1000 Islands Trip: Foodie Recommendations?
We're taking a few days up in the 1000 Islands area, staying either in Clayton or Alexandria Bay. We'll have a car and don't mind driving for worthwhile spots.
Any recommendations -- whether for outstanding food experiences or awesome mom-n-pop joints? We love all cuisine and would love to know where to go from locals or folks who've been there. US or Canadian side is fine...
Yikes; that region can be kind of a foodie ghost town... You're most likely to find decent/filling mom and pop style places than anything else...
I like this site for that type of information -- they have a forum and listings by state or food type (a bit cumbersome as it spits out a list (map version available if you're a paid subscriber)):
I was up there a few years back (US side only) and recall that Clayton seemed to have slightly better dining options than Alex Bay but can't recall any specifics at the moment. I usually content myself with a fish sandwich, a bottle of cold Canadian beer and, preferably, a waterfront view up there.
Clayton also has the River Rat Cheese store, where you can get all sorts of NYS cheddar products... and of course 1000 Island Dressing. Sidenote: Alex Bay has a drive-in movie theatre, which can be fun.
Make sure to try a Mexican Sundae if you see one listed at any dairy bars... just your basic ice cream sundae but with chocolate syrup and salted peanuts!
We live near Clayton and by far the best food to be had is at the Clipper Inn in Clayton.
The chef/owner travels to Europe each off-season and brings back some awesome recipies to share with us.
The bar is fun also with locals and summer folks chatting ahd having f fun.
You feel like you "belong" at the bar with Mitzi the barmaid who has been there"forever".
You can also eat in the bar and enjoy the fun.
Bella's,in downtown Clayton ,is great for breakfast and lunch.
They mak etheir own pastries and original scones and you can sit right on the water outside and watch the boats go by.
IN aLEX bAY WE LIKE THE tHOMPSON'S BARGE.
tHIS IS BEHIND THE tHOMPSON MOTEL AND SITS RIGHT IN THE WATER.
tHIS IS A HUGE FLOATING BARGE AND THE VIEW FROM THE UPSARIS BAR,WHERE WE USUALLY EAT,IS GREAT.
tHE FOOD IS GOOD BUT NOT OUTSTANDING BUT SITTING OUTSIDE ON THE BARGE DECK WATCHING THE "ACTION' IS REAL FUN..
(Darned cap locks button is too close to my fingers--LOL).
I can't dispute any of the recommendations above (catnip) but have had less than good luck at Clipper Inn in Clayton. My wife is the better judge of quality and she was unhappy. I was less than satisfied but would not rule it out absolutely. The other descriptions jibe with my experiences . I especially enjoyed Bella"s in Clayton.
Sorry your experience at the Clipper was not up to par.
Having never had a bad meal there we recommend this place often.
Bella's is a nice place for breakfast and lunch.
If youcansit outside on the bakc deck overlooking the lake it's even more fun.
The Koffee Kove in Clayton isn't bad for breakfast(nothing exceptional)but a levely local crowd.
Overall I wouldn't say there is anything "outstanding" in the 1000 Island area.
This is all JMO------
Tin Pan Galley in Sackets Harbor (just outside of Watertown). Head and shoulders the best place in the neighborhood. Contempo American, brek lunch and dinner. Well designed dishes well executed, really worth the drive.
Tin Pan Galley
110 W Main St, Watertown, NY 13601
I'm a bit late to this conversation, but for great food, go to the Canadian side...best bet is Kingston. You can have a beautiful trip taking the American ferry (small and privately owned) to Wolfe Island from Cape Vincent, then drive (or bike) across the island, and take the Canadian ferry (large and government owned) to Kingston -- the boat drops you off at pier right downtown. (Or take the 1000 Islands bridge across for a little bit less romantic adventure, and more highway driving on the Canadian side.)
Kingston has a large and varied selection of restaurants. Chez Piggy is old, famous, and good, but there are others there for the researcher, and the town itself is just really pleasant to poke around in.
If you take the ferry, be sure to pick up some butter tarts (with or without raisins) at the little bakery near the dock in Marysville on Wolfe Island while you're waiting for the Canadian ferry to arrive. Delicious and homemade -- butter tarts are a specialty in this part of Canada.