Capital Region “Bestie” Awards


Food & Drink

Blue-Denotes Winner
Black-Denotes Runner-up

Angelo’s 677 Prime 677 Broadway, Albany
677 Prime has received our readers’ Bestie for appetizer, as well as decadent dessert. You have a wonderful selection to start off your evening—lobster dumplings, steak tartare made tableside, surf and turf tempura roll, Kobe hotrock and more.
Lake Ridge Restaurant 35 Burlington Avenue, Round Lake
The Standard 1 Crossgates Mall Road, Albany

Smiths’ Orchard Bake Shop
4561 Jockey Street, Ballston Spa
Two thousand bushels of apples. That’s how many apples go from the Smith orchard and into its bake shop’s pies. Need to bring a dessert to a gathering? You’ll be very popular if you choose a Smiths’ apple pie. Better yet, stop by to pick one up for yourself “just because.”
Grandma’s Pies and Restaurant 1273 Central Avenue, Albany
Emma Cleary 1926 New Scotland Road, Slingerlands Find us on Facebook

275 River Street, Troy
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Great New York bagels, freshly made every day. That in itself draws return customers. Add to it all the usual and unusual bagel and topping choices and a cool laid-back atmosphere and it’s no wonder Psychedelicatessen is the Bestie for bagels.
Uncommon Grounds 402 Broadway, Saratoga 1235 Western Avenue, Albany Wired Coffee & Bagel 1104 Ellsworth Boulevard, Malta

Bella Napoli Bakery
672 New Loudon Road, Latham
721 River Street, Troy
I’ll have the cannoli; no, maybe the sfogliatella. I’ll have both. Whether you’re seeking these or an array of other authentic Italian baked goods or perhaps muffins, danish, doughnuts or other treats, our readers point to Bella Napoli, family owned since its founding in 1957.
Villa Italia 226 Broadway, Schenectady
Schuyler Bakery 637 Third Avenue, Watervliet

PJ’s Bar-B-QSA
1 Kaydeross West, Saratoga
The much-recognized Bar-B-QSA offers “a taste tour of American barbeque.” Try the NY State Fair Chicken; get a southern sense with North Carolina Pulled Pork; think west with the Memphis City Ribs or Texas Beef Brisket; or try the Pacific Northwest Smoked Salmon. And a lot more finger lickin’ good choices.
Capital Q Smokehouse 329 Ontario Street, Albany
Pig Pit BBQ 1 Niver Street, Cohoes

Brown’s Brewing Company
Various locations
Serious beer, great food, says Brown’s and our readers raise their glasses and forks. An out-of-town visitor tells us she was asking for recommendations and was directed to Brown’s for its wide selection. Brown’s has at least 10 fresh ales and lagers on draught on any day.
Wolff’s Biergarten Various locations
Albany Pump Station 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany

Otis & Oliver’s
30 Mill Road, Latham
Some folks stop in after work; others make it a couples or family go-to place. They give thumbs up for the ribs, soups and more, the homey atmosphere and friendly bar crowd. Our readers say the secret is out and it’s Otis and Oliver’s.
Fifty South Restaurant and Bar 2128 Doubleday Avenue, Ballston Spa
Ferretti’s Restaurant 262 Ushers Road, Clifton Park

Creo’ Restaurant
1475 Western Avenue, Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany
There is nothing like a tasty Bloody Mary to go with a fine brunch and Creo’ delivers. Whether at brunch or another time, our readers name Creo’ as the Bestie for Bloody Marys.
Carmen’s Café 198 First Street, Troy 
The Century House 997 New Loudon Road, Latham

New World Bistro
300 Delaware Avenue, Albany
There may be some difference of opinion as to how the word “bistro” came into use but there’s a sense that it’s a comfortable restaurant. Our readers feel right at home at New World Bistro and delight in tasting the innovative, delicious often locally sourced, creations from Chef Ric Orlando and staff.
Sage Bistro 2050 Western Avenue, Guilderland
Garden Bistro 24 1207 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham
5 Vista Boulevard, Slingerlands

Perreca’s Bakery
33 N. Jay Street, Schenectady
How lucky we are to have Perreca’s in our backyard, with the family making the same hard-crusted bread with the nutty flavor that has been the favorite of customers for more than a century. Of course, Perreca’s is our readers’ bread Bestie.
Bella Napoli Bakery 672 New Loudon Road, Latham 721 River Street, Troy
Rockhill Bakehouse 19 Exchange Street, Glens Falls

Alexis Diner
294 North Greenbush Road, Troy
When is breakfast at Alexis? Anytime you’d like it! Perhaps you’d like eggs made all kinds of ways with all kinds of accompaniments. Maybe a breakfast sandwich, burrito or something off the griddle. They’re ready to start your day—no matter when that is.
Latham ’76 Diner 722 New Loudon Road, Latham
Peaches Café 1475 Western Avenue, Albany

Jack’s Drive–In
24 Main Avenue, Wynantskill
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Jack’s—the burgers and the place are classic! Many customers have been coming there since they were knee-high and they are making this a family tradition with their children. As one visitor commented, “Yumtastic.” Adirondack Bar & Grill 982 State Route 149, Queensbury
Druthers 1053 Broadway, Albany 381 Broadway, Saratoga

Coccadott’s Cake Shop
Various locations
Extra moist vanilla, tangy lemon, sweet strawberry, toasted almond—just a few of the choices for your Coccadott’s cake. Then pick the frosting, custard, mousse or fruit fillings. Whether you are seeking a tiered wedding creation or round or sheet cake, our readers recommend this as the Bestie.
Bella Napoli Bakery 672 New Loudon Road, Latham 721 River Street, Troy
Villa Italia 226 Broadway, Schenectady

Café Capriccio
49 Grand Street, Albany
When it comes to calamari, you want the right stuff. Not everybody can fill that order. Café Capriccio more than can! Not only that, its calamari neri pasta is designated a Café classic. Or perhaps you’ve tried antipasto that includes calamari, or the calamari with potatoes and olive/pepper tapanade.
Yanni’s Too 16 Marina Drive, Coeymans
Albany Pump Station 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany

