“Besties” Food & Drink

0

Note from the editors: A big congratulations from the CRL team to every single Bestie winner! At press time, the Capital Region’s phase three of reopening was in full swing, and restaurants had just started to reintroduce inside dining. We hope that by the time you read this, we’ll be even further along with the reopening process, and you’ll be able to celebrate the best that every restaurant has to offer, inside and out. Let’s eat!

By Karen Bjornland
Bold = WinnerItalic = Finalist

APPETIZER
New World Bistro Bar
300 Delaware Avenue, Albany
(518) 694-0520

When it comes to apps, veggies rule at New World, with one million Blackened String Beans served. Brussels sprouts? Yeah, baby. The restaurant turns those cute little cabbages into four different tasty treats.
Yanni’s Too Restaurant
20 Marina Drive, Coeymans
(518) 756-7033
Innovo Kitchen
1210 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
(518) 608-1466

BAGEL
Uncommon Grounds
Multiple locations
Every day, at every location, Uncommon makes the “Bestie” bagel—chewy on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside. It’s been mixin’ and bakin’ them since 1996. Even bagel snobs from New York City give its bagels a big thumbs up.
Bagel Tyme
Multiple locations
West End Bagels
5 Southside Drive, Clifton Park
(518) 952-4762

BAKERY
Bella Napoli Bakery & Café
672 New Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 783-0196
721 River Street, Troy
(518) 274-8277
Cannoli, biscotti, zeppole, cioffe. Bella Napoli is the Capital Region’s sweet epicenter for Italian pastries, cookies and cakes for every occasion. Craving something more savory? Bella also makes delicious breads, too.
Dolce & Biscotti
1758 US Route 9, Clifton Park
(518) 280-6173
Villa Italia
226 Broadway, Schenectady
(518) 355-1144

BBQ
Brooks’ House of BBQ
5560 State Highway 7, Oneonta
(607) 432-1782
When summer rolls around, Brooks’ BBQ hits the road, fires up its traveling outdoor barbecues and forks over its famous sweet-and-tangy chicken and ribs. Did you know that the Beard Foundation honored Brooks’ with an America’s Classics award?
Pig Pit BBQ
1 Niver Street, Cohoes
(518) 235-2323
PJ’s Bar-B-QSA
1 Kaydeross Avenue West,
Saratoga Springs
(518) 583-7427 or (518) 583-2445

BEST-KEPT SECRET Lost & Found • Lark Street Photo©

BEST-KEPT SECRET
Lost & Found
942 Broadway, Albany
(518) 694-0670
Lost & Found is just three years old, but people in Albany are already calling this craft beer/casual dining spot a classic. Tucked away in a quiet corner of the city, L&F supports local farms and has outdoor seating.
Yanni’s Too Restaurant
20 Marina Drive, Coeymans
(518) 756-7033
Joe’s Tavern
16 Division Street, Cohoes
(518) 235-6555

BEVERAGE CENTER
Oliver’s Beverage Center
105 Colvin Avenue, Albany
(518) 459-2767
Better known as the Brew Crew, these guys were into craft beer long before the rest of the Capital Region was. Today, you can find 4,000 beers from around the globe at the Brew Crew’s two locations: Oliver’s and Westmere, also making a cameo in this year’s Besties.
Delmar Beverage Center
242 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
(518) 439-7275
Westmere Beverage Center
1756 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 456-1100

BLOODY MARY
Innovo Kitchen
1210 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
(518) 608-1466
At Innovo’s DIY Bloody Mary bar, go beyond the celery and transform your sassy cocktail into a movable feast with garnishes like bacon, shrimp, olives, hunks of cheese and cherry tomatoes.
Tipsy Moose Tap & Tavern
Multiple locations
McGeary’s Irish Pub
4 Clinton Square, Albany
(518) 463-1455

BISTRO
New World Bistro Bar
300 Delaware Avenue, Albany
(518) 694-0520
No stranger to the Bestie Awards, New World Bistro Bar’s kitchen was, until recently, under the helm of Executive Chef Ric Orlando (he twice won Chopped on the Food Network and his potato latkes beat Bobby Flay’s on a different show). At press time, the restaurant was closed while it searched for a new chef, but we have no doubt it’ll be back soon, better than ever.
Sage Bistro
2050 Western Avenue, Guilderland
(518) 608-5410
Garden Bistro 24
5 Vista Boulevard, Slingerlands
(518) 439-3832

BREAD
Perreca’s Bakery
31N-33 North Jay Street, Schenectady
(518) 372-1875
In Schenectady’s Little Italy, the Perreca family has been baking bread in the same brick oven, without a temperature gauge, since the 1920s. The loaves, with their thick crust and unique nutty flavor, are the same kind that was made more than a century ago by the family’s ancestors in a village near Naples, Italy.
Bountiful Bread
1475 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 438-3540
Bella Napoli Bakery & Café
672 New Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 783-0196
721 River Road, Troy
(518) 274-8277

BREAKFAST
Café Madison
1108 Madison Avenue, Albany
(518) 935-1094
359 Northern Boulevard, Albany
(518) 898-9630
Breakfast isn’t boring at Café Madison, where you can dig into a smoked salmon omelet or roasted berry crepes with brie and walnuts. Six kinds of bread are also made in house. Vegans and vegetarians get excited about Café Madison’s six menu choices, including a popular seitan maple sausage breakfast sandwich.
More Perreca’s
31N-33 North Jay Street, Schenectady
(518) 372-1875
Iron Gate Café
182 Washington Avenue, Albany
(518) 445-3555

BREWERY
Druthers
Multiple locations
When Druthers opened eight years ago in Downtown Saratoga, it was the only brew pub in the city. Now it’s a hot spot for award-winning, handcrafted beer (and food!) in Albany and Schenectady, too. At each location, customers can see the tanks where their beer is brewed.
Brown’s Brewing Company
417 River Street, Troy
(518) 273-2337
S&S Farm Brewery
174 Middle Road, Nassau
(518) 336-0766

BEST BRUNCH Café Madison

BRUNCH
Café Madison
1108 Madison Avenue, Albany
(518) 935-1094
359 Northern Boulevard, Albany
(518) 898-9630
Did someone say oatmeal pancakes with raspberries and real maple syrup? Light and tender, these flapjacks rock the brunch at Café Madison. If you are in the mood for a cocktail, lift your spirits with a mimosa, Bloody Mary or booze-spiked coffee.
Risotto
320 Northern Boulevard, Albany
(518) 747-6886
Iron Gate Café
182 Washington Avenue, Albany
(518) 445-3555

BURGER
Innovo Kitchen
1210 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
(518) 608-1466
I scream for Innovo’s i-Burger, smothered in onion jam and topped with house-made bacon. Or maybe go crazy for their “b-a-a-a-d” lamb option, topped with feta and arugula. Oh, and its tater tots are made from scratch, too.
Lost & Found
942 Broadway, Albany
(518) 694-0670
Nighthawks
461 Broadway, Troy
(518) 272-1000

