If it isn't obvious already, I'm a massive foodie. From street food to fine dining, I pride myself on knowing all the best restaurants in every city I visit - the city I live in being no exception. With another possible lockdown around the corner, it's more important than ever to support small businesses, including restaurants. From Saratoga to Troy, here are my favorite restaurants where I've been wined and dined, and what I like to order there. Planning a trip to Upstate New York? Check out where to stay in our blog on 10 Coolest Airbnb Stays in Upstate NY.
Albany’s famed upscale steakhouse with delicious seafood and impeccable service.
My recommendation: Lobster Mac & cheese, Surf and Turf Roll, Seafood Tower.
Pub fare served in a 19th century brewhouse. This is my go-to place to bring family and friends as it's moderately priced and has a menu that offers something for everyone.
My recommendation: Lobster Mac & Cheese
Delicious Mediterranean Restaurant serving amazing pasta dishes and fresh Paella.
My recommendation: Seafood Paella
Old fashioned pub with brick fireplace and trendy outdoor area.
My recommendation: Grilled Chicken Sandwich & Poutine
City Line This place is known for their cocktails, but their food is just as good. I recommend making a reservation as they’re always busy - if it’s during the summer months, request their outdoor seating. My recommendation: Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos.
Fashionable bar and restaurant in Albany’s Center Square neighborhood with great cocktails and street-side patio.
My recommendation: Crab Cake and Parmesan fries
Elegant eatery, tucked away in a strip mall, featuring classic Italian dishes.
My recommendation: Risotto Frutti di Mare
Brunch served in a romantic garden-style setting.
My recommendation: Raspberry Brie French Toast and Avocado Toast
Juniors (Albany & Troy)
Local sports bar with famed wings and homemade sauces.
My recommendation: Whiskey Barrell Wings
Kismet Traditional Turkish food served in a beautiful, charming atmosphere.
My recommendation: Shrimp Kavourma, Hummus, & Lamb & Beef Gyro Wrap
La Fiesta (Albany & Clifton Park)
Casual Mexican food and margaritas with a large, but delicious menu.
My recommendation: Steak Fajitas
Asian Barbecue restaurant with self-cooking grills and all you can eat options.
My recommendation: Curry Chicken
Mr. Fuji Sushi (Albany & Clifton Park)
Popular sushi restaurant in Stuyvesant plaza near the University of Albany
My recommendation: Spicy Crab Roll with Avocado
Farm-to-table dining with a new menu that changes with what’s available by growers and suppliers.
My recommendation: Brussel Sprout dish
Small, cozy wine bar with outdoor courtyard patio strung up with fairy lights on Lark Street.
My Recommendation: Crabby Patty
New Italian restaurant in Center Square opened by the owners of Dove and Deer
My recommendation: Ravioli Alla Rosanna
Tanpopo Ramen and Sake Bar (Albany and Schenectady)
Traditional Ramen sold in a historic railcar diner setting.
My recommendation: Seafood Ramen
Southern style cooking in a charming yet modern setting.
My recommendation: Green Fried Tomato
Mimicking an actual English Pub, they serve a variety of different dishes you could traditionally find in England, including Indian influenced plates. They've added a great outdoor area and commonly have live music!
My recommendation: Doner Kebab
TORO Cantina New upscale Mexican Restaurant with craft drinks, art murals, and neon signs. My recommendation: Lobster Quesadillas
Brunch, lunch, and dinner served in a luxurious setting below the Renaissance Hotel.
My recommendation: Hudson Valley Duck Breast
Yono's Fine dining Indonesian-American dishes served on white table clothes in an intimate setting - one of my absolute favorite restaurants in the area. My recommendation: Duck Fat Roasted Cervena Venison (one of the best things I’ve ever had) & Drunken Noodles.
A small microbrewery offering a fun and eclectic seasonal menu with a massive beer selection and outdoor patio. It's safe to say I'm a regular here.
My recommendation: Big Schnit, One Layer Dip, & Duck Confit Tacos
Bellini's Italian Eatery (Clifton Park, Slingerlands & Latham)
Southern Italian restaurant serving pasta dishes, pizza, and seafood.
My recommendation: Tortelloni Carbonara
Café Madison (Loudonville & Albany) Popular brunch place with locations in Albany and Latham. My recommendation: Breakfast Burger & The Delaware Sandwich
Awarded Best Italian Restaurant of the Capital District for twelve consecutive years by the Times Union, this place is a local favorite serving to-die-for Italian dishes such as pastas, seafood, veal, and more.