Blue Ribbon Restaurant & Bakery
1801 State Street, Schenectady
“The cheesecake recipe is vital, but the execution of the recipe is equally important,” says Blue Ribbon. Indeed, those are the ingredients that make Blue Ribbon a consistent winner in this category. Take a look at the list of cheesecakes—apple caramel, cookies ‘n cream, Kahlúa, cherry almond, pistachio, and many more.
Cheesecake Machismo 293 Hamilton Street, Albany
J & S Watkins 1675 Route 9, Clifton Park

Uncle Sam’s Candy
2571 Albany Street, Schenectady
Newton Plaza, 594 New Loudon Road, Latham
Whether your quest for chocolates, butter crunch, roasted nuts and more is for a holiday, other special occasion or just to satisfy a yern for sweets, Uncle Sam’s is and has been the place since 1930. You’ll leave with a smile! Krause’s Homemade Candy 115 Saratoga Road, Glenville
1609 Central Avenue, Albany
Verdigris Tea & Chocolate 135 Warren Street, Hudson 291 Main Street, Catskill

The Towne Tavern
2850 Routes 43, Averill Park
Wing your way over to the Towne Tavern to check out the lip-smackin’ chicken wings that have been slow turned in the smoker and then deep fried. You can have them with a sauce your way—Mild, Medium, Hot, Maple Bourbon, Garlic Parm, Kansas City, S. Carolina, Spicy Bacon Ranch, Buffalo Garlic Parm, Hoisin-sesame, Spicy Jack Daniels and Heiss und Scharf, Lemon Pepper Tequila, Honey Chipotle, Caribbean Jerk, Inside Out.
The Ruck 104 3rd Street, Troy
Otis & Oliver’s 30 Mill Road, Latham

Otis and Oliver’s
30 Mill Road, Latham
Capital Region residents are serious about their chili and our readers tell us that Otis and Oliver’s delivers some serious chili. Available in cooler weather only, so for now we can dream.
Brown’s Brewing Company 417 River Street, Troy
The Orchard 68 North Manning Boulevard, Albany

Reel Seafood Co.
195 Wolf Road, Albany
Looking for that certain New England clam chowder? Our readers tell us that Reel Seafood Co. is the place. With classic bacon and chives. You can choose a cup to go with your sandwich, too.
Druthers 1053 Broadway, Albany 381 Broadway, Saratoga
Finnbar’s Irish Pub 452 Broadway, Troy Find us on Facebook

Golden Harvest Farms
3074 U.S. Route 9 Valatie
Golden Harvest has 25 varieties of apples, cider mill and a bakery that makes the most of these resources. Bite into one of the orchard’s cider doughnuts and it’s almost like you picked this sweet treat directly from the tree.
Cider Belly Doughnuts 25 North Pearl Street, Albany
Altamont Orchards 6654 Dunnsville Road, Altamont

Wired Coffee & Bagel
1104 Ellsworth Boulevard, Malta
Our readers raised collective cups of coffee to Wired for a knowledgeable staff, for its roasting skills and small batch roast, for serving coffee that’s more than a step above the usual. And for terrific Nitro brewed iced coffee. Uncommon Grounds 1235 Western Avenue, Albany 402 Broadway, Saratoga Tierra Coffee Roasters 1038 Madison Avenue, Albany

The Cookie Factory
520 Congress Street, Troy
469 Albany Shaker Rd, Albany
Variety is always on the menu, The Cookie Factory reminds us. Making your selections is one of the challenges. But, as our readers would advise, that just means you’ll have to go back to try more kinds.
Bella Napoli Bakery 672 New Loudon Road, Latham 721 River Street, Troy
Dolce & Biscotti 1758 U.S. 9, Clifton Park

The Flying Chicken
122 Fourth Street, Troy
Choose the crispy chicken and fluffy waffles with the maple biscuit and you’ll receive more than comfort, our readers tell us. It’s simply heavenly. And then there are the chicken pieces—juicy, flavorful. And don’t forget the combo dinners or country-fried steak. The sides, such as the sweet potato salad, are yum.
Hattie’s 45 Phila Street, Saratoga
Blue Ribbon Restaurant 1801 State Street, Schenectady

Sweet Sue’s
203 River Street, Troy
Before you pop that Sweet Sue’s cupcake into your mouth, take one more look. It’s a mini work of art. And yum—an exquisitely tasty treat. You’ll find pictures of some of these and other sweets in the gallery section of Sweet Sue’s web site.
Coccadott’s Cake Shop Various locations
Bake for You 540 Delaware Avenue, Albany

The Hollow Bar and Kitchen
79 North Pearl Street, Albany
A fun laid-back atmosphere with mason jar lighting, trendy décor, attentive staff, craft beer, signature jar drinks, creative food and often a live music venue are among the ingredients that have made The Hollow a Bestie. Near Capital Rep and the Palace, it’s a convenient place for theater-goers but popular on its own.
Ama Cocina 4 Sheridan Avenue, Albany
Cider Belly Doughnuts 25 North Pearl Street, Albany

Gershon’s Deli
1600 Union Street, Schenectady
This popular deli in our Bestie poll deserves its reputation as a regional landmark. For more than 6 decades, Gershon’s has been serving hot pastrami and other old-world favorites and overstuffed sandwiches. Try the delicious soups and salads, too. Meet you at Gershon’s.
Ragonese Imports 409 New Scotland Avenue, Albany
Pellegrino Importing Various locations

Angelo’s 677 Prime
677 Broadway, Albany
Save room because even the dessert names and descriptions tantalize the tastebuds: including caramelized bananas flambéed table side, a warm cookie cart; big big chocolate cake, colossal crème brulée, orange blossom ricotta cheese cake, and a confection called The Titanic.
Creo’ 1475 Western Avenue, Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany
The Whistling Kettle 24 Front Street, Ballston Spa 254 Broadway, Troy

