25 Best Restaurants in Schenectady, NY

This article was written by local contributor Alice Jacobson & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Schenectady, NY

As someone who has called Schenectady home for years, I feel incredibly lucky to have experienced the delightful array of dining options available in this charming city.

Schenectady's culinary scene boasts a diverse selection of eateries, ranging from casual cafes to upscale establishments.

Every time I dine out in my beloved hometown, I discover new flavors and dishes that make me fall in love with the city all over again.

In this article, I'll be sharing the 25 best restaurants in Schenectady, New York, so you, too, can embark on a gastronomic adventure and appreciate the deliciousness this city has to offer.

Simone's Kitchen

I've been a resident in this neighborhood for a while, and let me tell you, Simone's Kitchen has quickly become one of my favorite spots to grab a bite.

It's a charming restaurant that serves up some delicious Mediterranean dishes that are just bursting with flavor!

The moment you step inside, you're greeted by the wonderful aroma of freshly cooked food and a light, airy ambiance that makes you feel right at home.

I've sampled a variety of dishes, and I've never been disappointed.

From the savory salads to the scrumptious desserts, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Simone’s Kitchen ✌️ · 121 Jay St, Schenectady, NY 12305, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Niji Asian Bistro

I'm so glad I found Niji Asian Bistro, it has easily become one of my favorite Asian restaurants in the area.

Their menu is a delightful fusion of sushi, Chinese, Thai, and other Asian dishes, all executed to perfection.

Dining at Niji is always an enjoyable experience, with excellent quality food made from the finest ingredients.

Recently, they've resumed in-restaurant dining, and I couldn't be happier about it.

I absolutely loved digging into their sesame chicken and Japanese noodles with veggies and chicken.

The flavors were amazing, and everything tasted so fresh.

As an added bonus, they accept Apple Pay, which makes the ordering process a breeze.

My friends and I also tried their takeout service on a separate occasion and were equally impressed by the quality of the dishes.

We ordered salt and pepper calamari, a sashimi sampler, scallion pancakes, scallop pad Thai, and basil chicken.

Everything was bursting with flavor and freshness, and it was the perfect meal to share among a group of four.

Niji Asian Bistro has quickly become a go-to spot for delicious Asian cuisine in my neighborhood, and I'll definitely be coming back for more.

Their charming bar area has caught my eye, and I'm looking forward to stopping in for a drink sometime soon.

Niji Asian Bistro · 2612 Guilderland Ave, Schenectady, NY 12306, United States
★★★★★ · Asian restaurant

The Memphis King BBQ

One of my favorite spots for a mouthwatering barbecue meal has to be The Memphis King BBQ.

This small, laid-back outlet offers the most amazing smoked meats, poultry, and hearty sides, and they even have take-out options.

Whenever I visit, I can't resist their fall-off-the-bone ribs and delicious mac and cheese.

I've also tried their potato salad, and it did not disappoint.

The pulled pork is fantastic, although it can be a bit fatty compared to others I've tried.

What sets this place apart is their numerous homemade sauces – I aim to try them all!

The white BBQ sauce is especially unique and goes great with the ribs, while the sweet sauce is like drizzling honey all over your meal.

Trust me, you'll leave satisfied and messy, which is the sign of truly great BBQ.

Give their website a visit at http://www.thememphisking.com/ to check out their menu and plan your visit.

The fact that it's a family-owned and operated business makes it even more special to support.

So if you're a fellow BBQ lover, make sure to stop by The Memphis King BBQ – I promise you won't regret it!

The Memphis King BBQ · 1902 Van Vranken Ave., Schenectady, NY 12308, United States
★★★★★ · Barbecue restaurant

Take Two Cafe

I've been living in this neighborhood for a few years now and finding a great vegan-friendly spot has always been important to me.

Luckily, I stumbled upon Take Two Cafe a while back, and it has quickly become one of my go-to places whenever I want a delicious vegetarian meal.

The cafe offers an entirely vegan menu, which is quite a relief considering how difficult it can be to find a place that caters to my dietary preferences.

