559 Main St, Armonk
(914) 273-9463; www.winegeeksarmonk.com
A table in the center of the room holds a curated selection of 40+ bottles (more than half of which are organic) priced under $15 and hand-picked by owners Derek and Carol Todd, who like to emphasize artisanal, family-run producers.
954 Old Post Rd, Bedford
(914) 234-7800; www.campagna-bedford.com
Michael White is the latest Manhattan chef to venture north to Westchester. The menu at Campagna features dishes like supple fluke crudo salad and a juicy rib-eye. But the star of the show is pasta—plump cappelletti with peas, lamb, and mint; curly fusilli with pork ragù; sheets of fresh pasta rolled up with Bolognese bianco—all made on-site.
Emma’s Ale House
68 Gedney Way, White Plains
(914) 683-3662; www.emmasalehouse.com
This cozy pub offers more than just beer on tap. Classic American favorites like macaroni ’n’ cheese studded with bacon; buttermilk-fried chicken; rich chicken pot pie; and some of the county’s best homemade potato chips deserve top billing.
1026 Broadway, Thornwood
(914) 239-8448; www.bageliciousthornwood.com
Forget those leaden, gummy, doughy-in-a-bad-way belly bombs that pass as bagels in so many shops and delis. This bright, cheerful (and clean!) café offers 22 varieties of hot, fresh (made four or five times throughout the day), pleasantly plump, delicious bagels—the kind you think about before you go to bed, happy that it’ll be just a few hours ’til you can get one in the morning.
City Limits Diner
200 Central Ave, White Plains
(914) 686-9000; www.citylimitsdiner.com
A diner with a gourmand’s sensibility, there’s so much to love about this 21-year-old county institution. From the basket of house-made breads to the daily dinner specials (roast turkey Tuesday!) to the dessert counter, we have never had a bad meal and usually find something to rave about. Thank you Livanos family!
(914) 375-1510; www.greyston.com
Mouth-watering and delicious brownies are served with a side of social enterprise at this Yonkers establishment. Thanks to an open hiring policy and its longstanding contract with Ben & Jerry’s, Greyston Bakery has helped lift hundreds out of poverty while making one hell of a brownie. What’s not to love?
181 N Main St, Port Chester
(914) 937-9489; www.kneadedbread.com
Calling all coconut lovers: This American-style coconut macaroon is a snowy, chewy tower of tropical paradise. The peak is generously dipped in melted dark chocolate, trickling down to harden into a shell that keeps the inside moist—the polar opposite of a snow-peaked mountain.
41 Cedar St, Dobbs Ferry
(914) 674-8427; www.piccolany.com
The fettuccine con nocciole is a carb lover’s creamy dream. Fresh, flat ribbons of pasta carouse in a cream sauce brightened by sweet butternut squash (a vegetable that might change seasonally). Hazelnuts ground the dish
with nutty flavor and an oh-so satisfying crunch.
59 Main St, Yonkers
(914) 376-6500; www.zupparestaurant.com
All pasta is made in-house, and it shows. The fat pappardelle with veal Bolognese and sugo mint is no ho-hum red-sauce rendition. Look for other creative pasta with lamb, squid ink, smoked ricotta, egg yolk, squash, walnuts, and truffles.
143 Westchester Ave, Port Chester
(914) 934-1494; www.eltiorestaurant.com
This Mexican eatery may be small, but its menu is packed with palate-pleasing, authentic dishes (from classics to one-of-a-kind chef specials like menudo soup) and drinks (think house-made sangria). Even its corner spot between The Capitol Theatre and Port Chester train station is ideal.
68 Wheeler Ave, Pleasantville
(914) 769-4100; www.bhogindian.com
Bhog’s lunch specials are substantial, savory, and, best of all, the right price ($12-$15). Choose from three entrées (the shrimp curry is delish) served with spinach paneer, puréed lentil soup, and gulab jamun (fluffy, fried milk cheese balls in spiced sugar) for dessert. Yum!
886 Franklin Ave, Thornwood
Deceptively cozy and quaint, this vegetarian-friendly restaurant serves authentic Thai (not Thai fusion) in a big way, from presentation to flavor-filled dishes that are as appetizing as they are pleasing to the eye. We suggest the chicken massaman curry and pineapple fried rice with shrimp.