294 North Greenbush Road, Troy

Latham ’76 Diner
722 New Loudon Road, Latham
Alexis, offers more than 300 menu items, from the meat lover’s skillet, to a healthy wrap, to specials, at this popular family diner with an on-premises bakery. See you there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The 24-hour Latham ’76 Diner is tagged as the place where “good friends meet to eat well.” Check out the beef and bean chili served over made-to-order Russet Red potato chips, a veggie gyro, a Cuban Deluxe sandwich, slow-roasted prime rib, or Greek favorites.
Blue Ribbon Restaurant & Bakery 1801 State Street, Schenectady
Tops American Grill, Bakery & Bar 351 Duanesburg Road, Schenectady

Kay’s Pizza
10 Walsh Lane, Averill Park
This seasonal location at Burden Lake is known for its pizza made from a family recipe from the 1950s. With a menu also including pasta, sandwiches, subs, seafood and more, Kay’s is a Bestie of our readers as the place to go to dine on a budget.
Bob’s Diner 929 Nineteenth Street, Watervliet
Muddaddy Flats Quesadillary 49 Third Street, Troy

Athos Restaurant
1814 Western Avenue, Albany
Philoxenia. Enter a stranger, leave as a friend has been the saying at Athos. Cited for its great Greek cuisine but our readers equally appreciate that this family-owned restaurant whips up a warm batch of hospitality for its customers.
Ferretti’s Restaurant 262 Ushers Road, Clifton Park
Kay’s Pizza 10 Walsh Lane, Averill Park

Lake Ridge Restaurant
35 Burlington Avenue, Round Lake
Lake Ridge is our readers’ fine dining gem and we know why. Enjoy the wonderful wines, scotches and bourbons and more at the mahogany bar or at your table. Select from the New American cuisine—steaks, seafood, pastas and specials.
Athos Restaurant 1814 Western Avenue, Albany
Angelo’s 677 Prime 677 Broadway, Albany

Ted’s Fish Fry
Various locations
Not fast food but fresh food fast is the Ted’s Fish Fry motto. The sign is so familiar to Capital Region residents that our cars pull in almost automatically to one of the six locations for the lightly breaded and fried fish fry, with your choice of sauce that’s been developed over 60 years of service.
Harbor House Fish Fry 1742 U.S. 9, Clifton Park Find us on Facebook
Bob and Ron’s Fish Fry 471 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham

Olde English Pub and Pantry
683 Broadway
We’ll have the fish ‘n chips, at the Olde English Pub and Pantry, of course, said our readers. It’s beer-battered cod with house-made slaw and chips.
Finnbar’s Irish Pub 452 Broadway, Troy Find us on Facebook
Katie O’Byrnes Irish Pub and Restaurant 121 Wall Street, Schenectady

The Merry Monk
90 North Pearl Street, Albany
84 Henry Street, Saratoga
Cut potatoes that are normally deep-fried but could also be cooked in an oven is the dictionary explanation of a French fries. How it should read is: The Merry Monk’s perfectly sliced and expertly cooked spears of heaven on a plate.
The Olde English Pub & Pantry 683 Broadway, Albany
Garden Bistro 24 1207 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham
5 Vista Boulevard, Slingerlands

1475 Western Avenue, Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany
Seasonal draft beers with $2 discounts during happy hour, great wines and a cocktail list that is inspired. All this makes Creo’ a happy place to be at happy hour!
Angelo’s 677 Prime 677 Broadway, Albany
Zen Asian Fusion Lounge 469 State Street, Schenectady

Ferrari’s Ristorante
1254 Congress Street Schenectady
When you feast at Ferrari’s, it is hard to make a choice from the vast menu and excellent food. Our readers love the homemade pasta when dining there, so make certain that you request it!! Canali’s Restaurant 126 Mariaville Road, Schenectady
Wheatfields Restaurant & Bar 440 Broadway, Saratoga
Wheatfields Bisto & Wine Bar 54 Crossing Boulevard, Clifton Park

Gus’s Hot Dogs
212 25th Street, Watervliet
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Gus’s is has become a tradition for Capital Region residents, many visiting since childhood. Mini-dogs and dogs with the works are m-m-m good. Add the friendly service and a fun atmosphere and you’ll have a smile on your face.
The Famous Lunch 111 Congress Street, Troy
Mike’s Hot Dogs 1135 Erie Boulevard, Schenectady Find us on Facebook

The Snowman Ice Cream
531 Fifth Avenue, Troy
The Snowman was born in the early 1950s, serving only first-class homemade ice cream from the beginning that is still being made on its premises daily. A summer night in Troy has to include a line at Snowman and so worth standing in it!
Guptill’s Coney Express Ice Cream 1085 New Loudon Road, Cohoes Find us on Facebook
Moxie’s Ice Cream 1344 Spring Avenue, Wynantskill Find us on Facebook

Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive In
Collins Park, Scotia
Jumpin Jack’s was built in 1952 and popular from the start. Today, it is a must-do with family. A nice warm night, kids in tow and just great food and ice cream. Now that is living!
Country View Diner 855 Hoosick Road, Troy
Kay’s Pizza 10 Walsh Lane, Averill Park

Latham ’76 Diner
722 New Loudon Road, Latham
Huge menu alert—you may not be able to decide what to eat. The food is wonderful and available at all hours. After an evening of fun, there is no better place to nosh into the wee hours.
Bob’s Diner 929 Nineteenth Street, Watervliet
The Brown Bag 156 Fourth Street, Troy

The Gingerman
234 Western Avenue Albany
A few years ago, we would not have had a category called Lobster Mac & Cheese, but now this delectable and decadent dish is done in many restaurants.  Our readers feel Gingerman creates and serves the area’s best! As soon as I am off a never-ending diet, I am heading there.
Yanni’s Too Restaurant 16 Marina Drive, Coeymans 
Albany Pump Station 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany

