Take a Comfort Food Tour of Central New York

Storefronts in downtown Cooperstown

Think about the last trip you went on. Sure, you were probably headed somewhere great with even better company, but how was the food?

No adventure is ever complete without stopping at a few outstanding food places along the way. Central New York is home to many farm-to-table and comfort food destinations that are sure to please even the most particular taste buds.

Here are a few of our top suggestions for comfort food in CNY that will always leave you craving more.

Central New York’s Must-Try’s of Binghamton


Native to the Greater Binghamton area, spiedies have become a delicious cultural phenomenon. Spiedes are marinated cubes of meat cooked on a skewer and typically served up in a long roll. Originally exclusive to lamb, today’s spiedies are created from lamb, pork, chicken, veal, venison and beef.

It’s nearly impossible to go to Binghamton without stopping at Spiedie and Rib Pit. Susan and her husband John Schofield opened the restaurant in 1993, centered around the Spiedie marinade Susan’s family had created years before. To appeal to a larger audience, they created and perfected new marinades including Buffalo Style, Caesar Chicken, Spiedissimo, Endwell Style and Greek Style.

Located on Vestal Parkway, Spiedie and Rib Pit’s mouth-watering food makes it one of the most highly recommended restaurants to visit. Visitors rave about the flavorful spiedies, delicious BBQ chicken and pork and the tender, juicy ribs.

Besides spiedies, there’s no better way to enjoy comfort food in Binghamton than with a great burger from Burger Mondays Bar & Grille. Opened in 2011 by Matt and Suzi Jones, the restaurant helped to contribute to the revitalization of Binghamton’s downtown.

All burgers are handmade with fresh ground meat and paired with hand-cut fries and a house-made pickle. Burger Monday’s also makes homemade sauces, which add a unique flavor to the burgers.

Some of the most popular menu items include The Jonesy, The Classic Burger and the Ahi Tuna Burger. Burger Monday’s even takes personalized burger requests, so ask away!

Casual Dining in Cooperstown

Storefronts in downtown Cooperstown

Famous for hosting the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown also home to some of Central New York’s best restaurants.

Double Day Café is just a short walk from the museum, and has some of the best food to satisfy every craving. The restaurant offers great breakfast, lunch and dinner at very affordable prices.

They are best known for their built-to-perfection sandwiches, savory burgers and incredible French onion soup. The café also offers beer flights from local breweries, which is a great way to get the full Cooperstown experience all in one place.

Upstate Bar and Grill another great place to go if you’re looking for delicious food and some of Cooperstown’s best craft beer. With a fabulous wine list and over 24 beers on tap, the restaurant provides guests with plenty of options to choose from.

The chef-inspired menu includes tasty flatbreads, salads, burgers and more. Upstate Bar and Grill is most famous for their “Hangover Burger,” which includes American cheese, farm fresh eggs, bacon, pearl onions and sriracha aioli.

Home Cooking in Schoharie County

While The Apple Barrel Country Store is a great place to find unique furnishings, home décor and jewelry, they also have a delicious menu. It has been voted the best restaurant in Schoharie for the past five years.

From baked goods and gourmet coffee to paninis and wraps, this Schoharie storefront is sure to satisfy all of your cravings. Guests can also enjoy homemade food including their famous homemade potato chips, pies and soups.

The Famous Foods of Utica

Nestled in a scenic spot where the Erie Canal meets Oneida Lake, the Canal View Café offers amazing lakeside views along with some of Oneida County’s most famous foods. The Canal View specializes in their homemade dishes, including Utica Greens and Chicken Riggies, which are native to the Utica area.

Some of the local favorites also include Canal View Café’s version of a chicken Caesar salad and spiedies.

Showcasing an extensive wine and beer list, Canal View Café offers options from some of New York’s best breweries and wineries including Thirsty Owl, Middle Ages, Saranac and Ithaca Beer Co.

Another Utica original is tomato pie. Not quite pizza, tomato pie is an Italian-American staple that includes a thick focaccia-like dough covered in homemade tomato sauce. The toppings used can vary, but some of the most popular include parmesan and other grated cheeses.

Napoli’s Italian Bakery and Deli is one of the best places to get tomato pie. Homemade and perfectly crafted, the tomato pie is said to be their most popular menu item.

Napoli’s also offers plenty of other comfort food classics that include rolls, calzones, paninis and antipasti.

Farm-to-Table in Madison County

The Madison Bistro is the perfect location to get your farm-to-table comfort food fix. Offering a variety of local products, you can savor in the best quality meats.

Chef Victor Ramirez is dedicated to offer his customers nothing but the best. This café has a mellow vibe and wide selection of food options. Explore their locally brewed beer, wine and hard cider menu to top off your perfect meal.

For all your catering needs, the Madison Bistro has you covered.

The Diner Dishes of Montgomery County

Burger on a plate

Shorty’s Southside Tavern is one of the best places to go in Montgomery County for burgers and brews. Located in Amsterdam, the tavern is known for their amazing comfort food. The large portions will leave you with enough to bring home or to share.

Whether you’re in the mood for a mouth-watering burger or a perfectly cheesy quesadilla, you can’t go wrong with anything from the menu.

Their handmade specialty sandwiches are also among some of the customers’ favorite menu items.

With some of the most tender and juicy prime rib and steaks in town, the Raindancer Restaurant is the ultimate comfort food destination for all meat lovers. The Raindancer filet mignon and New York strip steak are two dishes sure to please all taste buds.

Aside from steaks the Raindancer also makes phenomenal seafood platters. Baked stuffed shrimp, broiled scallops, lobster tails and crab legs are highlighted as some The Raindancer’s specialties.

Before indulging in seafood and steaks, you can also enjoy one of the restaurant’s savory appetizers, including spinach and artichoke dip, calamari or French onion soup.

Food Fit for a King in Herkimer

For more than 25 years, Beardslee Castle has been serving up internationally infused local flavors in its unique setting – a 150-year-old restored Irish-style castle.

Chef/Owner Randall Brown strives to serve equally facinating fare. The menu changes seasonally and features wood-grilled meats and game, the freshest seafood and creative vegetarian dishes drawing from regional American, Mediterranean, island and Asian influences using the best seasonal and local ingredients. 

No matter what Central New York County you visit, you’re bound to find something that will satisfy any craving with some of the best comfort food around.