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noteworthy places to stop at on road trip upstate?

i'm going to be going roadtripping through new paltz, albany, little falls, watertown, alexandria bay, syracuse, ithaca, and niagara falls for two weeks. any recs for:
1. really good, creamy homemade ice cream
2. new york state cheese
3. vegetarian/vegan/organic that is not ethnic (no thai, indian, vietnamese etc.)
4. old-fashioned italian, jewish, german, scandinavian, polish etc. bakeries and meat markets?
5. other holes-in-the-wall places that are well-known to locals or where i can get indigenous delicacies (like thousand island dressing etc.)??

thanks so much!!!!

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  1. I'm a bit confused...#3: Non-meat and #4 meat markets? Please clarify

    1 Reply
    1. re: toby1355

      i'm going with a group and one is vegetarian.

    2. Villa Italia, Schenectady, NY for Italian Pastries. As you head west from Albany on the Thruway, take I-890 to the Broadway exit. Go about 1/2 mile and it will be on your left. FYI: as you head toward it, you'll pass a little store called Cappiello's on your left. Worth it to pop in and see the great Italian groceries, meats and cheeses. (You can get back on I-890 and follow it almost to its end and hop right back on the Thruway without driving much out of your way).

      7 Replies
      1. re: Cachetes

        Also, if you do stop by Cappiello's, be sure to see if they have any Perecca's bread. Unbelievably good - hard crust, substantial and chewy interior, delicious.

        1. re: Cachetes

          . . . or just drive on down to Jay Street and go to the Perecca's store.

        2. re: Cachetes

          Villa Italia has some of the best gelatto around!

          1. re: skipjack01

            sounds delish and i've got to pick some up to visit my aunt so this is perfect. thanks!

          2. re: Cachetes

            just wanted to say i recently went to villa italia and it is wonderful. thank you so much for this recommendation. i also checked out civitello's and perecca's. civitello's had one of the best cannolis i've ever had.

            1. re: lawyerlady

              I'm glad you made it to Civitello's! I love their pasticiotti. And the atmosphere is quite unique. Glad you had a good visit to Schenectady!

            2. I can give you some Ithaca recs...

              Homemade ice cream: Cornell Dairy Bar on Cornell's campus, or Purity Ice Cream in downtown Ithaca. There's also Cayuga Lake Creamery up the western side of Cayuga Lake on Route 89 in Interlaken and their flavors look delicious, but I have never been there. http://www.cayugalakecreamery.com/
              Okay, now that I've looked at the website again, I REALLY have to stop there on my next trip up there.

              Vegetarian: ABC Cafe, right near Cornell's campus. http://www.theabccafe.com/ They have vegetarian and vegan options. And of course, Moosewood, the famous veg restaurant in downtown Ithaca!

              The Nines is a very popular pizza/bar food place in the Collegetown area of Ithaca. Deep dish pizza freshly made. Aladdin's has freshly made Greek food and pasta dishes, some are vegetarian.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Solstice444

                great recs. cayuga sounds wonderful. want to try the cornell and purity too! abc is the perfect vegetarian restaurant. thanks for the great recs!

              2. 2. Palatine Valley Dairy, also known as the Palatine Cheese Company, on Route 5 in Nelliston, maybe two miles from the Canajoharie exit on the Thruway.


                4. Smokehouse of the Catskills, off the Saugerties exit of the Thruway. A traditional German smokehouse and butcher shop.

                3 Replies
                1. re: billpitcher

                  Hey Bill-
                  What is the name of this german smokehouse off the Saugerties exit?

                  1. re: catnip

                    It actually is smokehouse of the catskills!

                    1. re: tracyk

                      Thanks Tracyk!

                      Just looked it up.
                      Wish they had a website.
                      Thanks again!
                      Appreciative Catnip

                2. In Syracuse, see if The Welcome Inn is still there. Fabulous, Fabulous, Fabulous homemade pierogies & other Ukrainian yummies. Sorry I don't have an address - just that it's in a residential area on the west side.

