Where to find hot beverages
Timeless Tubing at Mount Pisgah
Tubing: the sport to please the masses

Updated: November 13, 2015

When the weather gets chilly, the chilly turn caffeinated. It’s not just the coffee. Hot beverages, like chocolate or cider, are another famous Adirondack tradition we love to share.

There’s something special about warming hands around a mug, and warming hearts around a good chat. If the blood is feeling a bit thin, pop into a place where the meal crowd has left, the atmosphere has slowed down, and the goal becomes relaxation and rejuvenation.

Saranac Lake’s walkable downtown has some awesome places to sit down with a coffee-and. (Pretty incredible homemade -and.) Watch the weather from a comfy spot. Decide to let the world go by, all by itself, for a little while.

Here’s some of our favorite places to do just that.

full service

Blue Moon Cafe is near the Town Hall, across from the municipal parking lot. It’s an easy place to drop by (come into town on Route 86, right at the second light, next big right into the community parking lot.)

The Coffee: Choose from the six varieties always on tap, from their own stock of Cold River Coffee Company’s locally roasted and ground beans. There’s a decaf, a deep roast, a couple of regulars, and a couple of flavors. On a recent visit I saw the everyday hazelnut and the seasonal special pumpkin spice. Build a blend with a variety of flavoring syrups. Or choose from a specialty drink, there's an espresso machine, foamed milk for cappuccino, 14 kinds of tea, hot chocolate, spiced cider, or (in season) mulled wine.

The Baked Goods: Homemade on premises. Several kinds of bread which can be toasted with tasty jams, muffins, brownies, and cookies. Here there are bagels, many varieties, authentically made, with the option of cream cheese and lox.

The Setting: It’s an eclectically decorated bistro with a variety of table sizes and styles. The art on the walls is for sale. Table service, warm and attentive.

the view from Main Street

The View: A former storefront, Blue Moon has large windows and a wonderful view of Main Street. Great for people-watching, indoors and out. The back room has distant views of the Saranac River… if you get up.

Options: The music is the rock hits of several decades. WiFi. Full all-day menu (breakfast and lunch always, dinner most of the week) with a beer and wine bar.

Pro-tip: Dash a bit of salt in the hot chocolate, or even the coffee. Perks up the flavor and replenishes electrolytes to give us a lift. Remember, the body works hard to keep us warm in the winter cold.

french flair

Left Bank Bistro is off Broadway, right in the heart of downtown, beside the river. (Route 86, right at the second light, bear left at the fork, and just across the river.) Inspired by our Sister City, Entrains sur Nohain, France. One family settled in both places, and now we are linked.

beautiful room, friendly atmosphere

The Coffee: French-style dark roasts, café au lait, espresso (also in decaf), cappuccino, mochas, and Americano. Flavored syrups and teas. Highly regarded hot chocolate. 

The Baked Goods: Homemade on premises. Croissants, sweet or savory crêpes, artisan breads with toppings.

The Setting: A stunning space that is authentically decorated. It might be a parlor in some grand mansion from certain angles. Discreet table service.

The View: Front windows onto Broadway, some windows have a view of the Saranac River alongside.

Options: Often a live person plays the restaurant piano. Full breakfast and lunch menu, with dinner some nights. WiFi.

 Pro-tip: The classic desserts (Mousse, Crème Brulée) are authentic and delicious.

healthy variety

Nori’s Village Market is the local health food store, but it also has a delightful deli section. It is on Church Street. (Just past the second streetlight from Lake Flower Avenue.)

The Coffee: Five kinds of unflavored Fair Trade Coffee. Fourteen different teas. Yerba mate. Equal Exchange hot cocoa.

a lovely spot, regardless of view

The Baked Goods: Homemade on premises. There’s always a gluten-free, a vegan, and a few standard options available in the treat case. Further boxed options throughout the store. Famous for their brownies (I'm serious!) which come in a standard and a gluten-free variety.