Their potato salad is a favorite of mine, and even my non-vegan friends seem to enjoy it more than the regular dairy and egg-laden versions.

Moreover, their Oreo bar is to die for, and I'd eat it every week if I could!

Located in a quaint downtown area, Take Two Cafe is easily accessible and boasts both indoor and outdoor seating options.

While parking can be somewhat challenging during the week, I've found it to be relatively easy on weekends.

Take Two Cafe · 433 State St, Schenectady, NY 12305, United States
★★★★★ · Vegan restaurant

Caribe Spanish Restaurant and Sports Bar

Whenever I have a craving for some authentic Spanish Caribbean cuisine, I head straight to Caribe Spanish Restaurant and Sports Bar.

I've been a regular customer for quite some time now, and I've never been disappointed with their food or service.

The Pernil, in particular, has become my go-to dish – it's cooked to perfection every time, and the flavor is simply out of this world.

My partner loves their chicken dishes too, and we always make sure to order some Maduros on the side.

The restaurant itself is clean and welcoming, and although the prices might be slightly on the higher side, I can assure you that it's worth every penny for the quality you get.

I've recommended Caribe to numerous family members and friends, and they too have become fans of this gem in Schenectady.

If you're looking to try something new and tasty, I highly recommend giving Caribe a visit – you won't be disappointed!

Caribe Spanish Restaurant and Sports Bar · 2236 Broadway, Schenectady, NY 12306, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Mizu Sushi Japanese Restaurant

I've been a regular at Mizu Sushi Japanese Restaurant for quite some time now, and I must say that it's one of my favorite spots in town to grab some authentic Japanese cuisine.

Despite being a small establishment with just a handful of tables, the customer service at Mizu Sushi is always top-notch, making me feel welcomed and well-taken care of every time I visit.

Their menu is quite extensive, offering a variety of sushi rolls, sashimi, and traditional Japanese mains.

One of my favorite dishes at Mizu Sushi is the BBQ Yellowtail head – it's simply delicious!

The quality and portion sizes of their sashimi are also outstanding, ensuring a satisfying meal each time.

What really sets Mizu Sushi apart, though, is the cozy atmosphere that makes it perfect for a quiet dinner with friends or family.

Mizu Sushi Japanese Restaurant · 3610 State St #1, Schenectady, NY 12304, United States
★★★★★ · Japanese restaurant

Marino's Pizza & Restaurant

One of my all-time favorite spots in the area is Marino's Pizza & Restaurant.

I honestly can't count the number of times I've been here, and I've never had a bad experience.

The pizza at Marino's is absolutely out of this world.

They offer a variety of delicious options, but my personal favorite is their Sicilian pizza with everything except anchovies, and add black olives.

The crust is cooked to perfection – crispy on the outside, yet soft on the inside – and the toppings are always fresh and abundant.

But there's more than just pizza at Marino's.

Their pasta dishes, subs, and Italian dinners are equally delicious, and they even have a selection of beer and wine to round out the meal.

I particularly love their homemade Italian dressing, which always adds the perfect touch to any dish.

If you're ever in the Albany, NY area and in the mood for some mouthwatering Italian cuisine, make sure to stop by Marino's Pizza & Restaurant – just remember to bring cash since it's a cash-only establishment.

Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Marino’s Pizza & Restaurant · 1301 State St, Schenectady, NY 12304, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Newest Lunch

Just the other day, I stopped by Newest Lunch for a quick meal and, as always, I was not disappointed.

I've been coming to this diner for years, and it never fails to impress me with its simplicity and homely ambiance.

It reminds me of the hot dog stands I used to visit in my hometown.

I ordered my usual beef hotdogs, fries, and their creamy chicken and rice soup.

The hotdogs were cooked to perfection with a nice color on them, and the meat sauce is simply unmatched.

The potato salad is always seasoned quite well and tastes fresh – definitely worth trying if you haven't already.

One of the things I love most about Newest Lunch is the friendly, family-oriented service.

It's what keeps me coming back and recommending it to friends and family whenever they're in the hood.