Brown’s Brewing Co.
Various locations
A perennial favorite of our readers in the Bestie Poll, Brown’s continues to outdo itself with its brews. Brown’s Brewing Company’s Troy and Walloomsac taprooms feature at least 10 dependably fresh ales and lagers on draught on any given day. Appropriately and simply named after their styles, the handcrafted standards are renowned for their freshness, character and taste.
Shmaltz Brewing Company 6 Fairchild Square Clifton Park
Druthers Brewery and Restaurant 381 Broadway, Saratoga 1053 Broadway, Albany

The Whistling Kettle
254 Broadway, Troy
24 Front Street, Ballston Spa 
Savory crepes, sandwiches, soups and salads are all part of the wonderful choices served at the Whistling Kettle. In either location, you can always count on a cozy atmosphere and a quality mid-day meal. High tea is served, too, and wow, what a great meal.
Slick’s Restaurant 127 S Ferry Street, Schenectady Find us on Facebook  
Wired Coffee & Bagel 1104 Ellsworth Boulevard, Malta

The Albany Pump Station
19 Quackenbush Square, Albany
C. H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station is always a super location for food as well as its beer. The Mac & Cheese is our readers’ favorite and for good reason—let’s start with delicious, delicious and delicious. The Ginger Man 234 Western Avenue, Albany
Druthers 381 Broadway, Saratoga 1053 Broadway, Albany

Mexican Connection
41 Nelson Avenue, Saratoga
House Margaritas are sublime but the Mexican Connection also has a Gold Margarita, a Reposado Margarita, a Strawberry Margarita that goes down very easy, and this writer’s personal favorite the Mango Margarita. Mango is good for you so this is a healthy margarita—correct? Either way, this honor of Bestie in the Margarita category is very well deserved.
Bombers Burrito Bar Various locations
Mexican Radio 334 Warren Street, Hudson 325 State Street, Schenectady

The Standard Restaurant & Lounge
1 Crossgates Mall Rd, Albany
When you have the look and feel of The Standard, of course you need to have good martinis and that it does! In the special martini menu with many great choices, my favorite of the Besties Best Martini winner is the Buzz Aldrin. You will be flying high with any of these fantastic selections.
Angelo’s 677 Prime 677 Broadway, Albany
Maestro’s Restaurant Opening soon at McGregor Links CC

Canali’s Restaurant
126 Mariaville Road, Schenectady
Canali’s has been providing customers with wonderful cuisine at its Rotterdam location for over 67 years and the food keeps getting better when, honestly, you would not guess it could. It is truly one of the most outstanding restaurants in—wait for it—the country, not just the Capital Region.
Testo’s Restaurant Corner of 124 St. and 4th Avenue, Troy
Nonna Maria’s Italian Kitchen 1505 Rt. 9, Halfmoon

Lindsey’s Country Store, 1
537 Route 9, Clifton Park
Lindsey’s Country Store and Sweet Shoppe is just the same as you remember, only a whole lot sweeter. It is a step back in time. The muffins Lindsey’s bakes will make you feel like everything in the world is great with one bite! Large selection, too.
Schuyler Bakery, Inc. 637 Third Avenue, Watervliet
Schoharie Valley Farms 5605 State Route 30, Schoharie

Latham ’76 Diner
722 New Loudon Road, Latham
Their tag lines is, “Where good friends meet for good food” and it fits for whatever time or meal. Our readers feel the omelets are the best in the region, too.
Café Madison 1108 Madison Avenue, Albany
Peaches Café 1475 Western Avenue, Albany

Villago Pizzeria & Ristorante
175 Lake Road, Ballston Lake
Frequent happy hours, music, excellent wine list and, oh yes, excellent food. A night dining out at Villago is heaven on earth. It gets crowded so go early and enjoy. I will drop by and join you quickly.
The Mill on Round Lake 2121 Route 9, Round Lake
Brown’s Brewing Company, Troy Tap Room 417 River Street, Troy

Testo’s Restaurant
Corner of 124 Street and 4th Avenue,Troy

Cornells in Little Italy
39 North Jay Street, Schenectady
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Testo’s has won for sauce in the past and we can’t imagine why anyone in Troy still makes their own after eating Testo’s. Amazing and available in bottles in locals stores, as well as at the restaurant. Cornell’s Facebook page indicates that there are exciting “things” in the works. I am sure perfecting their already awesome sauce is not one of them. Our readers love it already.
Caffe Italia 662 Central Avenue, Albany
D’Raymonds Restaurant 269 Osborne Road, Loudonville

Kay’s Pizza
10 Walsh Lane, Averill Park
Kay’s is a seasonal family restaurant open from early April until mid-October. It is casual and it is a family destination to enjoy the best pizza around the Capital Region. The service is quick and excellent and the pizza, besides being fabulous, is hot out of the oven.
Ferretti’s Restaurant 262 Ushers Road, Clifton Park
Villago Pizzeria & Ristorante 175 Lake Road, Ballston Lake

Wolff’s Biergarten
895 Broadway, Albany
165 Erie Boulevard, Schenectady
and now Troy
A beer garden (biergarten) is an outdoor area in which beer and food are served but our readers love Wolff’s so much they voted it Bestie for pub. It may be time to start a biergarten category just for them!
Bourbon Street Bar & Grill 2209 Central Avenue, Schenectady
Power’s Inn and Pub 130 Meyer Road, Clifton Park

The Barrel Saloon Rock & Roll Country Bar
942 Broadway, Albany
Located in the warehouse district of downtown Albany, The Barrel serves great BBQ with a side dish of great country music. The readers’ poll ”Besties” goes to its St. Louis Style Ribs. Finger licking good does not always apply to chicken!
Otis & Oliver’s 30 Mill Road, Latham
The Towne Tavern 2850 NY 43, Averill Park

