Bakeries, Breakfast, and Diners
Mrs. London’s (464 Broadway, 518/581-1652) offers a mouth-watering selection of desserts, baked goods, and gourmet coffees.
The big and bustling Saratoga Diner (153 S. Broadway, 518/584-9833), formerly known as the Spa City Diner, is the kind of comforting eatery that offers an extensive menu 24 hours a day.
The family-owned Shirley’s Restaurant (74 West Ave., 518/584-4532) is a good spot for breakfast, lunch, and homemade pies. Also good for breakfast is Beverly’s (47 Phila St., 518/583-2755), serving a creative spin on traditional favorites.
An especially good time to visit the Gideon Putnam Hotel (Saratoga Spa State Park, off S. Broadway, 518/584-3000) is Sunday brunch. Expect an enormous buffet for about $18.
Hattie’s (45 Phila St., 518/584-4790, $10) has been a Saratoga institution since 1938. This is the place to go for tasty fried chicken, barbecued ribs, catfish, and sweet potato pie.
Also an institution is the casual Olde Bryan Inn (123 Maple Ave., 518/587-2990, $14), housed in a rustic 1832 stone house with dark thick-beamed ceilings. On the menu is everything from chili to seafood kebab, and up front is a big, comfortable bar. In addition to the regular menu, a three course prix-fixe meal for $18 is also an option.
Lillian’s (408 Broadway, 518/587-7766, $14) is outfitted with woodwork, brass, Tiffany-style lamps, and stained glass. The dependable menu includes lots of standard steak, chicken, and fish dishes, along with lighter fare.
Sperry’s (30-1/2 Caroline St., 518/584-9618, $21), a favorite haunt of horsemen and -women during the racing season, is an upscale bistro filled with memorabilia dating back to Saratoga’s days as a fashionable spa. Specialties include fresh fish, jambalaya, and homemade pasta.
Continental and French
Only open during racing season, Siro’s (168 Lincoln Ave., 518/584-4030, $30–48) boasts the best after-track bar scene, as well as the most exclusive restaurant in town. Featured are both innovative and traditional continental dishes. Reservations are essential.
At Max London’s Restaurant and Bar (466 Broadway, 518/587-3535, www.maxlondons.com), located adjacent to the chef’s parents’ bakery, the hip atmosphere and tasty consistent dishes have made this a favorite for brunch and more. Check the website for specialty dinner events.
Italian, Mexican, and Indian
Good eats are to be had at four smaller restaurants, all of which offer entrées priced under $15. For curries, biryanis, and many vegetarian dishes, try Little India (423 Broadway, 518/583-4151). For wood-fired pizza, pastas, creative salads, and Elvis memorabilia, try Bruno’s (237 Union Ave., 518/583-3333), across from the main track.
Down the street in former Holmesian Moriarty’s locale is Cantina (430 Broadway, 518/587-5981), a Victorian barroom with patio seating serving good Mexican cuisine and occasional live music. Ask around about special nights known to locals, such as $2 Taco Tuesdays.
The Wine Bar (417 Broadway, 518/584-8777) offers 50 wines by the glass, live music, a cigar bar, patio dining in season and a broad menu of small plates and half entreées in the $7–8 range. An impressive suite with oversized bedroom and full amenities is also available, call for details.
A little pricier than the others, candlelit Chianti Il Ristorante (18 Division St., 518/580-0025, $21) holds a no reservation policy, which is telling considering the massive crowd that chooses to sit out the often-hour-plus wait. The trade-off—delicious authentic Northern Italian cuisine—is worth the wait. Come early or join the bustling crowd and try out something from the extensive wine list.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition