Essential New York Restaurants and Eateries in Finger Lakes


The Finger Lakes are what they sound like: long, narrow (and incredibly deep) lakes lining up roughly north to south. The 11 lakes were formed 2 million years ago when the Laurentide Ice Sheet moved southward. The result is a beautiful place with a unique terroir that has become world-famous for its delicious produce and wines (especially the Riesling and Cabernet Franc). It's also home to one of the most well-known farmers market in New York -- Ithaca Farmers Market -- bringing together the food and products of over 160 growers and artisans.

Bon appetit! 

Yelp’s Price Range Key:

$$ Moderate
$$$ Pricey
$$$$ Ultra High-End

F.L.X. Table

22 Linden Street, Geneva

Geneva is at the heart of some terrific Finger Lakes restaurants, of which we recommend F.L.X. Table as the best. Owned by master sommelier Christopher Bates and his wife, Isabel, their guests share a large table with 12 other people and enjoy a surprise fixed menu at $59 per person; wine pairings, international or local, or beer pairings are offered. You usually need to book a spot at least a month in advance. These days, reservations are marginally easier to come by. A recent meal there included Chicken Royal, with truffles, chanterelle, quinoa and dukkah, a farmers board of local artisanal cheeses, homemade breads, spreads and dips. $$$

Photo: F.L.X. Table

Nick Tahou Hots 

320 West Main Street, Rochester

Photo: @bitemeana

On the extreme other gustatory end, if you’ve been to Rochester and you haven’t been to Nick’s, it doesn’t count. Despite countless imitators, no one does the Garbage Plate better than Nick’s. Founded in 1918 by Alex Tahou, and named for his son Nick, the Garbage Plate begins with a base of any combination of home fries, macaroni salad, baked beans, and French fries, and then is topped with the guest’s choice of meats and dressed with spicy mustard, chopped onions, and Nick’s signature hot sauce, to taste. Each plate comes with a side of bread and butter because, clearly, you need more carbs and fat in your life. Your internist would not approve, so don’t tell her. $