My recommendation: Lobster Ravioli
Industrial-chic outpost for innovative twists on traditional dishes featuring a heated patio area. This inviting restaurant makes the perfect date night spot.
My recommendation: Five Onion Bisque, Steamed Pork Buns & Rigatoni with cream sauce and shaved brussels sprouts.
Cozy eatery with a large menu (and large portions!), salad bar, and outdoor seating.
My recommendation: Melt-In-Your-Mouth Prime Rib Dip
Delicious Northern-Italian cuisine served in a modern space with a large cocktail bar - Not what you would expect to find in a strip-mall.
My recommendation: Fico Pizza, Bruschetta, & Antipasto Di Salumi E Formaggio
Half night club, half sports bar serving Philly-style fare. Visit during the summer months for live music on their outdoor patio surrounded by posh fireplaces.
My recommendation: Fish Tacos
Modern upscale bistro with great wine selection and summertime patio.
My recommendation: Surf & Turf Sushi
Traditional Thai food served in a laid back atmosphere with friendly staff.
My recommendation: Yellow Shrimp Curry
Tipsy Moose (Latham, Albany, & Troy)
This restaurant has a laid-back, Adirondack feel serving comfort food in a log-style tavern.
My recommendation: Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese & Caesar Salad Wrap
Popular brewpub serving American style food with rotating beers and great cocktails.
My recommendation: Spiedies (Replace blue cheese with ranch)
Dinosaur BBQ The famous Syracuse restaurant comes to Albany with a location sitting along the Mohawk river with a fun outdoor bar, live music, and swoon-worthy barbeque.
My recommendation: Everything...but specifically the Fried Green Royale Sliders, Pulled Pork, Baked Beans.
An Instagram-worthy casual brunch spot serving a variety of different trendy dishes in their garden courtyard.
My Recommendation: Curry Chicken Wrap and lots of mimosas
Casual Polish & American fare are served in this ski lodge-like pub with a year-round beer garden.
My recommendation: Kielbasa Roll
Whistling Kettle (Troy, Schenectady, & Ballston Spa)
Tea-store meets modern café serving traditional afternoon tea with delicious food and desserts.
My recommendation: Lobster Bisque & Ballstonian Panini
Daley's on Yates Great happy hour location featuring an outside patio and a fun, contemporary design.
My recommendation: Pot Roast
Popular Italian restaurant with delicious pasta dishes served across from Proctors Theater.
My recommendation: Pink Sauce alla Olivia with Shrimp
Self-serve wine spouts served in a trendy atmosphere with an outdoor patio overlooking the Mohawk river featuring palm trees, fireplaces, and lounge seating areas. Note: This restaurant is 21+ only.
My recommendation: Charcuterie Board & Gettin’ Figgy With It Flatbread
Argued to be one of the best restaurants in Saratoga - Stop by for some of the best cocktails you’ll ever have on their outdoor patio.
My recommendation: Fried Green Tomatoes & Lobster Fra Diavolo
Spanish Tapas served in a cozy setting with brick and wood accents. My recommendation: Paella de Marisco
Druthers Brewing Company (Saratoga, Albany, Schenectady) Restaurant-brewery duo that is famed in the Albany area for great food and beer - My recommendation: Lamb Gyro
Max London’s Hip brunch location with outdoor dining on Saratoga’s main street and delicious cocktails. My recommendation: Cod Cakes
Upscale sushi dishes served below the Adelphi Hotel - regarded as some of the best sushi in Saratoga.
My recommendation: Kobe Maki
Upscale Italian dining with a menu that changes with the Chef’s moods.
My recommendation: Lobster Bolognese
Saratoga’s Premiere Steak and Seafood restaurant overlooking Saratoga National Golf Course. My recommendation: Surf and Turf Tempura Roll & French Onion Soup
Upscale dining with a beautiful patio overlooking Saratoga’s main shopping street. I strongly suggest getting a bottle of champagne and spending an afternoon here people watching.
My recommendation: Scallops & Clothesline Bacon
With the current state of the pandemic, remember to abide by each individual restaurant’s guidelines to keep yourself, those around you, and the restaurant staff safe. When visiting the Capital Region, we hope you get the chance to explore these local restaurants at the heart of our city.
Have a local restaurant recommendation in Albany, Latham, Schenectady, or Saratoga that we didn't mention? Let us know in the comments below!