The Setting: Many small tables in their own section of the store, with windows. Self-service, pay first. Staff unobtrusive, but happy to help.

The View: The seating is near a large window which overlooks the parking lot. Since this is the Adirondacks, even this angle has lots of sky and some treetops.

Options: Music is classic rock with added funky element. Sorry, no WiFi. Deli has breakfast/lunch items. The store has departments for baby needs, vitamins, fresh produce, locally raised meat, kitchen items, and meditation supplies. (Suitable for gifts.)

Pro-tip: Best chocolate bar selection in town. (And I know what I’m talking about.) 

everyone’s favorite

Lakeview Deli is a town favorite, with a full New York-style deli. On the shores of Lake Flower, edge of downtown. (A right from Route 86, across from the boat dock, just before the first light.)

The Coffee: Seven different varieties of Pierce Brothers coffee; light roast, decaf, dark roast, and two flavors. Teas, hot chocolate.

The Baked Goods: Homemade on premise. First of all, there’s the varieties of homemade pie, which they can heat up. Cheesecake. Often a gluten-free chocolate torte. Pound cake and other sweet loaf-type treats. Don’t forget that there is pie. (You’ll thank me later.)

a warm spot on a cold day

The Setting: Self service. Some tables and chairs along the side, though you might have to reach back to get someone their favorite chips. But go ahead… it’s good Karma.

The View: Some of the tables are right by the large windows, with a view of Lake Flower.

Options: Music is rhythmic jazz, with fusion elements. WiFi. Great sandwiches, homemade soups, take-out dinners.

Pro-tip: Pies are available, whole and frozen, in the case by the coffee. Depending on the journey, it might be thawed by the time it gets home.

classic cafe

Origin Coffee Company is at the intersection where Main Street turns into Broadway.

The Coffee: Expresso machine with many kinds of Fair Trade coffee. Custom flavors like cayenne mocha and lavender. Many kinds of tea.

a delightful atmosphere for chatting or electronics

The Baked Goods: Pie, muffins, cookies and pastries homemade on premises. Gluten-free available.

The Setting: tables throughout a two story space. Self-service, pay first. Staff happy to craft to order.

The View: Many windows and the back has trees and a bit of river.

Options: WiFi. Light breakfast and lunch items.

Pro-tip: The upstairs is popular with writers.

I hope I have persuaded you to seek out our extraordinary selection of hot beverages, homemade baked goods, and unique views on the passing scene. These are great spots to take a break from our shopping and galleries. Take it easy! Stay close.

Author:Pamela Merritt
Timeless Tubing at Mount Pisgah
Tubing: the sport to please the masses

E-Newsletter Signup Form

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020
Our certified and licensed guides are available 7 days a week to lead you on Forest Bathing and Riverwalking sensory immersions in nature from July 5th to October 31st in the Tri-Lakes area....
Wednesday, August 12th, 2020
The nature trails at the Paul Smith's VIC are open dawn to dusk. Please remain socially distant.  The building will not be open this summer. In July, guided nature tours will begin. To...

Recent Blog Posts...

Monday, August 3rd, 2020
Not everyone has it in them to wake up before sunrise, load the car, and head out for an adventure. But Saranac Lake’s Keith Braun makes the argument that one should do exactly that in the...
Thursday, July 23rd, 2020
Hex and Hop Brewery and taproom in Bloomingdale is a unique place, offering not only great beers but also honey from their hives. The business, which is just about one year old, is abuzz with...
Earn Your Patch There’s an adventurous spirit in all of us. In Saranac Lake, you can answer that call by becoming a Saranac Lake 6er.
Unplug Outdoors The mountains, rivers, and lakes bordering Saranac Lake aren’t just for show, and those boots on everyone’s feet aren’t a bold new fashion statement.
Enter to Win Sample Saranac Lake with this getaway package. Enter now!
Sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Interested In
Sign Me Up!