For my Top 10, I decided to combine my two favorite things: food and New Paltz. It’s no secret, if you know me, that I love the eateries in New Paltz. From vegan hotspots to burrito havens, food gives me life.
Now, this list was tough, almost cutthroat, and certain places had to battle it out for my approval. In fact, the great founder of Russo’s himself gave me 20 free sandwiches to include his joint. Alas, I could not be bribed … until he made it a lifetime supply, and then I gave in. What? I’m journalist, not a fool. So here you have it, a list of places that I wish would sponsor this list and me.
10) Russo’s Italian Deli
Now I know what you’re thinking: what would the great founder of Russo’s himself think of his place being last? It’s last for a reason. Russo’s is dangerous, almost deadly. I spent a significant amount of money there last semester and consumed endless carbs. Sure, you can order a sandwich not on focaccia bread, but why would you? Devour a Bel’ Tempo or a My Cousin Luca with caution. You’ve been warned.
Huckleberry is a new gem on the scene and since opening its doors last year I have experienced nothing short of great food and drinks here. Sitting upstairs, downstairs or outside, one feels very hip and cool with a warm spiked cider in hand or a signature cocktail. On the top floor, people can play board games, and it gives off a funky metropolitan vibe. They serve awesome pub dishes with a twist like Stout mac n’ cheese and white bean quinoa burgers.
8) Lagusta’s Luscious Commissary!
Calling all vegans and non-vegans, Commissary! is amazing regardless of what you choose to consume! Churning out perfectly airy macarons, creamy mac and cheese and rich chocolatey goodness, it’s the best joint for any occasion. They also practice what they preach through using high-quality, fair trade ingredients. You may even catch a glimpse of the magically colorful Lagusta herself while sipping on an iced Americano.
Tucked into the corner of the Rite Aid plaza, this noodle oasis has it all, from reasonably priced lunch specials to incredibly authentic Japanese cuisine that you often won’t find at other Americanized Japanese restaurants. Robynne Yokota, an expert of Japanese food and a close personal friend of mine, can vouch for this. They sometimes even host jazz shows and play Miyazaki films, so of course, you should go there immediately.
6) Main Street Bistro
The Bistro is a classic. However, it isn’t higher up on this list for a reason. I rarely get to enjoy a breakfast special or a frittata from this breakfast haven because the line runs out the door. It’s a great spot to hit up on a Sunday morning if you have the patience. A few tips: try to go there at weird hours, like 2 p.m. on a Tuesday, and avoid the weekends at all costs, unless you have some time to kill.
5) Kosiner Brothers
I decided to cheat a little here and simply say the Kosiner Brothers instead of the Fry Shack, the Hot Dog Cart or Dohnut Brothers. How could I pick just one of these revolutionary places? They are all located in the picturesque Water Street Market, so why not sample all of what these food geniuses have to offer? Enjoy a doughnut and then dive into some cheese fries. Treat. Yo. Self.
4) Convenient Deli
This may seem like an odd choice. I know it’s not fancy or gourmet. It’s the kind of place that you stumble into drunk at 1 a.m. to satiate your sandwich needs. It’s the kind of place that you turn to when you have very little extra spending money for a sandwich special that costs $6.47 complete with: the sandwich of the day, a side and a fountain drink. It’s our hometown hero, the one that is always there to feed our empty souls.
3) Bacchus Restaurant, Brewery & Billiards
I only recently started going to Bacchus this semester and it has already won me over. They have a variety of dishes from pasta to fish tacos. The ambiance is very hipster meets Old West saloon. While I’ve never personally had a beer there, I’ve heard they’re delicious. I recommend trying their Ahi Tuna tacos with a heavenly apple slaw.
2) Mexicali Blue
So, supposedly Anthony Bourdain never actually endorsed Mexicali despite what the restaurant claimed, but that lack of judgment makes me skeptical about his food critiquing abilities. Mexicali has the best burritos that I’ve ever tasted. A personal favorite of mine is the chicken. Yet, you can’t go wrong with the guacamole option or the salmon. It’s a smaller venue, so I usually get my burritos to go. Be sure to grab some of their signature hot sauces before heading out.
1) Main Course Catering & Marketplace
What is there to say about Main Course that hasn’t already been said? You can purchase a delicious medium salad there for around $10, mixing and matching various vegetables and your choice of protein and cheese. They have delicious desserts that I always share with my friends. Their soups vary along with their specials of the day. It’s a great place to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Everything is reasonably priced and farm-to-table fresh. It’s my number one for a reason.
And there you have it, my top 10 eateries in New Paltz. I am aware that so many other wonderful places didn’t make the cut. It was tough to leave them behind, but now, it’s your turn to make your own list and spread the joy of food.