What is the Upstate Eats Trail?
The Trail is a collection of regional restaurants, roadside stands, corner taverns, diners and ice cream shops that make some of the most authentic food specialties in the entire United States. It runs through Western and Central New York, connecting the major stops of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton.
What food can you eat on the Trail?
Great American Road Food! What some people like to call “comfort food.” Chicken spiedies, hot pies, garbage plates, beef on weck, Buffalo wings, salt potatoes, sponge candy, frozen custard, white hots, snappy grillers, cup and char pizza, barbecue. Or, as a sign at Doug’s Fish Fry in Skaneateles says, “Good Food!”
Where is the Upstate Eats Trail?
The Trail is located in Central and Western New York and includes the cities of Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. It is easily accessible along Interstates 81 and 90, running approximately 225 miles end to end along this route. It can also be accessed along a series of more scenic highways that lead a visitor through the many historic small towns and villages – and gently rolling countryside — that can be found in this portion of Upstate New York.
How long is the Trail?
If you were to drive the Trail straight through, one way from Binghamton to Buffalo, it’s 225 miles long. You can do the whole trail in 2-3 days, but we recommend 4-5 days to take in the many things to see and do – and EAT — along the way.
What else can you do while traveling on the Trail?
There are farm stands, craft breweries, vineyards, museums, historic sites, some of the most spectacular State Parks in the country, hiking trails, beaches, swimming holes, flea markets, drive-in movie theaters, a National Historic Park, New York’s largest living history museum, New York’s largest shopping mall, charming Main Streets filled with independently-owned businesses and special events and festivals throughout the summer and fall months.
Dive into the events in each destination here:
Are there family attractions and activities to do with kids along the Trail?
Yes! There’s lots to do with the kids along the way. Here are a few highlights. In Rochester, you’ll find the Strong National Museum of Play, one of the largest interactive children’s museums in the United States. In downtown Syracuse, there’s the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology that will keep kids of all ages busy for hours. Binghamton is known as the “Carousel Capital of the World,” with six hand-carved merry-go-rounds gracing its public parks. In Buffalo, the Riverworks entertainment complex offers older kids the chance to go ziplining between grain elevators, rock climbing on the towering silos and paddle boarding on the Buffalo River. And, we should point out, Niagara Falls is a short 30-minute side trip from Buffalo. The Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds and Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours are always family favorites.
I’m coming from downstate New York – where should I pick up the Trail?
Take historic Route 17 through the Catskills to Binghamton and head straight to Lupo’s S&S Char Pit, Home of the Chicken Spiedie. Let your culinary adventure begin.
My wife and I are wine lovers, can you recommend a wine side trip?
You’re in luck, the Trail takes you through the northern edge of the Finger Lakes, one of the most prolific grape-growing regions in the United States. A great place to get oriented to the pleasures of New York State wines is the New York Kitchen in Canandaigua. This farm-to-table restaurant has a tasting room featuring more than 60 wines from across the state.
My friends and I love beer, where can we sample the local adult beverages while on the Trail?
Did someone say beer? Hold our beer. Rochester’s Genesee Brewing Company has been making the cold stuff since 1878 – so our region knows a little about suds and foam. With that in mind, a must stop is the Genesee Brew House in downtown Rochester, a 9,000 square-foot beer destination featuring interactive exhibits, multimedia content, gift shop and BEER! Throughout the Western and Central New York regions there are more than 100 breweries where you can quench your thirst.