Let’s be clear, Hudson isn’t really an escape from New York City. Warren Street, the main drag, is filled with vintage furniture stores and places where you can spend $105 on a spoon rest or $65 on a healing crystal. In other words, it feels like an extension of Brooklyn. Whether that bums you out or makes you want to request Monday off immediately, the restaurants in Hudson keep getting better and better. Plus, it’s just a short (beautiful) train ride away, and therefore an ideal weekend trip. Here are our favorite places to eat in town - all of which are better decisions than a $105 spoon rest.
Kitty’s Market is open for takeout and seat-yourself outdoor dining every day from 8am to 7pm except Wednesday.
We recently took a last-minute train to Hudson for a weekend trip and had three of our five meals at Kitty’s, a daytime cafe located right across from the train station. In addition to running a market, Kitty’s sells some very good rotisserie chicken plates, pastries, and one of the better breakfast sandwiches we’ve had in recent memory. Between the blanket of mild muenster cheese, smoky bacon, and a bun that’s been blasted with sesame seeds, this thing should have its own Hudson tourism ad on Amtrak. There’s a free option to add housemade, chunky sauerkraut, which only makes the BEC flavors pop even more. More egg dishes should come with sauerkraut. Make Kitty’s a priority while you’re in Hudson (especially before noon when they stop selling the breakfast sandwich).
Rivertown Lodge has outdoor and indoor dining available from 4pm to 10pm, Friday to Tuesday, and for weekend brunch.
Rivertown Lodge is basically the real-life amalgamation of every well-styled photo of upstate New York on the internet. There’s blonde wood everywhere, mid-century furniture, and walls covered in books, and they both use and sell the kind of ceramic mugs you decide you need for your apartment. In the lobby on weekends, they serve what is probably our favorite Hudson breakfast, with dishes like a savory carrot pancake and a lemony Dutch baby, and they have a separate restaurant space for dinner, served Fridays through Tuesdays. Make this place a priority whether you’re staying in the hotel or not.
Half Moon is open for takeout and outdoor dining Wednesday through Sunday starting at 4pm.
If you’re looking for a backyard where you can eat a simple, extra thin-crust pizza and drink a bunch of Dale’s Pale Ale cans, head straight to Half Moon on Front Street. They also serve pizza by the slice in case you show up at 8pm on a Sunday and need some sustenance fast. You won’t be unhappy with the classic cheese pizza, but they also have white pies and a special pizza with meatballs and ricotta.
Hudson Brewing Company
Hudson Brewing Company is open Thursday through Monday in the afternoon and evenings for indoor and covered outdoor service.
In case you’re going upstate with someone whose ears perk up when they hear about mosaic hops and New England IPAs, take that person to Hudson’s best (and only) brewery. Most of Hudson Brewing Company’s beers are named after historic tidbits about the area, like an homage to a legendary female Hudson River river robber pirate named Sadie the Goat. Our favorite approach here is to order a flight, which costs around $15. If you have your dog with you, know that they are more than welcome at the brewery. Tell Sadie’s ghost we say hello.
Backbar is open for outdoor dining and takeout Wednesday through Sunday for dinner and weekend brunch.
Located in the back of one of the 3,000 antiques stores on the main street in Hudson is Backbar, a cocktail bar that also serves small plates like green curry hummus and sesame noodles. It’s a funky spot with big garage doors that open up onto a giant string-light-covered backyard great for outdoor dining. We’d recommend you use Backbar for a pre-dinner or late-night drinks-and-snacks spot - the atmosphere is great for tipsy fried chicken eating.
Bartlett House is open every day for takeout from 8am to 2pm
Halfway through a meal at Barlett House, we felt the need to ask our server if there happened to be a hotel hiding on the premises. We did not want to leave. Technically this place is in Ghent, about a 15-minute drive outside of Hudson, but you should make the drive for it. In an old brick building with a striped-awning-covered front porch, Bartlett House is the kind of exceedingly pleasant place you picture when you start daydreaming about a weekend escape when it’s only Monday morning. They serve a big menu of French-ish farm-fresh classics, and we haven’t had a disappointing thing here.