16 E Parkway, Scarsdale
(914) 874-8000; www.zachys.com
Long before Zachys co-owner Andrew McMurray became famous for securing the largest deal in Shark Tank history, the wine store, founded in 1944, was making customers happy with an exceptional selection of wines and spirits. Today it offers one of the largest (and finest) selections of wines and liquors in the country.
84 Purchase St, Rye
(914) 844-6750; www.candyrox.net
There’s still a great place to snag retro candy and the best of sweet memories. From licorice laces (reimagined to include a rainbow of flavors) to Charleston Chew bars, Candy Rox carries the real stuff—no imitation wannabes. No ordinary candy shop, this hot spot for all ages—from Boomers to their grands—will even rock out your event with candy catering.
32 Broadway, Valhalla
(914) 421-1300; www.villagecreamerysweetshop.com
John Caldarola went from fire (he’s a retired White Plains firefighter) to ice when he opened the shop a year ago, offering 20+ varieties of sometimes zany but always delicious house-made ice cream. Our pick? Cookie Monster Meets Peanut
22 Elm Pl, Rye
(914) 921-8190; www.morgansfishouse.net
Try this for a “you have one last week to eat” scenario: whole broiled lobster Monday, stuffed lobster atop angel hair in a garlic white wine sauce on Tuesday, steamed whole lobster for Wednesday, lobster paella on Thursday, and a lobster roll Friday. You could have it all at Morgan’s…
55 Old Rte 22, Armonk
(914) 273-0089; www.089armonk.roberto089.com
There are Bronx-Italian roots (owner Roberto Paciullo is the Roberto of Arthur Avenue’s Roberto’s Restaurant) in the puffy, wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas at Zero Otto Nove. The finest is the San Matteo (fresh mozzarella, sausage, and broccoli rabe), but you really can’t go wrong with any of the charred rounds here.
1 Kirby Plz, Mount Kisco
(914) 666-6338; www.mariospizzapastamtkisco.com
Waiting for the train? Or just want a Neapolitan-style pizza slice that delivers what it promises? This wide, thin slice is crunchy and soft in the right places, with wood-fired, melted mozzarella, crisp shreds of basil, sweet tomato sauce, and, yes, those meaty mounds.
1012 E Main St, Mohegan Lake
This North-County joint serves up a delicious, authentic Neapolitan-style slice: thin-crusted yet chewy, with a zesty sauce. Napoli’s exterior is forgettable (so forgettable we had to describe it to our photographer as, “If you’ve passed Wallauer’s, you missed it”), but the pizza is definitely not.
29 N Main St, Port Chester
(914) 939-6894; www.copacabanasteak.com
Everyone’s had a Mojito, but have you tried the Caipirinha—a muddle of lime, sugar, and Brazilian cachaça? At Copacabana, the bartenders are pros at striking the exact balance, resulting in cocktails that are tangy and slightly sweet with just the right amount of potency.
92 Beekman Ave, Sleepy Hollow
This hidden-in-plain-sight bar trades frills and hoity-toity mixology for all the rare beers your taste buds may desire. The Huddle makes it a point to stock uncommon, once-in-a-blue-moon brews like Sam Adams Utopias (just $32 a shot—yes, a shot) and Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (up to 20 percent ABV).
911 South St, Peekskill
(914) 402-1950; www.gleasonspeekskill.com
When you sip a Manhattan made by the hands of Gleason’s bartender Garry Leavy, it’s as magical as drinking from a waterfall in Narnia. We’ve quaffed so many of these perfectly crafted elixirs (the spiciness of the rye never outshone by the bitters or vermouth), it’s officially become our lifeblood—and we’re not mad.
112 Main St, Port Chester
(914) 933-7427; www.qrestaurantandbar.com
Q’s Kentucky Lemonade will give you a taste of the South’s slow-paced, take-it-all-in way of life and transport you onto a breezy porch in southern Kentucky at sunset. The bourbon masked with the sweet, thirst-quenching lemonade is just what y’all need when looking for that just-get-me-through-this-day cocktail.
