7 Restaurants to Try in Schenectady, NY
If you live in or are planning to visit Schenectady, NY, then you should definitely try the local food. Voted as one of the top 12 food cities in upstate New York, there are plenty of good eats around here. Our team here at DePaula Ford has come up with a few favorites they think are must-try spots. That’s why we made this comprehensive list of the best restaurants in the area.
If you know anything about the New England region, you are probably already aware of the heavy Italian influence on the area. Ranked as the #1 restaurant in Schenectady, Johnny’s offers patrons a true taste of Italy. You can stop by for lunch or dinner to enjoy a delicious, hearty meal. For lunch, they have soup, salad, sandwiches, pasta, and even Italian nachos covered in fried pasta, pepperoncini, olives, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and, of course, melted cheese. For dinner, you can choose from an appetizer like fried mozzarella or the Italian Salumi Plate. Follow that with an entree such as Lobster Fra Diavolo, Ravioli Montecasino, or even a steak. For dessert, you can enjoy a traditional tiramisu. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you can’t go wrong with your selection at Johnny’s.
2. Ambition Bistro
For folks looking for a vegetarian-friendly cafe that serves American-style food, Ambition Bistro is a solid pick. This restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. On the weekends, they have two separate brunch menus. Saturday brunch favors omelet lovers, which Sunday brunch has a wide range of Chef’s Choice specials, including blueberry pancakes, English muffins, and waffles. What’s even cooler about Ambition Bistro is its location. The building was constructed back in 1870, but the cafe was founded in 2000.
3. Tara Kitchen
To satisfy your craving for Moroccan food, stop by Tara Kitchen for brunch, lunch, or dinner. It was voted the Best Mediterranean Restaurant in 2019 by Capital Region Living. Enjoy a taste of Morocco at brunch when you order couscous, lamb hash with eggs, or harira, which is a tomato-based lentil, chickpea, and rice soup. At lunch, you can order anything from pita pizzas to a signature entree such as kati rolls, which are flatbreads stuffed with chicken, lamb, or potatoes. For a truly Moroccan experience, stop by for dinner and enjoy a delicious stew cooked in traditional pots and served with rice and pita bread. If you want a worldly dining experience, Tara Kitchen is the place to go.
4. Blue Ribbon Restaurant
If you are in the mood for seafood, you have to pay a visit to Blue Ribbon Restaurant. Offering a wide selection of Greek foods, you can try anything from deep-sea scallops to stuffed haddock. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can find just about anything on the menu. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, they even have the Blue Rose Cheesecake & Bake Shop that has been voted by Capital Region Living Magazine as having the Best Cheesecake and Best Dessert. They’ve got pies, macaroons, cupcakes, baklava, and so much more. So, if your sweet tooth is acting up, satisfy it with a few of their tasty desserts.
5. The Glass Tavern
If you are searching for the best place to wet your whistle, head over to The Glass Tavern. This upscale restaurant and bar offers luxurious food like oysters, lobster bisque, and filet mignon with coconut shrimp. You can also choose from a long list of drafted and bottled beers, cocktails, bourbons, and wine. It’s a great place to mingle and make new friends. The unique setting features floor-to-ceiling shelving to display their impressive wine collection and a stunning fireplace. The atmosphere alone is reason enough for a visit.
6. Katie O’Byrnes Restaurant
As an Irish pub situated in downtown Schenectady, Katie O’Byrnes Restaurant offers friendly service and fabulous food. You can order anything from pizza to burgers, to sandwiches, and salads. If you want to taste something authentic, order the Dublin Meat & Cheese Board. This delightful plate features thick wedges of liverwurst and cheddar cheese with red onions and spicy mustard. It’s served on a breadboard with a basket of crackers and goes great with a tall glass of ale. Of course, Katie’s also offers a great selection of Irish beers including Guinness, Harp, and Smithwick’s.
7. Jasmine Thai Restaurant
If you are in the mood for Asian cuisine, stop by Jasmine Thai Restaurant. Rated as the #1 Asian restaurant in Schenectady, they serve everything from sticky rice to drunken noodles. You can find tofu and potstickers here as well. Known for their prompt service, beautiful plating styles, and generous portion sizes, this is a local hotspot for folks wanting to enjoy some good eats. Craving Pad Thai? They serve that too! The dining room is modern and clean for an enjoyable experience for the entire family.