As a native of the Hudson Valley, I have a particular soft spot and appreciation for all that it has to offer. Whether it is blissfully cold or lushly warm, the Hudson Valley provides a variety of places serving a sense of community and delicious vegan dishes.
Only a short drive from the city, there is local art, vegan comfort food and the right amount of caffeine to keep you coming back. Here is my guide to the Hudson Valley.
If You Have A Craving For Guac
Mexicali Blue– New Paltz, NY
With options like their Grilled Portobello Summer Squash Burrito with grilled portobello and summer squash and rapberry aiol and their Portobello and Sweet Potato tacos, stopping here is always a must when visiting New Paltz. Their food is unique and filled with fresh ingredients. My favorite is the blue corn tortillas that wrap up each tiny taco. They have a set of shelves dedicated to a variety of different types of hot sauce, ranging from fruit infused to extra spicy. Functioning out of a tiny location on the main street, gaining a seat feels like a personal accomplishment and is completely worthwhile. After eating here, take advantage of the many interesting shops that line the main street, the scenic hiking trails and the art gallery housed on the SUNY-New Paltz college campus.
If you’re looking for a scenic activity
Walkway Over The Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY
When the weather permits, the Walkway Over the Hudson is a breathtaking walk over the scenic Hudson River. It is a fun and interactive activity. It is a large, airy walkway, and provides pictures of the past along the route. You can stop and take a break along one of the many benches they have along the way. It is a great spot to bring your bike, jog along or walk while snapping a few photos.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Shawangunk Ridge, NY
Only an hour and a half away from New York City, Minnewaska State Park Preserve houses beautiful rocky mountains, waterfalls and miles upon miles of trails to enjoy. They allow a variety of activities to take place such as picnicking, scuba diving, horseback riding, boating and rock climbing. It is a beautiful place to take scenic photos, enjoy the outdoors and maybe try something new.
Tinker Taco Lab-Woodstock, NY
Nestled in the midst of well-known Woodstock, NY, Tinker Taco Lab serves up the best sweet potato tamales, and margaritas that can cure any day, good or bad. With each dish comes the unique touch of a side of pickled vegetables. Their location is tucked back away from the busy main road, with ample outdoor seating for when the weather is warm. Their outdoor bar is a great spot for a date night or just to hit happy hour while walking around the town.
Your Go-to For Lunch and Fresh Pressed Juice
Conscious Fork-Warwick, NY
The decor at Conscious fork is bright and welcoming, providing an atmosphere for great conversation and even better food. The Tofu Cesear Salad Bowl and the Kim’s Reuben Sandwich are a lunch staple, and then top it off with the Fuego Wellness Shot. Located across from Railroad Green, where quite often you can find outdoor music or events in the grass during the warmer months.
If You Are Looking For Homestyle Comfort Dishes
Caribreeze Vegan Delight-Spring Valley, NY
This adorable restaurant offers Caribbean cuisine, with a mix of other homestyle favorites such ribs, mac and cheese and lasagna. All of their dishes are vegan, and are filled with robust flavor. You can taste the love and appreciation that is cooked into every dish. This is the perfect place to bring your non-vegan friends and family members.
When you are seeking culture and art
Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY
Placed upon over 500 hundred acres of perfectly polished landscaping, the Storm King Art Center is home to sculptures created by many highly acclaimed artists. They offer guided tours around the center, and they also provide other means to get around the center if needed. It is a wonderful place to soak in the Hudson Valley, while indulging in over 100 beautiful master pieces. As it is so big, it is a great place to break into a series of day trips, therefore keeping your schedule busy!
When You Are In Need For A Caffeine Boost
Tuscan Cafe– Warwick, NY
A staple in the town, Tuscan Cafe is an artsy cafe made up of comfy couches, mismatched mugs and local artwork. It is a must for great coffee and vegan dishes. They have a great tofu scramble for breakfast and a plethora of vegan wraps for lunch. Their menu is descriptive and vegan and gluten free friendly. Grab a mug and stay awhile with their bottomless hot coffee, or come at night for one of their shows. They are a hub for being in the midst of the community.
The Art Cafe– Nyack, NY
Just a short stop from the Tappan Zee Bridge, the Art Cafe is located in an old house that now serves up french pressed coffee and Israeli vegan dishes. As their menu is primarily vegetarian, they have a variety of vegan and gluten free dishes. Scattered along the walls is a variety of work from local artists. Their bulletin board is covered in a multitude of ads from a free mountain bike to outdoor meditation classes. This is a great place to go to when you are seeking creative inspiration.
When You Are In Need Of That Sweet Treat
Zora Dora’s Micro Batch Ice Cream and Paletas– Beacon, NY
Open for the warm seasons only, Zora Dora is located on the main street of Beacon, NY, and offers a variety of interesting and creative flavored paletas. Their flavored range from pineapple and cilantro infused pops to local peach on a stick. They hold a strong emphasis on using local and fresh ingredients in their batches.
Have you been to any of these Hudson Valley spots? Which is your favorite town?
Photo: Julian Colton via Creative Commons (Minnewaska); Caribreeze (Caribreeze); Conscious Fork (Conscious Fork); rest, Hillary Fink