15 Church
15 Church Street, Saratoga
15 Church is a charmingly restored historic building located in the heart of Saratoga. With a fabulous staff and exciting and creative cuisine, you cannot lose setting your next romantic dinner at 15 Church.
Lake Ridge Restaurant 35 Burlington Avenue, Round Lake
Angelo’s 677 Prime 677 Broadway, Albany
Tied with:
Prime at Saratoga National 458 Union Avenue, Saratoga

Gershon’s Deli & Caterers
1600 Union Street, Schenectady

Pellegrino Importing Company
Various locations
A perennial winner for our Bestie readers’ poll, you just have to close your eyes and picture a NYC Deli and open them to find you are at Gershon’s on Union Street in Schenectady. The sandwiches have everything you need in deli delight. One look at the testimonials of the Pellegrino Facebook page, as well as one bite of their sandwiches and subs, will make you realize that they are extraordinary. Great people, great product and three locations to mangia.
Bite Me Signature Sandwiches 44 Sherwood Avenue, Rensselaer
Halfmoon Sandwich Shop 1613 U.S. 9, Clifton Park

Garden Bistro 24 1207 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham
5 Vista Boulevard, Slingerlands
The food is prepared fresh daily and seasonally motivated according to its website. This along with creativity and skill is why GB 24 is a winner each and every year.
Lanie’s Cafe 471 Albany-Shaker Road, Loudonville

Slidin’ Dirty
9 First Street, Troy
Since March of 2012 Slidin’ Dirty has operated a very popular epicurean food truck. Slidin’ Dirty, now in brick and mortar, puts its unique spin on the street food with very gourmet sliders and appetizers.
Jack’s Drive-In 24 Main Avenue, Wynantskill Find us on Facebook
Tied with:
Ted’s Fish Fry Various locations
Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-In Collins Park, Scotia

Bountiful Bread
1475 Western Avenue Albany (Stuyvesant Plaza)
Locally owned scratch bakery serving extraordinary soups along with extraordinary everything else. Bountiful Bread has been a multi-year winner and has won the soup lover’s long standing adoration!
Garden Bistro 24 1207 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham
5 Vista Boulevard, Slingerlands
Otis & Oliver’s 30 Mill Road, Latham

The Standard Restaurant & Lounge
1 Crossgates Mall Road, Albany
An Atomic Chill, a Moscow Mule (I can personally attest to its greatness) and some oldies but goodies like a Lime Rickey, Tom Collins or a Side Car are only some of the specialty cocktails available at The Standard. All good and there isn’t an atmosphere more suited for sipping.
The Hollow Bar + Kitchen 79 North Pearl Street, Albany
Speakeasy 518 42 Howard Street, Albany

Wolf’s 1-11
111 Wolf Road, Colonie
Wolf’s 1-11 has awesome food as well as a great draft beer selection. The ownership and staff are all local and committed to serving in the great Capital Region. Fun place on all levels.
Recovery Sports Grill Various locations
Stadium Café (Now The Saratoga Stadium) 389 Broadway, Saratoga Find us on Facebook

Sake Japanese Steakhouse
611 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
Sake is always committed to offer the best in authentic Japanese cuisine and it shows. But the sushi is creative and unbelievable—you may not believe that you can have it so fresh outside of the ocean. Koto Japanese Restaurant 260 Wolf Road Latham
Okinawa Restaurant 61 Main Avenue, Wynantskill

Canali’s Restaurant
126 Mariaville Road, Schenectady
What else can we say and what else can they win this year? Outstanding in every way and taking it home is completely understandable. You can really “pig out” at home.
Mr. Pio Pio 160 Quail Street, Albany
Puzzles Bakery and Café 515 State Street, Schenectady

Cella Bistro
2015 Rosa Road, Schenectady

Twisted Vine Wine & Tap
384 Kenwood Avenue, Delmar
Delicious and very different—that sets Cella Bistro apart from most. The dining experience is a wonderful event at Cella. You can choose from so many different choices and be happy from start to finish. Twisted Vine Wine & Tap is new but highly desired for the Delmar community. Wines, desserts and small plates can be convenient and delightful there.
Aperitivo Bistro 426 State Street, Schenectady
Boca Bistro 384 Broadway, Saratoga

The Barnsider
480 Sand Creek Road, Albany

Reel Seafood Co.
195 Wolf Road, Albany
Excellent service is directly attached to the wait staff. I cannot think of a prouder “Bestie” win for a restaurant than The Barnsider. The experience starts and finishes by the wait staff and at Barnsider, they are accomplished, professional and long term employees. The wait staff at Reel Seafood is attentive to every detail and dining with them is a great experience. Seafood is often a complicated order—so many ways to prepare and options. This wait staff executes quickly and skillfully. Great job, team!
15 Church 15 Church Street, Saratoga
Athos Restaurant, 1814 Western Avenue, Albany

Lucas Confectionery
12 Second Street, Troy
The wine choices are so good and coveted that the owners even opened a wine store! Tremendous place where great wine and a comfortable setting make a night out a perfect experience. Go and see what our readers’ poll voters love.
Angelo’s 677 Prime 677 Broadway, Albany
Twisted Vine & Tap 384 Kenwood Ave, Delmar

Ama Cocina
4 Sheridan Avenue, Albany

Peck’s Arcade
217 Broadway, Troy
Modern Mexican street food is how Ama Cocina describes itself but fun and delicious is how our readers describe it. If you love Mexican food prepared expertly, you need to drop by if you have not already. Peck’s Arcade is new but still racking in honors all over town. Excellent food, fun setting and a novel environment like everything that owners Vic and Heather Christopher design and own. Well done!
Black & Blue Steak & Crab 1470 Western Avenue, Albany
Dawn’s Victory Sports Cafe   10 Sheridan Avenue, Albany


Restaurant By Cuisine

The Barnsider
480 Sand Creek Road, Albany
If American food means excellent steaks and seafood along with great service and crazy good salad bar, then Barnsider certainly is our “Bestie.” Wow—excellence on all levels.
Creo’ 1475 Western Avenue, Stuyvesant Plaza Albany
Black & Blue Steak and Crab 1470 Western Avenue, Albany

