Saratoga’s Ultimate Food & Drink Guide

From buzzy nightcaps and yummy vegan dishes to the inside dirt on each of Saratoga’s coffee shops, no local food or drink was left un-tasted in the making of this everything guide to Saratoga’s food and drink scene.

The 3 Best Vegan Dishes in Saratoga

Saratoga was a little slow to hop on the vegan train (hey, herbivores need to eat, too!). But recently, vegan dishes—and an all-vegan smoothie joint—have been sprouting up around town. Here are three of the best.

• Cantina’s Veggie Burrito (with salsa verde instead of crema and ranchero)

• BARE Blends’ Coffee Crunch Smoothie Bowl (ABOVE)

• Kraverie’s Jap Chae Noodles

The 3 Best Dishes Under $15 in Saratoga

While the Spa City is known for its high-end, three-dollar-sign restaurants, it has a fair deal of affordable options, too. Looking for lunch on a budget? Here’s where to find it.

• Duo Japanese’s Lunch Special

• Olde Bryan Inn’s French Onion Soup (ABOVE)

• Putnam Market’s Cold Bar

The 3 Best Side Dishes in Saratoga

If you love to order a side of veggies for your table to split with dinner, Saratoga isn’t really the place for you. Honestly—where are all the healthy side dishes, people?! While we wait, we’ve IDed
three worthy shareable sides among the Spa City’s sea of entrées and apps.

• The Merc’s Smothered Green Beans

• Salt & Char’s Local Asparagus

• Morton’s cheat day Creamed Spinach (ABOVE) or Sautéed Spinach with Button Mushrooms

The 3 Best Desserts in Saratoga

Did you save room? Indulge yourself in one of life’s sweeter things—like these three Saratoga Springs desserts.

• 15 Church’s Zeppoles

• Mrs. London’s Almond Croissant (ABOVE)

• 13 North’s Cheesecake

Drink Up

Saratoga’s a restaurant town, but it’s, undoubtedly, also a drinking town. Whether you’re on the hunt
for the craftiest craft beers, the finest wines or the best bourbons, the Spa City delivers.

Best Beer Selection: Henry Street Tavern

Best Whiskey Selection: The Bourbon Room

Best Wine Selection: Bocage Champagne Bar

Secret’s Out

Earlier this year, we published an article on Saratoga Living After Hours entitled “Saratoga’s Best Kept (Culinary) Secrets.” Missed it? We revisit the three dishes with cult followings—click here to read the full story (and be sure to subscribe to never miss another SLAH story).

Turkey Club from Trotters

Trotters isn’t necessarily known for its food, but word of its legendary turkey club (made with turkey smoked in house) has spread through Saratoga’s restaurant industry workers and beyond like wildfire.

Muffins from Hannaford

Local moms can’t stop buying Hannaford muffins—chocolate chip, pumpkin and corn—and the grocery store even landed a Capital Region Living Bestie award for its four-packs.

Steak from Pennell’s

Forget what you think you know about Italian restaurants. News anchor Mark Mulholland and construction magnate Sonny Bonacio are just two of the many locals who know to order the New York strip at Pennell’s.

Raise the Bar

Sometimes you go to the bar for a drink—other times you go to hang out with the person who’s making the drinks. Here are three local bartenders worth stopping in to see, according to Saratogians.

Sal Mafunsalo

Photography by Konrad Odhiambo

Where he works: Hattie’s for 18 years

Where he’s worked: Siro’s for 8 years

Bartending philosophy: “Make people happy.”

What people are saying: “He’s always in a good mood. He’s always smiling. He’s a legend in this town.” – Derek Lott

Miles Merton

Photography by Konrad Odhiambo

Where he works: Kindred Saratoga, as wine director, since June

Where he’s worked: Bocage Champagne Bar for one year and Harvey’s also for one year

Bartending philosophy: “When I go to restaurants or bars, it’s a little escape; I want everyone who sits down at my bar to feel the same way.” 

What people are saying: “Besides being amiable, Miles has sommelier bona fides. I can have a back and forth with him, and I know he will point me towards something I hadn’t considered.” – Tiina Loite

Ashley Freeman

Photography by Konrad Odhiambo

Where she works: Trotter’s for one year 

Where she’s worked: Cantina for 12 years

Bartending philosophy: “I don’t really have one. You just need to really be able to read the room.”

What people are saying: “She’s always on her game, she’s super approachable, and you never have to wait.” – Steve Bouchard

Worth the Drive

Saratogians have a reputation for never leaving the town’s confines. But we’re here to tell you that if you’re foodie, it’s high time to get over that. Here are our favorite outside-the-Spa-City eateries, and how many miles they are from downtown.

Park & Elm

17 miles Glens Falls’ food scene is sizzling hot right now, so it was tough to choose just one. But Park & Elm, from the Doc’s team, is the newest can’t-miss stop, where fine dining (think housemade cacio e pepe and sinful seafood risotto) is seamlessly fused with gourmet food shopping, starting at 7am five days a week.

Scarlet Knife

23 miles A robust lunch menu, nightly live music and a beautiful dessert room give Latham’s Scarlet Knife an immediate edge—and then there’s the food. Favorite dishes include a chorizo and shrimp concoction served in a mouth-watering paprika garlic broth, mushroom thyme gnocchi, and a harissa-roasted rack of lamb marinaded in yogurt and served with toasted coriander tzatziki.

The Gem

33 miles This Bolton Landing “gem” not only serves up juicy, decadent bbq—we’re talking St. Louis ribs and Baltimore black angus pit beef—but The Gem gets a fine dining nod by pairing it all with the craftiest of craft cocktails. Think mules made with any top-shelf spirit of your choice, and gin and tonics concocted with house-made tonic syrup.

Sea Smoke Waterfront Grill

24 miles From the five-star 677 Prime/Toro team led by Jaime Ortiz, Green Island’s Sea Smoke Waterfront Grill pulls out all the stops. Get dressed up and head to the stunning dining room or sprawling patio to dig into signature dishes such as housemade lobster ravioli or anything from the extensive vegetarian/vegan menu.  

Our Favorite Nightcap

Espresso martinis are the unofficial cocktail of Saratoga, and every bar has its own unique take on it. Here’s how to tell them apart.

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