CAKE
Dolce & Biscotti
1758 US Route 9, Clifton Park
(518) 280-6173
Dream up a cake for any occasion, and Dolce & Biscotti’s brilliant designers and bakers can whip it up and wow your party guests. Recent hits include a dead-on replica of a Louis Vuitton bag, and graduation masterpieces in flavors such as Reese’s peanut butter and blond grasshopper.
Zachary’s Pastry Shoppe
390 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush
(518) 477-2140
54 State Street, Albany
(518) 813-9557
Coccadotts Cake Shop
1179 Central Avenue, Albany
(518) 438-4937

CALAMARI
Yanni’s Too Restaurant
20 Marina Drive, Coeymans
(518) 756-7033
Squid-licious! What else can you say about Yanni’s Too, where you can order original calamari, lightly fried with lemon, garlic and wine sauce—or Buffalo, Mediterranean, Rhode Island, Calamari Red or Chipotle styles? It’s no wonder that owner Marc Yanni is called “The Calamari King.”
Verdile’s Restaurant
572 Second Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-8879
Track 32
1368 Indian Fields Road, Feura Bush
(518) 439-0032

CHEESECAKE
Blue Rose Cheesecake &
Bake Shop
1815 State Street, Schenectady
Bakery: (518) 393-2765
Restaurant: (518) 393-2600
Pumpkin and pistachio, amaretto and white chocolate raspberry. That’s only four of the special cheesecake flavors offered at Blue Rose. For traditionalists, there’s plain vanilla, with or without fruit. If you prefer a lighter, less sweet dessert, slice into Blue Rose’s Bavarian cheesecake.
Cheesecake Machismo
293 Hamilton Street, Albany
(518) 427-7019
J&S Watkins
1675 Route 9, Clifton Park
(518) 383-1148

CHOCOLATE SHOP/CANDY STORE
Krause’s Homemade Candy
1609 Central Avenue, Albany
(518) 869-3950
Interested in some old-fashioned peanut brittle, the sweetest chocolate-dipped strawberries or creamy fudge? In 1929, Alfred Krause brought his candy making know-how to America, and today the third generation of his family crafts sweet treats in Colonie.
Uncle Sam’s All American Chocolate Factory
2571 Albany Street, Schenectady
(518) 372-2243
594 New Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 608-4949
Candy Kraft Candies
2575 Western Avenue, Altamont
(518) 355-1860

CIDER DOUGHNUT
Indian Ladder Farms
342 Altamont Road, Altamont
(518) 765-2956
You don’t have to wait until autumn: Indian Ladder makes cider doughnuts all year round. But will that luscious dozen survive the car ride home? Probably not.
Golden Harvest Farms
3074 Route 9, Valatie
(518) 758-7683
Cider Belly Doughnuts
25 North Pearl Street, Albany
(518) 253-4640

CHICKEN WINGS
The Ruck
104 Third Street, Troy
(518) 273-1872
*Tied With*
My Place & Company
241 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
(518) 439-7610
1640 Columbia Turnpike, Schodack
(518) 477-5555
Truck to The Ruck for chicken wings that many say are similar to the ones they make in Buffalo, the city where wings first became a thing. The Troy hangout, with its roughed-up wooden tables, has a real neighborhood pub vibe and keg after keg of craft beer.
To round out the twofer, the wings at My Place, a family-friendly sports bar, fly onto plates in flavors like garlic, hickory, honey BBQ and pineapple ghost pepper. These are not your Grandma’s wings.
Rusty Nail Grill & Tavern
1781 Route 9, Clifton Park
(518) 371-9875
The Towne Tavern
2850 NY 43, Averill Park
(518) 674-3040

CHILI
Druthers
Multiple locations
Saddle up, cowboys and cowgirls, and gallop to your favorite Druthers. Saratoga, Schenectady and Albany all serve skillets of dense Chili Mac with pickled jalapeño and a crunchy Frito topping. Yee-haw!
Yanni’s Too Restaurant
20 Marina Drive, Coeymans
(518) 756-7033
Otis & Oliver’s Restaurant & Pub
30 Mill Road, Latham
(518) 785-9291

CHOWDER
Yanni’s Too Restaurant
20 Marina Drive, Coeymans
(518) 756-7033
Yanni’s Too is a Troy Chowder Fest winner and a Capital Region seafood destination, so it’s no surprise that it reeled in a Bestie for its New England clam chowder. Spoon it up on the deck with a view of the Hudson.
Ted’s Fish Fry
Multiple locations
Chris’ Café
1048 Route 9, Valatie
(518) 758-7701

COFFEE
Stewart’s Shops
Multiple locations
Wherever you roam, whenever you need java, Stewart’s will perk you up. It’s got hot, iced or cold brew—and you can make its special blend at home with ground coffee and S-Cups.
A Perfect Blend
376 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
(518) 439-6537
Wired
652 Albany Shaker Road, Albany
(518) 650-7615

COOKIES
Bella Napoli Bakery & Café
672 New Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 783-0196
721 River Street, Troy
(518) 274-8277
Italian butter cookies just like your Nonna’s. With coffee or espresso, they are the perfect, no-fuss dessert for any dinner party or family gathering—and you can find the Bestie of the Bestie at Bella Napoli.
The Cookie Factory
520 Congress Street, Troy
(518) 268-1060
Zachary’s Pastry Shoppe
390 Columbia Turnpike,
East Greenbush
(518) 477-2140
54 State Street, Albany
(518) 813-9557

COMFORT FOOD
Lanie’s Café
471 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville
(518) 438-5005
With melt-in-your-mouth Prime Rib Dip, heaping plates of spaghetti and meatballs and desserts such as cheesecake and carrot cake, Lanie’s Café is all about the comfort food.
Druthers
Multiple locations
Tipsy Moose Tap & Tavern
Multiple locations

BEST CUPCAKES Coccadotts Cake Shop

CUPCAKES
Coccadotts Cake Shop
1179 Central Avenue, Albany
(518) 438-4937
The cute confections from Coccadotts are hard to resist–choose from Red Velvet, S’Mores, Coconut, Strawberry Milkshake and many more. Is your child still very much in the unicorn cake phase? Each sparkly unicorn cupcake sports a pointy horn and horsey ears tucked into the decadent frosting.
Dolce & Biscotti
1758 US Route 9, Clifton Park
(518) 280-6173
Zachary’s Pastry Shoppe
390 Columbia Turnpike,
East Greenbush
(518) 477-2140
54 State Street, Albany
(518) 813-9557

DELI
McCarroll’s The Village Butcher
406 Kenwood Avenue, Delmar
(518) 439-3936
Liverwurst and capicola, ham and Swiss cheese: these are just some of the deli meats the McCarroll family has been slicing for nearly a century. Conveniently located in Delmar Marketplace, The Village Butcher is known for its award-winning breakfast sandwiches, too.
Gershon’s Deli & Caterers
1600 Union Street, Schenectady
(518) 393-0617
Pellegrino Importing
Multiple locations
*Tied With*
Roma Foods
9 Cobbee Road, Latham
(518) 785-7480
222 Washington Street,
Saratoga Springs
(518) 587-6004

DINER
Alexis Diner
294 North Greenbush Road, Troy
(518) 286-2603
Could you give me a minute? I need to study the menu and its 300 choices. At Alexis Diner, you’ll have to decide between options such as burgers, sandwiches and seafood; plus Greek salad, souvlaki and gyro. Big bonuses: breakfast all day and outdoor dining.
Latham ’76 Diner
722 New Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 785-3793
Blue Ribbon Restaurant
1801 State Street, Schenectady
(518) 393-2600

