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These Are Port Chester’s Essential Eateries

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Acuario

Peruvian cuisine is everywhere in Westchester now, but Acuario, one of the county’s OG spots, is still tops in our book for its chaufa (Peruvian-style fried rice), traditional tiradito and ceviches, and aji-amarillo-spiced rotisserie chicken.

Appetit Bistro

The location feels a little random, but the food at Chef Edi Rivera’s classic French bistro is always très délicieux, whether you’re having buttery escargot and rosy steak frites with luscious peppercorn sauce or a bubbling pot of fondue for two.

Aqui Es Santa Fe

You’ll go for the arepas, served as flatbreads piled with toppings rather than split and stuffed. But somewhere around Glass Two of sangria (there are eight types on the menu), you’ll also fall in love with the other Colombian dishes, like $1.50 empanadas and cheesy pandebono.

Bona Bona Ice Cream

Nick Di Bona opened his brick-and-mortar ice cream wonderland in December with a boozy milkshake bar, a party room where sprinkles rain from the ceiling, and all of the company’s favorite flavors scooped into cones topped with torched Italian meringue.


Thin-crust grilled pizza is the order at Coals.

Photo courtesy of Coals

Coals

Sure, the thin-crust grilled pizza and the excellent burger (it’s a two-time Burger & Beer Blast winner) are the main draw. But Coals gets extra props for doing the craft-beer thing before it was universally cool and for its crispy Brussels sprouts with walnuts, raisins, and grana Padano — one of our favorite iterations anywhere.


The lunch counter at David DiBari’s faux-retro diner, Eugene’s.

photo courtesy of eugene’s/chris perino

Eugene’s Diner & Bar

David DiBari’s retro diner is a bit of a trompe d’oeil in that it’s not actually retro at all. Much like the newly built 1970s-inspired interior, the menu isn’t exactly retro, either, with modernized dishes, including house-made fried-Bologna sandwiches and not-your-bubbe’s matzoh balls served in turmeric bone broth.

Hubba

Dollar bills paper the walls at this tiny spot across from the Metro-North station, where there’s only one correct order: a chili-cheese dog for $3.50, available until 4 a.m.

La Flor de Jalisco

Want a primer on south-of-the-border sweets? Head to this Mexican bakery for plenty of dulce de leche and guava paste; crisp, sugar-rolled churros; colorful conchas; and a slice of tres leches cake.

The Kneaded Bread

Good luck deciding what to order at Jennifer and Jeffrey Kohn’s beloved bakery, where fat loaves of provolone bread, poppy-seed batards studded with translucent onions, and buttery pretzel croissants try to steal you away from fudge brownies and layer cakes with sugary, pastel frosting.

Michael’s Pizza

Antique pizza pans might not seem that exciting, until you realize they’re the secret that make Michael’s greasy-in-a-good-way, I’ll-have-a-beer-with-that, bar-style pies so perfectly caramelized and crispy.

Paleteria Fernandez

We can’t think of a better epicurean way to cool off on a hot summer day than these refreshing frozen pops. The range of flavors is extensive, especially with tropical fruits like mango, passion fruit, soursop, guava, kiwi, and pineapple with chamoy. (Okay, there’s strawberry and grape, too.)


A seafood tower at elegant Saltaire.

Photo by Tom McGovern

Saltaire

Since 2015, this high-end seafood restaurant has brought a much-needed dose of stylish, nautical-chic design to downtown Port Chester. The feature that’s got us hook, line, and sinker is the raw bar and oyster lounge (10-12 varieties are offered daily), which we like to hit at happy hour, when the bivalves will set you back just $1.25/each.

Sonora

The concept — pan-Latin fare, labeled by the country it represents — has stayed mostly the same at Rafael Palomino’s only Westchester restaurant. But there’s also quite a bit that’s new, including expanded vegan/vegetarian offerings, an extensive tequila and mezcal list, and a fabulous Latin-inspired brunch.

Tarry Lodge

Yes, the guanciale pizza with runny egg and black truffle is the most popular item on the menu, but to overlook the pastas would be a massive mistake, especially if it’s the silky tagliatelle Bolognese or the glossy garganelli with seared mushrooms.


 

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