Yeah, you can get any cuisine you want in the city—but if you crave your food just-picked fresh, it’s worth driving the two or three hours to where it’s grown. The Catskills have long been known for family farms, roadside farmstands and loads of classic diners. Now inventive new restaurants showcase homestyle tastes too. In the past few years, chefs have opened notable spots featuring the Catskills' seasonal fare such as squash in the fall and maple syrup in early spring. The drink scene is expanding as well, branching out to include more and more craft beers and distinctly New York takes on beverages like cider, gin and absinthe. Whether you find yourself perched in a booth, at a banquette or on a barstool, you’ll definitely be satisfied with the Catskill fare.
A restored farmhouse in the town of Big Indian now hosts, appropriately, a farm-to-table restaurant. Local produce like celeriac and lacinato kale often pop up on the menu at Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room along with hearty mains like leg of lamb or rainbow trout.
The young guy-girl pair behind Wayside Cider started to gather up wild, heirloom and dessert apples around the Delaware County town of Andes back in 2014. The incredible Catskill cider that results creates a unique new cider that bucks the current trend of European-inspired ciders.
Bed and breakfasts might not conjure up too much excitement, but the Spruceton Inn in West Kill describes itself as a “bed and bar,” which immediately has our attention. Owned and operated by a husband and wife duo, this nine-room inn boasts a long history. Crack open a brew and sip it by the fire while hearing more tales of the inn's historic past.
In Roscoe, the birthplace of American fly fishing, several guys’-guy distillers took over the town’s handsome brick 1929 firehouse a few years back to open Prohibition Distillery. They now make robust Bootlegger vodka, gin, and whiskey for inclusion in cocktails like a Catskill Manhattan—and all within two hours of the city!
This homey breakfast-and-beyond café, a Phoenicia standard since 1984, offers what may be the best stack of pancakes in the Catskills. Other faves at Sweet Sue's include the poppyseed-swirl French toast.
This new 1,600-square-foot timber-frame brewery and tasting room has a rough-and-tumble mountain feel, with fish and game mounted on the walls. Roscoe Beer Co. brews like Trout Town Logger, a Bohemian-style lager, evoke the great outdoors, too.
This scrupulously authentic family-owned Italian shop in Roscoe makes special homemade pasta varieties like garginelli and squid-ink fettucine. They stuff their ravioli with seasonal ingredients like garlic scapes or zucchini blossoms. Northern Farmhouse Pasta is also the first to use 100 percent New York-grown wheat, keeping things as local as possible. For a real Italian fix, twice per week the shop turns into a restaurant where guests can sample the pastas in a rustic farmhouse setting.
The Bull & Garland, a British-inspired gastropub in Hobart serves up all the pub classics (Scotch eggs, hanger steak, maple sticky-toffee pudding) but with modern updates and local touches (like a Ceasar salad with quail egg). It’s all set in an understated white country inn, with picnic tables and strands of white lights out back.