While it’s not one of the qualification for hosting a great local film festival, Yonkers, home of the ever-growing YoFiFest, certainly knows the way to a viewer’s heart: the stomach.
This year, while you’re taking in student films, art house cinema, and bigger-budget indie productions, take a moment or two to remember that you are smack dab in the middle of downtown Yonkers and it’s incredible dining scene. The only trouble really is choosing where to eat each day!
This Restaurant-bar-lounge hybrid is perfect for lunch or dinner (or brunch!) and sports a lovely riverview dining patio during the warmer months. Cuisine, as the name implies, leans towards the surf-and-turf but also sports plenty of pasta and salad dishes for an evenly balanced menu. Most entrées start under $20, with a few higher-end options as well. Drinks include $12 cocktails, wine by both the bottle and glass, and a dozen or so bottled and tapped beers, including a rotating selection of craft specialties.
For more of a burger-and-beer fix, this local favorite pub is your go-to, hands down. While they also offer larger entrées, kids meals, and the like, the apps and other bar bites are a huge draw at Francey Brady’s. Opened just last year by a couple of Irish ex-pats who’ve called Yonkers home for the past few decades, we’d rank this pub a perfect spot to grab a quick bite between afternoon screenings.
This one’s actually pretty simple: We love sushi. Just a couple blocks from YoFiFest’s Digital Media Art Center (DMAC), Khangri not only delivers, they deliver in spades. Appetizers, soup, lunch specials, and even sushi and sashimi by the piece, platter, or roll mean you’re never too far away from your protein fix.
Rich, delicious, and relatively inexpensive, Cuban food is by far one of our personal favorites. With options like empanadas, Cubanos, bistec, and yucca fries, we’re honestly at risk of falling asleep during our afternoon screenings. Just make sure you save room for flan!
Now with more than 50 years in business, Singas — originally from Elmhurst — began franchising in 2004 and Yonkers is one of its wildly popular satellite locations. The ten-inch personal pan pizzas sport a thicker, soft but crispy crust and come in any number of topping combinations. There’s also salads, burgers and sandwiches, pasta, apps, and a “sauce bar” to customize any of your choices! Signas is a great choice for a fast bite between screenings, as it’s location is just steps from the DMAC entrance.
Another great spot to grab a quick bite, The Wedge is serving up some killer sandwiches — check out that fried plantain wafer —in true Westchester fashion. (Seriously, have you tried ordering “a wedge” outside the county?) Breakfast and lunch are solid all year long thanks to plentiful hot and cold options, and all of them are reasonably priced.
For a little more high-end fare, perhaps a nice dinner out post-cinema, there’s no beating either the food or the view at X2O. Chef Peter Kelly’s seasonal menus and mainstays are well worth the higher price point (entrées typically hover around the $36 mark), but if you’re strapped for cash or it’s a bit earlier in the day consider the $27 per person luncheon menu, including one entrée, appetizer, and dessert (or just order à la carte).
There are pubs and then there are breweries. This local spot offers the best of both worlds, offering a welcoming space full of family-friendly games and eats as well as award-winning home-brewed suds and a few rotating guest taps. Take in a nitro milk stout, a refreshing Hefeweizen, or their much lauded staple “914” while you relax over a hot meal. Salads with crispy chicken are a wonderful, light option, and the buffalo wings (try them as a wrap) are some of the best we’ve ever had: simple, but well executed. If you’re feeling bold, try a loaded chili cheese dog and follow it up with a Girl Scout Cookie gelato.
Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Zuppa is a classic Italian eatery perfect for families, friends, and intimate evenings. Dinner mains are in the $25 to $30 ballpark, while lunches fall in the $15 to $20 range with salads and small plates even cheaper. There’s a good balance between veggie, pasta, and meat-heavy options, meaning everyone in your party should walk away from dinner as with any good Italian meal: stuffed!
*Denotes an official YoFiFest sponsor.