BEST DISTILLERY Albany Distilling Company

DISTILLERY
Albany Distilling Company
78 Montgomery Street, Albany (Distillery)
75 Livingston Avenue, Albany (Bar & Bottle Shop)
(518) 949-2472
Whiskey, rum, vodka and the ever-popular Cocktail Club–a refreshing, zero-carb blend of vodka, fruit flavor and club soda–are all crafted here, one small batch at a time. Enjoy your drink in the refashioned, 19th-century Nabisco factory in Downtown Albany.
Harvest Spirits
3074 Route 9, Valatie
(518) 758-1776
Yankee Distillers
5 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park
(518) 406-3245

FAMILY-OWNED RESTAURANT
Ted’s Fish Fry
Multiple locations
Did you know that the Ted’s in Watervliet was the first location and that it opened more than 60 years ago? Ted Deeb started the business, and today his son and grandson run it. Their specialties are the mouthwatering classics you’d expect: fish and chips, mini hot dogs, strawberry milkshakes, you name it.
Yanni’s Too Restaurant
20 Marina Drive, Coeymans
(518) 756-7033
Verdile’s Restaurant
572 Second Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-8879

FINE DINING
677 Prime
677 Broadway, Albany
(518) 427-7463
Executive Chef Ken Kehn is all about pleasing fine diners, who flock to his steakhouse for lobster bisque and veal Milanese, but mostly his famous steaks–even his “limited” to-go menu during the COVID-19 crisis, which includes nine cuts of beef. “I love to see someone brighten up or really enjoy themselves while eating something that I have made,” he says. “It gives me intense satisfaction.”
Yono’s
25 Chapel Street, Albany
(518) 436-7747
Lake Ridge Restaurant
35 Burlington Avenue, Round Lake
(518) 899-6000

BEST FISH FRY Ted’s Fish Fry

FISH FRY
Ted’s Fish Fry
Multiple locations
Founded by the son of a Lebanese immigrant in 1949, Ted’s is fish fry central for Capital Region folks, with six family-friendly locations. Served in a steamed hot dog bun, and topped with your choice of sauce, Ted’s fish fry is comfort food from the sea.
Off-Shore Pier Fish Market
and Restaurant
637 Third Avenue Extension, Rensselaer
(518) 283-9880
Gene’s Fish Fry
300 Troy Road, Rensselaer
(518) 286-3767

FISH N’ CHIPS
Ted’s Fish Fry
Multiple locations
Fried fish, French fries and coleslaw. That’s your standard Fish & Chips lunch special at Ted’s. For a big kahuna kind of dinner, add a side order of crab cakes or onion rings. Cheesecake for dessert? Now that’s a whale of a meal.
Yanni’s Too Restaurant
20 Marina Drive, Coeymans
(518) 756-7033
Off-Shore Pier Fish Market
and Restaurant
637 Third Avenue Extension, Rensselaer
(518) 283-9880

FRENCH FRIES
Ted’s Fish Fry
Multiple locations
Ted’s regular ol’ fries are “the Bestie,” readers tell us. Or go freaky with your fries and get them with cheese or “loaded” with homemade meat sauce.
Lost & Found
942 Broadway, Albany
(518) 694-0670
Junior’s
1094 Madison Avenue, Albany
(518) 935-2025
48 North Greenbush Road, Troy
(518) 244-3535

FRIED CHICKEN
Hattie’s Restaurant
45 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs
(518) 584-4790
Hattie’s fried chicken, juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside, has been made from the same Southern recipe since 1938. And now there’s Hattie’s Nashville Hot Chicken. Let the good times roll!
The Cuckoo’s Nest
234 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 650-7215

GLUTEN-FREE SELECTION
Wheatfields
54 Crossing Boulevard,
Clifton Park
(518) 383-4444
440 Broadway, Saratoga Springs
(518) 587-0534
Don’t let the word “wheat” in its name fool you. Wheatfields offers more than 30 gluten-free menu items. Pizza, for sure, plus pasta dishes made with corn penne, brown rice fusilli and rice linguini.
Liza’s
53 Third Street, Troy
(518) 805-8881

HAPPY HOUR
dp An American Brasserie
25 Chapel Street, Albany
(518) 436-3737
Happy hour is over the top at dp, the brasserie brought to you by Dominick Purnomo of Yono’s. It also has creative small plates, a seafood tower, one of the region’s largest list of wines by the glass, artisanal spirits and craft beer.
Wheatfields
54 Crossing Boulevard, Clifton Park
(518) 383-4444
440 Broadway, Saratoga Springs
(518) 587-0534
City Line Bar and Grill
1200 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 504-1200

HOMEMADE PASTA
Canali’s Restaurant
126 Mariaville Road, Rotterdam
(518) 355-5323 (Restaurant/Banquets/Catering)
(518) 355-3663 (Takeout)
Manicotti, ravioli, fettuccine, cavatelli, spaghetti. At Canali’s, the restaurant makes five of its own pastas with special flour imported from Italy. Mamma mia!
Verdile’s Restaurant
572 Second Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-8879
Ferrari’s Ristorante
1254 Congress Street, Schenectady
(518) 382-8865

HOT DOG
Gus’s Hot Dogs
212 25th Street, Watervliet
(518) 273-8743
Our readers go crazy for those little hot dogs swimming in spicy meat sauce. Cheap, regional eats at their best.
Ted’s Fish Fry
Multiple locations
Mike’s Hot Dogs
1135 Erie Boulevard, Schenectady
(518) 382-9213

ICE CREAM STAND
Guptill’s Ice Cream
1085 New Loudon Road, Cohoes
(518) 785-0660
The summer season is 92 days long, and Guptill’s has 80 flavors of ice cream. So you could order a different flavor every day and still have time for a sundae, flurry, shake or banana split. Big menu, big parking lot, fast service. That’s Guptills, now in its 26th year.
The Snowman
531 Fifth Avenue, Troy
(518) 233-1714
Samascott’s Garden Market
65 Chatham Street, Kinderhook
(518) 758-9292

KID-FRIENDLY DINING
Ted’s Fish Fry
Multiple locations
Chicken fingers and French fries? Your tot will love the kid’s menu at Ted’s. It even has a child-sized fish fry for your small fry.
O’Kenny’s Express
3321 State Route 9H, Valatie
(518) 784-2941
Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-in
5 Schonowee Avenue, Scotia
(518) 535-4747

LATE-NIGHT DINING
Bob’s Diner
929 19th Street, Watervliet
(518) 274-2393
Hey, night owls and shift workers: Bob’s is open 24 hours a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bottomless coffee? Bob’s has it!
Latham ’76 Diner
722 New Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 785-3793
My Place & Company
241 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
(518) 439-7610
1640 Columbia Turnpike, Schodack
(518) 477-5555

LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE
Yanni’s Too Restaurant
20 Marina Drive, Coeymans
(518) 756-7033
Oh, lobster mac and cheese! Let me the count the ways I love thee! At Yanni’s Too, the restaurant mixes the sweet lobster chunks with penne pasta, shrimp and cheeses, adds a sherry lobster sauce, tops it with buttered crumbs and bakes it until it’s gooey hot.
Druthers
Multiple locations
The Century House
997 New Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 785-0834

