Make Memorial Day Weekend Delicious With These Hudson Valley Eats

A food tasting in Woodstock, a tulip dig in Albany, and more from this week’s picks for things to do around the Hudson Valley.

Adobe Stock / Brent Hofacker

Embrace the holiday vibes at home with to-go barbecue, fried chicken, and other bites from local restaurants.

Memorial Day weekend is back, Hudson Valley.

Although safety is still a top priority, with vaccination rates rising throughout New York state and restrictions loosening, friends and family have the opportunity to reunite for the unofficial start of summer. On a warm weekend, head to outdoor drive-in theaters and cool off at local beaches and swimming holes. There are a ton of ways to explore the Hudson Valley, but we know Memorial Day weekend is all about backyard brews and delicious barbecue.

That’s why we’ll be calling in our orders to these local restaurants, which hit their holiday menus and family takeout platters out of the park with some of the most delectable dishes around. Smoked brisket, savory pulled pork, and fall-off-the-bone ribs are just around the corner.

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Happy Memorial Day weekend, Hudson Valley!


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Billy Joe’s Ribworks


Getting Memorial Day weekend started early? No problem. Billy Joe’s family-style meals are ready to go and feed up to half a dozen people. The riverfront destination pit-smokes chicken, tender pulled pork, dry-rubbed beef brisket, and its signature St. Louis-cut ribs. Choose two sides from a massive list of barbecue-friendly accoutrements, including Idaho baked potatoes, crispy onion straws, whipped sweet potatoes, and so much more. Plus, its proximity to Newburgh Brewing Company means local brews are just a short drive away.

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The Cuckoo’s Nest


The Cuckoo’s Nest does takeout barbecue right with bundles for every sort of craving. The family-style platters feed up to four people and come in all sorts of delicious platters. The “hot chick soul bowl” covers fresh mac and cheese in fried chicken, bacon, and gruyere. For a classic backyard feel, the BBQ platter compiles half a roasted chicken, rack of ribs, large potato salad, and refreshing strawberry salad. For smaller bites, individual lunches serve poblano pepper dip, fried green tomatoes, and other Southern specialties.


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The Greekish


Rockland County’s Memorial Day celebrations are a little Greekish this year. Nyack’s hotspot tackles every holiday with poise and creativity. Though lamb burger sliders are the special weekend-long onsite, the catering menu is extra special. Try the gyro platter, featuring slow-cooked tender brisket with a lemon vinaigrette or the vegan falafel with quinoa tabouleh. The “mixed street meat grill” package skewers kebabs of chicken, pork, and brisket gyro.

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Handsome Devil LLC


Newburgh’s Handsome Devil brings all the fire one could want for its Memorial Day barbecue. Order by Friday, May 28 for packaged specialties ready to heat up on the grill. Prime grade brisket, bone-in Boston pork butt and racks of ribs are all on the table. Plate up succulent sides such as collard greens with smoked pork, Carolina coleslaw, apple pie baked beans, and, of course, rich corn bread. Don’t miss out on the desserts, since pecan hand pies and banana pudding make for blissful sweet treats.

Joe’s Dairy Bar & Grill

Hopewell Junction

No Memorial Day celebration is complete without a little ice cream! Luckily, Joe’s Dairy Bar & Grill is here to satisfy those cravings with a delightfully patriotic soft serve cake. This Memorial Day staple is available to preorder until May 27. The red, white, and blue-covered dessert is the perfect way to end any day spent grilling in the backyard. If you’re craving one of the hard ice cream flavors, no problem. Browse the custom cake gallery online to deck out anything from “campfire s’mores” to “grasshopper pie.”

Mill House Brewing Company


The team at Mill House wishes even those without a grill the perfect Memorial Day weekend. Every one of its delicious trays serves between eight and 12 people. Appetizer trays carry local favorites, like their K.O. wings (coated in Kilt Spinner barbecue sauce), buffalo Brussels sprouts, and “bang bang” cauliflower. Meat lovers rejoice, for the Poughkeepsie brewpub breaks out the smoker for St. Louis ribs, house-made pastrami, brisket, and Carolina-style barbecue pulled chicken. Order through the online form, and don’t forget four-packs and cocktails to-go.

Rosticceria Rossi & Sons


Rossi’s makes Memorial Day grilling a breeze with ready-to-go entrees and sides. For an Italian-inspired menu, go straight for the Italian salad and panini platter, which includes every sandwich in its repertoire, from a simple prosciutto and mozzarella to the beloved number four. For a show-stopping special, meanwhile, the whole-roasted heritage pork shoulder, flavored with rosemary, thyme, garlic, and a reduced balsamic and Calabrian chili glaze, will have everyone’s mouths watering.

Simply Gourmet Catering


In Dutchess County, Simply Gourmet serves a grill-centric to-go menu. For barbecue lovers, its array of delicious American food tempts with Memorial Day classics like pulled pork, teriyaki steak kebabs, and St. Louis-style ribs. The slow cooked beef brisket seems even tastier with a stout-based barbecue sauce. For sides, stick with lighter fare like the Thai quinoa salad or the roasted squash and farro. That being said, the rich, baked mac and cheese is also always an option.


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Smoky Rock BBQ


Dutchess County barbecue fans have been flocking to Smoky Rock BBQ all year — how cool were those dining igloos? For weekends spent at home in the Hudson Valley, Smoky Rock’s takeout packages do the trick. The standard family takeout special includes two whole chickens, two half-racks of ribs, a pound each of pulled pork and pulled chicken, and two sides of choice. Burnt end baked beans, BBQ dirty rice, sweet potato fries, and other flavorful goodness round out the side orders. Call a few days ahead to confirm availability.

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