Parish Public House
388 Broadway, Albany
Parish Public House is a Louisiana eatery, drinkery and live music venue in the heart of downtown Albany. Po Boys, fried pickles and everything Cajun. What fun.
The Mouzon House 1 York Street, Saratoga
Café Nola 617 Union Street, Schenectady

Kenneth’s Tastebud
177 Henry Johnson Boulevard, Albany
Find us on Facebook
I am not very partial writing about Caribbean food. I love it! It isn’t easy to find great Caribbean food locally and Kenneth’s does it right!
The Dutch Pot 418 Madison Avenue, Albany
Roy’s Caribbean Various locations

Asian Tea Room
117 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer
What’s the secret to an excellent Chinese restaurant? The sauce! The sauce here is the magic ingredient, which blends the meat, poultry, seafood, or chicken with fresh vegetables to create unique dishes. Each dish is prepared to order.
Gold Coin Restaurant 1360 New Scotland Road, Slingerlands
Plum Blossom Chinese Restaurant 685 Hoosick Road, Troy Find us on Facebook

Chez Pierre Restaurant
979 Route 9, Gansevoort

1475 Western Avenue, Albany
Chez Pierre has become one of the longest family operated restaurants in the area. Long running because the food is just fantastic. If you love French food, make sure you eat the best because, as the French would say, “Why bother otherwise?” This is the best! Would you like a traditional French dish or perhaps something with a twist? Provence is your “Bestie” place for French cuisine.
The Epicurean Bistro & Wine Bar 579 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
Le Serre 14 Green Street, Albany

Wolff’s Biergarten
Various locations
With never ending beer, soccer, a wurst place and schnitzel place, and more, you merely have to close your eyes to imagine Oktoberfest in Germany. The only difference, it’s here and it’s only a short drive to the Capital Region locations.
Pumpernickel’s Restaurant 4571 Lakeshore Drive, Bolton Landing

Athos Restaurant
1814 Western Avenue, Albany
Athos has won so much this year and we could not be happier about that. The Greek entrees, salads and appetizers are truly the best. With efficient, professional staff and out of this world food, there is little wonder about the number of wins they have garnered.
Anton’s 577 New Scotland Avenue, Albany
The Greek House 27 Third Street, Troy

9B Johnson Road, Latham
47 Caroline Street, Saratoga
Named for the gourmet trail of the many diverse regions of India. It serves food from as many as six different regions of India and has a team of specialist chefs from India who create the gourmet Indian food that Karavalli is widely recognized for. The awards that they win from our magazine and others are well deserved.
Taj Mahal 142 Clinton Street, Schenectady Find us on Facebook
Sitar Indian Restaurant 1929 Central Avenue

D’Raymonds Restaurant
269 Osborne Road, Loudonville
There are more accolades for D’Raymonds each year than I can count people on their wait list for dinner. Outstanding and consistent. What more can we add?
Canali’s Restaurant 126 Mariaville Road, Schenectady
Tied with:
Cornell’s in Little Italy 39 North Jay Street, Schenectady

Koto Japanese Restaurant
260 Wolf Road, Latham
An evening meal at Koto is so relaxing because the food is prepared expertly, the sushi is fresh and the service is wonderful. If you opt to have Hibachi, well that is another story entirely. Fun and exciting entertainment with the chef of the table performing and the food still excellent.
Sake Japanese Steakhouse 611 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham
Tomo Asian Bistro 1365 New Scotland Road, Slingerlands

Beirut Restaurant
184 River Street, Troy
Authentic Lebanese cuisine at Beirut in downtown Troy at a casual home-like environment is only the beginning of reasons why this restaurant is so good. The family-operated tiny restaurant is loaded with culinary talent. This Lebanese food is healthy and wonderful.
Ali Baba 2243 Fifteenth Street, Troy
The Phoenicians Restaurant 1686 Central Avenue, Albany

Athos Restaurant
1814 Western Avenue, Albany
Outstanding, excellent, brilliant and first-rate!
Sage Bistro 2050 Western Avenue, Guilderland
Barcelona Restaurant 1192 Western Avenue, Albany

El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant
289 Hamilton Street, Albany
A perennial winner in our “Bestie” poll. From the cocktails to the Mexican standards to the seafood dishes and even the awesome salsa and chips, El Mariachi rocks like no other.
El Loco Mexican Café 465 Madison Avenue, Albany
Ama Cocina 4 Sheridan Avenue, Albany

Euro Deli & Market
231 Wade Road Extension #106, Latham

1300 Fifteenth Street, Troy
Serving lunch and dinner is great but having all the Polish ingredients available to you to make in your own home following your own traditions also sets the Euro Deli apart from other ethnic delis. There is a wonderful selection for your needs or just take home some already prepared wonders and say you made them. A multi-year winner, with hand-made European foods, Muza offers European soups, salads, entrees, and desserts. Pleasing, cozy and the food is perfect every time.

Reel Seafood Co.
195 Wolf Road, Albany
There are always traditional house favorites and delicious innovative dishes to enjoy each time you go to Reel Seafood. The staff was also honored as a” Bestie” Wait Staff finalist. What are you waiting for? They have already won every year!
Salty’s Pub & Bistro 215 Guideboard Road, Clifton Park
Harbor House Fish Fry 1742 Route 9, Clifton Park Find us on Facebook

Carmen’s Café
198 First Street, Troy
Carmen’s Café is classified as Caribbean and Spanish but our readers think that their Spanish creations are noteworthy and award winning. Brunch traffic is brisk at Carmen’s Café, too, and one that is a favorite of brunch lovers throughout the Capital Region.
Barcelona Restaurant 1192 Western Avenue, Albany
Mr Pio Pio 160 Quail Street, Albany

