Everything to Eat and Drink Before Summer Ends in the Hudson Valley
Can you eat your way through this food-centric bucket list before autumn arrives?
Mama's Boy Burgers / Photo by Andrea Cabane
Mama’s Boy Burgers, Tannersville
For some reason, a sizzling pile of meat pairs perfectly with sizzling temperatures, particularly when offset with fresh tomato and crisp lettuce. Mama’s Boy Burgers offers a creative menu of upscale burgers, from classic, Shake Shack-inspired hamburgers to multiple veggie options, and almost all of their ingredients are locally sourced.
2. Hot Dogs
Pete’s Hot Dogs, Newburgh
We wouldn’t be doing our duty if we published a summer food bucket list without a hot dog on it. And Pete’s is perhaps Orange County’s favorite frank. This beloved, intergenerational spot has been serving hot dogs since 1932. Forget blends, forget gourmet ingredients: Pete’s is known for its plain and simple, all-beef dogs.
3. Soft Serve
Holy Cow, Red Hook
No food is more redolent of summer, a burst of cold invading a buzzing, muggy night; and few are more impermanent, your cone melting faster than you can get it down. On humid evenings, whether a softball game has just finished up or people can’t bear hiding indoors, Holy Cow’s line stretches deep into the parking lot, everyone waiting for soft serve that’s not too creamy and not too light.
4. Hard Ice Cream
Valley Harvest Ice Cream & Grill, Germantown
If soft serve is about cooling off, then hard ice cream is all about savoring subtle flavors, mixed textures, and chunks of chocolate and fruit. Valley Harvest Ice Cream & Grill serves a slew of flavors, including seasonal creations like peach ice cream — an August addition.
5. Cold Brew
Reverie: Coffee + Craft Beer, Patterson
Bedeviled for years by watered-down, room-temperature-at-best iced coffee, the recent popularity of cold brew means that drinkers need spare none of the jolt on days when they don’t feel like sweating every time they take a sip. Reverie in Patterson specializes in the stuff, and the recent addition of CBD-infused cold brew means your body won’t know how to feel this summer.
Freefall Sangria, Wallkill
Is it the kick of red wine (or the newly released white) or the fruity sweetness that hides it? Either way, sangria is the perfect hang-out drink, making hours and inhibitions disappear. For a local twist, bring a bottle of Freefall Sangria to your next barbecue or cookout. Made by a pair of skydivers in Wallkill, it packs more than a little punch.
Golden Harvest Farms pie / Photo by Turnquist Photography
Golden Harvest Farms, Valatie
The best desserts take advantage of what’s currently in season, making a good cherry or blueberry pie the most seasonably apt choice. Stop by Golden Harvest Farm for pastries baked fresh on site, and keep coming back for their apple pie — and cider donuts! — when picking season arrives.
The Armadillo / Photo by Lillian Dumont Photography
Whether on your first mouth-puckering sip, or divvying up the bottom of the pitcher, could there be a more refreshing drink than a margarita? Armadillo in Kingston has changed ownership and offerings, but their margarita remains a stand-out. Order the frozen version for an added bit of chill.
Stone Ridge Orchard, Stone Ridge
Berries aren’t quite as satisfying when you can’t tell everyone you plucked them from the bush with your own hands. Stop by Stone Ridge Orchard for raspberry, red currant, and strawberry picking from July to September.
Brothers Barbecue, New Windsor
Long summer days might be the only time people in the Valley have to invest in their grills, resulting in creatively decadent variations on barbecuing. If you don’t want to get smoke in your face all day, head to Brothers Barbecue, serving no-frills East Carolina-style BBQ at all price points.
Berben & Wolff’s, Albany
Meat eaters aren’t the only folks who can enjoy some sweet smokiness: the BBQ pulled jackfruit at this Capital Region favorite is both great and green. Sure, it’s not the real thing, but that’s kind of the point.
11. Brewery Visit
Sloop Brewing Co. @ The Barn, Elizaville
While brewing (and drinking) are year-round jobs, many breweries are most pleasant to visit when you won’t freeze your fingers off for a view. And Sloop Brewing Company has a great set-up in a barn on acres of rolling farmland that are a fantastic visual companion to the many IPAs on tap.
The Artist’s Palate, Poughkeepsie
Lean, fresh cuts of fish define many a summer diet, and The Artist’s Palate in Poughkeepsie has some of the freshest around, responsibly and, where possible, regionally sourced for dishes like braised mussels and Faroe Island salmon.
13. Sweet Corn
Wallkill View Farm Market, New Paltz
The perfect side, a smart piece of sweet corn more than makes up for all of the shucking. Quality varies according to crop and season, but after a long day of hiking or biking, the Wallkill View Farm Market is an easy pit stop for this summer favorite.
14. Funnel Cake Sticks
Walter’s Hot Dogs, Mamaroneck, White Plains
We love Walter’s. Not only for their hot dogs — which would give Pete’s a run for their money — but for creating tasty treats like funnel cake sticks. These thin strips of melt-in-your-mouth dough topped with powdered sugar are more manageable than the usual heap of decadence, and every bit as delicious. But honestly, if you’re looking to check this item off your bucket list, any fried dough will do — churros, zeppoles, or your confection of choice.
The Amsterdam / Photo by Jennifer May
15. Bonfires and Bocce
The Amsterdam, Rhinebeck
August evenings are perfect for savoring the summer in all of its sleepy, sultry glory. Under the glow of The Amsterdam’s backyard patio, you can challenge some friends to a game of bocce before plopping down by the bonfire for a cocktail — or two.