Essential New York Restaurants and Eateries in Hudson Valley


The Hudson Valley sprawls across the valleys on either side of the Hudson River, and stretches south from the Capital District to New York City. It’s a heady mix of exciting, buzzy towns like Rhinebeck, Beacon, and Woodstock, cities on the rise, such as Peekskill and Poughkeepsie, and sprawling farms and vineyards in between. Hudson, in particular, has been raising its epicurean game even in this time of COVID-19.

Bon appetit! 

Yelp’s Price Range Key:

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

Wm. Farmer & Sons Barroom

20 South Front Street, Hudson

The quirky, homey name derives from the Farmer family’s tradition of naming, and a tribute to the owner Kirby’s father, who helped them open and run what has become one of the Hudson Valley’s most popular restaurants, bars, and guest houses. William Joseph Farmer is the OG, William Kirby Famer is the owner and chef, and William Wyeth Farmer is the young farmer-in-training. Family isn’t just in this restaurant’s name though, it’s in its game, and part of the reason it is so beloved: guests are welcomed with open arms, sometimes literally, and the food tastes like a dream of childhood, tinged with the extra doses of deliciousness that nostalgic memories bring. A recent pre-pandemic meal included Louisiana Frog Legs (champagne batter, collard kimchi, curried yogurt), Red Shrimp, Grits & Gravy (with aji Amarillo and pickled scape), paired with a flight of New York State whiskeys (Beacon Small Batch Bourbon, Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon, Fort Hamilton Rye). $$$

Photo: Wm. Farmer & Sons

Also worth mentioning in Hudson, The Maker Cafe (Egg and Cheese on a roll that is to die for; Maker doughnuts and muffins you will dream about; and that’s just breakfast!); Talbot and Arding Cheese and Provisions (currently only takeout until it moves to its larger new space); recently opened Breadfolks Bakery (buttery almond croissants with a hint of orange that cannot be forgotten!); and also, opened just this month, Kitty’s Market and Cafe across from the Hudson train station (best rotisserie chicken ever and delicious, garden fresh sides bursting with unexpected herb and spice accents to enjoy in a patio area out back)

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

630 Bedford Road, Tarrytown 

Blue Hill at Stone Barns is on a farm meticulously created, leaf by heirloom kale leaf, on the grounds of a former estate belonging to the Rockefellers. Blue Hill was created to be more than a restaurant; it was founded in 2004 by Dan Barber. He aimed to create a place offering a multi-course feast created from the bounty of its fields, but which also served as a tangible example of responsibly — and deliciously — produced local agriculture. The hyper-locally and organically grown baby oak lettuce heads, mokum carrots, scarlet frills mustard greens, Berkshire pigs, ice spinach, and row flint corn (all being cultivated in the greenhouse or in the fields and stored in the root cellar) don’t come cheap. A menu, sans drinks, runs $278 per person in “normal times.” During the pandemic, Blue Hill is offering picnic dining and to-go boxes with gourmand-worthy produce, meat and fish. Picnics cost $195 per person. $$$$

Cocina Oaxaquena

513 Main Street, Poughkeepsie

It’s hard to find authentic Mexican cuisine outside of Mexico. The struggle is so real that, when news of a restaurant cranking out the good stuff spreads, tampiquena lovers will drive for hours just to grab a quick snack. Cocina Oaxaquena has become one of those unexpected foodie destinations. The freshly baked tlayudas (crunchy flatbreads) are lush and chewy, the enchiladas free-form, piquant umami bombs, an opera of textures, deep mole goodness and melty, fresh, tart cheese. The tacos and burritos are muy bueno, too. $

The Stewart House

2 North Water Street, Athens

The utterly charming, relatively obscure, historic town of Athens, situated on the west side of the Hudson River with more than 300 18th and 19th century historic register buildings, is home to The Stewart House. “The Stewie,” originally established as a boarding house in 1883 and then becoming a preferred destination hotel for celebrities of its day, has been caringly restored by owners Lon and Lois Ballinger as a boutique hotel and farm-to-table restaurant that maintains all the dark-wood, gas-light ambiance of the original. We especially enjoyed sampling several small plates, including oysters on the halfshell, burrata with grilled confit carrot, Jacuterie soppressata, toasted hazelnut, sour toast and the little gem salad with beets, SH ranch, herbed bread crumb. $$

Photo: The Stewart House