235 Harrison Ave, Harrison
(914) 630-7484; www.craftsmanalehouse.com
The scary-cool paper menu at this mid-October fest reads like the pumpkin beer phone book. There’s 40 to 50 kegs rotating on all eight taps and 60+ bottled beers, and they color-code what’s just been added and what’s about to run dry (collect stamps to win a prize). Sample the drafts, compare notes with the geeks you’re jammed in with, and don’t leave without trying a wacky beer-battered food special.
581 Main St, New Rochelle
(914) 636-3926; www.littlemexicancafe.com
The bartender isn’t giving away any secrets about what makes this classic blend of Bacardi rum, Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut, and fresh pineapple juice, garnished with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry, the best we’ve ever had. All we know is, we want this perfectly balanced drink year-round, especially at a dimly lit bar with music cranking and delicious Mexican food.
41 N Riverside Ave, Croton-on-Hudson
(914) 271-8020; www.thetavernatcroton.com
Whether you’re in it for the crumbs or for the cake, this old-fashioned crumb cake, sold whole and by the slice, has you covered: a deep layer of oversized, cinnamon-sweet crumbles clinging to the freshest of vanilla-flavored cake. If you’re used to the packaged junk-food version (we’re not naming names), prepare to be amazed.
At large; visit www.pennylickicecream.com for a schedule of pushcart locations
What we love most about Penny Lick is a toss up: Owner Ellen Sledge’s bright red hair, her all-natural, custard-based, filler- and stabilizer-free ice cream, or that the ice cream is sold at area farmers’ markets from the cutest old-fashioned pink pushcarts we’ve ever seen.
802 Commerce St, Thornwood
(914) 747-0009; www.license2grillny.com
Let’s just say, if we were to commit a serious crime in Westchester, we’d have a tough time deciding between a bank robbery and a License 2 Grill heist, where we force owner Erica Gendler to make us all the delicious golden-fried empanadas our little stomachs could handle…
979 Main St, Peekskill
(914) 734-2520; www.kathleenstearoom.com
Entering Kathleen’s is like climbing into the wardrobe and finding yourself in a grown-up English dollhouse. Except this dollhouse has airy crumpets and soft, warm croissant sandwiches smothered with cranberry mayonnaise, plus all the tea varieties you could ever wish for.
380 Downing Dr, Yorktown Heights
(914) 243-9100; www.turcos.com
Preston Turco is obsessed with quality food at his Yorktown gourmet market. Look no further than the meat counter as a shining emblem of that creed: Sterling Silver, Certified Angus, and USDA Prime cuts are standard fare, all prepared by a friendly and expert staff.
258 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck
(914) 698-2070; www.boianobakeryanddeli.com
The way ricotta cheesecake moistens just the tiniest bit when you bite in. The hint of orange. This traditional family recipe uses a special secret ricotta to nail that ratio of airy to smooth. By the time you hit the cookie dough crust, you’re sold.
200 Central Ave, White Plains
(914) 686-9000; www.citylimitsdiner.com
The Livanos family is doing their Greek heritage proud with this delicious yogurt (no fruit or honey necessary). The mouth-feel is like thick whipped cream, and the flavor begins tart and finishes subtly sweet.
66 Garth Rd, Scarsdale
(914) 874-5674; www.petragreekfood.com
If you’re not yet on board with the Greek-yogurt-as-dessert thing, try it here. Petra’s house-made yiaourti, nearly cream-cheese thick and strewn with walnuts and honey or Greek sour cherry preserves, is as crave-worthy as its sugary counterparts and a cosmos apart from the grocery store.
175 Valley St, Sleepy Hollow
(914) 631-4300; www.santorinigreekrestaurant.com
Move over, baklava. Santorini’s galaktoboureko proves this traditional dessert is worthy of its own fame: warm, silky, faintly grainy semolina custard encased in phyllo, drenched with syrup fragrant with cloves, cinnamon, and fresh orange and lemon.