LUNCH SPOT
Ted’s Fish Fry
Multiple locations
When you’re on the run, Ted’s can feed you fast. Fish fry on a roll, a hot dog or a burger. Grab the goodies and go. And don’t forget those fries.
O’Kenny’s Express
3321 State Route 9H, Valatie
(518) 784-2941
Chris’ Café
1048 Route 9, Valatie
(518) 758-7701

MAC AND CHEESE
Druthers
Multiple locations
You can’t make mac and cheese like this at home. Well, that is, if you don’t read Saratoga Living. Seven cheeses (wow!), house-made pasta and a crunchy topping of house-made chips and Panko. Now that’s some cheesy goodness.
Tipsy Moose & Tavern
Multiple Locations
Chris’ Café
1048 Route 9, Valatie
(518) 758-7701

MARGARITA
La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant
15 Park Avenue, Clifton Park
(518) 280-2657
La Fiesta has all your favorite brands of tequila and mixes up some of the coolest drinks, like a passion fruit margarita. A pitcher of lime margaritas for the table? Sure, let’s get this party started.
El Loco Mexican Café
465 Madison Avenue, Albany
(518) 436-1855
El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant
289 Hamilton Street, Albany
(518) 432-7580

MARTINI
The Standard Restaurant & Lounge
1 Crossgates Mall Road, Albany
(518) 452-7007
“Shaken, not stirred.” We can imagine James Bond ordering a martini at The Standard, because our readers tell us it’s the “Bestie,” not just for a classic cocktail but for the 10 other mixed drinks on the menu, including The Audrey Hepburn.
677 Prime
677 Broadway, Albany
(518) 427-7463
City Line Bar and Grill
1200 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 504-1200

MEATBALLS
Verdile’s Restaurant
572 Second Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-8879
At Verdile’s, you can get your meatballs on eight different kinds of pasta, including a gluten-free option. Hold the sausage just this once, Mama, because we’re craving the meatballs.
Canali’s Restaurant
126 Mariaville Road, Rotterdam
(518) 355-5323 (Restaurant/Banquets/Catering)
(518) 355-3663 (Takeout)
Testo’s
853 Fourth Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-0444
769 Pawling Avenue, Troy
(518) 326-1177

MUFFINS
Bella Napoli Bakery & Café
672 New Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 783-0196
721 River Street, Troy
(518) 274-8277
Delizioso. That’s how you describe the muffins at Bella Napoli, where Italian pastries, cookies and cakes are just the tip of the bakery iceberg.
Golden Harvest
3074 Route 9, Valatie
(518) 758-7683
Zachary’s Pastry Shoppe
390 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush
(518) 477-2140
54 State St, Albany
(518) 813-9557

NEW RESTAURANT WITHIN PAST YEAR
SOHO Asian Bistro
751 Columbia Turnpike,
East Greenbush
(518) 666-7888
Congratulations, SOHO! Of all the new restaurants in the Capital Region, our readers picked you as the Bestie. They like the large and creative Asian menu, including hibachi and stunning plates of sushi, plus the stylish interior and bar area.
Café Monocle
95 Remsen Street, Cohoes
(518) 244-3667
The Tasting Lab
4856 State Route 81, Greenville
(518) 966-0020

OMELETS
Café Madison
1108 Madison Avenue, Albany
(518) 935-1094
359 Northern Boulevard, Albany
(518) 898-9630
Pesto, caramelized onions…and 14 other options for that made-just-for-you omelet. And maybe you’d like fresh greens, avocado or guacamole with that? How “egg-citing!”
Latham ’76 Diner
722 New Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 785-3793
Duncan’s Dairy Bar
890 Hoosick Road, Troy
(518) 279-9985

OUTDOOR DINING
Yanni’s Too Restaurant
20 Marina Drive, Coeymans
(518) 756-7033
Only 20 minutes from Downtown Albany, Yanni’s Too overlooks the Coeymans Marina, and its large patio is one of the best places to relax and watch the boats motor up and down the Hudson River. Plus, it’s casual dining—sandals not stilettos, please.
Lanie’s Café
471 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville
(518) 438-5005
Lost & Found
942 Broadway, Albany
(518) 694-0670

PASTA SAUCE
Testo’s
853 Fourth Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-0444
769 Pawling Avenue, Troy
(518) 326-1177
We all know how picky Capital Region residents are about their sauces. With all the Italian restaurants around here, the competition is stiff. Huge congrats to Testo’s, which sells jars of its homemade sauce and scooped up the big prize for the second year in a row.
Verdile’s Restaurant
572 Second Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-8879
Canali’s Restaurant
126 Mariaville Road, Rotterdam
(518) 355-5323 (Restaurant/Banquets/Catering)
(518) 355-3663 (Takeout)

PIES
Grandma’s Pies & Restaurant
1273 Central Avenue, Albany
(518) 459-4585
At Thanksgiving time, pumpkin and apple pies fly off the shelves at Grandma’s. But don’t forget birthday and graduation pies in decadent flavors like coconut cream, lemon meringue and strawberry. Grandma’s bakes 24 yummy types in all.
Smith’s Orchard Bake Shop
4561 Jockey Street, Ballston Spa
(518) 882-6598
Golden Harvest Farms
3074 Route 9, Valatie
(518) 758-7683

PIZZA
Kay’s Pizza
10 Walsh Lane, Averill Park
(518) 674-5413
Arriving by car or boat from Burden Lake, pizza lovers jam Kay’s from April to October. Our readers rave about the puffy, crisp crust and mounds of cheese and toppings. Off season, devoted customers stop by for make-your-own Pizza Kits.
DeFazio’s Pizzeria
266 Fourth Street, Troy
(518) 271-1111
Romo’s Pizza
365 Feura Bush Road, Glenmont
(518) 449-5871

PUB
Purple Pub
2 Cohoes Road, Watervliet
(518) 273-9646
Brought to you by the Rentz family since 1972, the Purple Pub is all about family, friends and good food, such as its award-winning pizza and wings. Hey, Purple Pub’s got the fiery. stuff too, including jalapeño appetizers and a Mexican Heat Pizza.
Swifty’s Restaurant & Pub
367 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
(518) 475-1111
O’Slattery’s Irish Restaurant & Pub
318 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
(518) 439-5634

RIBS
Otis & Oliver’s Restaurant & Pub
30 Mill Road, Latham
(518) 785-9291
The baby backs at Otis & Oliver’s are the meatier Danish kind. The restaurant uses a dry rub, slow cooks them, then brushes them with its own apple-infused BBQ sauce. Our readers dig them bones!
The Towne Tavern
2850 NY 43, Averill Park
(518) 674-3040
*Tied With*
Warehouse Grill & BBQ
219 Wolf Road, Albany
(518) 489-5227
PJ’s BAR-B-QSA
1 Kaydeross Avenue West,
Saratoga Springs
(518) 583-7427 or (518) 583-2445

BEST ROMANTIC DINING Yono’s

ROMANTIC DINING
Yono’s
25 Chapel Street, Albany
(518) 436-7747
Keep the love light burning with a romantic dinner à deux at Yono’s, where tables are elegantly set, the service is excellent, and the wine list is superb. Shall we begin with a dozen oysters?
677 Prime
677 Broadway, Albany
(518) 427-7463
15 Church
15 Church Street, Saratoga Springs
(518) 587-1515

