When you live in the Hudson Valley, how can you not want to head to the river to dine? In olden times (read: the ’90s), that usually meant so-so food served on paper plates with a big emphasis on the view. Although the view remains spectacular, nowadays you have so many more options, and they don’t necessarily involve spending tons of money or making elaborate plans.
These days, you can have just a glass of wine and some bar fare, or savor an easy-breezy al fresco lunch. At some of these places, you can even pull your boat right up to the front of the restaurant and dine onboard. Thanks to the popularity of waterside eateries, it seems that new places are popping up all the time.
One of our favorite spots is the The Stewart House in Greene County. Opened in 1883, the trifecta restaurant, bar, and boutique hotel makes its home on the bank of the Hudson River in Athens. In season, take advantage of a ride on a Hudson Cruises ferry before stopping off at the restaurant. On select weekends, the eatery offers music performances to go along with its delectable fare.
The location of The Stewart House is especially magical. It is situated near an island that shields diners from the main river traffic, offering instead a view of moored pleasure boats bobbing placidly in the water. The building itself has a taproom/restaurant, too, so you have a backup plan if it starts to sprinkle. But even if the sun is shining, take a peek inside anyway: You never know who you’ll see — film directors like to house their casts at the hotel when they’re on location. On starlit evenings, lounge by the fire pit, cocktail in hand. If a better moment exists than this, we’re hard pressed to think of one.
When Pier 701 Restaurant & Bar opened in 2013 in the upscale Rockland County town of Piermont, the crowds immediately poured in, hungry to soak up the sun’s rays on the enormous deck, gather around the tiki bar, and enjoy the spectacular view of the Tappan Zee Bridge. “It was like opening on New Year’s Eve for five weeks straight!” recalls executive chef-owner Denis Whitton — who worked in this exact location (when it was another restaurant) as a teenage cook before moving to Manhattan to be mentored by European chefs. Expect a “very Mediterranean” lunch and dinner menu dominated by fresh fish dishes, such as grilled Atlantic salmon with fava bean risotto and truffle oil. The seafood theme continues at Sunday brunch, when the menu overflows with oysters, clams, mussels, and shrimp.
The Stewart House Athens
2 North Water St, 518.444.8317
Frank Guido’s Port of Call Catskill
7 Main St, 518.943.5088
Stroll on over to the Catskill waterfront for seafood dining that will please any palate. Keep it American with the New England clam chowder and Maryland crab cakes or make a metaphorical journey to the Mediterranean with Shrimp Fresca, a shrimp scampi pasta in roasted garlic oil, and the pan-seared sea scallops with rosemary-infused olive oil. Feel free to arrive by car or by boat, then keep the outdoor vibes going with a seat on the waterfront patio.
Hagar’s Harbor Bar & Restaurant Athens
10 Brick Row Ext, 518.444.4550
Along the scenic waterfront in Athens, Hagar’s Harbor is a community hotspot for comfort food and all the surf and turf you can handle. The eatery is equally great for lunch (Hudson Valley chicken melt, anyone?) as it is for dinner. If seafood is your thing, make a beeline for the seafood mac and cheese, which comes with your choice of shrimp, scallops, haddock, or a combination. With a brew on the side, it’s the perfect summertime meal.
River Station Restaurant Poughkeepsie
1 North Water St, 845.452.9207
As the oldest continually operating restaurant in Poughkeepsie (it started as a saloon in 1866), River Station treats diners to seafood specials like steamed clams, refreshing shrimp cocktails, and the famed chowder bar. The eatery resides a short stroll away from the the Walkway Over the Hudson, making it the perfect spot to grab a bite after a morning walk. Retractable awnings ensure outdoor dining is available rain or shine. Don’t pass up the burgers, either. The spicy slaw burger with fried jalapeños will make your taste buds dance.
Poughkeepsie Ice House Poughkeepsie
1 Main St, 845.232.5783
Located between the Walkway Over the Hudson and the Mid-Hudson Bridge, the Poughkeepsie Ice House is literally steps from the water’s edge. Dine inside or out (your pooch is welcome outside), or park your boat at the public dock and enjoy offerings like masa-crusted sea bass and harissa roasted salmon. The menu changes seasonally, but seafood remains a staple all year long.
Shadows on the Hudson Poughkeepsie
176 Rinaldi Blvd, 845.486.9500
Situated on a 40-foot cliff above the river, Shadows provides a beautiful view of the Mid-Hudson Bridge and the Walkway Over the Hudson, as well as a massive menu which rotates with the seasons. Guests can opt to sit in any of the five unique dining areas, each of which has its own unique ambience. The Bonura Hospitality Group-owned spot charms visitors with seafood-centric dishes. Try the Faroe Island salmon with blood orange butter sauce or spiced Ahi tuna with cucumber and wasabi aioli.
Mariner’s Harbor Kingston
1 Broadway, 845.340.8051
This nautically themed restaurant on the Rondout Creek features entrees that will delight fish lovers across the Hudson Valley. Imagine fresh lobsters that are broiled or steamed with an option to add savory crab meat stuffing or wild-caught baked salmon with baked pears and a red wine butter sauce. The Kingston city marina is located directly in front of the eatery, so guests can enjoy a picturesque view as they savor every last bite. Outdoor patio dining is available, and visitors have the option of arriving by car or by boat.