1 Bridge St, Irvington
Gyro-spiced beef sliders topped with pepperoncini and onion on a potato roll, with yogurt dip and a cornichon—are not only insanely good but (at $9.95 for three) put you in serious danger of turning into Wimpy, the hamburger mooch from Popeye. With meze like this, from Chef Michael Psilakis, who needs a meal?
17 Maple Ave, Armonk
136 S Ridge St, Rye Brook
(914) 937-0900; www.fortinapizza.com
This dessert staple from back in the day has sentiment and scarcity on its side, but it’s delightful in its own right. Grazie mille to Fortina for bringing it back: a pleated paper soufflé cup filled with a frozen frappé of cream, eggs, almonds, and almond extract, with a dusting of ground almonds and a maraschino cherry on top.
38 Main St, Mount Kisco
(914) 242-1002; www.cafeofloveny.com
Not only is this the most meaty-tasting veggie burger we’ve tried, but it even resembles a conventional burger and has a texture you can sink your teeth into (in genteel, farm-to-table restaurant style, of course). Its umami comes from a collage of local, seasonal mushrooms (such as oyster and shiitake) sautéed and blended with shallots, fresh-picked thyme, panko, and egg, topped with slow-cooked onion marmalade and served on a brioche bun.
23 Cedar St, Dobbs Ferry
(914) 674-0706; www.cedarstreetgrillny.com
All the Brussels sprout haters out there probably haven’t had Chef Matt Kay’s starter. Bacon, almonds, and first-rate Crown Maple syrup are tossed with slightly charred and salty sprouts. Haters, you’ll change your mind.
1096 Wilmot Rd, Scarsdale
(914) 725-1062; www.chefstableny.com
A spin on a mushroom breakfast omelet, the delish factor of this appetizer starts when you break open the yolk of the poached egg sitting atop an array of forest mushrooms (e.g., morel, porcini) that have been sautéed in earthy, rich truffle butter and ends only when the last drippings have been mopped up with a house-made roll.
20 N Central Ave, Hartsdale
(914) 358-9046; www.fantasycuisine.com
Oily, leaden takeout Chinese dumplings no more! These tender, handmade, made-to-order dumplings come six in a bamboo-steaming basket, plump and juicy with either ground pork and ginger or ground pork, ginger, and minced crab meat.
Chef/Partner Billy Etzel of Coals in Port Chester/Bronxville served the winning burger to take the Manhattan Beer/Blue Moon Trophy at the 4th annual Burger & Beer Blast in June. Etzel defeated 27 other competing chefs, including Peter Kelly of X2O in Yonkers, who had won the previous three years. The winning burger had tequila-cured bacon, cheddar, and spicy cilantro sauce.
126 N Main St, Port Chester
(914) 481-8771; www.ryehousepc.com
Aged Fontina and aged goat cheese, floating a heady cargo of black truffle shavings, oozes over sourdough from The Kneaded Bread—a fine match for craft cocktails and serious spirits. A side salad of baby arugula and oyster mushrooms in Champagne vinaigrette, garnished with taro chips, seals the deal.
19 Main St, Tarrytown
(914) 703-6511; www.mintpremiumfoods.biz
Tasked with living up to the restaurant’s name, Moroccan mint tea packs a garden full of fresh mint sprigs into a Moroccan teapot, along with gunpowder green tea and honey or brown sugar to taste. Pour into a tea glass and enjoy with creative Mediterranean-inspired fare.
1279 North Ave, New Rochelle
(914) 632-1045; www.traditionalbagelcafe.com
When does cream cheese attract a following? When the freshly made, ingredient-packed mounds include bacon and basil, hot cherry pepper, hazelnut cocoa, pimento-stuffed olive, strawberry, and walnut raisin. But traditionalists will be happy with a plain, scallion, or veggie schmear (in regular or low-fat) on a hand-rolled bagel or a flat everything “flagel.”
501 Halstead Ave, Mamaroneck
Hunks of poached lobster wrapped in spongy homemade crêpes, flooded with a creamy sauce of jumbo lump crab, plum tomato, shallots, basil, white wine, and pecorino—once you’ve tried Chef Dougie Tucci’s manicotti, it’s hard to break away and order any of his other excellent food. Never mind that it comes with salad, bruschetta, and warm, crusty bread.