SALAD
Lanie’s Café
471 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville
(518) 438-5005
For lunch with a crunch, there’s Lanie’s and its awesome menu of 12 salads, including bacon-wrapped shrimp spinach and grilled swordfish salads. Or create your own veggie plate.
Bountiful Bread
1475 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 438-3540
Crisp
594 Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 782-2747

SANDWICH/SUB
McCarroll’s The Village Butcher
406 Kenwood Avenue, Delmar
(518) 439-3936
During the week, Delmar residents run into their neighbors shopping at McCarroll’s, and on weekends, they stand in line for their scrumptious egg sandwiches. The subs there are huge, packed with meat cut to order—and the delicious turkey and pork are roasted in house.
Pellegrino Importing
Multiple locations
Roma Foods
9 Cobbee Road, Latham
(518) 785-7480
222 Washington Street, Saratoga Springs
(518) 587-6004

SEAFOOD
Yanni’s Too Restaurant
20 Marina Drive, Coeymans
(518) 756-7033
Seafood lovers cast their vote again and again for Yanni’s Too. The reason? Its award-winning calamari served six ways; chardonnay steamed mussels with pesto cream sauce; and other ocean delights like scallops, shrimp and mahi mahi. Baked, stuffed, broiled or fried. How would you like your fish?
Off-Shore Pier Fish Market and Restaurant
637 Third Avenue Extension, Rensselaer
(518) 283-9880
30 Lake
30 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs
(518) 539-3474

SLIDERS
Slidin’ Dirty
9 First Street, Troy
(518) 326-8492
After Slidin’ Dirty rocketed to food truck fame, after appearing on Live! with Kelly and Michael, it wasn’t long before its bad-ass bites turned up in a Troy brick and mortar. And its sliders aren’t just tasty; with names like Dirty Pig and Dirty Cowboy, they’re fun to order, too.
Jack’s Drive In
24 Main Avenue, Wynantskill
(518) 283-5110

SOUP
Chris’ Café
1048 Route 9, Valatie
(518) 758-7701
Homemade soup is comfort food, and Chris’ Café always offers at least three belly-warming concoctions each day: chicken noodle, taco and bean. Forget the Campbell’s; get to Chris’ stat.
Bountiful Bread
1475 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 438-3540
Samascott’s Garden Market
65 Chatham Street, Kinderhook
(518) 758-9292

SPORTS BAR
Junior’s
1094 Madison Avenue, Albany
(518) 935-2025
48 North Greenbush Road, Troy
(518) 244-3535
On a normal summer day at Junior’s, you’ll find a Yankees-Red Sox game on the big screen, with fans enjoying a nice cold beer and a plate of hot wings. What more does a sports fan need? Our readers picked Junior’s for its multiple screens, friendly bartenders, selection of beer and yummy burgers, too.
Forty One Sports Bar & Grille
41 112th Street, Troy
(518) 235-4141
City Line Bar and Grill
1200 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 504-1200

STEAKHOUSE
677 Prime
677 Broadway, Albany
(518) 427-7463
Yes, the beef at 677 Prime is Iowa Prime. That’s sustainably raised and processed Black Angus, folks. Don’t forget toppers like au poivre and black truffle butter, plus immaculate sides such as lobster mac and cheese and jalapeño creamed corn.
The Barnsider
480 Sand Creek Road, Albany
(518) 869-2448
Black & Blue Steak and Crab
1470 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 313-7388

SUSHI
Sushi Thai Garden
44-46 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs
(518) 580-0900
Escape to “The Garden,” a serene and lovely dining room where the waitstaff, adorned in colorful Thai dress, graciously serves you sushi and sashimi from the expansive menu. Sushi Thai’s been a Saratoga favorite for many years—and wins a Bestie this year.
Sushi Tei
1800 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 218-0388
Shogun of Delmar
318 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
(518) 729-5727

TAKEOUT
Canali’s Restaurant
126 Mariaville Road, Rotterdam
(518) 355-5323 (Restaurant/Banquets/Catering)
(518) 355-3663 (Takeout)
When it comes to Besties, Canali’s is a frequent flyer, and this year it took top prize in a category that has carried extra-special weight for customers during the COVID-19 crisis: best takeout. Where else can you pick up five kinds of Italian dishes with homemade pasta? Tiramisu-to-go, too.
Chris’ Café
1048 Route 9, Valatie
(518) 758-7701
Testo’s
853 Fourth Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-0444
769 Pawling Avenue, Troy
(518) 326-1177

TAPAS/SMALL PLATE
Twisted Vine Wine & Tap
384 Kenwood Avenue, Delmar
(518) 439-3241
Twisted Vine is known for its unique plates for sharing with the whole table: pancetta flatbread, Asian sweet potato noodles, an eggplant tower or Aunt Rita’s Meatballs served in a freshly baked French boule. Plus, it has suggested pairings from its menu of 50 wines. A match made in heaven.
Spindles on Remsen
241 Remsen Street, Cohoes
(518) 326-1731

TEA
The Whistling Kettle
Multiple Locations
“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.” And our readers say that the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who coined this phrase, would be in heaven at The Whistling Kettle, where he could peruse a menu of more than 120 teas or take home a bag (or 10) of his own.
Short and Stout Tea Company
1736a Western Avenue, Albany (Tea Lounge and Bubble Tea Bar)
(518) 456-8327
1 Crossgates Mall Road, Albany (Matcha and Macaron Bar with
Tea Retail)
(518) 313-7863
The Tailored Tea
1010 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
(518) 608-5137

VEGETARIAN SELECTION
New World Bistro Bar
300 Delaware Avenue, Albany
(518) 694-0520
We tried to count the number of vegetarian menu selections at New World Bistro and just gave up. From eggplant “meatballs” and cauliflower “wings” to house-made veggie burgers and delectable entrées made with tofu and seitan, the possibilities are nearly endless.
Berben & Wolff’s
227 Lark Street, Albany
(518)-599-5306
156 Fourth Street, Troy
(518) 326-0334
Bliss
278 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
(518) 439-0739

VEGAN SELECTION
Berben & Wolff’s
227 Lark Street, Albany
(518)-599-5306
156 Fourth Street, Troy
(518) 326-0334
At Berben & Wolff’s, one of the Capital Region’s top vegan delicatessens, chow down on “bacon,” “pastrami” and “ham” made from plants not animals. It’s got meatless versions–Reubens, burgers and BLTs–too.
New World Bistro Bar
300 Delaware Avenue, Albany
(518) 694-0520
Bliss
278 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
(518) 439-0739

WAITSTAFF
Yanni’s Too Restaurant
20 Marina Drive, Coeymans
(518) 756-7033
Our readers appreciate good service and pick Yanni’s Too for the high honor of best waitstaff in the Capital Region. Friendly and attentive, its servers are simply outstanding. And after finally getting back to our favorite restaurants after months of isolation, those smiles have never been more appreciated.
Verdile’s Restaurant
572 Second Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-8879
New World Bistro Bar
300 Delaware Avenue, Albany
(518) 694-0520

