The leaves are changing, the days are shorter, and the weather is crisp. Fall is here in Saranac Lake, and with the changing of seasons comes the changing of menus! Drinks rotate seasonally, and local dishes adapt to complement one another and the weather of the fall season. Whether you just got done with some outdoor fun, are looking for a place to watch the big game, or you’re just starting your day, there’s something here for everyone this time of year. Saranac Lake knows flavor in any season, and fall is no exception!
Grizle T’s is the classic all-American bar that you need to visit this fall. Their tagline says it all, “booze at the bar and food in the back”. Quite literally, there’s a bar and tables as you walk through the front door and a kitchen in the back where you can place your order. Through the back door is a large patio that offers seating that’s perfect for the fall, allowing you to take in the color on the trees that line the river nearby. And if you’d rather take in the colors of your favorite NFL team’s jersey instead, the TVs inside come fully equipped with NFL Sunday channels so that you don’t miss a minute of the action.
The menu, like everything else here, is the epitome of all-American. Their menu is home to mouth-watering smashburgers and other delicious and satisfying meals! The bar “in the front” offers all the craft beers you could ask for, beers on draft, and one of the best selections of sours the area has to offer. And just in time for the fall, all pumpkin spice lovers rejoice: a pumpkin beer will also be offered. That's right, Southern Tier Pumking Ale will be available this fall at Grizle’s. In addition to the mandatory fall pumpkin flavors, Grizle’s transitions to more porters and stouts for the fall season that go perfectly with the delicious comfort food “in the back”.
Bitters & Bones
In my humble opinion, Bitters & Bones has one of the best names for any establishment in the Adirondacks, and the fall dining experience definitely lives up to that distinction. Bitters offers outdoor seating on their patio, equipped with heaters for that especially cold fall day, an upstairs dining and game area, a fully stocked bar, and a dining area as you walk through the front door. The modern, yet rustic look and ambient lighting give this place a really unique feel, especially as the weather begins to shift.
On one particular fall evening, after a lengthy day of hiking, I stopped by Bitters for the first time. I decided to order the Bitters Burger with a Maple Cream Porter, and in a word, incredible. What’s more, regardless of the season, their fries are legitimately in my personal top 3. That’s not an exaggeration and may even be an understatement. You won’t be disappointed here. Bitters drops their new fall menu in November with fresh options and the return of some fan-favorites. Stay tuned, as their new menu is sure to pair perfectly with their fall drink lineup.
Speaking of drinks, Bitters & Bones has something for everyone on their fall tap list. New brews on the fall rotation include: Green Bones Irish Stout, Broadway Blonde, Crescent Bay IPA, One Long Day IPA, and Strongarm Amber. In addition to their fall lineup, Bitters offers great cocktails, a selection of commercial beers, convenient drink specials (The Townie), and local beers like selections from Raquette River Brewing in neighboring Tupper Lake. Bitters has even begun brewing their own beers on-site, and all their homemade brews will be “buy one get one free” during all NFL games this fall! It’s always an exciting time to be at Bitters & Bones, and this fall is sure to be no different!
Campfire Adirondack Grill + Bar
Inside the iconic Hotel Saranac is where you’ll find Campfire Adirondack Grill + Bar. If you’re looking for a casual yet upscale dining experience with a contemporary feel, then this is the place for you. The dining area couldn’t be more comfortable. Honestly, the chairs here would almost be more at home in your own home! Personally, I think the coolest feature of Campfire is the large windows that line the street side of the building. For those of you that like to people-watch while you dine, this place is hard to top. This is an ideal spot to watch the happenings on a crisp fall day in Saranac Lake.
Campfire offers well-done desserts, cocktails, and draft beers, as well as a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. Please be aware that the menu may not be the same each time you visit because the ingredients here are locally sourced and the options are seasonal. This year’s fall options include a Harvest Squash Soup, Apple Quinoa Salad, Autumn Chicken, Pumpkin Gnocchi, Turkey Pot Pie, and so much more. Dessert options like the Pumpkin Cake, Spiced Mousse, or Apple Cobbler pair well with the season and seasonal main courses. Campfire offers a trendy dining experience that you would traditionally find in a larger city rather than a quiet Adirondack town. Like a real campfire with friends and family, you will have a memorable time here while you watch the season change behind those conveniently placed front windows.