                  Also, in general, see the thread "How would you describe the Syracuse Scene"


                  - lots of good recommendations already there (although, yes, some are too "ethnic" for your group, many will still delight!)

                  1. East Fishkil Provisions in Dutchess County NY just off the Taconic State Parkway is a great German deli/smokehaus


                    1. Hartmann's Bakery Round Top, NY (near Hunter Mtn) is great for breakfast lunch or the best German baked goods.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: luvTravel

                        Second Villa Italia. Also try Bella Napoli (Italian) in Latham and Mrs. London's (French) in Saratoga Springs.

                        In Albany, MAD is a local gem:


                        Oscar's Smokehouse (you can also get their products at Lakeside in Ballston Lake and Sanders in Ballston Spa).



                      2. As far as I'm concerned Jane's ice Cream is the best in this part of NY state. Unfortunately, they closed their cafe, but the website has an up to date list of shops and restaurants that carry Jane's. Killer chocolate is my weakness, but I haven't found a flavor that wasn't wonderful. Click on the where to buy link on the website.
                        By the way, I've taken 2 friends, both of whom were indifferent to ice cream, to get Jane's and both wanted to go back immediately!

                        1. Yancy's Fancy Cheese, factory between Rochester and Buffalo. Also, Hellava Good Cheese, Cuba, NY.

                          Rochester Public Market, Sat. and Sun.,during the summer. Outside vendors, indoor vendors, food, plants, herbs, preserved meats ethnic, etc.....long list.

                          Check out the Co-op creameries in the a-bay/watertown area. Perhaps a good place for homemade ice cream.

                          1. OK, it's over two years late but I so enjoyed these two places that I just had to share. FIRST: Truly excellent and authentic German food at Pumpernickel's, on Route 9N in Bolton Landing, about 8 miles north of Lake George. They have very tasty, very fresh food at reasonable prices - even the salad bar was a notch above. We had the Mayor's Platter which is an assortment of several of their meat dishes, accompanied by homemade spaetzle, creamy sauerkraut and not-too-sweet rottkohl, supposedly for two, but enough for more, or for wrapping up for late night munchies. This place is definitely for carnivores. They do have a few vegetarian options, but they are also famous for the largest cuckoo clock in the US - embellished old-style with a dead pheasant, dead rabbit, and crossed rifles. SECOND: Oscar's Smokehouse, a retail store in Warrensburg, a few miles northwest of Lake George on Route 9. Beyond the usual assortment of fresh meats, cheeses, and pork items, they carry some intriguing sausages made of rabbit, venison, and elk. The elk sausage also contained pears and wine and were mighty good once we got them home and broiled them up. (They also do online orders at http://www.oscarssmokedmeats.com/ and sell gift cards as well.


                            Oscar's Smokehouse
                            22 Raymond Ln, Warrensburg, NY

                            Pumpernickel's Restaurant
                            4571 Lake Shore Dr, Bolton Landing, NY 12814

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: tartlette

                              Hey, it's never too late for a good recommendation! I am totally in agreement about Oscar's Smokehouse, we stopped there for the first time last week. We got a smoked ham, a pound of breakfast sausage, a package of chorizo, and a smoked trout. All delicious. Next time we'll get a little more adventurous with the game meats!

                              And I will definitely be looking up Pumpernickel's. It's right on our way to Lake Placid.

                              Oscar's Smokehouse
                              22 Raymond Ln, Warrensburg, NY

                              1. re: njkori

                                If we're in the area, we always stop at the A & W Drive In on Canada Street in Lake George. They still have car hops (!) and I adore the fried cheese curds. It's a chain and it ain't fancy, but it's fun and kid-friendly. It's maybe 20 minutes from Oscars.

                                A & W
                                RR 86, Wilmington, NY 12997