New York By Rail Top 20: The Restaurants

Having a train to catch is no reason why you can’t eat like royalty in New York State.

By John Barry


Tracks Raw Bar and Grill

Formerly located inside Penn Station, Tracks has long been known for the railroad theme that inspires staff and customers alike with old prints and murals showcasing the history of the Long Island Railroad. Tracks now sits a six-minute walk from Penn Station, on the other side of Madison Square Garden. The West Coast oysters served at Tracks come from Skagit Bay in the State of Washington. East Coast oysters come from Long Island’s Great South Bay; Prince Edward Island, Canada; and Cape Cod. For those with a sense of culinary adventure, Root Beer Battered Chicken Tenders await you. | 220 W. 31st Street


X2O Xaviars on the Hudson

According to the operators, this waterfront dining establishment occupies the only turn of the century Victorian pier still being used on the Hudson River. You can walk just a few minutes from the Amtrak stop in Yonkers to reach X2O Xaviars; and take in the sweeping views of the Hudson River, George Washington and Mario M. Cuomo bridges. When you’ve settled in, order up some Grilled “Huge” Black Tiger Shrimp with Asparagus Risotto and Red Wine Glaze; or an aged and grilled 40 oz. Cowboy Ribeye with Brown Sugar and Cayenne. | 71 Water Grant Street


Mahoney’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse

Sharing a parking lot with the Poughkeepsie Train Station is Mahoney’s, which serves hearty fare along with warm welcomes in a building that formerly housed the original Vassar Brewery. Emmett’s Fish Chips, Bangers and Mash and Mahoney’s Irish Beef Stew are just a few of the stick-to-your-ribs offerings from the menu. | 35 Market Street


The Amsterdam, Rhinebeck

With an oversized bar, open kitchen and dining room framed by high ceilings, The Amsterdam plays a pivotal role in the historic, enticing and inspiring community of Rhinebeck. The Amsterdam sits a short drive from the Amtrak Station in Rhinecliff and serves elevated farm-to-table fare alongside craft cocktails. The Amsterdam maintains an allure with dishes that include Duck and Pork Pâté, Salmon Rillettes and Green Curry Steamed Mussels. | 6380 Mill Street, Rhinebeck


Samuel’s Sweet Shop, Rhinebeck

Co-owned by partners that include the actors Paul Rudd, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton, Samuel’s dazzles the eyes as much as the taste buds. Sweets at Samuel’s include a favorite of Rudd’s: Clodhoppers—peanut butter, pretzel and graham cracker in milk chocolate; a favorite of Morgan’s: Milk Chocolate-Covered Swedish Fish; and one of Burton’s picks: Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn. | 42 E. Market Street, Rhinebeck


Wm. Farmer and Sons

A three-minute walk from the Amtrak Station, Wm. Farmer and Sons boasts a “cozy, coppery barroom and restaurant,” lodging and a menu that features Appalachian Sunburst Farm Trout, Garganelli Pasta and Charcoaled Blue Star Farm Beets. | 20 S. Front Street


El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant

Authentic, creative and inspiring Mexican food will leave you satisfied at El Mariachi, located across the Hudson River from the Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak stop, near the Empire State Plaza. Operated by a family with roots in Mexico and deep reverence for family recipes shared with customers, El Mariachi offers more than 80 types of tequila and a house-made sangria. | 289 Hamilton Street


Cornells in Little Italy

Cornells, nestled in Schenectady’s Little Italy for nearly a century, features handcrafted dishes and cocktails amid old-world ambiance. A nine-minute walk from Schenectady’s Amtrak stop, Cornells features Truffled Cacio e Pepe—truffle-scented imported spaghettini, crushed black pepper and Pecorino Romano cheese—and Shrimp Pescatore—jumbo Gulf shrimp stuffed with a lemon, garlic and seasoned breadcrumb stuffing over linguini with a white wine sauce. Yum. | 39 N. Jay Street


The Trackside Restaurant

Located in Union Station’s former lunchroom and bar, The Trackside Restaurant offers Amtrak passengers traveling through the Boehlert Transportation Center a convenient option for noshing either pre-or-post journey. Menu options include French Onion Soup; Chopped Antipasto; Blue Cheese Bacon Burger; and Balsamic Chicken Sandwich. | 321 Main Street


