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This Is Your Ultimate Westchester Foodie Bucket List

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Photo courtesy of Benjamin Steakhouse

Discover 65+ people, places, and things every local needs to experience to be a true Westchester County food connoisseur.

By Dave Zucker and Nick Brandi

Westchester’s surfeit of diverse communities, immense culinary talent, and adventurous eaters has birthed an ever-expanding dining scene. With so much gourmet gastronomy available, pinning down the absolute best can be a full-time job. (We should know.) To qualify as an authentic Westchester foodie, here’s a delectable cross-section of restaurants, eateries, and even food trucks, that you’ll need — and want — to cross off your bucket list. Bon appétit!

Abeetz

Photo courtesy of Abeetz

BEC

For this early-morning staple, there are only two rules every Westchesterite must live by: First, “baconeggancheese” is one word; second, the only correct responses to “Saltpepperketchup?” are “Yes” or “Hot sauce.” Everyone swears by their own corner deli counter (Anthony’s, Fuhgeddaboudit, et al.), but plenty of more upscale eateries have jumped on the bandwagon: Try The Parlor’s piadini for a more rustic Italian take or Iron Vine for a Latin breakfast-burrito iteration. G.E. Brown goes upscale classic with its cheddar-and-double-smoked bacon, and if you really want to go wild, class it up with The Intercontinental from Boro6 Wine Bar, made with crispy prosciutto, arugula, and melty Gruyère on a warm croissant.

Bread

Any true carb lover knows top-shelf bread can be found at only a few choice locations in the county, but like its yeast, The Kneaded Bread (kneadedbread.com) in Port Chester rises to the top of this list. Close contenders include The Bread Factory (914.637.9514) in New Rochelle and Martine’s Fine Bake Shoppe (martinesfinebakeshoppe.com), with locations in Scarsdale and Tuckahoe.

Pops Espresso

Photo © Popsespresso

Coffee

Whether it’s for your daily order or to stock up on house-roasted blends, our favorite java joints include Black Cow Coffee (blackcow.com) in Croton and Pleasantville, Tarrytown’s Coffee Labs Roasters (coffeelabs.com), Pop’s Espresso Bar (popsespresso.com) in New Rochelle, and Bronxville’s Slave to the Grind (914.961.7777).

Burgers

Burgers can make or break any restaurant, but they’ve certainly bolstered mainstays like Eastchester’s Piper’s Kilt (piperskilt.com) and Benjamin Steakhouse (benjaminsteakhouse.com) in White Plains. They all have reps as burger meccas in the county, and the former two routinely appear at or near the top at WM’s annual Burger & Beer Blast.

EXTRA CREDIT: The burgers at North Salem’s Blazer Pub (theblazerpub.com) and Rye Roadhouse (ryeroadhouse.com) in Rye are also pretty bun-believable!

Craft Breweries

Westchester has utterly spoiled us with a plethora of new and incredible breweries opening every few years. No matter what your go-to beer style, you’ll find it and plenty of new surprises at the likes of Tuckahoe’s Broken Bow Brewery (brokenbowbrewery.com); Mamaroneck’s Decadent Ales (decadentales.square.site); Run & Hide Brewing Co. (randhbc.com) in Port Chester; Elmsford’s Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. (captainlawrencebrewing.com); Peekskill Brewery (peekskillbrewery.com) and River Outpost Brewing Company (riveroutpostbrewing.com), both in Peekskill; Soul Brewing Company (soulbrewingco.com) in Pleasantville; Sing Sing Kill Brewery (singsingkillbrewery.com) in Ossining; and from the county’s largest city, Yonkers Brewing Co. (yonkersbrewing.com).

Peekskill Brewery

Photo courtesy of Peekskill Brewery

Celebrity Chefs

Westchester loves its local celebs (Hi, Martha!). In the food world, that means people like NYC-transplant Dale Talde of Goosefeather at the Tarrytown House Estate and the world-famous Jean-Georges Vongerichten of The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges. But we have homegrown celebrity chefs, too, like X2O’s leader, Peter Kelly, in Yonkers, and David DiBari of Dobbs Ferry’s The Cookery and The Parlor, plus The Bus at Salinger’s Orchard, a stone’s throw across the border, in Brewster.

Chef Dale Talde of Goosefeather, Photo by All Good

Gourmet Grocers

When it’s time to show off your own kitchen skills, you want fresh ingredients from trusted sources, like homegrown family grocer DeCicco & Sons (deciccoandsons.com), which, with nine county locations, is at the precipice of a grocery dynasty, and the perennially popular Stew Leonard’s (stewleonards.com) in Yonkers, a de rigueur destination for any discriminating Westchester food shopper.

Pizza

One of the blessings of being in the backyard of America’s pizza capital is that the 914 also spins pies that rival the best to be found anywhere. That said, not all pizza is the same. For Neapolitan, it’s gotta be Burrata in Eastchester (burratapizza.com), but for classic Sicilian, go to Sal’s Pizza in Mamaroneck (salsmamaroneck.com). Want some white? Then set sail for Yonkers, to Frank Pepe (pepespizzeria.com), for its coal-fired white-clam pie. But when it’s the quintessential New York pie you seek, Mount Vernon is the home of the legendary Johnny’s (johnnys1942.com), open since 1942, with a fan base to beat the band, but come hungry: No slices at Johnny’s, only pies. (Last time we checked, it was cash-only too.)

