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Winter Foodie Scene
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As you walk down the streets of Saranac Lake, you will find a plethora of different food options. But it’s hard to tell what they offer simply by their name or even what their storefront looks like. It’s especially hard to tell what restaurant to choose and if they will be a good fit for your wants and needs. Well, I am here to help you out. I am going to give you a little inside peak of each of the eating establishments that are open for business all year and especially during your next winter vacation.

I have split the local eating establishments into 12 different categories for your convenience. Asian, Breakfast, Casual American, Fine Dining, French-American, Farm-To-Table, Italian, Mexican, Pizza, Pub Style, Sandwiches and last but not least Vegetarian. Also look out for my recommendations for a good Gluten-Free meal as well.

Asian

We start out with the Asian Buffet, Hibachi & Sushi.  The Asian Buffet has a great selection of authentic Chinese cuisine in a buffet style setting. They offer all of your average Chinese food selections with no MSG and some American options for that ‘picky’ eater in your family. They recently added a ‘Healthy and Tasty Salad’ section to complement their Sushi and Hibachi line. Then to complete your meal you can enjoy their selection of hard or soft ice cream, pastries and/or baked goods. This recently built building was specially designed for this establishment and fits the part well. It is a beautifully decorated and extremely clean restaurant that offers plenty of space. You may enjoy a table with just your family or rent out one of their private rooms for a party.

China Jade is another Chinese food restaurants in town. Here, you may ‘take-out’, ‘dine in’ or have it delivered. They offer traditional Chinese fare, no MSG and known for its lat night service for those ‘late night munchies’.

Breakfast

Blue Moon Café, a local favorite on Main Street known for their gourmet coffee bar selections and laid back atmosphere. But they are much, much, more than simply coffee. They baked homemade fresh muffins, english muffins and breads daily. They make incredible buttermilk pancakes from scratch, delicious omelets with local farm fresh eggs and their own house cured Norwegian salmon served NY style with a bagel, cream cheese, red onion and capers. This is the place where you can get a frothy cappuccino or a cup of gourmet tea or coffee and a great breakfast while just relaxing and enjoying yourself. Also, check them out for lunch and dinner, they have a great lunch, dinner, beer and wine menu. Insider tip… They have Gluten-Free options!

Blue Moon Cafe (on the right)

Next stop is down Broadway to DJ’s Rustic Restaurant. DJ’s is another local favorite, but not so laid back. This place is the place to go for your home-cooked meal. I hate the term, but it is the local ‘greasy spoon’. It has great breakfasts, at a reasonable price and it is ‘just like mama used to make’ as they like to say. At DJ’s, don’t expect anything fancy or gourmet, just simple breakfast foods being prepared and served up to you by an extremely nice local family.

DJ's Rustic Restaurant

McKenzie’s Grill is another great breakfast option in town. If you happen to be staying at the Best Western, Gauthier’s Saranac Lake Inn or SaraPlacid, you will be in luck because you can walk right from your hotel room. McKenzie’s is located directly next to the Best Western. This is your standard breakfast eatery. Great food, great service and a great location.

Casual American

The Downhill Grill is a great family restaurant. I tend to refer to it as that because they offer a little something for everyone. They have some Italian, Mexican, seafood and simple sandwich fare food. This way if one person wants a great beer batter fish fry, another wants a nice crispy chimichanga and you want pasta, this is the place to go. They have great food, a fun atmosphere, a nice bar area and great service - what’s not to love?

Downhill Grill

In Lake Clear, a few minutes from Saranac Lake is Charlie’s Inn. If you are looking for a great time snowmobiling on your next vacation, then stop by at Charlie’s Inn. They pride themselves on being snowmobiler friendly and have a enjoyable menu to offer up to any riders (or anyone for that matter).

Fine Dining

Lake Clear Lodge & Retreat is an old Adirondack Great Camp set on beautiful Lake Clear a few minutes from downtown Saranac Lake. The Lake Clear Lodge offers an array of options, from a home cooked breakfast, a romantic dinner for two, a wine and beer cellar tour, an interpretive dinner and more. In the wintertime, you can take a romantic horse drawn sleigh ride through their beautiful snow covered property after your delicious meal. The Hohmeyer’s are friendly, accommodating people that will pretty much do whatever you would like to make your experience with them as incredible and unforgettable as possible. They will make you want to come back over and over again.

Read about another bloggers great breakfast adventure at the Lake Clear Lodge.