WINE LIST
Lucas Confectionery
12 Second Street, Troy
(518) 326-3450
Lucas Confectionery, in the heart of historic Troy, is the place to experience a unique selection of wines—and a staff that can uncork the nuances or backstory of every vintage.
Verdile’s Restaurant
572 Second Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-8879
The Shaker & Vine
221 Harborside Drive, Schenectady
(518) 630-6318

WINE/WINERY
The Saratoga Winery
462 NY 29, Saratoga Springs
(518) 584-9463
Locals and tourists have fallen in love with Saratoga Winery, a unique rustic wine-tasting destination four miles from Downtown Saratoga. New York State and its grapes are the stars of this show, featured
in the wine and melomel (a wine-and-honey drink) that’s made onsite.
Hudson Chatham Winery
1900 Route 66, Ghent
(518) 392-9463
Altamont Vineyard & Winery
3001 Furbeck Road, Altamont
(518) 355-8100
*Tied With*
Oliva Vineyards
250 Excelsior Avenue,
Saratoga Springs
(518) 350-4515

READER’S CHOICE MENU
Here’s what happened when we asked our readers to create a fantasy menu:

APPETIZER
Calamari at Yanni’s Too Restaurant
20 Marina Drive, Coeymans
(518) 756-7033
ENTRÉE
Prime Rib at The Century House
997 New Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 785-0834
DESSERT
Carrot Cake at Verdile’s Restaurant
572 Second Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-8879
BEVERAGE
Coffee Vodka at Albany Distilling Company
75 Livingston Avenue, Albany
(518) 949-2472


Cuisine

AMERICAN
New World Bistro Bar
300 Delaware Avenue, Albany
(518) 694-0520
A long-time favorite, New World Bistro hits it out of the park with its famous string beans and wings (chicken or seitan) with sauce options ranging from chimichurri to “dirty blonde.” Heartier bistro fare includes everything from jerk and Korean fried chicken to gouda-stuffed, bacon-wrapped meatloaf.
Daley’s on Yates
10 Yates Street, Schenectady
(518) 901-0174
The Barnsider
480 Sand Creek Road, Albany
(518) 869-2448

CAJUN
Nanola
2639 Route 9, Malta
(518) 587-1300
Let the good times roll at Nanola, where Southern- and New Orleans–inspired foods, like gumbo, jambalaya, catfish and fried pickles, all feature on the menu. How about some Gator Bites? Yep, it’s real alligator meat (don’t flinch–it tastes like chicken).

CARIBBEAN
First Choice Caribbean
451 Fulton Street, Troy
(518) 560-5341
Owner and chef Ricky Brown-Burnett, who grew up in Jamaica, whips up island comfort foods—curry goat, oxtail and jerk chicken. Vegans savor his Ital, too, a stew made of potatoes, carrots and plantains simmered in coconut milk.
Roy’s Caribbean Restaurant
769 State Street, Schenectady
(518) 346-1677
Lil’ Deb’s Oasis
747 Columbia Street, Hudson
(518) 828-4307

CHINESE
Ala Shanghai
468 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
(518) 783-8188
Food adventurers have discovered Ala Shanghai and its menu of traditional Chinese dishes. Diners can try sautéed, shredded eel; sea cucumber with brown sauce; and Eight Jewels Duck, a whole bird stuffed with nuts, rice and veggies. Ala Shanghai’s dim sum menu is a gem, too, with more than 20 dumplings, buns and other items.
Plum Blossom Chinese Restaurant
685 Hoosick Road, Troy
(518) 272-0036
Gold Coin
1360 New Scotland Road, Slingerlands
(518) 439-6428

BEST FRENCH CUISINE Provence Restaurant & Wine Bar

FRENCH
Provence Restaurant & Wine Bar
Stuyvesant Plaza
1475 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 689-7777
Bouillabaisse, a fish stew that originated in Marseille; and cassoulet de canard, a slow-cooked casserole of duck confit and beans, are just two of the traditional French dishes you can find at Provence. C’est bon!
La Serre
14 Green Street, Albany
(518) 463-6056

GERMAN
The Flammerie
7 Hudson Street, Kinderhook
(518) 758-1509
This farm-to-table restaurant takes its name from the “flammkuchen,” a.k.a. German flatbread. Be sure to try its mouthwatering Flamm Burger, Schnitzel Sammy and bratwurst. It might just be a good idea to wear your elastic-waist lederhosen too.
Wolff’s Biergarten
Multiple locations
Wunderbar Bistro
744 Warren Street, Hudson
(518) 828-0555 (Takeout)

GREEK
Athos Restaurant
1814 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 608-6400
Award-winning Athos is our readers’ pick for Greek dishes that you won’t find anywhere else in the Capital Region–choose from grilled octopus, giant lima beans, pasticcio, moussaka and so much more.
The Greek House
27 Third Street, Troy
(518) 272-6058
Alexis Diner
294 North Greenbush Road, Troy
(518) 286-2603

INDIAN
Karavalli
9 Johnson Road, Latham
(518) 785-7600
Year after year, Karavalli rules the Indian food category. Is it the fresh herbs and spices? Or the aromatic choices of naan (think garlic chilli, rosemary and paneer cheese)? Or maybe it’s the tried-and-true Indian dishes that diners return for–favorites such as chicken tikka masala, goat curry and all the vegetarian entrées. Its lunch buffet is also super popular.
Taj Fine Indian Cuisine
365 Feura Bush Road, Glenmont
(518) 977-3050
Shalimar
180 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
(518) 439-4200

ITALIAN
D’Raymond’s Restaurant
269 Osborne Road, Loudonville
(518) 459-6364
Award-winning D’Raymond’s has been serving fine Italian cuisine in the Capital Region since 1979. Kick off your meal with its famous antipasti plate (for one, two or four people), and then move on to braised short rib ravioli, clams bianco or orrechietti carbonara. Fun fact: Gregory Cordelle, owner and head chef, was only 13 years old when he started working there.
Caffe Italia
662 Central Avenue, Albany
(518) 459-8029
Verdile’s Restaurant
572 Second Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-8879

JAPANESE
Sake Japanese Steakhouse
611 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
(518) 785-7215
At Sake, sushi-making is high art—each piece you eat is a delicate, colorful masterpiece. The drink menu is über-special too, with 20 kinds of (you guessed it) sake.
Hana Japanese Steak House
1620 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 452-4262
Koto Japanese Restaurant
260 Wolf Road, Latham
(518) 869-8888

LEBANESE
Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant
206 Washington Avenue, Albany
(518) 434-3901
Happiness is a warm pita stuffed with grilled veggies. Mamoun’s is all about good food that’s good for you. For dessert? Baklava!

