You’ve just finished an authentically Adirondack day in Saranac Lake, and you think to yourself “I could eat." You do a quick Google search of nearby restaurants, and learn there’s quite a variety in this little town. “Great,” you think. “Now how do I decide?” With a range in options, and ever-changing menus, that’s a good question - so we’ve taken some of the guesswork out of it.
Saranac Lake’s foodie scene is better than you might expect for a small town - earning it a place in the 10 Best Small Food Scenes by USA Today. Full of seasonality, signature dishes, and some familiar ones too, our selection is sure to appeal to your senses. We spoke with some local chefs and restaurant owners to get a pulse on the upcoming season, and what you can expect while dining around town.
Divided up by category, we will bring you on a culinary tour of Saranac Lake
Best in breakfast
It’s the most important meal of the day, and with all there is to do in Saranac Lake, you’ll want to be properly fueled.
Blue Moon Cafe is a must! With freshly made baked goods, a coffee bar, and one of the best breakfasts in the Adirondacks, this hometown hero is always busy and bustling. Humming with the chatter of loyal locals and passing visitors alike, Blue Moon serves up breakfast and lunch.
Adirondack Cavu Cafe is a cute breakfast stop before you board your flight, or head out to a nearby hike. Located at the Saranac Lake Regional Airport, they are perfectly positioned to serve you a solid meal before you start your day. Made to order, with love, each meal tastes like Grandma used to make it (if your grandma was a Paul Smith’s College culinary graduate).
Origin Coffee Co. is the hip local coffee spot that puts the big chains to shame! Offering a light menu of muffins, toasts, paninis and other grab-and-go items, they also offer sit-down-service if you’d like to sip and stay a while. Always keeping things fresh, make sure to check out their daily specials, and seasonal drink list - especially in these colder months!
On the go!
Grab something quick to go and you can be on the slopes or trails in no time! After a day of outdoor adventure or visiting our unique local shops, visitors and residents alike are invited to hit up one of these quick stops for sustenance.
Lakeview Deli is one of those places where everyone has “their order," the one sandwich you dream about when you're stuck out on the trail, your stomach starts rumbling, and you can’t wait to get back into town. Me? I’m a gobbler girl. I’ve had far more dreams about this sandwich than I care to admit. The warm melted cheese, turkey, ham, and ‘slaw dripping with thousand island dressing … need I say more?
Barley Sandwich is taking the sandwich game to the next level, with the highest quality of ingredients and masterful flavoring touches like the bacon jelly. Have you had the bacon jelly? Amazing!
Nori’s Riverside Cafe serves vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and natural local meat options that cover every meal. They offer fresh muffins and croissants and serve a grab-and-go breakfast. They also make a daily selection of sandwiches, salads, wraps, and a variety of soups and sides, all from local, organic, and natural ingredients.
Signature Saranac Lake
These restaurants are tried and true! You know them (maybe not yet), you love them (you will), you can’t get enough of them (trust us, it’s true).
The Belvedere has been serving up Italian family recipes for generations. There’s great comfort in knowing that although times change, their home-made pasta, and chicken or veal parmesan are still as delicious as ever! Classic Italian cuisine, and friendly staff make you feel right at home - even if you’re not. And take a tip from me, the side of spaghetti is even better for lunch the next day!
Red Fox is known for their steak entrees and prime rib Fridays. Perfect for a date night, Red Fox offers dinner by one of their fireplaces, or looking out onto the softly falling snow. The atmosphere and service provide an amazing dining experience.
Casa del Sol is a classic, rebooted. With new owners, they’ve elevated the menu, while still keeping the same warm vibe. You can enjoy a margarita (or two) while you await your authentic Mexican food. The restaurant is always full of laughter, and somehow takes you away from the cold you just faced as you rushed from your car to the door.
Decidedly different dinner
These restaurants are anything but ordinary. With fresh ingredients, ever-changing menus, and flavors you might not expect to find in a small town in upstate New York, these decidedly different dining experiences will excite you, and keep you coming back for more.
Fiddlehead Bistro is where you go if you want something unexpected. With a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Fiddleheads menu changes daily. We caught up with chef Craig, who told us “the great thing about our usual meat suppliers [Kate Mountain Farm and Donahues Livestock Farm] is that they are within an hour of us so we will always have them. This is the time of year we use the unusual bits as they tend to make great stews. I have some lambs on order and they will play a good part in what we do this fall and winter.” We can expect to see features like steak and kidney pie, root vegetable stew, Hungarian mushroom stew, and more. There will be more Indian dishes. They’ve also been playing with vegan and sugar-free desserts (and there’s always Jen’s hot cocoa and Chartreuse)!
Left Bank Cafe is a truly authentic French bistro with a quaint atmosphere, featuring art from local artists. Holding onto some year round staples, Left Bank will switch things up with the seasonality of their menu this winter. Offering prix fixe suppers, guest-chef dinners, holiday celebrations, wine tastings, and availability for private parties, Left Bank has a lot in store to surprise you with something unique and delicious!
Bitters & Bones is an Adirondack inspired rustic-industrial tavern, with signature cocktails, craft beer, and fresh local cuisine. This winter's menu will keep all the old favorites, like brussels, Pad Thai, dumplings, etc., while also pairing down to focus on more seasonal offerings. Menu items that warm you up on those cold winter days! Owner Johnny said, “we really like to focus on taking care of our customers. Offering weekly dinner specials is a great way for us to keep our guests excited, while keeping staff engaged and creative.” This winter, you're invited to try all the new creations that will be coming out of the new brewery, too!
Don’t let the dining stop there! Check out the full list of Saranac Lake dining options, and see for yourself what it means to be an Adirondack foodie.