The Barnsider
480 Sandcreek Road, Albany

Angelo’s 677 Prime
677 Broadway, Albany
Herald the trumpets once again: The Barnsider earned another well deserved win this year. The food is outstanding and the price point is excellent. We love the Barnsider Restaurant. Another perennial winner for all the right reasons, Angelo Mazzone is certainly the restaurant king of the Capital Region with 677 Prime as the crowning jewel in the crown.
Black & Blue Steak and Crab 1470 Western Avenue, Albany
Clark’s Steakhouse 120 Broad Street, Schuylerville

Sri Siam Thai Restaurant
44 Sherwood Avenue, Rensselaer
Fresh, cooked from scratch; delicious with just the right amount of spice; the dish came out exactly as I was expecting; the food is consistently great. Those are some of the comments about Sri Siam. No wonder that our readers bestowed a “Bestie.”
Bangkok Bistro 1619 Central Avenue, Albany
Saduee 1401 Broadway, Watervliet

Four Seasons Natural Food Store & Café
33 Phila Street, Saratoga
An independently owned and operated natural foods store and vegetarian cafe since 1988, Four Seasons is known as a place to get something that tastes great but also makes you feel great. Most items sold buffet style by weight. The menu is full of I’d-like-to-try-that selections. Follow our readers, and start selecting!
La Empanada Llama 469 Delaware Avenue, Albany
New World Bistro 300 Delaware Avenue, Albany

307 Central Avenue, Albany
Van’s honors the history of Vietnamese cuisine in its creations, described as flavorful, authentic and wonderfully fresh and tasty, coupled with friendly service. We would add “Bestie” to those accolades.


Restaurant by County

Albany County 
New World Bistro 
300 Delaware Avenue, Albany
Chef Ric Orlando has mastered the fine art of cooking and presentation of a diverse, intriguing menu that is an area favorite. New World was recently named as one of NY’s Top 13 restaurants by Thrillist—and it is in our backyard. From the bar to table, an experience not to be missed. An extensive gluten-free menu is available as well. Global Cuisine, Local Pride is the motto; our readers would add the “Bestie” in front of each!
Angelo’s 677 Prime  677 Broadway, Albany    
The Barnsider  480 Sand Creek Road, Albany

Columbia County
333 Warren Street, Hudson
In a city where the competition in dining is tough, Ca’Mea shines above the others for fine dining and unique Italian cuisine. You won’t find “old Italian food” but rather an inspired, creative twist on the staples of Italian life. Specials come with the season and the wine selection is top-notch! Homemade startling dishes served elegantly. You will want to stay there and eat and eat—and guess what? You can.  They have an inn, too.
Jackson’s Old Chatham House 6 Albany Turnpike, Chatham
Blue Plate Restaurant 1 Kinderhook Street, Chatham

Fulton/Montgomery Counties     
Lanzi’s on the Lake Restaurant and Marina  
1751 State Highway 30, Mayfield
With a beautiful view on top of wonderful food in a friendly setting, Lanzi’s on the Lake is a favorite in the region. Featuring steaks, chops, pasta and selections with a full-selection of sandwiches, salads and more. The bar is beautiful and the view cannot be beat. Nothing like a meal and cocktail at Lanzi’s in the warm weather months. Parillo’s Armory Grill 67 Bridge Street, Amsterdam

Greene County
Mountain View Brassiere 
10697 State Route 32, Greenville
Chef Suhner’s passion for superior quality ingredients and produce, his meticulous preparation, and his ability to capture the taste of the food make for a truly exceptional dining experience. Top that with impeccable service, and you will know why this Greene County restaurant is acclaimed in the community. The brassiere creates exciting dishes that blend tradition and simplicity.
The Quarry Steakhouse 4 Route 26, Climax
Tatiana’s Italian Cuisine   601 Main Street, Catskill Find us on Facebook

Otsego County 
Brook’s House of Barbecue
5560 State Highway 7, Oneonta
For three generations Brook’s has been serving up the best barbecue bar none. Competition has come and gone, and Brook’s continues to be a favorite. The restaurant seats over 300 and is usually packed with fun-loving people in search of great BBQ, fun and more. Worth the trip and certainly worth stopping by any charity BBQ that is offering Brook’s BBQ.

Rensselaer County
Chez Mike   
596 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush
Consistently rated 4 to 5 stars, Chez Mike is tucked into a shopping center but once you enter, all thoughts of shopping go away! Each menu item is prepared from scratch and features eclectic American favorites. Chez Mike and Chef Mike have received a number of honors over the past 8 years and you will not be disappointed!
Lo Porto Ristorante Caffe 85 Fourth Street, Troy

Saratoga County
Lake Ridge Restaurant
35 Burlington Avenue, Round Lake
Lake Ridge Restaurant has a devoted number of fans who have experienced the food, setting, beverage and service that has made this restaurant a destination from anywhere in the region. Only the freshest ingredients are used and the offerings showcase the chef’s creativity that keeps people coming back to the Lake Ridge elegance and phenomenal food.
The Wishing Well 745 Saratoga Road, Wilton
Cock N’Bull  5342 Parkis Mills Road, Galway

Schenectady County     
Canali’s Restaurant American Restaurant
126 Mariaville Road, Schenectady
This restaurant defines Italian food. The recipes have been handed down since 1947 through family and generations and feature old-world preparations and portions that are over-the-top. Staff members always smile and know everyone by name. When it comes to food, they refuse to cut corners! Henry Alteri is the consummate restaurant owner. It is no wonder that Canali’s wins each year and in multiple categories.
Ferrari’ s Ristorante 1254 Congress Street, Schenectady
Cornell’s in Little Italy  39 North Jay Street, Schenectady

Schoharie County
Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe
46 State Route 30A, Schoharie
In addition to a bustling country store, the Apple Barrel lures visitors to its café featuring local favorites, everything homemade, delectable deserts and much, much more. Alfresco dining overlooking the stunning Schoharie Valley!

