuna steak with coconut rice, at owner Christopher Dorsey’s newish fun spot on the Rhinecliff waterfront. kipstavern.com
TRY THIS: Shrimp scampi (bucatini) in a garlic-lemon-Parmesan-red pepper sauce.
McKinney & Doyle
This bakery-slash-bistro (which Shannon McKinney and Brian Doyle opened in 1986) is perfect for sampling a little bit of everything. Choose from brunch, lunch, pub, or dinner menus (we did say everything) and leave with cookies, brownies, or a slice of layer cake. mckinneyanddoyle.com
TRY THIS: The strawberry cream cheese-stuffed pancakes drizzled with maple syrup (for brunch) or the Maine lobster risotto with asparagus and asiago (for dinner).
We’re shocked these spots don’t have lines out the door.
What’s more to enticing than $2 oysters during happy hour? There’s also a wide range of specials (past dishes include pickled mackerel and horseradish crème fraiche toast and shepherd’s pie), burger nights on Mondays, and a full lunch menu coming soon. canoehillny.com
TRY THIS: Besides the oysters, you should order soup whenever it pops up on the menu. Cocktails are top-notch, too—locals love the Millbrook Sour with bourbon, China-China liqueur (made with orange peels), lemon, sugar, and Bordeaux.
Duck confit, bouillabaisse, and garlicky escargot—all rustic dishes that are an homage to chef Michel Jean’s Provençal roots (champêtre” means “rural” in French). @champetre.ny
TRY THIS: The desserts—like île flottante, a meringue in crème anglaise, and marquise au chocolat, a chocolate ganache and lady fingers terrine in espresso and crème anglaise—are dreamy.
Golden Russet Café
Apple nerd Craig Cavallo (seriously, he wrote a book on the history of American cider) cooks up great breakfast and lunch sandwiches in an open kitchen. Plus, there’s plenty of cider, seasonal produce, and pantry goods in the grocery section. goldenrussetcafe.com
TRY THIS: A BEC (on a fan-favorite potato bun) with house made potato salad or hash browns.
Falls Crispy chicken breast, smash patties, BLTs, falafel—you name it, they’ve got it sandwiched between warm housemade bread. Pair your order with roasted potato salad, knishes, or hash brown fries. thehogeats.com
TRY THIS: The “OG” Birdie, a huge buttermilk-fried chicken breast topped with shredded lettuce, mayo, and dill pickles on a warm country white bun. Get it in dipped in a sauce like maple gochujang.
New and Noteworthy
Recent additions to the county’s culinary scene.
The Corner Counter
Come for the local fromage and provisions and stay for the pressed sandwiches—from three-meat Italian subs to gooey grilled cheeses—and soups de jour. cornercounter.com
TRY THIS: The Figgie Piggie with Cairo’s See & Be Kitchen bread, melted Gruyère, maple ham, and fig spread.
A state-of-the-art sake brand opened its first brewery (outside of Japan) a mile north of the Culinary Institute of America. The modern tasting room serves three styles of high-end sake with a cheese and meat plate or a Japanese bento box. dassai.com
TRY THIS: A glass of the fruity, slightly sweet Dassai Blue 50 and a bento box (from Manhattan-based Japanese restaurant Sakagura) with braised octopus, red-wine cooked monkfish, sweet potato and egg salad, and herring roe with fish cakes.
It’s no surprise chili-braised birria tacos (lamb, beef, chicken, or mushrooms) with hand-pressed corn tortillas and savory consommé are the pull at this authentic Mexican joint. labarbirria.com
TRY THIS: La Barbirria Molcajete is skirt steak, chicken breast, shrimp, and chorizo served in a volcanic stone mortar. It’s topped with queso fundido, cactus leaves, and jalapeños, along with sides of tortillas, rice, and beans.
Pretty To Think So
Fancy seafood, farm-to-table comfort food, and out-of-the-box drinks (we’re talking absinthe fountains and duck fat-washed whiskeys) in a swanky bistro setting. prettytothink.so
TRY THIS: The deluxe seafood tower (oysters, shrimp, little neck clams, lobster) or tomato-braised pork osso buco with cauliflower “faux” risotto and bee pollen gremolata.
Fine dining meets seasonal tapas—think crispy croquettes, seafood bisque, sunchoke porridge, and grilled tilefish with rutabaga—at this intimate bar. Fun fact: the restaurant is named after co-owner Alanna Broesler’s six-year-old potbelly pig (and you won’t find any pork on the menu). willabar.com
TRY THIS: Kinderhook Farm lamb loin with celery root, hakurei turnip, and pickled onions.
