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Lark Street Albany

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Any good ideas for a plce on Lark Street for an early dinner? I know there are new places I just don't know what's good new and what's bad new!

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  1. Price range? Cuisine?

    15 Replies
    1. re: financialdistrictresident

      Moderate, any. Have you been to Cafe 217?

      Cafe 217
      12 Delaware Ave, Albany, NY 12210

      1. re: lupaglupa


        Nothing on this Board re: Cafe 217 and mixed reviews here:


        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          Elda's? Bombers for a great margarita and cheap eats...Justin's is also good.

          1. re: ropush

            I second the recommendation for Bombers- huge burritos, really enough for two. A delicious chicken soft taco, something wonderful in their marinade... It's on Madison just a couple of doors up from Lark.

            Also agree about Justin's- a good fusion menu, and they sometims have live jazz.

            There's also El Mariachi, down hill from Lark on Wahington Ave by Dove, and the other one on Hamilton St by Swan. Tasty authentic Mexican (really good carnitas! and fresh made mango water). A bit pricey as far as Mexican goes but to my taste far superior to El Loco, the other nearby Mexican offering. I've never been disappointed at El Mariachi.

            The one on Hamilton is a little nicer atmospherewise,and has patio seating if it's not too hot out when you go. Two (rather long) blocks downhill from Lark.

            PS: I think the website is going to add a link below; disregard it 'cause it's for an entirely different El Mariachi (no relation) way downstate.

            1. re: eclecticsynergy

              Bombers is actually on Lark, not on Madison. Perhaps you're thinking of El Loco.

              1. re: AmyH

                We recommend El Loco. It is just a few steps up from Lark on Madison. Bombers seemed too grungy when we went in; smelled like too much stale beer; we left and went to El Loco.

                1. re: Wanda

                  I'm not that crazy about El Loco (no pun intended). I much prefer Salsa Latina for the food, authenticity, and price.

                  1. re: AmyH

                    Have never been to Salsa Latina but am more than willing to try. I actually did think El Loco was down a bit last time I was in Albany--and that was over a year ago to boot! Where is Salsa Latina?

                    Re El Mariachi: Building of the one at corner Swan is gorgeous, but food a little below average (and average is not so good anyway) IMO. Have not been to other.

                    El Mariachi
                    213 Sunrise Hwy, Rockville Centre, NY 11570

                    1. re: Wanda

                      Salsa Latina is at 315 Central Ave, between Quail and N Lake. It's near Van's and CCK, on that same side of the street. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

                    2. re: AmyH

                      Ditto. To be fair we've only been to El Loco once. Liked the lively atmosphere better than the food. Have not heard good things about Bombers, but have not been.

                      Salsa Latina sounds interesting . . .

                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        And don't forget about Mr. Pio Pio on Quail between Western and Washington. Not Mexican, but South American, mainly Ecuadorian and Colombian. Great food. And Casa Dominicana on the corner of Central and N Lake. Great Dominican food. Salsa Latina is hardly fancy, but definitely the fanciest of the three. I love them all.

                        Casa Dominicana Restaurant
                        260 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12206

                        1. re: AmyH

                          Thanks for the recs. What is CCK?

                          1. re: Wanda

                            A very good Chinese restaurant! It used to be it's own place, but then when Ocean Palace closed the owners bought CCK. They don't have their own website, but here's a nice review with great photos from CelinaBean:

                            Ocean Palace - CLOSED
                            855 Central Ave Ste 1, Albany, NY 12206

                          2. re: AmyH

                            AmyH, Mr. Pio Pio sounds amazing. I used to work near Little Brazil in the city and was spoiled to have so many Latin choices there. Good to read about all these new places to try. PS Still have not been to Van's or My Linh.

                  2. re: eclecticsynergy

                    I love El Mariachi and have been many times -- mostly on Wash Ave; the one on Swan/Hamilton is a bit upscale and I think the cooks have been here longer than the Wash ave location, so it doesn't feel closer to Mexico than the Wash Ave location. Chips are great, as are the salsa. Great corn soup, and I'm forgetting the name of the rice beverage that's yummy.

                    El Mariachi
                    213 Sunrise Hwy, Rockville Centre, NY 11570

          2. Thanks fopr all the recommendations - we ended up at DeJohn's which I had not been to before. We had a very good meal.