Crust Kitchen & Bar

A seven-minute drive from the Amtrak stop in Rome, Crust Kitchen & Bar will draw you in simply with the names of its food offerings. The Norma Q. is sliced soppressata, smoked pork loin, mortadella, provolone, mayo, vinaigrette and roasted red peppers served on a toasted ciabatta. When Pigs Fly features Arcadian lettuce, tomato, crouton, smoked bacon, fried chicken, cheddar cheese and buttermilk ranch. The Negotiator is a fried chicken cutlet, provolone, roasted red peppers, smoked bacon, fresh basil, mayo and Calabrian chili spread drizzled with honey on a toasted ciabatta. | 86 Hangar Road West, Suite 101



Three miles from the Amtrak stop, Pastabilities across decades has been keeping ’em coming back with pastas, Italian stretch bread and spicy hot tomato oil—all made from scratch. And celebrating an Upstate New York culinary tradition, the Pastabilities menu boasts Wicky-Wicky Chicken (or meatball) Riggies; the Riggie Turn Down; and Vegan Meatball Riggies. | 311 Franklin Street


Good Luck

With homemade pastas, smokehouse dishes and vegetables that showcase the bounty of the region, Good Luck generates a strong, welcoming and down-home vibe that resonates loudly within its industrial yet intimate warehouse space. Good Luck on its website details how it serves boldly seasonal cuisine and inspired cocktails and features a wine list that challenges norms. | 50 Anderson Avenue


Bacchus Wine Bar

With a sophisticated menu, Bacchus Wine Bar offers a range of dishes that harness the power of fresh ingredients sourced from local farmers’ markets. Less than a mile from Amtrak’s Buffalo-Exchange Street Station, Bacchus Wine Bar occupies the historic Calumet Building in Buffalo’s entertainment district. Enticing dishes include the Bacchus Bouillabaisse, featuring Sausage; and Gnocchi, Shrimp, Mussels and Scallops in a Saffron Tomato Fennel Broth. | 56 West Chippewa Street


Boca Bistro

Boca Bistro just might knock your socks off. Stuffed Dates packed with valdeon and Marcona almonds, wrapped in bacon, with cider glaze. Ham Croquettes—Serrano ham fritters with Manchego cheese. Bacon & Bean Stew, a white bean and chorizo stew with pork belly and smoked paprika. Jalapeño Bacon Mac: A house mac and cheese blend with crispy bacon, jalapeños, house chip breadcrumbs and chipotle aioli. That’s about all you need to know about Boca Bistro. | 384 Broadway


The Silo

Established inside a repurposed coal silo with more than 40 flavors of ice cream served in “The Caboose,” a 19th-century repurposed train car, The Silo offers a singular culinary experience. The Silo is known for its “Footlong Haystack,” a 12-inch hoagie loaded with rib-eye steak, mozzarella and toasted hash browns. The frosting on this cake of a dining experience is the nearby Niagara River, which offers sweeping views as you dine. | 115 N. Water Street, Lewiston


Anthony’s Restaurant & Bistro

Anthony’s sets itself apart by making its own stocks and smoked items and charcuterie, hand-cutting its steaks and fresh seafood and crafting desserts that include original ice cream flavors. Dining selections include Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin with Chorizo Sausage and Apple and Braised Wild Boar Medallions in Merlot-Smoked Tomato Jus. |
538 Route 3


Brix Bistro

Close to Rutland Station is Brix Bistro. The bistro serves classic fare including flatbreads, pasta, and charcuterie meat and cheeses, all paired delightfully with the restaurant’s selection of fine wine and Vermont craft beer. With exposed brick walls, steel accents and a sizeable bar, the restaurant serves as a modern and welcoming dinner spot. | 118 Merchants Row


Restaurant Poco

Serving farm to table shareable plates, Restaurant Poco is just down the street from Burlington Station. The menu changes frequently depending on what fresh ingredients are readily available. What stays the same is the restaurant’s globally inspired delicious food! | 55 Main Street


Taverna Mercatto

Taverna Mercatto is a classic Italian taverna with rustic Italian-inspired dishes. A quick three-minute walk from Toronto Union Station promises a meal in “Nonna’s living room,” with appetizers like Arancini with saffron risotto, a wide array of pizza, and pasta like Chittara Alla Carbonara. The taverna flawlessly blends tradition with a modern flair to bring a menu to life. | 120 Bremner Boulevard, Suite 100



An eight-minute drive from Montréal Station, Modavie is a French bistro serving refined fare in a beautiful locale. At 7 pm, live music enhances the ambiance of this classic Montréal eatery. Taste classic French dishes including foie gras, duck confit and garlic snails or try some of the lamb specialty dishes: rosemary rack of lamb and a lamb burger. | 1 Saint-Paul St W