MEDITERRANEAN
Tara Kitchen
431 Liberty Street, Schenectady
(518) 708-3485
172 River Street, Troy
(518) 328-6281
“Never give up your taste for adventure.” That’s the motto at Tara Kitchen, one of the only Moroccan restaurants in the Capital Region. And it’s accented by the addicting smells of cumin, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, curry and hot chili powder. Tagine, anyone?
Athos Restaurant
1814 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 608-6400
Barcelona Restaurant
1192 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 438-1144

MEXICAN
El Mariachi
289 Hamilton Street, Albany
(518) 432-7580
El Mariachi is the best not only for its authentic Mexican cuisine, like pipian, a pumpkin seed sauce, and incredible mole poblano, but also its menu of Spanish tapas. In the summer, dining on the patio is absolutely delightful.
El Loco Mexican Café
465 Madison Avenue, Albany
(518) 436-1855
La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant
15 Park Avenue, Clifton Park
(518) 280-2657

POLISH
Muza
1300 15th Street, Troy
(518) 271-6892
Making pierogi by hand is a time-consuming labor of love. But those tender pillows of potato, cheese and onion are on the Muza menu every day, along with stuffed cabbage, kielbasa, potato pancakes, sauerkraut and shredded beets. It’s Polish-style comfort food at its absolute finest.
Euro Deli and Market
231 Wade Road Extension, Latham
(518) 785-0103

SPANISH
Barcelona Restaurant
1192 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 438-1144
Olive oil, garlic and wine are the essences of Barcelona, and the seafood menu (see: swordfish puttanesca) is sublime. At the bar, nibble on some tapas with a glass of red or white sangria. Romantic outdoor dining is also available in the summer.

THAI
Sushi Thai @ The Park
1707 Route 9, Suite 100, Clifton Park
(518) 348-0100
A Capital Region favorite for Thai and Japanese, Sushi Thai is known for its exquisite food presentation. There’s curry, pad thai and many other noodle dishes and soups for all you carnivores; plus tofu options for vegetarians, too.
Celadon Thai Bistro
461 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
(518) 389-6190
2015 Rosa Road, Schenectady
(518) 952-4140
Sweet Basil Thai Restaurant
370 Delaware Avenue, Albany
(518) 729-4111

VIETNAMESE
Van’s Vietnamese Restaurant
307 Central Avenue, Albany
(518) 436-1868
Van’s is one of Downtown Albany’s hidden treasures, with fabulous pho, minty spring rolls and a yummy array of vegetarian dishes.
Pho Yum
1558 Central Avenue, Albany
(518) 869-9866
Saigon Spring
1683 Route 9, Clifton Park
(518) 982-0425


COUNTY

ALBANY
New World Bistro Bar
300 Delaware Avenue, Albany
(518) 694-0520
When it comes to Besties, New World Bistro Bar is a real champion, winning not only this 2020 Bestie, but also awards in these other Bestie categories: bistro, vegetarian selection, waitstaff, American food and Albany restaurant.
677 Prime
677 Broadway, Albany
(518) 427-7463
D’Raymond’s
269 Osborne Road, Loudonville
(518) 459-6364

COLUMBIA
Jackson’s Old Chatham House
646 Albany Turnpike, Old Chatham
(518) 794-7373
For generations, this homey Old World–style pub has been a gathering place for Columbia County folks. Pork osso bucco and chicken cordon bleu are two of its heartiest menu choices. Save room for a side of sweet potato fries.
Carolina House
59 Broad Street, Kinderhook
(518) 758-1669
Labella Pizza
2967 Route 9, Valatie
(518) 758-6611

FULTON/MONTGOMERY
Raindancer Restaurant
4582 State Highway 30, Amsterdam
(518) 842-2606
Raindancer is one of those family-friendly, family-run restaurants that’s always busy. The place is big and so is the menu, with a whopping 80 dishes. Try the steak or seafood, dig into a flowering colossal onion (or at least some mozzarella sticks), and crunch into its bread baked in house. There’s even a pickup window.
Parillo’s Armory Grill
67 Bridge Street, Amsterdam
(518) 842-2004
Lanzi’s on the Lake
1751 State Highway 30, Mayfield
(518) 661-7711

GREENE
Red’s Restaurant
12005 State Route 9W, West Coxsackie
(518) 731-8151
Red’s, named after the guy who opened the restaurant in 1944, is the oldest one of its kind in Greene County. The ownership has changed over the years, but fresh, high-quality seafood is still the main attraction. Where else can you find everything from appetizers like cheese curds and asparagus fries to original dishes such as a smoked salmon Cuban sandwich or grouper Florentine with Hollandaise sauce?
Mountain View Brasserie
10697 State Route 32, Greenville
(518) 966-5522
Crossroads Brewing Company
21 Second Street, Athens
(518) 945-2337
201 Water Street, Catskill
(518) 444-8277

OTSEGO
Brooks’ House of BBQ
5560 State Highway 7, Oneonta
(607) 432-1782
Brooks’ House of BBQ, which seats 300, boasts the largest indoor charcoal barbecue pit in the East. Yep, its world-famous chicken is a fixture on the grill, along with Brooks’ House’s pork, beef, ribs and burgers.

RENSSELAER
Verdile’s Restaurant
572 Second Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-8879
Verdile’s racked up a bunch of Besties this year, including one for its delish carrot cake, which is our “reader’s choice” dessert. An extraordinary Italian restaurant run by the same family since 1943, Verdile’s is a Rensselaer County landmark.
Casey’s Restaurant
77 Washington Avenue, Rensselaer
(518) 463-3318
Chez Mike
596 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush
(518) 479-4730

SARATOGA SPRINGS
The Olde Bryan Inn
123 Maple Avenue,
Saratoga Springs
(518) 587-2990
Locals and tourists always feel at home at “the OBI,” a cozy pub set in a stone house that dates from 1825. Our readers rave about the food and the friendly service. Handmade Saratoga Chips, in the city that invented them? Yes, please.
15 Church
15 Church Street, Saratoga Springs
(518) 587-1515
Lake Ridge Restaurant
35 Burlington Avenue, Round Lake
(518) 899-6000

SCHENECTADY
Johnny’s
433 State Street, Schenectady
(518) 982-5657
Four kinds of pasta are made fresh every day at Johnny’s, a Downtown Schenectady mainstay for Italian food. And its sauce? Many locals say it’s as good as homemade “gravy.”
Canali’s Restaurant
126 Mariaville Road, Rotterdam
(518) 355-5323 (Restaurant/Banquets/Catering)
(518) 355-3663 (Takeout)
Daley’s on Yates
10 Yates Street, Schenectady
(518) 901-0174

SCHOHARIE
Chieftans Restaurant and Bar
548 Main Street, Cobleskill
(518) 823-4208
Cottage pie, bangers and mash, fish and chips–you can count on these belly-warming dishes to always be on the menu at Chieftans. Plus Guinness and Smithwick on tap, of course.

