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This Is Your Ultimate Westchester Foodie Bucket List

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Photo courtesy of Benjamin Steak House

Discover 60+ 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 listBon appétit!

Foodie Bucket List

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Steak House

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, Benjamin Steak House in White Plains, Frankie & Johnnie’s in Rye, and Lenny’s Seafood & Steakhouse in Larchmont.

Burgers

Burgers can make or break any restaurant, but they’ve certainly bolstered mainstays like Bronxville’s Coals, Eastchester’s Piper’s Kilt (don’t bypass its near-legendary chili), and Benjamin Steak House in White Plains, which have reps as burger meccas in the county and routinely appear at or near the top at WM’s annual Burger & Beer Blast.

EXTRA CREDIT: The burgers at North Salem’s Blazer Pub and Rye Roadhouse in Rye are also pretty bun-believable!

Hot Dogs

Many have made the pilgrimage to Mamaroneck’s (and more recently, White Plains’) Walter’s Hot Dogs over its 100+ years in business. The classic order is split, griddled, and served with the Warrington family’s famous mustard relish, but feel free to experiment with extra dogs, potato puffs, curly fries, and plenty of 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 The Dog Den or the divey — and we mean that as a compliment — Hubba in Port Chester.

Bread

Any true 914 carb lover knows the top spots for bread in the county are relatively few, but like its yeast, Kneaded Bread in Port Chester keeps rising to the top. Contenders include The Bread Factory (914.637.9514) in New Rochelle and Martine’s Fine Bake Shoppe, with two Westchester locations.

Celebrity Chefs

Westchester loves our local celebs (Hi, Martha!). In the food world, that means people like NYC-transplant Dale Talde of Goosefeather at the Tarrytown House Estate, the world-famous Jean-Georges Vongerichten of The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges, and Food Network stars 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, which, with nine county locations, is at the precipice of a grocery dynasty, and the perennially popular Stew Leonard’s in Yonkers, a de rigueur destination for any discriminating Westchester food shopper.

Coffee

Whether it’s for your daily cuppa, or you’re stocking the pantry with house-roasted blends, our favorite java joints include Black Cow Coffee in Croton and Pleasantville, Tarrytown’s Coffee Lab Roasters, Pop’s Espresso Bar in New Rochelle, and Bronxville’s Slave to the Grind (914.961.7777).

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, Elmsford’s Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., Mamaroneck’s Decadent AlesPeekskill Brewery and River Outpost Brewing Company, both in Peekskill, Run & Hide Brewing Co., in Port Chester, Sing Sing Kill Brewery in Ossining, Soul Brewing Company in Pleasantville, and from the county’s largest city, Yonkers Brewing Co.

Sweet Potato Fries

The proof is in the pudding — or, should we say potato — at Rye Roadhouse in the form of the sweetest sweet potato fries you’re likely to find. So addictive are these starchy batons that there’s a legion of devotees who claim they don’t even like sweet potato fries yet go out of their way to practically inhale them at this backstreet, Cajun-themed eatery in Rye.

Delis

Whether you’re loading up with a BEC in the morning or picking up a wedge for lunch (not a hoagie or a grinder — a wedge), every town has its favorite sandwich slingers, yet Rocky’s Millwood Deli has achieved near-legendary status over its storied 60-year run and remains a cherished 24-7/365 rite of passage in the county.

EXTRA CREDIT: Anthony’s Deli in Mamaroneck is a perpetual winner or finalist in our own Best of Westchester competition, and it’s not hard to see why: Order “The Godfather” and thank us later.

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 trend with local restaurants like Tarrytown’s RiverMarket and Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish 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, voted one of the top restaurants on the planet by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Diners

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

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 example, for Neapolitan, it’s gotta be Burrata in Eastchester, but for classic Sicilian, go see Sal’s Pizza in Mamaroneck. For the 914 nostalgia factor, you can’t beat Scarsdale’s Pizza & Brew, which has been serving the community since young bucks swaggered in Qiana shirts. (A classic first-date spot, P&B has likely spawned more marriages than a healthy trust fund.) But, when it’s the quintessential New York pie you seek, Mount Vernon is the home of the legendary Johnny’s, open since 1942, with a fan base to beat the band, but come hungry: No slices at Johnny’s, only pies. (Last we checked, cash-only too.)

Ice Cream

Spawned from such blast-from-the-past soft-serve nostalgia-fests as Carvel and Katonah’s King Kone, Westchester’s creameries have blossomed into a hard-pack heaven for folks far and wide. For a truly seductive ice-cream fantasy for you and the family, Penny Lick in Hastings-on-Hudson, The Blue Pig in Croton, Bono Bona in Port Chester, and Longford’s in Rye are all must-lick experiences.

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 in Scarsdale or Tuckahoe; in Mount Vernon, Fleetwood Bakery Shop’s lobster tails; fruit pies from Croton’s Baked by Susan, and practically anything from Lulu Cake Boutique in Scarsdale.

foodie bucket list

Lulu Cake Boutique, Photo by Andre Baranowski

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 & Orchardthat perennial Granite Springs mainstayStuart’s Fruit Farmand Thompson’s Cider Mill in Croton-on-Hudson.

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 and Dough Nation for wood-fired pizza, Taco Guy and Crazy Taco Mex for old-school-amazing tacos, along with the Peruvian LatusionGyro Uno for Greek, and of course, dear ol’ Walter’s for classic dogs.

foodie bucket list

Photo courtesy of Abeetz

Related: Your Ultimate Summer Food & Drink Bucket List

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