The past 20 years have been good — really good — to the Westchester dining scene, with the arrival of craft breweries, fine-dining NYC chefs, and diverse cuisines. These are five of the big trends that shaped the past two decades of county dining.
Peruvian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, and more — our dining scene has never been better or more diverse. There’s been Ethiopian food in Mount Kisco, thanks to Lalibela, since 2010, and the county’s sole Croatian spot, Dubrovnik, opened in New Rochelle in 2013. Moroccan restaurant Argana brought traditional tagines and b’stilla pies to Port Chester in 2017.
Filipino Hapag opened in 2018 in Yonkers, and we’ve even got a Georgian spot (the country, not the state), Badageoni, which opened in Mount Kisco last year.
The most dramatic expansion has come from Asia. High-quality Indian restaurants are everywhere, including New Rochelle’s Coromandel (2001), Chutney Masala in Irvington (2008), Mount Kisco’s Little Drunken Chef (2011), Coriander in Larchmont (2012), and RaaSa in Elmsford (2015). You’ll find steaming bowls of pho and crusty banh mi at Vietnamese Saigonese in Hartsdale, Bedford’s Pho Corner Bistro, and Vietnam’s Central in Scarsdale.
The county is home to not one but two cultish Korean H-Marts (Hartsdale and Yonkers). And ramen lovers can slurp a bowl of tonkotsu at Ramen Musashi in Scarsdale, spicy tantanmen at Hartsdale’s Kishuya, fiery Thai ramen at RameNesque in Peekskill and Thornwood, or oxtail-curry noodles at Roc ‘N’ Ramen in New Rochelle.
Ever since the trifecta of DoughNation (2011, followed by 2013’s The Parlor), Burrata in Eastchester (2012), and the original Armonk location of Fortina (2013) opened, Westchesterites haven’t been able to get enough of wood-fired pizza. Need proof? Check our full list of Westchester’s best pizza by town, in our February issue!
The craft-beer scene heated up, with eight breweries setting up in Westchester in the last 20 years.
In the mood for oregano-dusted fries or crispy spuds with Peruvian lomo? Try the Souvlaki Truck and Latusion, respectively. Want a gourmet grilled cheese? Put Some Meat On Your Bones has got you covered.
Stellar pies are being slung at Pizza Vitale and Abeetz. Even Walter’s has gotten into the food-truck game, emphasizing that food on four wheels has never been so good.
Big-name chefs left the city that never sleeps to open (and sometimes close) restaurants around the county.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills
Since opening in 2004, the award-winning, socially conscious tasting menus at Barber’s restaurant on the Stone Barns property have put Westchester on the world dining map. In 2019, Michelin finally gave Barber his due, awarding the restaurant two stars.
Tarry Lodge, Port Chester
The Batali-Bastianich restaurant group made a big splash in 2008 with the opening of city-chic Tarry Lodge and the adjacent Tarry Market. Batali divested from the restaurant last March, after sexual-misconduct allegations came to light, and the restaurant closed in November 2019.
MP Taverna, Route B, Irvington
You’ll often find Psilakis in the kitchen of MP Taverna — one of the county’s best Greek spots — which he launched in 2012. His adjacent fast-casual Route B, serving build-your-own-bowls, burritos, and burgers, opened last year.
The latest big name to join the county culinary scene, this Top Chef opened a stylish riff on Cantonese cooking at the Tarrytown House Estate in September 2019.
The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges, Pound Ridge
JG took a break from his cosmopolitan settings (Miami, Tokyo, and Paris, just to name a few) and opened this New American farmhouse restaurant in 2014.
Sadly for Westchesterites, Michael White (and his fantastic pastas) lasted only three years, when the celebrated chef ran the kitchen at the Bedford Post Inn from 2014 to 2017.