Newest Lunch · 715 Albany St, Schenectady, NY 12307, United States
★★★★★ · Diner

Stoney's Irish Grill

I have to admit, living in this town for years, I've walked past Stoney's Irish Grill multiple times without giving it a second thought.

But one day, my friends and I decided to give it a try, and boy, am I glad we did!

This long-standing Irish pub has become our go-to spot for Italian-American fare, including their delicious shepherd's pie and a perfectly poured Guinness.

Soft candlelight and real flowers decorating the tables make it a great place for a date or just a casual night out with friends.

The background music adds to the relaxing vibe, making you feel right at home.

The food here is absolutely delectable.

I've tried a variety of dishes, and they never disappoint.

My personal favorites are the corned beef sandwich with coleslaw and, of course, the shepherd's pie.

The portions are generous, and the flavors are on point.

My friends rave about the steak and the turkey bacon wrap as well.

Oh, and let's not forget the drinks!

Stoney's Irish Grill offers a great variety of ice-cold beers and expertly mixed cocktails.

STONEY’S IRISH GRILL · 1859 Van Vranken Ave., Schenectady, NY 12308, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Amerikaans restaurant

Tanpopo Ramen and Sake

There's nothing like a steaming hot bowl of ramen to warm you up on a chilly day, and I must say that Tanpopo Ramen and Sake has become my go-to spot in town for just that.

Their shrimp curry ramen is simply heavenly, and I can't get enough of it.

I usually opt for takeout, but dining in is also a treat.

The pork belly buns and shrimp dumplings are fantastic appetizers to share with friends or family.

One thing I always make sure to do is to ask for the extra spice paste on the side – trust me, you won't regret it!

I've tried their chicken broth ramen but have been curious about other options.

Tanpopo Ramen and Sake · 1625 Union St, Schenectady, NY 12309, United States
★★★★★ · Japanese restaurant

Scotti's Restaurant & Pizzeria

I absolutely love spending my evenings at Scotti's Restaurant & Pizzeria, especially after a long day at work.

One of my favorite things to order there are the fresh steamers with their delightful sauce - I prefer adding a bit more seasoning, which elevates the flavors even more.

The winter martini is perfect to unwind with, and the staff is always so warm and friendly, making every visit a memorable one.

Scotti's is also the perfect place for special occasions, like when my friends celebrated their engagement here.

The penne vodka is hands down the best I've ever had, and the desserts never disappoint!

Just remember to call ahead for reservations, as Scotti's popularity is no secret, and they can get pretty busy.

Scotti’s Restaurant & Pizzeria · 1730 Union St # 4, Schenectady, NY 12309, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

The Appian Way

Living close to The Appian Way has been a blessing for my taste buds.

It's like sitting in my grandmother's house while she lovingly prepares dinner for the entire family.

Not only does The Appian Way serve delicious and traditional Italian dishes, but their gelato is also to die for!

It's a guilty pleasure of mine to indulge in their creamy and flavorful gelato whenever I have a craving.

The Appian Way · 1839 Van Vranken Ave., Schenectady, NY 12308, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Tara Kitchen

Tara Kitchen is a Moroccan restaurant that never fails to impress.

From the moment you step inside, you are greeted with a warm ambiance and the mouthwatering aroma of Moroccan spices.

I love starting my meal with their eggplant appetizer dip, which has an amazing flavor, and their signature drinks like the Flying Fig Martini or Moroccan Sunrise are perfect for setting the mood.

The pita bread here is thicker than the store-bought ones, giving it a dense and satisfying texture.

Their Moroccan 'cigars' served with a fantastic sauce are another great appetizer choice.

When it comes to entrees, the lamb meatballs with spaghetti in a special house-made sauce are simply divine, and the meatballs are quite generous in size.

But my absolute favorite dish at Tara Kitchen would have to be the Chicken Tagine with tomato jam, Harissa, almonds, and figs – an outstanding combination that will keep you coming back for more.

Each dish comes with a side of seasoned rice and warm pita bread, and the portions are just right for a filling meal.

If you still have room for dessert, their cheesecake is a must-try.

