Vacation in the Finger Lakes: Food, Wine and more
Why not take a wine and food vacation in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York State? Our friend Thomas Pastuszak of Terassen put together this great list of fun places to visit and things to do in the Finger Lakes.
The Teraassen wine project is a labor of love from husband and wife team Jessica Brown and Thomas Pastuszak. They know the historic NY wine region intimately and have made it their mission to show people the viticultural potential of the region.
So go! As Sly Stone said, Hot fun in the summertime!
DINING & DRINKING
Viva Taqueria - healthy Mexican food, a great selection of Tequila & Mezcal, with very well-priced margaritas - drink a Purist with salt and a Tecate, my go-to order!
The Argos Inn - a beautifully-restored boutique inn, right up the street from downtown Ithaca - visit for excellent cocktails in a beautiful, old-school lounge space, Bar Argos & Argos Warehouse.
Ithaca Beer - Ithaca’s original beer, a short drive south of Ithaca, the brewery (and restaurant) have an amazing outdoor sprawl with lawn games, a food truck, and a lovely outdoor setup for a burger and a few beers.
Gimme! Coffee - with two locations in town, the o.g. go-to spot to get serious coffee in town.
Saigon Kitchen - terrific Vietnamese food, for when you want an exceptional bowl of Pho.
Maxie’s Supper Club - for great Po Boys & Cajun cuisine, plus great oysters & cocktails
ON THE LAKES
Supernatural Lake (Interlaken) - the team from NYC wine bar Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels is heading-up to the Finger Lakes to do a pop-up this summer! A lakeside wine bar & bistro, with rental cottages & outdoor live music, right on Cayuga Lake - plus lots of special programming including featured Finger Lakes winemaker evenings and whole pig BBQs. Absolutely worth checking-out during the few months the team will be in the FLX this summer!
Dano’s (Lodi) - on the east side of Seneca Lake, right in the middle of wine country, delicious Austrian cuisine & local wines, that is great for lunch on the wine trail, or amazing sunsets over Riesling vines at night for dinner! This spot has a special place in my heart, as it’s where I got married...
Lucky Hare (Hector) & Two Goats Brewing (Burdett) - two little brewpubs/micro-breweries on the East Side that have amazing views of Seneca Lake, whether at sunset or for a quick, refreshing beer in between bouncing-around wineries.
FLX Wienery (Dundee) - Master Sommelier Chris Bates’ roadside hot dog shack on the wine trail, serving ‘high-end, low-brow food’; an amazing assortment of gourmet hot dogs, burgers, milk shakes & more (ask about the secret wine fridge)! Plus picnic tables & cornhole outside to enjoy in this warm weather.
Inns of Aurora (Aurora) - a collection of beautifully-restored inns in the picturesque village of Aurora, on Cayuga Lake’s upper-east side - great dining options, plus one of the most lovely places to stay when visiting the region.
The Linden Social Club - located on Geneva’s ‘restaurant row’ (Linden Street), a terrific cocktail bar serving-up drinks on the level of some of the best bars in New York City.
FLX Fry Bird, FLX Table & FLX Provisions - sister restaurants to FLX Winery, also on Linden Street - Chris Bates’ casual fried chicken joint (FLX Fry Bird) and his award-winning, farm-to-table tasting menu, with only 2 seating per night (FLX Table). Also, check out his terrific wine shop down the block (FLX Provisions), to buy his Element wines, and many other Finger Lakes selections.
Red Dove Tavern - almost an institution in Geneva, a gastropub serving an ever-changing menu, highlighting the best local produce and a curated selection of wine & beer.
On to wineries, here are a few of my top picks organized by lake, and organized by side of the lake, which makes a big difference in terms of time you spend in the car - it makes most sense to visit them in geographical order and plot-out your trips on Google Maps!
Seneca Lake - East Side
Ryan William Vineyard
Red Newt Cellars (where I make my wines: Empire Estate, Terrassen & VINNY)
Bloomer Creek Vineyard
Silver Thread Winery
Standing Stone Vineyard
Damiani Wine Cellars
Finger Lakes Distilling - wonderful Rye & Bourbon, some fun clear spirits as well!
Seneca Lake - West Side
Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard
Fox Run Vineyard
Red Tail Ridge
Ravines Wine Cellars
Nathan K. Wines
Fox Run Vineyards
Keuka Lake - West Side
Keuka Lake Vineyards
Dr. Konstantin Frank
Keuka Lake - East Side
Keuka Springs Vineyard
Cayuga Lake - East Side
Heart & Hands Winery
Cayuga Lake - West Side
Sheldrake Point Vineyard
Likewise, use this site to look-up fun activities & sites to see all throughout the Finger Lakes!