Here’s something to look forward to: Amazing restaurants in The Catskills. If you have plans to visit Catskills, go ahead and book these restaurants. They are among the best Catskills restaurants that I return to time and time again.
The Catskills, two hours north of NYC, in upstate New York, has an underrated dining scene, which is interesting because A) Most restaurants use farm-fresh, locally sourced and grown produce and ingredients, so the food is simply extraordinary; and B) The Catskills serves as an inspiration for hundreds of top restaurants in NYC. In fact, city chefs tout they buy their produce in the Catskills.
On my recent trip, I set out to find some of the best restaurants in The Catskills. I discovered hip, nostalgic diners, unassuming bed&breakfasts and modern hot spots.
Check out the 6 best restaurants in The Catskills.
I’m not crazy hot on the name. In fact, I couldn’t remember the name of this restaurant several times, and had to keep checking my notes. But no one ever won an award for best restaurant name anywhere, and it’s the food that matters, which makes Albergo Allegria on my list.
Albergo Allegria is a small country inn restaurant with oversized windows, so sunlight floods the space. The restaurant changes its menu daily based on freshness and quality of ingredients. Everything on the menu just looks amazing, and if you’re like me and want to try it all, order the sampling plate. For breakfast, I had a good smatter of French toast with homemade orange reduction, grilled asparagus tossed with fresh dill and omelette stuffed with locally grown mushrooms along with gruyere cheese.
I really didn’t want to include Phoenicia Diner. It’s so played out and overrun with hipsters, but it dominates “best of dining” lists in Catskills — and therein lies some truth. It is one of the best restaurants in the area period. For one, it’s a diner serving ultra-gourmet, fresh and exciting dishes. Two: It’s a roadside, kitschy little spot, a fun little time warp.
The crispy chicken sandwich with onion-crusted chicken, smoked tomato jam and chipotle aioli was insane, and it’s one of the diner’s signature dishes. Don’t get me started on the meatloaf, which was tender and rich, with carrots pulled fresh from a garden.
I love a good, kitschy family-owned country store with a relatively secret restaurant in the back. Here, you can tell the chefs love good ol’ All American dishes, and you’ll get the freshest meals, from pancakes to cheeseburgers (which is what my friend and I ordered). The cheeseburger was impressive. Perfectly cooked, medium rare, soft warm buns and just intense flavors all around.
I loved Catskill Mountain Country Store, and it’s definitely one of the best restaurants in the Catskills nobody really talks about. You can also get homemade jams, breads, cookies and more to go in the adjoining country mart.
I was literally the first guest to check into Shandaken Inn, which had just opened up in March. It’s an intimate, 15-room bed and breakfast in a century-old structure. Obviously, it’s been renovated and restored to modern glory, and its completely surrounded by nature.
I had the best pork chops of my life here (ordered in-room dining), but the signature Clubhouse Restaurant had some of my favorite home-made breakfasts, including fresh-made sausage and omelette.
Listen. Pizza is subjective. But it was the highlight of my weekend in Windham at Millrock Restaurant, a family-owned, very casual Italian spot for locals that my friend and I discovered when we were staying at Eastwind Hotel.
Millrock is on Main Street, and it’s been service thin-crust pizza since 1996. What makes it stand out is the seasonal and local ingredients that are so fresh, you just don’t get that at NYC pizza joints. Also, I’m a huge fan of saucy pizza, and this one delivered (piping hot to boot).
When I checked into Hasbrouck House, the first thing I wanted to do was eat at its famous Butterfield restaurant, but because I knew it would be a highlight, I saved it for my last night.
First, Hasbrouck was one of my favorite little hotels in Catskills. One, it’s closer to NYC (about an hour and half drive), and two: the 17-room hotel was intimate and nostalgifying. You don’t feel like you’re in a hotel but a welcoming little mansion just steps from a lake with forest hiking abound. I love remote hotels where you feel like you have the entire property to yourself.
Butterfield is a magnet to locals, and with good reason. The bar is sexy and modern, and the restaurant is something Thomas Keller would nod at. The cheeseburger here is excellent/borderline divine. The short-rib and sirloin beef was juicy, flavorful with sharp cheddar cheese. I loved that it was stacked with iceberg lettuce to give some crunch. The fries didn’t last long, either.
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