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Bedell Cellars
Photograph: W Studios NY

11 great eating and drinking day trips from NYC

A two-hour trip for lunch and a breath of fresh air? Yes, please. Here’s our pick of the best restaurants, wineries, and cafes just outside of New York

Written by
Alyssa Haak
&
Keith Flanagan
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New York City has some of the best restaurants and chefs in the world, but sometimes you just want to get out into the countryside and enjoy your food in relative tranquility. A two-hour drive might seem like a lot for lunch, but these days we're looking for any excuse to get out of town even for a minute—especially if it involves destination-worthy grub. So rent a car, hop on the LIRR or Metro-North, and head out to these delicious vineyards and eateries.

RECOMMENDED: All of the best day trips from NYC

The Roundhouse
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

The Roundhouse

1 hour and 30 minutes by car, 2 hours and 30 minutes by train

If you can’t decide whether you’re here for the food or the view, we can’t blame you—both are worth the drive. Located in downtown Beacon and perched along Fishkill Creek, this restaurant overlooks a waterfall through floor-to-ceiling windows (read: those ceilings are 14 1/2 feet high). The restaurant serves up modern American with seasonal ingredients from the Hudson Valley, but if you end up ordering their popular Maine lobster roll, well, we can’t blame you for that either.

Bedell Cellars
Photograph: W Studios NY

Bedell Cellars

2 hours by car, 3 hours by train

This North Fork winery has long focused on sustainable farming and innovative practices—it even helped establish the East Coast's first sustainable certification program just to prove it. Make your way to the winery's cozy tasting room, a renovated 1919 barn (a popular wedding and events venue) complete with panoramic views over the vineyard's vines.

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Frank Pepe Pizzeria
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/phoca2004

Frank Pepe Pizzeria

90 minutes by car, 2 hours and 40 minutes by train

Chicago and New York may top the cities for pizza recognition, but this pizza shop puts New Haven close behind. Enthusiastic ‘za fans flock here for the wood-fired pies, especially the thin-crust house specialty, the White Clam pizza, which has been prepared in those same ovens at the original location since 1925. 

The Heron
Photograph: Couple of Dudes

The Heron

2 hours and 15 minutes by car

Located on the shores of the Delaware River, diners at this comfort food restaurant can sip local brews and eat hearty foods from locally sourced vendors while overlooking the pleasant views of Pennsylvania just over the New York border. The husband and wife behind this tiny bistro have personal relationships with each of their farmers, ensuring the freshest products. The dinner menu is filled with familiar Southern-inflected dishes like pimento cheese and crackers ($12) and buttermilk fried chicken that arrives with a homemade biscuit and honey butter ($23). 

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Ninety Acres
Photograph: Courtesy Ninety Acres

Ninety Acres

1 hour by car, 2 hours and 15 minutes by train

Leave your jeans at home, and gentlemen, be sure to iron your collared shirt. Set on a revitalized estate built in 1912 for the then King of Monaco, Ninety Acres peppers in flavors sourced from its own 12-acre sustainable farm in a refined setting, offering both a chef's prix-fixe ($90 per person) and à la carte options in the dining room. Either option is the perfect end to a day of exploring the 500-acre grounds. 

Troutbeck

2 hours by car

This restaurant still feels like a secret, surrounded by rolling gardens and tucked into a centuries-old, 250-acre estate that was recently restored as a boutique hotel. Chef Gabe McMackin, who previously earned a Michelin star at The Finch in Brooklyn, makes the most out of Hudson Valley ingredients in dishes like swiss chard lasagna ($30) and steelhead trout topped with yellow eye beans and snap peas ($32). But if you can’t make it for dinner, lunch is worth every bite: daylight grants a better view of the estate’s sweeping grounds while casually elegant dishes like sourdough focaccia with whipped ricotta ($12) and braised beef short ribs ($26) are a total knockout.

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The Culinary Institute of America
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Patrick Donovan

The Culinary Institute of America

1 hour and 40 minutes by car, 2 hours and 20 minutes by train

Find the city’s next hot chef before anyone else can by sampling the delights crafted by CIA's chefs-in-training. The Hudson Valley institution has launched the careers of many a kitchen superstars, including Anthony Bourdain, Top Chef All-Star Melissa King, and Food Network’s Cat Cora. Dine at four on-site restaurants including the Apple Pie Bakery Café, American Bounty, and The Bocuse.

Warwick Valley Winery
Photograph: Courtesy Warwick Valley Winery

Warwick Valley Winery

1 hour and 20 minutes by car, 2 hours and 35 minutes by bus

Originally just a pick-your-own orchard, this family farm expanded its offerings to include homemade cider following a particular bumper crop. These days, you can make a full-day event at the winery. After picking apples (available in September and October), sip on draft ciders while listening to live music on the patio during the weekends. An on-site cafe fires up its ovens Wednesdays through Sundays for items like pizza, cheese platters, and charcuterie boards to pair with wine, cider, and other spirits.

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Hoagie Haven
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Wally Gobetz

Hoagie Haven

1 hour and 20 minutes by car, 2 hours and 20 minutes by train

Its location just one block away from Princeton's campus may have helped this carry-out sandwich shop when it opened in 1974, but the extra-large, greasy subs keep the crowds returning—and not just after the bars close. Local bread is piled high with everything from mozzarella sticks (the Sanchez, $7.50 for half, $14 for whole) or a full breakfast on a cheesesteak complete with hash browns and egg (the Body Bag, $8.25 for half, $15.50 for a whole). If they can fit it between two slices of bread, they’ll try it. 

Channing Daughters Vineyard and Winery
Photograph: Daniel Gonzalez

Channing Daughters Vineyard and Winery

2 hours and 5 minutes by car, 3 hours and 20 minutes by train

What began as a one-acre experimental planting in 1982 has grown into a six-vineyard institution totaling 28 acres, all dedicated to sustainable growing practices. Each vineyard is dedicated to a different varietal, from merlot to chardonnay of Italian and French provenance, which you can sample in a variety of wine flights when you partake in their outdoor Tasting Experience ($25 per flight).

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