7 Restaurants That Are Absolutely Worth Leaving the City For

We live in a city where the sheer concentration of dining options means you could easily go for a decade without eating at the same place twice. But just because you don’t need to ever leave the city limits in search of a good meal doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Ahead, seven restaurants (within two hours of the city) that 100 percent warrant a pilgrimage.

Dessert Tasting Menus Are a Thing, Because of Course They Are

frank pepe pizzeria new haven ny
Tom McGovern

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (new Haven, Ct)

There’s a reason this 92-year-old spot—one of the oldest pizzerias in the U.S.—is on every single pizza bucket list (and often at the top): Its coal-fired, garlicky, briny White Clam Pie is legendary. (FYI, there’s an outpost in Yonkers, but the original location is worth the two-hour train ride.)

157 Wooster St., New Haven, CT; 203-865-5762 or

gaskins germantown ny

Gaskins (germantown, Ny)

The couple behind this Hudson Valley charmer cut their teeth at some serious NYC restaurants—Diner, Franny’s, Gramercy Tavern—but the vibe here is all neighborly, small-town charm. Well, small-town charm plus mind-blowing fried chicken, oysters, gorgeous seasonal veggies and a killer wine list. 

2 Church Ave., Germantown, NY; 518-537-2107 or

Cucharamama (hoboken, Nj)

James Beard Award-winning chef Maricel Presilla makes a very strong case for crossing the Hudson at her Latin American kitchen. Bring a few friends so you can try as many things as possible (making sure to include the Argentinian skirt steak and the empanadas). 

233 Clinton St., Hoboken, NJ; 201-420-1700 or

saddle river inn nj ny
Saddle River Inn/Facebook

Saddle River Inn (saddle River, Nj)

Who wouldn’t want to dine in this adorable red barn (a former sawmill and basket-weaving factory)? Aside from the charming environs, though, the hearty menu is never boring, like in a crabmeat salad with blackberries and sesame dressing or duck breast with crispy rice and orange hoisin. The fact that it’s BYOB is just icing on the cake. 

2 Barnstable Ct., Saddle River, NJ; 201-825-4016 or

blue hill at stone barns ny
Ira Lippke

Blue Hill At Stone Barns (pocantico Hills, Ny)

We’ll get this out of the way: Chef and co-owner Dan Barber’s revered farm-to-table experience is a cool $258 per person (not including drinks or the tip-alternative “administrative fee”). But if you—or a generous friend or relative—are willing to throw down, the inventive, hyper-locavore meal (made with ingredients grown and raised at the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture and nearby Hudson Valley farms) is worth every penny.

 630 Bedford Rd., Pocantico Hills, NY; 914-366-9600 or

razza pizza jersey city ny

Razza Pizza Artigianale (jersey City, Nj)

When Pete Wells of The New York Times raves about a restaurant, you pay attention. Especially when that restaurant traffics in wood-burning, creatively topped, farm-to-table pizzas. 

275 Grove St., Jersey City, NJ; 201-356-9348 or

Briermere Farms (riverhead, Ny)

OK, this isn’t so much a restaurant as a pie stand, but trust us—these pies might be the best we’ve ever had. Head out now to catch the last of the summer flavors (the blueberry cream pie defies words), then come back in October for an apple pie that’s like autumn in your mouth.

4414 Sound Ave., Riverhead, NY; 631-722-3931 or

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From 2016-2019 Carolyn Kuang-chen Stanley held the role of Editor covering food, travel and all things nyc.