If you’re traveling through the Finger Lakes region of New York State, it’s only logical to use your fingers to shove delicious food into your mouth while gazing out at lakes, right?
During our family’s week in the Finger Lakes, I was secretly pregnant, and thus so ravenous that I took as many photos of the food we ate as the majestic canyons at Watkins Glen State Park. The good news about this for you is that I shall now proceed to recommend the most delicious spots we found so that you, too, may taste the yumminess that is the Finger Lakes region!
Right on Seneca Lake, I highly recommend Stonecat Cafe in Hector, NY. We ate on the balcony overlooking the cafe’s stunning flower garden with the long sweep of Seneca Lake winking just beyond it. The food was so fresh and local that… I can’t even make a simile right now because I’m staring at this photo of Stonecat’s macaroni and cheese and wishing it were in my mouth right now.
Tied with Stonecat for most beautiful view while eating was the Waterfront Cafe near Hammondsport, on sparkling Keuka Lake. There is both an outdoor patio literally atop the water, as well as an air-conditioned indoor patio with giant window-walls that make you feel like you’re right outside, but without all that “sweaty heat” business.
Next, I’m sure if you’re in the Finger Lakes you will visit the Corning Museum of Glass (also known as the most incredible museum I’ve been to in years), so where will you eat before and after your immersion in glass art? Well, for lunch, the cafe in the museum itself was actually excellent, and boasts an multi-ethnic choice of cuisine, since the museum is popular with visitors from China, India, and beyond, and the cafe kindly caters to all those palates.
In the evening, however, I’d recommend The Cellar restaurant in Corning, which had classy, creative small plates like the deconstructed tamale pictured above. The fresh, local ingredients made all the difference, and the flavor was bursting.
For ice cream in Corning (a must for a secretly pregnant lady, or any lady at all, for that matter), Dippity Do Dah’s hit the spot, though it spurred an argument with my husband Colin about whether the name should actually be spelled “Doo” instead of “Do” since my urge was to say, “Dippity D’oh! Dah’s” like Homer Simpson with the current spelling.
Moving on to the town of Elmira, my number one recommendation for rapid yet yummy and healthy dining would be the Turtle Leaf Cafe. This restaurant was so convenient that our family went back not one but three times. Alas, I have zero photos of this food because every time we arrived we were so hungry that the food was scarfed immediately.
New York’s Finger Lakes region is known for its wine and vineyards, but it is increasingly becoming a foodie destination. The region is large and the restaurants many, so clearly we will need to return to sample more! Let us see a few more photos of what fresh food in fresh air looks like in the Finger Lakes…
There you have it… This is the region to visit if you want to eat well, and have a great view while you nosh! So what about YOU? Have you been to the Finger Lakes? What was your culinary experience like, and which places would you recommend that I missed? If you haven’t been, which of these spots looks most yummy? Do share!
See my full list of things to do in the Finger Lakes here.
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We were guests of Finger Lakes Wine Country, but opinions and ravenous eating are my own.
The author, Lillie Marshall, is a 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!