New York State is home to celebrated wine regions, the verdant farm-to-table hotbed in the Hudson Valley, and some of the best microbrews, cheeses, and chocolates found anywhere. Why not take a self-guided culinary adventure and discover the bounty of the Empire State? Local organizations have done most of the work for you in creating food and wine trails to help you discover favorites at your own pace and find delicious off-the-beaten-path places along the way! Remember to stay as local as possible and keep six feet apart from others not in your party and wear a mask or face covering. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available. Be advised that New York has a travel advisory in effect, which requires travelers from non-contiguous states to quarantine for 10 days upon entering New York State. Travelers may undergo COVID testing to test out. For more details, see the guidelines for the travel advisory here. Most attractions are operating with capacity restrictions and require advance ticketing or reservations, so plan before you go.
Buffalo Wing Trail (Greater Niagara)
Credit: Drew Brown
There’s something special about experiencing a famous dish in the city where it all began. The Buffalo Wing Trail is your chance to do just that. With 13 pubs and restaurants cooking up their best buffalo wings, those who embark on the trail are in for a treat. Head to Buffalo’s Anchor Bar to sample creations from the birthplace of the buffalo wing. Hot-wing lovers should check out Duff’s Famous Wings (pictured) in Amherst.
Cooperstown Beverage Trail (Central New York)
Looking for a home-run beverage trail experience? Head to Otsego County for a tasting or tour at one or all of the seven establishments on the Cooperstown Beverage Trail! Try the latest Belgian brew at Brewery Ommegang (pictured) and sample Bear Pond Winery’s locally produced white or red wines. The other locations on the 37-mile trail are Rustic Ridge Winery, Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard, Pail Shop Vineyards, Cooperstown Distillery, and Cooperstown Brewing Company.
North Fork Wineries (Long Island)
Long Island’s rolling vineyards of the North Fork are the sources of celebrated, world-class wines. Check out Macari Vineyards (pictured) or Jamesport Vineyards to taste while overlooking rows of perfectly planted grapes. Venture to Greenport for an incredible view of the Long Island Sound while sampling handcrafted wines from Kontokosta Winery. Beer lovers rejoice, as Long Island is also home to a growing number of craft breweries. Between the Wave Chaser IPA at Montauk Brewing Company and the Toasted Lager at Blue Point Brewing Company in Patchogue, Long Island just may be the keeper of your new favorite beer. Prefer spirits? Visit Long Island Spirits to see how they produce their potato vodka from locally grown potatoes and, of course, have a taste!
Finger Lakes Cheese Alliance (Finger Lakes)
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It stands to reason that the Finger Lakes’ incredible ascent as a wine region would encourage cheesemakers in the area to craft farmhouse cow’s and goat’s milk cheese to produce hyper-local pairings. The Finger Lakes Cheese Alliance's trail includes 12 farms and producers that create their own cheeses. Don’t just take our word for it. Go visit the farms yourself! See how Shtayburne Farm’s handcrafted cheeses are made, learn how to milk a goat by hand at Side Hill Acres Goat Farm in Candor, and get free cheese samples on either a self-guided or guided tour of Sunset View Creamery in Odessa. These are just a few of the many authentic farm experiences available along the trail.
Central New York Food and Beverage Trail (Central New York)
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Farm-sourced food, craft beverages, and desserts—what more could you ask for? With 50 establishments participating in the Central New York Food and Beverage Trail, you’ll explore Madison County one taste at a time. Start your day with a coffee and a freshly baked cinnamon bun from HipStir Cafe in Oneida. Next, enjoy a farm-to-table meal at Madison Bistro in Wampsville, followed by a refreshing beer at Good Nature Farm Brewery & Tap Room in Hamilton or Erie Canal Brewing Company (pictured) in Canastota.
Lake Erie Wine Country (Chautauqua-Allegheny)
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Have you tried ice wine—made using grapes that were frozen while on the vine? While exploring Lake Erie Wine Country, stop by Sparkling Ponds Winery in Ripley to sample their award-winning ice wine as well as an array of reds and whites. The winery even has a three-bedroom vacation villa on site! As you travel from winery to winery through charming towns tasting the region’s unique offerings, enjoy a meal at family-owned Guppy’s Restaurant & Tavern in Bemus Point or the elegant Webb’s Captain’s Table Restaurant in Mayville. Head to 21 Brix Winery in Portland for a dry red or sweet white and Woodbury Vineyards in Fredonia for seasonal fruit wines made with 100 percent fruit juice. For incredible views of Lake Erie, sip your glass of wine as you overlook the vineyards at Noble Winery (pictured) in Westfield. If you plan to visit with a group of eight or more people, reservations at the wineries you’d like to visit are recommended.
Thousand Islands-Seaway Wine Trail (Thousand Islands-Seaway)
Credit: Courtesy of Taste 1000 Islands
The Thousand Islands-Seaway Wine Trail features seven family-owned wineries with scenic views of the St. Lawrence River, island castles, and lush farmland. The region produces whites, reds, and rosés using different varieties of grapes, including hybrid grapes that can withstand extreme seasonal temperatures. The Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, Marquette, and La Crescent cold-hardy (or frost-resistant) varieties are frequently used in the region. Thousand Islands Winery in Alexandria Bay uses a blend of four varieties including cold-hardy Marquette grapes to produce their Captain’s Select wine. Sample the distinct flavors of the region at Otter Creek Winery in the town of Philadelphia or Busted Grapes Winery in Black River, among others. For a special treat on a hot day, try the wine slushie at Coyote Moon Vineyards (pictured) in Clayton.
The Warwick Valley Apple Trail (Hudson Valley)
Credit: Pennings Farm Market
Enjoy apple season all year long with the Warwick Valley Apple Trail. Drive along rolling hills through Orange County to each of the six scenic locations on the trail: Applewood Orchards & Winery, Apple Ridge Orchards, Masker Orchards, Ochs Orchard, Pennings Orchard & Farm Market (pictured), and Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery. Although seasonal produce, baked goods, hard ciders, wine, and spirits are available year-round, visit the orchards during the fall season for bonuses of fresh cider donuts, pumpkins, and apple picking.
Chocolate Trail (Finger Lakes)
Credit: Corning & Southern Finger Lakes
Are you a dessert person? Satisfy your sweet tooth along the Chocolate Trail in the Gaffer District of Corning. From ice cream and martinis to cupcakes and truffles, you’ll be in chocolate heaven! Explore the downtown shops, cafes, and restaurants as you indulge in each decadent bite. Make it a weekend event by enjoying the Chocolate Trail Package at the Radisson Hotel Corning, which includes a chocolate treat in your room, vouchers for a chocolate martini or pecan ball at an on-site restaurant, and a voucher for a handcrafted gift at the Corning Museum of Glass.
Adirondack Lakes Cuisine Trail (Adirondacks)
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Inspired by surrounding mountains, pristine lakes, and relaxing landscapes, restaurants along the Adirondack Lakes Cuisine Trail offer carefully crafted dishes and beverages to fuel your Adirondack adventures. Try the American Fish Stew at Blue Moon Cafe or the Roasted Rainbow Trout at Campfire Adirondack Grill + Bar after a day of paddling on Saranac Lake. Some of the other “stops” along the trail include The Well Dressed Food Company (pictured), Raquette River Brewing, and Nori’s Village Market.
For more information about New York State’s food and beverage trails, visit Taste NY.