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A Foodie’s Summer Bucket List in the Hudson Valley

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End the summer on a high note, foodies! Can you eat your way through this food-centric bucket list before autumn arrives?

By Lauryn Starke, with additional reporting from Robert Rubsam

With summer comes some of our favorite food and drink: seafood, ice cream, and sangria, just to name a few. But as the weather turns cooler, many of these favorites disappear from menus around the Hudson Valley. Before the season’s end, be sure to cross these stellar beverages and bites off of your foodie bucket list!

Burgers

Grazin’, Hudson

 

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Who can resist a big, juicy burger fresh off the grill with a heap of fries on the side? Grazin’ elevates this summer classic, serving up grass-fed Black Angus beef straight from its very own farm. You can’t go wrong with the original burger here, but if you’re looking for a lil’ extra, pile on more farm-fresh fixings like goat cheese, portobello mushrooms, and caramelized onions.

Hot Dogs

Pete’s Hot Dogs, Newburgh

 

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It’s impossible to talk about summer staples without mentioning this seasonal favorite. Whether you like your dogs plain and simple or loaded up with chili, relish, and mustard, Pete’s has been making the Valley’s best hot dogs for an impressive 90 years.

Soft Serve

Holy Cow, Red Hook

 

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On scorching summer days, the best way to beat the heat is with a creamy frozen treat that satisfies your sweet tooth. Holy Cow is a Hudson Valley icon, with classic flavors twisted high on waffle cones that make you feel like a kid again as you celebrate the best season of the year.

Hard Ice Cream

Zoe’s Ice Cream Barn, LaGrangeville

 

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One of the things that makes ice cream such a timeless treat is how many unique and exciting flavors are available for the picking. If you’re looking for a variety of imaginative flavors, Zoey’s has you covered. Menu offerings change daily, from classic chocolate chip to creamy sweet corn to spicy Mexican hot chocolate.

Cold Brew

HiLo Catskill, Catskill

 

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No matter how high temperatures get outside, everyone still needs their morning (and afternoon!) cup of joe. When cold brew hit the coffee scene, it became an instant classic, packing the punch of espresso without getting watered down by too much ice. HiLo offers this caffeinated must-have as well as a variation of nitro maple cold brew right from the tap.

Sangria

Freefall Sangria, Wallkill

 

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Is it the kick of red wine (or white) or the fruity sweetness that hides it? Either way, sangria is the perfect hangout drink, making hours and inhibitions disappear. For a local twist, bring a bottle of Freefall Sangria to your next barbecue or cookout. Made by a pair of skydivers in Wallkill, each glass feels invigorating.

Berries

Fishkill Farms, Hopewell Junction

 

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Berries taste even better when you pick them yourself. For a fun activity that ends with a basket full of delicious souvenirs, head to Fishkill Farms for the summer U-pick season and pick as many blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries as you can carry.

Pie

Baked by Susan, Croton-on-Hudson

 

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Berries are the summertime fruit in the Hudson Valley, and what better way to enjoy them than baked into a heavenly, homemade pie? Check out Baked by Susan for fresh pies made from scratch every morning that are sure to fill your stomach and warm your heart.

Margaritas

Hudson Taco, Newburgh

 

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It’s five o’clock somewhere! Sipping on an ice-cold margarita instantly transports you to a beachy paradise, even if it’s just until you reach the bottom of the glass. Sample an array of artisanal margaritas at Hudson Taco or grab some friends and make it a pitcher – just try not to fight over who gets the last sip.

BBQ

Smoky Rock BBQ, Rhinebeck

 

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As much as we love a backyard barbecue, sometimes it’s easier to skip the grill and get straight to the grub. Grab a hearty plate of Smoky Rock BBQ’s famous brisket or try to conquer a rack of tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs as you check this foodie must-have off your summer bucket list.

Brewery

Subversive Malting + Brewing, Catskill


In the Hudson Valley heat, nothing feels better than kicking back with a cold one at one of the region’s premier breweries. Subversive is known for its innovative brews that push the boundaries of beer, made with 100-percent local ingredients. Visit on Sundays to listen to live music as you enjoy ales on a lovely outdoor patio.

Seafood

Blu Pointe, Newburgh


Taste the freshness of the ocean right here in the Hudson Valley with a mouthwatering plate of seafood from Blu Pointe alongside scenic river vistas. Try a scrumptious shrimp cocktail or a decadent, buttery lobster – either way, you’ll be hooked.

Sweet Corn

Wallkill View Farm Market, New Paltz


There are endless ways to prepare this summer bucket list staple – be it roasted, creamed, or grilled right on the cob. After a long day of hiking or biking, stop by the Wallkill View Farm Market for a bunch of fresh ears to take home for a tasty side dish.

Tacos

Café Maya, Wappingers Falls

Whether you’re having a quick snack or making it the main dish, this street food favorite screams summertime. Keep it crunchy with a trio of hard shells packed full of shrimp, lettuce, black beans, and pico de gallo from this Mexican hotspot in Dutchess County.

Funnel Cake Sticks

Walter’s Hot Dogs, Mamaroneck, White Plains

 

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We love Walter’s. Not only for the hot dogs — which would give Pete’s a run for its money — but for creating tasty treats like funnel cake sticks. These thin strips of melt-in-your-mouth dough topped with powdered sugar are more manageable than the usual heap of decadence, and every bit as delicious. But honestly, if you’re looking to check this item off your summer bucket list, any fried dough will do — churros, zeppoles, or your confection of choice.

Related: 12 Hudson Valley Tapas Bars for Small and Scrumptious Bites

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