WARREN
The Log Jam Restaurant
1484 State Route 9, Lake George
(518) 798-1155
The Log Jam is a real log cabin, with massive fireplaces and antler chandeliers. The atmosphere is quintessential Adirondacks and the food, including the big salad bar, is Warren County’s finest.
George Henry’s
3735 Main Street, Warrensburg
(518) 623-5186


CITY/TOWN

ALBANY
677 Prime
677 Broadway, Albany
(518) 427-7463
“Take one part farm fresh seasonal ingredients, one part passion for our craft, sprinkle with a generous dose of love and serve it in a beautiful space.” That’s the recipe for operating 677 Prime, says General Manager Jaime Ortiz.
New World Bistro Bar
300 Delaware Avenue, Albany
(518) 694-0520
Caffe Italia
662 Central Avenue, Albany
(518) 459-8029

BALLSTON SPA
Augie’s Family Style Italian Restaurant
17 Low Street, Ballston Spa
(518) 884-8600
Born and raised in the Bronx, Augie Vitiello learned to cook homestyle Italian fare from his parents. In Ballston Spa, Augie’s is where local families gather to pass around big plates and bowls of his salad and pasta, then tote home their “Augie Doggie Bags.”
Next Door Kitchen & Bar
51 Front Street, Ballston Spa
(518) 309-3249
Iron Roost
36 Front Street, Ballston Spa
(518) 309-3535

BEST CLIFTON PARK RESTAURANT Pasta Pane

CLIFTON PARK
Pasta Pane
18 Park Avenue, Clifton Park
(518) 371-5762
Pasta Pane has a friendly but classy atmosphere, with an Italian menu (see: Arancini, wood/stone-oven pizzas, pasta and steak) that changes with the seasons.
Sushi Thai @ The Park
1707 Route 9, Clifton Park
(518) 348-0100
Ravenswood
1021 Route 146, Clifton Park
(518) 371-8771

COLONIE
Lanie’s Café
471 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville
(518) 438-5005
Summer (and our current environment) is all about dining al fresco, and at Lanie’s, the outdoor seating is especially lovely. The restaurant is known for spectacular salads and dishes presented with flair.
The Barnsider
480 Sand Creek Road, Albany
(518) 869-2448
DeMarco’s
1965 Central Avenue, Colonie
(518) 456-7574

DELMAR/SLINGERLANDS
O’Slattery’s Irish Restaurant & Pub
318 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
(518) 439-5634
Opened in 2015 by two Irish immigrants, O’Slattery’s Irish Restaurant & Pub is the real deal, serving up Guinness beef stew and cottage pie. Regulars rave about the fish and chips and a Reuben sandwich made with corn beef braised in Irish ale.
Swifty’s Restaurant & Pub
367 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
(518) 472-0522

EAST/NORTH GREENBUSH
Chez Mike
596 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush
(518) 479-4730
Chez Mike, noted for its eclectic American food that changes with the seasons, has been snagging Besties for years. People rave about its braised short ribs with gremolata, lamb burgers and scallop appetizer.
Alexis Diner
294 North Greenbush Road, Troy
(518) 286-2603

GUILDERLAND
Athos Restaurant
1814 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 608-6400
Athos is not your average Greek diner. It’s an upscale dining adventure with best-of-the-best Greek cuisine and impeccable service. People travel miles for the award-winning Greek food at Athos, drawn in by the yummy traditional spreads, the best spanakopita around and delectable entrées such as Mediterranean lamb and chicken souvlaki.
MezzaNotte Ristorante
2026 Western Avenue, Albany
(518) 689-4433
Pizza Gram Plus
2514 Washington Avenue, Guilderland
(518) 464-4726

LAKE GEORGE
The Log Jam Restaurant
1484 State Route 9, Lake George
(518) 798-1155
Rustic vibe. Check. Antler chandeliers. Check. For Adirondack-style dining, you can’t beat The Log Jam, known for its steaks, burgers and decadent desserts (save room for an Adirondack Log brownie or old-fashioned mud pie). Out-of-towners love its location, only steps away from the Factory Outlets of Lake George.
Boathouse Restaurant
3210 Lake Shore Drive, Lake George
(518) 668-2389
The Inn at Erlowest
3178 Lake Shore Drive, Lake George
(518) 668-5928

LATHAM
Tipsy Moose Tap & Tavern
185 Old Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 631-4444
An Adirondack-themed outpost in an Albany suburb, Tipsy Moose is a fun place to meet for beer and snacks (poutine, smoked meats, wings) served on metal plates and in cast-iron skillets. And the ol’ moose is everywhere; a silhouette of the animal is even imprinted on the restaurants rolls.
The Century House
997 New Loudon Road, Latham
(518) 785-0834
Innovo Kitchen
1210 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
(518) 608-1466

BEST ROTTERDAM RESTAURANT Canali’s Restaurant

ROTTERDAM
Canali’s Restaurant
126 Mariaville Road, Rotterdam
(518) 355-5323 (Restaurant/Banquets/Catering)
(518) 355-3663 (Takeout)
Italian recipes passed down through four generations and the best ingredients make Canali’s a multiple-Bestie winner. There are five kinds of house-made pastas, and its tomatoes are top-shelf Stanislaus brand, grown in California.
Armondo’s Villa Tuscan Grill
273 Duanesburg Road, Schenectady
(518) 355-2090
Bellevue Café
2630 Broadway, Schenectady
(518) 393-7720 or (518) 377-8615

SARATOGA SPRINGS
The Olde Bryan Inn
123 Maple Avenue, Saratoga Springs
(518) 587-2990
The Olde Bryan Inn serves up delicious pub food in a historic 19th-century stone building with fireplaces and plank floors. Hundreds of pewter tankards hang over the bar, where happy hour is a longtime Saratoga Springs tradition.
15 Church
15 Church Street, Saratoga Springs
(518)-587-1515
Solevo Kitchen + Social
55 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs
(518) 450-7094

SCHENECTADY
Johnny’s
433 State Street, Schenectady
(518) 982-5657
Johnny’s is a double Bestie winner, for both the city and county of Schenectady. Families, business groups, tourists and couples out for a date are all fans of its expertly prepared Italian cuisine, from baked Littleneck clams and chicken cognac in a Dijon cream sauce, to a coterie of homemade pastas, each tastier than the last.
Daley’s on Yates
10 Yates Street, Schenectady
(518) 901-0174
Tara Kitchen
431 Liberty Street, Schenectady
(518) 708-3485

SCOTIA/GLENVILLE
Jade Bistro
120 Mohawk Avenue, Scotia
(518) 377-6637
Jade Bistro, a stunning Asian fusion restaurant housed in a former Chinese restaurant, is the pride and joy of Downtown Scotia. Its food is almost too pretty to eat, expertly plated like pieces of edible art. Dig in anyway; the teensy, tasty bites of shrimp tempura and heaping plates of fresh sushi are too delicious to miss.
Mohawk Taproom and Grill
153 Mohawk Avenue, Scotia
(518) 357-8005
The Glass Tavern
115 Saratoga Road, Glenville
(518) 952-7443

TROY/RENSSELAER
Verdile’s Restaurant
572 Second Avenue, Troy
(518) 235-8879
Holy cannoli! Verdile’s was voted best restaurant in the county and best in Troy/Rensselaer. The hot spot has been family run for 77 years. Now that’s a lot of meatballs!
Moscatiello’s
99 North Greenbush Road, Troy
(518) 283-0809
Nighthawks
461 Broadway, Troy
(518) 272-1000

BEST WEST SAND LAKE/AVERILL PARK RESTAURANT The Towne Tavern

WEST SAND LAKE/AVERILL PARK
The Towne Tavern
2850 NY 43, Averill Park
(518) 674-3040
Hitch up your wagon and trot over to The Towne, an old blacksmith’s shop where you can relax with a craft beer and a munchie or entrée from its mile-long menu. It’s also known for its award-winning chicken wings; Southwest-style onion soup, with a zesty cap of pepper jack cheese; and barbecue with four kinds of sauce.
Kay’s Pizza
10 Walsh Lane, Averill Park
(518)-674-5413
Lakeview on Crystal Lake
4 Old Route 66, Averill Park
(518) 674-3363

Share.

Leave A Reply