6 N Pearl St, Port Chester
(914) 934-0372; www.losgemelosrestaurant.com
Not only is Los Gemelos an authentic Mexican restaurant, it’s also a tortilla factory that ships throughout the tri-state area (they’ve been served everywhere from Citi Field to Saratoga Raceway). The limey, remarkably soft whole-grain corn tortillas are best enjoyed in delicious double-rolled tacos and oil-slicked taquitos at a wooden booth, but pick up a package to take home—regular or half-size (for making your own taquitos).
871 Saw Mill River Rd, Ardsley
(914) 231-9260; www.lacatenaardsley.com
The top choice among the many house-made offerings on the two-level dessert cart is the Napoleon; its alternating layers of crunchy and soft puff pastry with creamy, smooth vanilla custard make for a flawless example of the classic French dessert. And when asked about the accompanying spoonful of fresh whipped cream, say yes!
522 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains
(914) 683-6735; www.daidomarket.com
You go to a Japanese market for ramen, seaweed snacks, or daikon, sure, but warm, filled-to-order cream puffs? Yup, just head to the corner next to the bakery counter and behind the cashiers’ stations. No Japanese language skills necessary to order—just go on a weekend with $1.50.
130 E Main St, Mount Kisco
(914) 244-9780; www.winstonrestaurant.com
There’s an unmistakable buzz at this tri-level New American restaurant. The place sports a happening gastropub bar scene with handcrafted cocktails on the first floor; a classy, white-tablecloth fine dining element on the second; and an open-air roof-top bar on the third. On any of the levels: killer people watching.
777 White Plains Rd, Scarsdale
(914) 713-8899; www.kumoscarsdale.com
Handsome plating, imaginative sushi roll combinations, and a modish lounge décor are just a few reasons this 85-seat raw fish bastion is a must-try. Partner/Chef Hua Chen studied sushi in Japan for 15 years and frequently brings in specialty fish like triggerfish from Japan and bluefin tuna from Spain.
434 Waverly Ave, Mamaroneck
(914) 630-4787; www.thesmokehouseny.com
Owner Brett Portier dry-brines (salt and sugar and no preservatives) and smokes fresh salmon daily without coloring agents or additives, resulting in a truly artisanal product. The Scottish smoked salmon is like butter (hey, it’s marinated in scotch and then cold smoked over hardwood). The pastrami-smoked salmon is excellent too, but we swooned over the cured gravlax.
718 Central Ave, Scarsdale
(914) 468-2367; www.bensdeli.net/content/bens-scarsdale
Ben’s keeps up the tradition of old-school Jewish deli fare with aplomb via homemade soups, hot open roast beef sandwiches with house-made gravy, baked knishes, crunchy AYCE pickles, and the standout, fresh-cut coleslaw. It’s creamy without being gloppy and has the perfect balance between a sweet and sour tang.
Little Mumbai Market
475 Bedford Rd, Pleasantville
(914) 773-0500; www.littlemumbaimarket.com
Inexpensive (everything is under $10) and delicious, there’s a lot to love about Chef Bonnie Saran’s ode to the street foods of Paris (crêpes) and Mumbai (Indian grilled bread wraps and rice bowls). And don’t forget a fig or mango lassi drink!
670 White Plains Rd, Tarrytown
(914) 333-1216; www.coopersmillrestaurant.com
Vanilla ice cream is so, well, vanilla. Those adventuresome palates looking for tasty yet unusually flavored ice creams should try one of the nightly specials, which have included banana s’mores, honeycomb, beet honey, duck-fig-Gorgonzola, and gummy bears and vodka.
27 Meyer Ave, Yonkers
(914) 476-5900; www.nehapalaceyonkers.com
Tikka is essentially Indian barbecue; NeHa’s tip-top version uses red chilies, ginger, and garlic among other flavorings to marinate small pieces of boneless chicken in yogurt, which is then cooked on skewers in a clay oven. South Asian comfort food at its best.