Tara Kitchen · 431 Liberty St, Schenectady, NY 12305, United States
★★★★★ · Moroccan restaurant

The River Road House

I've always been a fan of exploring local restaurants, and when I heard about The River Road House in Schenectady, I knew I had to give it a try.

This hidden gem is a little out of the way, but it's worth every mile.

From the moment I walked in, I was impressed by the cozy atmosphere and the friendly wait staff.

I started with the lemon pepper boneless wings as an appetizer, and let me tell you, the fresh lemon and grated pepper in the sauce can compete with the top wing spots in Schenectady.

For my main course, I opted for a simple black and blue burger, which was cooked to a perfect medium rare.

My partner had the steak sandwich, a sliced New York strip with a homemade cheese sauce, served with homemade chips.

My personal favorite was the shrimp scallop Alfredo, which left me craving more.

The River Road House · 989 River Rd, Schenectady, NY 12306, United States
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Ambition Coffee & Eatery

I've been living in Schenectady for years, and Ambition Coffee & Eatery has always been one of my favorite spots to grab a bite.

The moment you walk in, you're greeted with a warm atmosphere, eclectic wall decor, and a unique menu that will have you coming back for more.

The breakfast options are always fantastic, with their home fries being the best I've ever had.

One of my favorite experiences at Ambition was when I brought my family there for brunch.

My partner couldn't stop raving about his Bluffin' With my Muffin sandwich, and my daughter proclaimed their Avocado Toast to be the best she's ever had - and she's had her fair share in Long Island.

As for me, the Eggs Benedict special was a delightful treat, with the perfect balance of flavors and textures.

Ambition Coffee & Eatery, Inc · 154 Jay St, Schenectady, NY 12305, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Bistro

Armondo's Villa Tuscan Grill

Dining at Armondo's Villa Tuscan Grill was an amazing experience.

As I walked in, I immediately felt the warm and welcoming atmosphere that this Italian restaurant has to offer.

My dining experience started off with some appetizers, which included Clams Bianco, Shrimp Cocktail, and Tortellini with imported Prosciutto and Peas.

Each dish was a perfect balance of flavors, leaving me wanting more.

For the main course, I decided to try the Marinated Pork Chops and Blackened Swordfish with black rice.

Both dishes were cooked to perfection, and the flavors were top-notch.

It truly felt like a personal touch that you don't get at many restaurants these days.

Before leaving, I couldn't resist ordering their famous Utica Greens to take home for another meal.

They were absolutely delicious and have become a favorite side dish in my household.

Armondo’s Villa Tuscan Grill · 273 Duanesburg Rd, Schenectady, NY 12306, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Sake Bon II

Just last week, I went out with friends to Sake Bon II, a Japanese restaurant in town, and I must say, it was a fantastic experience.

We opted for the hibachi experience, and I had the chicken dinner, which came with a delicious soup and salad.

The sushi and sashimi at Sake Bon II were also superb, and the portions were generous for dining in.

I did notice that the takeout portions were slightly smaller, but the overall quality of the food was still excellent.

One of my friends ordered the Scorpion bowl drink, which was quite strong and packed with alcohol, making it a great choice for those who enjoy a good cocktail.

Sake Bon II · 1702 Chrisler Ave, Schenectady, NY 12303, United States
★★★★★ · Japanese restaurant

Broadway Lunch

One of my go-to spots in town for comfort food is Broadway Lunch.

It's a cozy American diner known for its specialty hot dogs, hearty breakfasts, and welcoming atmosphere.

Sure, the place might look a little outdated and small, but the food more than makes up for it.

I've never had a bad meal there, and I'd even say their hot dogs are the best in the tri-city area.

I've tried various items on their menu, and I've always been satisfied.

Their steak sandwiches, club sandwiches with french fries, and hot dogs with meat sauce are some of my favorites.

I also have a soft spot for their milkshakes, which are absolutely fantastic.

Broadway Lunch · 2101 Broadway, Schenectady, NY 12306, United States
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Ferrari's Italian Restaurant

One of my favorite spots for a delicious Italian meal in town is definitely Ferrari's.