Cafe Le Perche
Cafe Le Perche is open for indoor and outdoor dining from Thursday to Sunday for breakfast and lunch.
Le Perche has been in Hudson for years, but it was recently revamped by the people behind one of Hudson’s most established restaurants, Swoon Kitchenbar. The wood-covered interior and long bar would be nice places for a low-key dinner or drinks, and you should keep the greenery-covered, heated patio in mind for all your brunch needs. If that’s when you’re here, get a chocolate croissant (they make their own, and they’re excellent).
Lil' Debs Oasis
Unfortunately, after running a new pop-up during summer 2020, Lil’ Debs Oasis is closed right now.
From the outside, this pink little spot with a neon sign in the window looks like a dive bar. But step inside and you’ll feel like you’ve arrived at a tropical artist retreat - with food better than anything you would ever find at an artist retreat. Like hot plantains with cilantro cream sauce, octopus on top of radicchio with smoky avocado dressing, whole fried fish, and chorizo larb. Everything we’ve tried at Lil’ Deb’s is wildly good. They’re also serious about wine here, and by serious, we mean they have a huge list of interesting options described with words like “hiding from the chaperone, gucci loafer, nilla wafer, stained glass, Sunday gossip.” We wish we lived in Hudson just so we could be regulars here.
Hudson Food Studio
Hudson Food Studio is open for takeout, indoor dining, and heated outdoor dining every day from 5pm to 9pm.
If you’re looking for a great dinner in Hudson, but don’t necessarily feel like shelling out more than the cost of a night at your AirBnb, consider Hudson Food Studio - a casual spot serving excellent, modern Southeast Asian food. The atmosphere is relaxed but not boring, and the noodles and soup are exactly what you want to eat on a cold night after a long day outside.
Oak Pizzeria Napoletana
Oak Pizzeria Napoletana is closed for indoor service, but has outdoor dining available on their sidewalk (weather-permitting) and takeout available starting at noon every day except Monday and Tuesday.
This is Hudson’s go-to place for Neapolitan pizza, although the menu goes way beyond pizza. They have a huge selection of small plates ranging from cheese and charcuterie to vegetables to seafood, all of which you can order on their own, or as tasting flights in groups of three or five. The wine list has tons of interesting options by the glass and bottle. This would be an ideal place for a group lunch or dinner.
Talbott & Arding
Talbott & Arding is open for takeout and curbside pick-up only.
If you’re heading out into nature for the day (like to Greenport Conversation Trails or Olana State Historic Site), you’ll find everything you need (and definitely don’t need) for a picnic at Talbott & Arding, a fancy market in the middle of town. Everything about this place is well thought-out, and after loading up on sandwiches, salads, sides, and sweets, you’ll probably have to resist the urge to grab some of their merch too. Do not skip the chocolate chip walnut cookie. Also, on weekends they sell focaccia and it’s incredible. Make sure to go early, they sell out quickly.
Wm. Farmer & Sons
Wm. Farmers & Sons is open Thursday through Sunday for indoor dining or takeout.
Wm. Farmer & Sons might be connected to a hotel, but it’s much more appealing than your average hotel restaurant. The room is attractive, the service is great, and the food is all familiar stuff that’s solid - we especially like the burger here.
Grazin’ Diner is open for outdoor dining, takeout, delivery, and indoor dining from noon to 8pm every day.
An old-school diner setup with definitely not old-school prices, Grazin’ is a good, casual option for lunch in Hudson. They’re known for their super local, non-GMO, all-those-good-things burgers, and the rest of the farm-to-table food is overall good as well.
Swoon Kitchenbar is open from Thursday to Sunday for outdoor dining, indoor dining, and takeout.
Swoon has been around a lot longer than most of the Hudson restaurants people tend to talk about, but it’s still very good. Come for wine and cheese at the bar, or a dinner full of reliably satisfying things like pan-seared scallops and salmon. They’re only allowing reservations for indoor dining at this time.