Warren County
The Log Jam Restaurant
Routes 9 and 149, Lake George
When you walk into this very popular restaurant, you feel like you walked into a 100-year-old Adirondack camp with the aroma from sizzling steaks and other delectable menu items. The menu is extensive, and wait until you see the salad bar—it worth the trip alone for many.  Specializing in steaks but serving lunch and dinner also.
Morgan & Co. 65 Ridge Street, Glens Falls
Adirondack Bar & Grill   982 State Route 149, Queensbury

Bennington County, VT
The Blue Benn
318 North Street, Bennington, VT

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If you are looking for a traditional diner setting with a vast menu of expected and highly creative offerings, the Blue Benn is for you (this writer’s favorite road stop). The specials change daily and everything is home cooked. Written about on Roadfood, “We have seen the Blue Benn referred to as a ‘gourmet diner’ but Roadfood devotees need not worry. This definitely is not the sort of reborn streamliner in which an ambitious chef recasts the image as a retro-chic eatery serving New American cuisine.”
Pangea  1 Prospect Street, Bennington, VT
Lil’ Britain Fish & Chips Shop TF 116 North Street, Bennington, VT

Berkshire County, MA (tie)
Eat on North
297 North Street, Pittsfield, MA

3 Center Street, West Stockbridge, MA
Eat on North is located in the beautiful and unique Hotel on North. This new operation features American cuisine, locally sourced ingredients and the creativeness of Chef Brian Albany, a James Beard-recognized chef. The bar is popular with an expansive oyster selection and it is casual enough to enjoy at any time while the food is perfect for a special occasions, too. Rouge features French cuisine specially prepared and served in a beautiful setting. A little bistro in Provence would be fun perhaps, but the food would not be any better!  Rouge has become a destination in the Berkshires. Special events include wine dinners and cooking classes, in addition to the outstanding cuisine itself.
The Red Lion Inn  30 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA
Once Upon A Table  30 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA


Restaurant by CIty/ town/village

25 Chapel Street, Albany
Chef Yono’s signature blend of new American cuisine with Indonesian spices creates a dining experience that is unique and totally awesome. If you have not been to Yono’s (and I hope that is very few of you), you need to go.  If personality and creativity and talent could rule the culinary world, go and meet King Yono Purnomo.

Ballston Spa 
Fifty South Restaurant and Bar
2128 Doubleday Avenue, Ballston Spa
A family restaurant in Ballston Spa that has it all—certified gluten-free, farm-to-table dining and a commitment to the community of Ballston Spa.  It is not a wonder that Fifty South is growing in reputation and stature in the Capital Region.

Clifton Park
Ferretti’s Restaurant
262 Ushers Road, Clifton Park
Stopping at Ferretti’s or just taking out is one of Clifton Park’s favorite go-to place that is known for pizza but also well regarded for veal, shrimp and pasta dishes.  In a big and busy area like Clifton Park, family-owned Ferretti’s shines through the chains and larger restaurants.

D’Raymonds Restaurant
269 Osborne Road, Loudonville
We are running out things to say about the multi-time, multi category winner, D’Raymonds. Consistent, excellent and a true leader in our area. Bravo to our friends at D’Raymonds.

Garden Bistro 24
5 Vista Boulevard, Slingerlands  
Classic bistro cuisine shines through. The pomme frites are to “die for” and any dish you select to go with your pomme frites will be outstanding every time.

East/North Greenbush 
Chez Mike
596 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush
I love this place and find it so understandable that our readers love Chez Mike, too. Each night, diners are treated to specials that are out of this world, but it is so hard to give up Chez Mike’s tried and true dishes. Such a wonderful dilemma to have!

Athos Restaurant
1814 Western Avenue, Albany
Greek food done better than anything you can eat in Greece. The service is wonderful, the options are limitless and prepared perfectly every time. I could recommend my favorites there but I would just end up reciting the entire menu!

The Century House
997 New Loudon Road, Latham
The family-run and operated Century House is indispensable here in the Capital Region. They throw outrageous parties and celebrations, the food in the restaurant is consistently awesome and the atmosphere still remains cozy.  How does that happen?  With a management team that knows how to bring it all together. They also give away hundreds of thousands of meals through their own Enjoy One, Share One program that owner Colin Demers designed for the benefit of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.

Canali’s  Restaurant
126 Mariaville Road, Schenectady
Another multi-time, multi category winner that just needs to be tried to be believed. The meatballs are always the “ Bestie.” The sauce is to “die for” and the meat dishes just make you wish you could eat this food every day.

15 Church
15 Church Street, Saratoga
With a winning formula for success and the staff to execute it all, 15 Church shines in a town where good food reigns supreme. They have a great patio with a special patio menu, fantastic dining room and even a happy hour with an outstanding spirit and wine collection. Run to 15 Church and tell them “Vikki” sent you.

433 State Street, Schenectady
Food, family, fun is Johnny’s tag line and what you expect from the Mallozzi family. The reviews are always stellar and Schenectady should be proud of Johnny’s and this family.

Angelo’s Tavolo
1 Glen Avenue, Scotia
Angelo’s Tavolo, located in the remarkable Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia, offers fine dining with a modern Italian theme.  Angelo Mazzone’s dining dynasty is captured here for all the right resolve in dining excellence. A trip to Glen Sanders will bring you back to dining the way it is meant to be—relaxed, creative and great tasting.

Peck’s Arcade
217 Broadway, Troy
Located in the historic, four-story Clark House building in Troy and next to the dynamic owners’ Lucas Confectionery, Peck’s serves up outstanding food to celebrate life. More than a tavern yet not a stuffy environment, Peck’s combines authenticity with eclectic everything.

West Sand Lake/ Averill Park 
The Towne Tavern   
2850 NY 43, Averill Park

Everyone has a place that they head to because they know they will always get great food and they are just comfortable in the setting. For many, that place is Towne Tavern. Outstanding staff and comfort food that will blow your mind. The ribs and chicken wings are wonderful and that is only part of the success because it is all consistently great.


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