For a fine dining experience in Saranac Lake this fall, look no further than The Fiddlehead Bistro! Fiddlehead Bistro also uses the freshest locally sourced ingredients and has seasonal menu changes based on available ingredients. Located directly on the Saranac River, Fiddlehead offers an outdoor patio when the weather cooperates and an inside dining area complete with a full bar. Fiddlehead is an upscale dining experience and a place to enjoy farm-to-table dishes and serene views of the Saranac River that runs through the heart of Saranac Lake.
A local favorite, Nori’s, also specializes in locally sourced ingredients and farm to table options. Similar to Fiddlehead Bistro, they offer menu changes daily and seasonally. Here you’ll find grab-and-go options, fresh made seasonal desserts, and an area to sit down and eat in a casual setting. Mandatory for the fall season, Pumpkin Spice can be added to any of their hot drinks like espressos, lattes, and teas. As far as the grab-and-go options is concerned, I've had their Chicken Burrito and Ham Sandwich. They were both exceptional and good enough to have me returning weekly to see what's next. Large windows (there’s a theme here) line the dining area and offer a nice view of the Saranac River and some of the famous fall foliage that lines the river. Beyond Nori’s grab-and-go section is where you can find their health conscious grocery store that includes local late-season produce, and so much more!
Every Saturday, located directly on scenic Lake Flower in Riverside Park, you will find the Saranac Lake Farmers Market. Each Saturday is an experience that can involve live music, meeting new people and their dogs, and the beautiful fall view of Lake Flower. The Saranac Lake Farmers Market is part of the High Peaks Farmers Markets, which are the only "producer-only" farmers' markets in the Eastern Adirondacks. At "producer-only" markets, the vendors can only sell items that they or their employees produce. Vendors cannot buy in bulk and then proceed to resell them to you. What’s more, all the farmers at the Saranac Lake Farmers Market follow organic or sustainable production practices. Items that you can expect to find here include but are not limited to: late-season produce, pumpkins (of course) and gourds, local cuts of meat and soup broths, cheeses and dairy products, eggs, honey, and syrup. You haven’t had maple syrup until you’ve had locally made Adirondack maple syrup, trust me.
When the weather starts to become a less mild, the farmers market’ moves indoors to the Hotel Saranac. Beginning on October 15th, farmers will set up in the arcade of the hotel and offer a “park it'' option that involves collecting items from orders that are placed ahead of time that can then be picked up via car in the back of the hotel. The Saranac Lake Farmers Market is a staple event of the fall here and an experience you won’t want to miss!
This fall, start your day at another local favorite, Origin Coffee. While most things remain the same here; the large street-side windows (there was definitely a theme here) are perfect for Main Street sight-seeing, comfortable atmosphere and places to sit, and great breakfast and lunch options, some things must change with the season. Gone are the summer days and drinks like the Caramel Sea Foam Iced Coffee (very good), now replaced with drinks that better fit the season. Drinks aptly named like “Sweater Weather Latte” (made with local South Meadow Farm maple syrup, cardamom, cinnamon, espresso, and steamed milk), “Hot Chai-Der” (Steamed NY Apple Cider, and house-made Chai), and “Golden Milk Latte” (turmeric, honey, cracked bell pepper, bird’s eye chili, and steamed milk) now line the Origin Originals chalkboard menu. This fall, see why the locals love it here and start your day at Origin.
Fall is more than just flavors
While the dining is more than enough of an excuse to visit and stay here, there's plenty more to do in Saranac Lake during fall. Find a place to stay, something to do, or something to see and mix in the flavors of fall along the way. Saranac Lake is known for being decidedly delicious and it's time for you to decide for yourself!