Lake Clear Lodge Dining Room

Closer to town is the Red Fox Restaurant, a nice, sit down Italian restaurant on Rt. 3 on your way toward Tupper Lake. They offer a great selection of mouthwatering dishes that will leave you wanting more.  Whether you and your significant other are looking for a nice night out or you want to treat the family to a meal you won’t forget, you can’t go wrong with the Red Fox.

French-American

Here in downtown Saranac Lake, we have a strong connection to French culture and cuisine. We believe it or not have a ‘Sister City’ in Nohain, France. And being so close to Montreal, Canada, we have many French speaking visitors, so it only makes sense that out little town offers up some French speaking hospitality. The Left Bank Café is an adorable little café downtown that offers up some delicious authentic crepes, rich wines and friendly environment. The manager of the café is a lovely lady that speaks fluent French and English which allows you to feel comfortable if you speak French. The owners wanted to fulfill their dream of bringing a little of their home in France to the Adirondacks.

Farm-To-Table

There is a great hidden gem in Saranac Lake known as ‘Eat n Meet Grill’ or the place with the Elvis statue. This hidden gem is in the rough, meaning that it is nothing special to look at. But trust me, it is amazing! Eat n Meet is one of those places that offers local farm-to-table foods, making everything by scratch. Their hand cut fries, fresh fish, and ‘Blue Line Burgers’ are all out of this world. They have a nice selection of vegetarian options that have their own grill so you can be sure that your veggie burger (which are my favorite, by the way) will not touch the bacon (which I put on my veggie burger, it’s amazing!). The owners are as nice as they come and will accommodate you in whatever you need. Also, be advised that with the fresh, handmade food comes a little wait time.  It is suggested that you call your order ahead of time so that you do not have to sit and wait 45 minutes for your food. But trust me it is worth the wait!

Eat n Meet

Italian

We have five great options for Italian food here; Belvedere Restaurant, La Bella Ristorante, Little Italy and Nonna Fina (also don’t forget Red Fox mentioned earlier). Belvedere has been family owned since 1933 and has been serving up homemade Italian favorites ever since. Known best for their delicious meatballs. La Bella is not only serving up great Italian entrees, but also fresh seafood and large juicy steaks that will make your mouth water. Little Italy is centrally located in Downtown Saranac Lake serving up great pizza, delectable dishes of pasta and the best garlic knots that you will ever have.  And last but not least, Nonna Fina offers up the best lakeside dining in town. With large picture windows overlooking beautiful LakeFlower and tasty meals, you will not be disappointed. Also, Nonna Fina has gluten free pasta options available.

Nonna Fina

Mexican

Yes, you read correctly we even have a Mexican restaurant (or two, Downhill Grill offers Mexican options, mentioned earlier). Borracho Taco is the perfect place to stop in and enjoy some food after a night out on the town. They are open well into the night and are offering some great late night snacks and beer.

Borracho Taco

Pizza

In addition to Little Italy, there is another option for some great pizza. Owl’s Nest is serving up some great thin crust pizza and typical pizza place munchies. You should try their slices, wings and poutine (a Montreal favorite of French fries, brown gravy and mozzarella cheese deliciousness)!

Little Italy

Pub Style

Captain Cooks Bar & Grill is a local hangout with a great bar and the best wings around. If you like the heat, you should try TNT hot wings. If you regret eating them it will not be because the wings aren’t good, it will be because your mouth is on fire. If hot isn’t your style, you absolutely need to try the maple gold wings. They are amazing!

Sandwiches

Looking for a place to fill up with soup and a sandwich? You need to come to Lakeview Deli. Lakeview is another family owned business that prides themselves on friendly service and fresh products. While visiting make sure to try their homemade soups, fresh artisan’s bread and fresh selection of Boar’s Head meats that will leave you wanting more. And if you’re feeling frisky, grab a beer from their extensive craft beer selection. You won’t be disappointed!

You know you want to try a new beer at the Lakeview Deli

Vegetarian

Many places in town offer vegetarian options, but Nori’s Village Market (despite being a grocery market) offers a broad selection of vegetarian and vegan lunch options. They have a cooler full of salads, wraps and other daily specials. Nori’s is a local, organic and natural food store. It is unlike any other grocery store you have ever been in. So stop in, walk around, grab a scrumptious vegetarian meal to enjoy!

Nori's Village Market

So no matter if you are looking for a nice sit down romantic dinner for two or a night out on the town with your friends, Saranac Lake has it all. So when you are planning your vacation, make sure to stop in and try some of these awesome eating establishments!

Author:Courtney Petkovsek-Powers
Winter 6'er Hiking Mount Baker
BluSeed Studios planning for busy spring

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