Expand your palate with international flavors.
Simple Middle Eastern food done right—and only available during lunch. Order a falafel or sabich (roasted eggplant and potato) bowl or pita sandwich with pickled veg and a generous portion of hummus. Hit up the self-serve condiments bar before digging in. abasfalafel.com
TRY THIS: A combo plate of house made falafel, hummus, salads, and a side of pita.
Your first bite of pajeon (fried pancake), tteokkbokki (rice cakes in a sweet-spicy sauce), and japchae will transport you right to the heart of Seoul. There’s also an impressive selection of soju and Korean iced teas, plus affordable takeout lunch specials on Wednesdays and Thursdays. korpot.com
TRY THIS: Dakgangjeong (spicy-glazed fried chicken) and dolsot bibimbap, which is served in a traditional stone pot.
Los Hornitos Bakery
What may seem like an unassuming dessert shop at first glance is actually a homey Chilean deli with so much more. The empanadas are the real draw, but the 14 types of sandwiches and platters are equally as good. loshornitosbakery.com
TRY THIS: A tangy Cuban sandwich with a fried shrimp and cheese empanada.
Himalayan comfort food in the form of creamy chicken bowls, Tibetan noodle soups like thukpa and chow mein, and juicy momos (dumplings). momovalley.com
TRY THIS: Naturally, one of the steamed momos—especially the spinach and cheese, if available.
Falls Almost 30 types of dumplings—from pork with watercress to lamb with squash—that can be ordered steamed or fried. The sweet-spicy layered cucumber salad, beef noodle soup, and spicy tofu skin are also great. palacedumplings.com
TRY THIS: Popular dumplings (orders are 12 pieces) include pork with chive, shrimp with pork, and chicken with cabbage.
Red Pepper Diner
This quaint eatery serves Sri Lankan delicacies such as biryani (aromatic fried rice) and kothu roti, a mix of spiced veggies and shredded flatbread in a curry sauce. Find them on Facebook.
TRY THIS: Deviled pork (seasoned with red Sri Lankan spices, but not too hot) with sautéed onions and peppers.
Vassar students love this fusion spot—and we can’t blame them. The menu has just about every type of foreign comfort food, from Argentinean empanadas and Colombian-style arepas to steamed bao buns and banh mis. twistedsoulconcepts.com
TRY THIS: The Vassar noodle bowl with BBQ pulled pork, Malaysian coconut curry sauce, sour cream, and peanuts.
Perfect places for special occasions.
Fresh, delicious pasta and authentic Italian courtesy of chef Francesco Buitoni (yes, those Buitonis who founded the eponymous food company in Italy). If you can, snag a seat on the outdoor porch and sip on one of four types of negronis over plates of caprese or tagliatelle alla Bolognese. giobatta.com
TRY THIS: Roman-style arancini with pomodoro basilica sauce. Order the tiramisu if it’s on the menu.
Il Figlio Enoteca
Delicious Italian—from gamberoni (gulf shrimp in brandy gargonzola sauce) to sautéed branzino in roasted almond romesco—tempts in a romantic setting. Feeling extra? Treat yourself to a red-wine braised lamb shank with saffron risotto, baby spinach, and herb gremolata. figlioenoteca.com
TRY THIS: Roasted duck breast drizzled in a red wine-fig sauce with crispy Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes.
Reserva Wine Bar
Come for great live music, curated wines, and artfully presented Brazilian tapas. They unveiled a Sunday brunch program last year, which features pot pie, Brazilian eggs Benedict, and a croissant board. reservawinebar.com
TRY THIS: Grilled queijo cheese and honeycomb or pão de queijo, a Brazilian cheese bread with guava confit.
New American farm-to-table cuisine shines in a circa-1782 colonial tavern. Though the menu changes monthly, you can always expect wood-roasted meat, fish, and seasonal vegetables. stissinghouse.com
TRY THIS: The desserts are extraordinary: Make the tough decision between a sticky toffee sundae or coconut cake.
Mediterranean-inspired dishes with local ingredients shine on the first floor of Hotel Tivoli. Pair a duck confit pot pie or coconut green curry with an eclectic cocktail. hoteltivoli.org
TRY THIS: Hanger steak au poivre and chickpea panisse.
Once the stomping grounds of literary giants like Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain, Troutbeck’s stone manors are now home to chic guestrooms and an elegant dining room. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are open to the public; if scallops or steelhead trout are on the menu, get it. troutbeck.com
TRY THIS: For breakfast, black emmer flour pancakes with Laurel & Ash maple syrup. If available, order the Long Island duck with sunchoke and Hakurei turnip.