282 Huguenot St, New Rochelle
(914) 341-1579; www.sorellwinebarbistro.com
Chef Christopher Daly’s chicken from Snowdance Farm in the Catskills is seasoned and crisped to perfection with a technique he learned at Bouley, using Maldon sea salt, fresh-ground pepper, Mission olive oil, sweet butter, garlic, and lemon thyme, with a gorgeous presentation to match.
1000 Boston Post Rd, Rye
(914) 967-7033; www.jerrysprm.com
Open since 1937, Jerry’s Post Road Market is now run by the third generation of its owners, who lovingly prepare fresh batches of the market’s signature dishes—including its scrumptious chicken salad—from scratch every day. With the perfect amount of celery for some crunch, a winning, secret mixture of seasonings for some kick, and just enough mayo to hold it all together, Jerry’s chicken salad goes great on a roll, in a wrap—or eaten by itself.
39 Spring St, Ossining
Is there anything more soul-satisfying than a golden-brown, juicy roast chicken? This no-frills Portuguese joint spit-roasts deliciously simple birds that are some of the best we’ve had anywhere. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also super affordable—chicken, rice, and beans for four comes in at under $20.
The Twisted Oak
61 Main St, Tarrytown
(914) 332-1992; www.thetwistedoakny.com
Perhaps you won’t recognize Chef Michael Cutney’s spin on lasagna with house-made noodles, duck, mushrooms, and kale (complete with sunny-side up duck egg atop), but you’ll likely eat up the delectable creation just the same.
39 Chestnut St, Dobbs Ferry
(914) 305-2336; www.thecookeryrestaurant.com
In Northern Italy, especially Bologna and Emilia-Romagna, lasagna is made not with a red sauce but a thick white sauce (besciamella) made from butter, flour, and milk. The Cookery’s excellent white version, typically found on their fall/winter menu, uses house-made ricotta and mozzarella plus ham and mushrooms.
227 Westchester Ave, Port Chester
(914) 939-4134; www.tandjs.net
The meat lasagna at T&Js is a classic example of grandmother-inspired, Neapolitan cuisine. A generously portioned and comforting dish, its rich tomato sauce is flavored with onions, garlic, basil, and plenty of good Italian olive oil.
363 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck
(914) 698-4127; www.amercuriosons.com
This cash-only pasta shop offers four varieties of frozen heat-and-serve lasagnas (cheese, meat and cheese, vegetable, and spinach) you can bring home and pop in the oven. Then you can either claim to your family/roomies/significant other you made it or acknowledge its retail origins. Whichever you decide, they’ll be impressed.
2 Dingle Ridge Rd, North Salem
(914) 669-0121; www.121restaurant.com
Former Jean-Georges sous chef Beck Bolender offers innovative, contemporary American cuisine—much of it locally sourced and served in the form of shareable plates—in a quaint farmhouse with veranda dining. Order the lobster roll, tagliatelle with littleneck clams, or a wood-fired pizza.
698 Saw Mill River Rd, Ardsley
(914) 693-5400; www.liniziony.com
A refined take on traditional Italian fare can be had at this tiny pearl of a restaurant run by Scott and Heather Fratangelo (formerly owners of Manhattan’s well-regarded Spigolo). You can’t go wrong ordering most anything on the short menu; just save room for delectable and original house-made desserts such as s’mores baked Alaska with graham cake, chocolate semifreddo, and meringue.
100 Main St, Irvington
(914) 231-7576; www.wolfertsroostirv.com
Chef Eric Korn and Jennie Werts playfully elevate eclectic comfort fare at this homey BYOB eatery. Case in point: the torta di spaghetti, a slightly crunchy quiche-sized slice of skillet pasta paired with a rich pork ragù and smooth, nutty piave cheese. It’s so tasty you may order seconds.
45 Bedford Rd, Armonk
(914) 273-6700; www.zannirestaurant.com
The farm-to-table restaurant located at upmarket landscape center Mariani Gardens was designed to complement the nursery; the resulting organic look evolves with the seasons: There are beach grasses in spring/summer that flow out onto the patio, sunflowers in fall, 10-foot-tall birch logs in winter, plus a Napa room with fern planters and high ceilings with lots of glass for natural light.
* per the owners, the name of the restaurant may change