Occasionally overlooked in favor of New York City, Buffalo or the Finger Lakes Region, Syracuse is worth a visit for those seeking family-friendly, great-outdoors adventures combined with urban shopping, wineries, breweries and stellar dining opportunities too.
What unique finds await in Syracuse? How about the only upside-down stoplight in the country, the world’s largest indoor suspended ropes course and outdoor attractions that will simply take your breath away? But if you’re going to explore this Upstate hidden gem, you’ll need some good fuel to keep you going. Here are nine of the best restaurants in Syracuse, ready to help you do just that.
For upscale dining in downtown Syracuse, head to Eleven Waters, a rustic bistro with hand-crafted cocktails and a menu inspired by local ingredients. Dinner entree options include puttanesca, beef short rib, Faroe Island salmon and a market catch of the day. The steak frites is a real treat, topped with your choice of a brandy peppercorn sauce, blue cheese, mustard butter sauce, caramelized shallots and red wine, or maitre d’hotel butter.
500 South Warren Street
A longstanding community fixture, Lemon Grass has served Pacific Rim Thai cuisine for two decades…and counting. The award-winning menu has earned a reputation in the region and entire Northeast. Get your fix of classic curry, garlic shrimp, roasted duck and more. If you’re looking for a dessert you can feel good about eating, try the ultra-local trio of New York-sourced yogurt, honeycomb and granola.
238 West Jefferson Street
The Stoop Kitchen
A casual, local favorite, The Stoop imbues a homey atmosphere. If you’re in a hurry, grab a little something from the bakery, whether you’re craving a sweet tart or savory croissant. Or stick around for dinner and drinks. At its two bars, you’ll find more than 160 tequilas, mezcals and other spirits to complement the seasonal menu, which features options the likes of duck pot pie or slow-roasted kohlrabi.
311 West Fayette Street
Located within the Genesee Grande Hotel, 1060 Restaurant is elegant, with a limited menu that prioritizes quality over quantity–to good results. Signature entrees include airline chicken breast, chicken chardonnay, New York strip steak and roasted pork tenderloin, among others. Local tip: Mark your itinerary for a Friday night date at this particular eatery, when you can enjoy a bottle of house wine for free when you buy two dinner entrees.
1060 East Genesee Street
Born from a desire to provide great food sourced locally, Stone’s Steakhouse puts local fare first. The menu features mouthwatering plates, such as stuffed quail (with escarole, cranberries, sausage and brie cheese) served alongside port wine poached pears, sweet potato and cranberry demi-glace (in case you need a little Thanksgiving-style fix). Another tempting option is the seared rack of lamb, with parmesan-truffle risotto cakes, red onion marmalade, crispy shallots and a red wine demi-glace.
3220 Erie Boulevard East
Greenwood Winery & Bistro
Explore New York’s wine culture while dining in a refreshing bistro setting. It doesn’t get more local than Greedwood, where you can expect home-grown, fresh ingredients from their vegetable and herb gardens, alongside wine from the vineyard just feet away. Choose from light options including an array of sandwiches, salads, flatbreads and small bites.
6475 Collamer Road
This historic restaurant was founded in 1899 and has been a popular landmark ever since, hosting presidents and celebrities alike. Beyond the historic appeal and farm-to-table philosophy, dining at The Krebs is also a feel-good choice, as all net profits are donated to central New York women and children’s charities. So, pull up a chair and dig in to some delicious Amish chicken, hen o’ the woods, lamb shank or cioppino. Save room for the decadent dessert options, like the apricot tart, made with duck egg custard and mandarin jus, or the yuzu sesame donut.
53 West Genesee Street
More than 160 years of history go into the pizzas at Peppino’s, where the chefs create classic Italian bites inspired by pure tradition. Pizza varieties are plentiful–cheese, sweet Italian sausage, prosciutto, artichoke, shrimp, pesto, duck and more–so every diner in your group can enjoy a memorable pie, whatever their preferred toppings may be.
409 South Clinton Street
Shaughnessy’s Irish Pub
A new addition to the Syracuse dining scene, located within the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, Shaughnessy’s is the place to catch a game in a comfortable atmosphere. Pair a craft beer you fancy with Shaughnessy’s signature sandwich–corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss and Marie Rose sauce on marble rye. Other Irish favorites include shepherd’s pie and beef on weck (a sandwich served on a salt and caraway seed-covered kimmelweck bun).
550 South Warren Street