Who really cares about eating when they are on vacation? Well, everyone of course. If you are like me, you want to hit the best local spots while you’re in town. You want to know where to get a good craft cocktail and where to eat a farm-to-table dinner. Downtown Saranac Lake has become a hub of unique and locally sourced restaurants. Here are some suggestions of where to eat while you’re in town. Each is a stop along the recently launched Adirondack Cuisine Trail, which means these spots are some of the best in locally sourced eateries.
Blue Moon Cafe
It’s breakfast time, so fuel up on your first delicious meal of the day. Blue Moon has many options ranging from traditional to regional favorites, like the New York Salmon Plate which offers their own in-house cured Atlantic salmon on a bagel with cream cheese, red onion, and capers (I see you, NYC!). They are known for their buttermilk pancakes and extensive selection of omelettes and scrambles. I opted for my favorite go-to breakfast: two egg “sammich” with cheese and maple links. The bread is made in-house. You can’t go wrong at Blue Moon.
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Lunch time is great in Saranac Lake because you have so many options. I decided on my favorite sandwich spot: Lakeview Deli. This unassuming place has some of the best sandwiches you will ever eat. Bold statement, I know, but you have to see for yourself. Lakeview is an iconic establishement in Saranac Lake for good reason. They have all the traditional favorites and some interesting twists, like the Fresh Mozzarella Sandwich, which is what I ordered. A good sandwich is all in the details, and the details are what make Lakeview stand apart from the rest.
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Bitters & Bones
It’s time for appetizers and drinks! Bitters & Bones is “an Adirondack inspired rustic-industrial tavern” with a full menu. They offer plenty of vegetarian options and regional favorites, like poutine. They have local craft beer on tap if you aren’t feeling like a craft cocktail. I ordered the Roasted Brussel's Sprouts, which is a favorite because they aren’t just any Brussel's sprouts, they are roasted in browned butter and topped with a balsamic reduction. My friend ordered the Southwestern Chili with Navajo fry bread. Johnny, the owner, stopped by our table to chat food with us. He told us how important it is to have delicious and even nontraditional options on the menu. He said he gets excited to know that someone may think they are coming into a regular bar, only to find a full menu with options ranging from wings to Pad Thai (and it’s good Pad Thai, done right). Join them for trivia Tuesday nights. You’ll see why this spot is a favorite among locals. And make sure you say hi to Johnny, he’ll be there to welcome you.
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Nori’s Village Market
Nori’s is great because it is a small grocery store specializing in organic and locally sourced, farm fresh food. They have a coffee bar (and soon a full cafe) and kitchen. You can order your dinner and eat in their comfortable dining area. The menu is updated weekly and is always original, with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options. Their selection is usually something you couldn’t find anywhere else in town and covers a range of globally inspired cuisine options. My friend and I both ordered the vegetarian pho (Vietnamese soup with rice noodles), so instead of pork we had tofu. It was flavorful, warm, and spicy! Also, locals love Nori’s because it is a place where community comes together. Expect good food and good people!
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Hotel Saranac: The Great Hall Bar
This landmark hotel built during the Roaring Twenties reopened its doors in 2018. The details of the extravagant 20s remain, but with a cozy and welcoming feel. The Great Hall is a wonderful and elegant place to wind down and sip a craft cocktail or glass of wine. Their drink menu is extensive with options for craft beer. You will feel like you have been transported in time with the surrounding lush interior. My night cap was the Hot Sara (gin and blood orange juice), a Hotel Saranac original. But, before the evening ended, I stopped downstairs at the Campfire Adirondack Grill and Bar for dessert. I ordered the Bread and Butter Pudding. Have you tried “brioche custard” yet? Enough said.
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This list is by no means comprehensive. You can make your entire trip about eating in Saranac Lake if you wanted to. There’s Origin Coffee, Fiddlehead Bistro, Left Bank Cafe, and Downhill Grill among others. So start planning your trip today. There’s plenty to eat, drink, and do here.