With its elegant interior, imaginative menu by executive chef Michael Mastrantuono, and sommelier-curated wines, 15 Church remains the gold standard of Saratoga fine dining. The Patio at 15 Church — its casual, seasonal sibling next door — is a hidden oasis with retractable roof and waterfall. The Patio’s New England-inspired fare and raw bar are beloved by a well-heeled summertime crowd.
15 Church Street, 518.587.1515
With an all-day breakfast menu and cocktails, “The Merc” is the latest re-imagining of the vintage bistro space at 430 Broadway. Enjoy eggs benny and fluffy pancakes in the window or sidewalk seats, or belly up to the hefty bar for a craft beer or a specialty cocktail.
430 Broadway, 518.886.8479
This former gambling den has taken up the mantle of an in-town speakeasy with experimental cocktails as likely to involve Wild Turkey bourbon and pistachios as fresh herbs and fire. The kitchen sends out pretty seasonal plates like grilled shrimp and mole blanco or cider battered cheese curds. Try the signature ginger-spiked Gin-Gin No Fizz.
24 Caroline St, 518.450.7287
This Saratoga institution has been serving Hattie’s Famous Fried Chicken and collard greens for more than 80 years. Whether you slip into the rear French Quarter lounge, or the front room that’s still wearing country curtains and checkered tablecloths, you’ll dine among history-filled walls and wash down hush puppies and fried green tomatoes with a specialty Bloody Mary or mimosa.
45 Phila St, 518.584.4790
In its second home on Broadway, this popular Mexican eatery serves up contemporary bites — from San Francisco Mission-style burritos to Baja fish tacos and Mexican street corn — in a modern, airy space. Save your wonder for the wall of more than 90 tequilas: Try the Grand Mayan or Rey Sol or keep it classic with a margarita or house cocktail.
408 Broadway, 518.587.5577
This three-floor former hardware store has been transformed into an all-day rustic-urban brunch hall with a large patio and a kitchen retrofitted in a shipping container outside. Sip your kicked-up hot lemonade or happy hour cocktail with energetic staff running food trays between floors. Try the quinoa-veggie dragon bowl, veggie-sausage sandwich, or bourbon peach pancake bake.
35 Maple Ave, 518.934.3444
The race track opens on July 16 without spectators.
For a truly memorable morning, head to The Porch of the Clubhouse at the race course.
For $18.50 per person ($9.25 for children 12 and under), you can dine while the Thoroughbreds prepare for their day. Breakfast is served every morning except for Travers Day and Labor Day.
From there hop on the free tram (leaving from the entrance on Nelson Ave), which takes you on the inside of the property, from the clubhouse around to the backstretch.
From its checkerboard floors and subway tiles to vintage family photos on the wall, this Phila Street arrival mixes modern styling with old-school Italian charm. The Solevo siblings at the helm are trained sommeliers, so tuck into their killer wine list while dining on scratch-made pasta and Campanian dishes. Misi, who?
55 Phila St, 518.450.7094
The hugely popular Henry Street Taproom, known for its frothy pints and flatbread pizza, has a funky sibling in Flatbread Social next door. Go with friends and sit at the large granite counter, or take the family for shuffleboard and sourdough pizzas cooked in two Le Panyol pizza ovens. Cocktails and local beers attract a crowd that spills through fold-open front doors.
86 Henry St, 518.886.8938 / 84 Henry St, 518.886.1198
Anchoring the boutique Pavilion Grand Hotel, the stylish Fish at 30 Lake is synonymous with post-track summer evenings, bubbly, and an à la carte raw bar. The seafood menu runs from fresh Maine lobster spaghetti and pan-seared salmon to tuna nachos and fried calamari. Get there early for cocktails on the red sofas outside.
30 Lake Ave, 518.539.3474
Stroll a few blocks west of Broadway to the Beekman Arts District, where galleries and eateries are flourishing away from the crowds on Broadway. By the former owners of Saratoga wine shop Crush & Cask, Taverna Novo is an Italian gem with veal chop, wood-fired charcoal crust pizza, and fresh, fun wines. The Barrelhouse, a laidback smokehouse, is ideal for craft cocktails, BBQ nachos and smoked brisket. Craft beers and live music pair with bibimbap and Korean tacos at Kraverie, a rocking Korean BBQ and crêpe joint that’s the union of two former Jersey City food trucks. From 11:30 a.m. to close on the weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to close on the weekends, The Local Pub and Teahouse embraces its simple identity with tankards bristling above the bar, an English fried haddock sandwich and fish and chips on the menu, and a dozen herbal teas to rival the brews on tap. Enjoy cold brew coffee and deep-fried pickles in the tiny side patio.
62 Beekman, 518.886.1680
68 Beekman, 518.871.1502
78 Beekman, 518.450.7423
The Local Pub and Teahouse
142 Grand (corner of Grand & Beekman), 518.587.7256
Susie Davidson Powell is a restaurant critic and freelance food and drink writer in upstate New York. Follow her on Instagram, @SusieDP.