EXTRA CREDIT: If you’re in Yonkers, try the “Super Slice” at Pizza Barn (pizzabarnshop.com). Is it the world’s largest slice? Is it a jumbo pie shaped like a triangle? Either way, it can feed a family of five.

Sweet Potato Fries

For Rye Roadhouse, the proof in its pudding comes in the form of sweet potato fries so addictive, there’s a legion of devotees who claim they don’t even like sweet potato fries yet climb every mountain to practically inhale the burnt-orange batons of joy at this backstreet, Cajun-themed eatery.

Diners

You don’t know what a Westchester diner is until you’ve been to White Plains’ City Limits Diner (citylimitsdiner.com) for a decidedly yet delightfully un-diner-like experience, morning, noon, or night. This proud product of the esteemed Livanos Group is the 914 standard-bearer for what a diner really can be.

Latusion

Photo courtesy of Latusion

Food Trucks

Westchester’s food-truck game is the best you’re going to find outside the city, repping a panoply of cuisines. We’ve got Abeetz (abeetzny.com) and Dough Nation (thecookeryrestaurant.com/doughnation) for wood-fired pizza, Taco Guy (tacoguyct.com) and Crazy Taco Mex (crazytacomex.com) for old-school-amazing tacos, along with the Peruvian Latusion (latusionfoodtruck.com), Gyro Uno (greecygyro.com) for Greek, and of course, dear ol’ Walter’s for classic dogs.

foodie bucket list

Photo courtesy of Abeetz

Hot Dogs

Countless thousands have made the pilgrimage to Mamaroneck’s (and, more recently, White Plains’) temple of the dog, Walter’s Hot Dogs (waltershotdogs.com). With more than a century of skilled craftsmanship under its green-pagoda rooftop, the classic Walter’s order is a split and griddled dog (or seven) served with the Warrington family’s famous mustard relish — but feel free to enhance the experiment with potato puffs, curly fries, and extra-thick milkshakes.

Walter’s Hot Dogs. Photo by Andre Baranowski

EXTRA CREDIT: Already have your regular order down pat? Try hitting up one of Westchester’s other top-tier hot-dog stands, like White Plains’ The Dog Den (thedogdenwhiteplains.com) or Texas Chili in Port Chester and Mamaroneck.

The Dog Den

Photo courtesy of The Dog Den

Desserts

There’s always room for dessert, but how could you pick just one? Yeah, we can’t either, but we can narrow things down to the must-haves: babka from Martine’s Fine Bake Shoppe (martinesfinebakeshoppe.com) in Scarsdale or Tuckahoe; in Mount Vernon, Fleetwood Bakery Shop’s (westchestercakes.com) lobster tails; fruit pies from Croton’s Baked by Susan (bakedbysusan.com); and practically anything from Lulu Cake Boutique (everythinglulu.com) in Scarsdale.

EXTRA CREDIT: Don’t think we forgot about that quintessential autumn delicacy, the apple cider doughnut! Best bets include North Salem’s Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard (harvestmoonfarmandorchard.com); that perennial Granite Springs mainstay, Stuart’s Fruit Farm (stuartsfarm.com); and Thompson’s Cider Mill (thompsonscidermill.com), in Croton-on-Hudson.

foodie bucket list

Lulu Cake Boutique, Photo by Andre Baranowski

Farm-to-Table Dining

Situated neatly north of NYC and just south of the Hudson Valley’s more rural climes, Westchester County was at the vanguard of the farm-to-table movement with local restaurants like Tarrytown’s RiverMarket (rivermarketbarkitchen.com) and Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish (farmerandthefish.com) in North Salem, but the granddaddy of them all has to be the county’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, Pocantico Hills’ Blue Hill at Stone Barns (bluehillfarm.com), voted one of the top restaurants on the planet by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Ice Cream

Spawned from such blast-from-the-past soft-serve nostalgia-fests as Carvel (carvel.com) and Katonah’s King Kone (914.232.0571), Westchester’s creameries have evolved into a hard-pack heaven for folks far and wide. For a truly seductive ice-cream fantasy for you and the family, Penny Lick (pennylickicecream.com) in Hastings-on-Hudson, The Blue Pig (thebluepigicecream.com) in Croton, Main Street Sweets in Tarrytown (tarrytownicecream.com), Ice Cream Social in White Plains (icecreamsocialwp.com), Bona Bona (bonabonaicecream.com) in Port Chester, and Longford’s (longfordsicecream.com) in Rye and Larchmont are all must-lick experiences.

Foodie Bucket List

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Steakhouse

Steakhouses

There is no shortage of quality spots in the 914 where you can pay homage to the divine bovine, but some offer experiences that will linger in your psyche long after the check has been paid. The short list includes Flames Steakhouse in Elmsford (flamessteakhouse.com), Benjamin Steakhouse (benjaminsteakhouse.com/westchester) in White Plains, Frankie & Johnnie’s (frankieandjohnnies.com) in Rye, and Lenny’s Seafood & Steakhouse (lennyssteakhouse.com) in Larchmont.

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