The family-run atmosphere gives it a warm, welcoming vibe, and the retro ambiance makes dining here feel like stepping back in time.

Prices are reasonable, and the service is always exceptional.

My personal recommendations are the chicken or veal parm - they're absolutely delicious.

In addition to fantastic food, Ferrari's also knows how to mix a perfect cocktail.

Ferrari’s · 1254 Congress St, Schenectady, NY 12303, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

B L's Tavern

One of my favorite spots to kick back and relax is B L's Tavern and Grill.

Plus, it's just a stone's throw away from the casino, making it the perfect spot to unwind after a night of gaming.

The food here is simply fantastic - I can't get enough of their 1/3 pound burgers and 1/2 fried fish on hot buttered buns.

Their appetizers, fries, and wings are not to be missed either.

But it's not just the food that makes B L's Tavern stand out; the atmosphere is also top-notch.

B L’s Tavern · 208 Front St, Schenectady, NY 12305, United States
★★★★★ · Bar & grill

20 North Broadway Tavern

I decided to pay a visit to 20 North Broadway Tavern last weekend. I usually avoid crowded bars, but I must say, this place was worth the hype.

As soon as I walked in, I noticed the cool vibe with hippie stickers and TVs showing sports games.

I found a seat at the bar and was greeted by a friendly bartender named Zach.

I ordered the Triple Threat Wings based on the rave reviews I had heard and a beer from their impressive selection.

The wings arrived hot, crispy, and with just the right amount of sauce – probably the best I've ever had!

20 North Broadway Tavern · 20 N Broadway, Schenectady, NY 12305, United States
★★★★★ · Bar

Canali's Italian & American Restaurant

One of my favorite spots in town is Canali's Italian & American Restaurant.

As someone who's been living in the area for years, I can't tell you how many special occasions and family dinners we've celebrated at Canali's.

The place has been serving delicious Italian food since 1946, and it's always packed with happy customers enjoying traditional Italian dishes.

The homemade raviolis and chicken parm are must-tries, and their enormous meatballs are the best I've ever had.

I can't help but feel nostalgic every time I visit, remembering all the meals my family and I have enjoyed there.

The dining room's atmosphere, coupled with the house music, transports you straight into a Martin Scorsese film – it's simply amazing.

Canali’s Italian & American Restaurant · 126 Mariaville Rd, Schenectady, NY 12306, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Peter Pause Restaurant

Peter Pause Restaurant is a charming, informal eatery located in a quaint home that serves classic breakfast dishes, sandwiches, and Italian entrees.

During my first visit, I noticed the restaurant was empty, but the food was prepared quickly.

What really caught my attention was their French toast, which was moist and flavorful.

As a regular customer now, I can say that the food and service have only gotten better.

Their Greek omelet is cooked to perfection, and let's not forget about their amazing coffee.

Peter Pause Restaurant · 535 Nott St, Schenectady, NY 12308, United States
★★★★★ · Breakfast restaurant

Jasmine Thai Restaurant

The place might not look impressive from the outside, but once you step in, you'll be welcomed by a relaxed, traditional atmosphere and friendly staff.

There was one time when my friends and I were so excited to dig into our appetizers that we completely forgot to take pictures for our social media accounts!

The food not only looks good, but it also tastes amazing.

Their portions are quite generous, making it a great spot for sharing dishes with friends and family.

I recall ordering takeout from Jasmine Thai Restaurant on a busy weeknight, and while the dish I got had a little too much sauce and not enough mushrooms, the flavor was still quite good.

Jasmine Thai Restaurant · 2717 Broadway, Schenectady, NY 12306, United States
★★★★★ · Thai restaurant

Final Thoughts

There truly is no shortage of delicious and diverse dining options in Schenectady.

From the mouthwatering barbecue at The Memphis King BBQ to the delectable sushi at Mizu Sushi Japanese Restaurant, my taste buds have never been left unsatisfied.

So, if you ever find yourself in our charming city, I recommend checking out these amazing restaurants — you won't be disappointed!

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