Ole Savannah Kingston
100 Rondout Landing, 845.331.4283
Ole Savannah in Kingston is a delight for barbecue lovers and anyone on the hunt for honest-to-goodness comfort food classics. Hit the Rondout waterfront hotspot for craving-inducing roasted Brussels sprouts or downright delicious fried chicken that’s brined in buttermilk for 24 hours. The Southern-style cocktails are worth a mention, too, with favorites like sparkling white peach sangria and bourbon peach smashes among the top seasonal picks.
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Blu Pointe Newburgh
120 Front St, 845.568.0100
Blu Pointe effortlessly melds riverside eats with a farm-to-table menu to achieve a hybrid between ease and elegance that wins over locals and out-of-towners alike. The onsite temperature controlled walk-in wine room is an excellent excuse to order your favorite vintage off the extensive list. Add to that a colossal shrimp cocktail and some Italian hot peppers and you have everything you need to while away the evening hours by the shore.
Cafe Pitti Newburgh
40 Front St, 845.565.1444
With a colorful decor and affordable menu filled with Italian-American favorites (think toasted Italian panini and thin- or double-crust pizza), this casual Hudson Valley trattoria also has a delicious selection of gelato and sorbet.
Billy Joe’s Ribworks Newburgh
26 Front St, 845.565.1560
Barbecue is a summer staple, and Billy Joe’s has perfected its recipe. The restaurant’s kitchen staff kick things into high gear by prepare meat with a hand rub before smoking it. A jam-packed entertainment schedule includes regular rock and acoustic performances. This funky, sprawling space has menu options that are ideal for a waterside setting. Go big with the porky mac, a craving-worthy dish tossed with pulled pork, crumbled bacon, and scallions. Pair it with snack style bites like the St. Louis smoked ribs or the mouthwatering Cajun spiced fried shrimp.
Captain Jake’s Waterfront Newburgh
40 Front St, 845.565.3939
With a tagline that declares, “One bite and you’ll be hooked,” Captain Jake’s is a longstanding waterfront eatery in the Hudson Valley. Order the clams oreganato or the mussels fra diavolo to start, then follow it up with the to-die-for lobster mac and cheese or the oh-so-savory Atlantic cod with crab meat.
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The River Grill Newburgh
40 Front St, 845.561.9444
Open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, this Orange County spot highlights sandwiches, seafood, and a raw bar. Dine on the riverside patio or in the elegant dining room. Standouts include the lobster sliders on toasty rolls and hickory shrimp with zingy horseradish and hickory smoked bacon. Yes, it’s all as delicious as it sounds.
The Crab Stuffed Lobster Tail, a feature from the new menu served with tri colored baby carrots and wild rice. Specials this evening will include bacon wrapped scallops, bruschetta salad, tilapia francaise and a few more surprises for when you arrive. Service starts at 4, see you all tonight! #Hiddenwaterfront #nbny #newburgh #beacon #hudsonriver #hudsonvalley #westchester #dutchesscounty #putnamcounty #ulstercounty #westpoint #marlboro #newburghyachtclub #cornwall #fishkill #poughkeepsie #coldspring #wallkill #middletown #garrison #casualfinedining #welovelocal #hvlocal #rhinebeck #millbrook #newpaltz #wappingersfalls #peekskill #orangecountyeats
Pamela’s on the Hudson Newburgh
1 Park Pl, 845.562.4505
Skip the indoor seating in favor of a top deck table at Pamela’s. Stop by for Sunday brunch to enjoy classics with a seafood-style twist. The crab Benedict on a toasted English muffin is a delight, as is the shrimp po’ boy with poblano jalapeño slaw. While you’re there, don’t pass up the $15 Bloody Mary and mimosa pitchers. Brunch just wouldn’t be the same without them.
Fin & Brew Peekskill
5 John Walsh Blvd, 914.788.4555
This trendy New American restaurant in Peekskill has prime Hudson River real estate at Charles Point. If you love seafood and Americana comfort food, you’ll fall head over heels for the menu, which includes flavorful powerhouses like charred octopus with preserved lemon and a fisherman’s stew with XO sauce. Even sides like creamed corn brûlée and crunchy potatoes with black truffle aioli are worth an eye-roll of delight.
Harvest on Hudson Hastings
1 River St, 914.478.2800
Nestled on the shores of the Hudson River in Westchester, Harvest on Hudson allows diners to experience al fresco dining on the outdoor patio and savor produce grown in the organic herb and vegetable garden. The kitchen designs the Italian-influenced dishes that highlight seasonal, local ingredients. Sample the tuna and white bean salad for a lighter meal or go all in with a shrimp and fennel pizza made even more wonderful with a drizzling of chili oil.
Hudson Water Club West Haverstraw
606 Beach Rd, 845.271.4046
Located at the Haverstraw Marina, the Water Club offers serene views of the river and a comfortable, elegant atmosphere. The kitchen whirls out contemporary American cuisine with local ingredients that are prepared at the peak of freshness. Indulge with the raw bar or oyster of the day selections. For those who are not so keen about seafood, the wood fired antipasti platter is just as beautiful as it is tasty. P.S. It’s also gluten-free.
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Pier 701 Restaurant & Bar Piermont
701 Piermont Ave, 845.848.2550