10 Restaurants That Are Worth the Trek to Westchester
Maybe you’re visiting relatives for the day, on your way home from a hike or even flirting with the idea of ditching your cramped apartment and decamping to the ’burbs for good. In any case, you’re bound to end up in Westchester at some point—but where the heck do you eat around here? Not to worry: The county is home to plenty of restaurants that meet even the snobbiest city-girl standards.
Excellent Chinese food can be hard to come by in the suburbs, so we were beyond relieved when we found O Mandarin. From the outside it’s nothing special—just another restaurant in a Hartsdale strip mall. But inside, paper lanterns light a dining room adorned with intricate screens and blue-and-white china. We love the xiao long bao—delicate soup dumplings filled with crab and pork broth—and the crispy-skinned Peking duck.
361 N. Central Ave., Hartsdale; 914-437-9168 or omandarin.com
For what’s arguably the single best bite in Westchester, look no further than this hot dog stand (yes, really). The Westchester icon has been around since 1919, and lines regularly stretch around the block on summer days as people queue up for the famous dogs, split down the middle, grilled in butter and served on a toasted bun with spicy mustard. Pair yours with some crispy curly fries and wash it down with a chocolate milkshake for good measure.
937 Palmer Ave., Mamaroneck; 914-500-5029 or waltershotdogs.com
Our favorite meal to eat at this homey Armonk eatery is breakfast, which is served until 2 p.m. every day. And we’re clearly not alone: Show up on a weekend morning and you’ll find the large main dining room and casual tavern packed with hungry diners digging into challah French toast, omelettes overflowing with veggies, and fluffy banana pancakes. If you’re a fan of Bloody Marys, don’t miss out on the Beehive’s signature version, which is served with a strip of crispy bacon.
30 Old Rte. 22, Armonk; 914-765-0688 or beehive-restaurant.com
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
This restaurant scarcely needs an introduction, so consider this a gentle reminder: Chef Dan Barber’s temple to farm-to-table cuisine is well worth a trip from the city for a special-occasion meal. Before you dine on some 20-odd courses (each one a work of art), you can have a cocktail on the outdoor patio and tour the farm to see exactly where much of the food on your table comes from. If you really want to splurge, the wine pairing makes for one of the best restaurant experiences we’ve ever had.
630 Bedford Rd., Tarrytown; 914-366-9600 or bluehillfarm.com
Just steps from the Hudson River (and a Metro-North station), this upscale tavern focuses on simply prepared Mediterranean food. You’ll find Greek classics like crispy charred octopus and souvlaki covered with creamy feta and served in soft pita bread. But the menu also has a handful of less traditional dishes, like Greek paella, an enormous portion of orzo covered with shellfish, and spicy lamb sausage. On a nice day, opt for a seat outdoors where you can take in views of the river and the Tappan Zee Bridge.
1 Bridge St., Irvington; 914-231-7854 or michaelpsilakis.com
The Inn at Pound Ridge
If you’re a fan of Manhattan’s ABC restaurants (who isn’t?), you’ll love chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s quaint Westchester spot, housed in a painstakingly restored 1833 building. The constantly changing menu is farm-to-table, and many ingredients are sourced from the Hudson Valley. Expect things like peekytoe crab crostini with garlic aioli and Neapolitan-style pizza topped with black truffle and fontina.
258 Westchester Ave., Pound Ridge; 914-764-1400 or theinnatpoundridge.com
For a raw-fish fix, you can’t do much better than this snug White Plains restaurant. (With only 18 seats, reservations are necessary.) While the omakase will set you back around $100 per person, when you consider that the fish is flown in directly from Japan, the wasabi and soy sauce are made from scratch, and the chef’s menu features dishes like raw scallops with shaved black truffle and melt-in-your-mouth salmon the texture of soft butter, it’s practically a steal.
522 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains; 914-285-5351
This charming family-run trattoria in Ardsley is our pick for some of the best Italian food in the area. Squeeze into the cozy space for a seasonal menu and constantly changing wine list. Everything feels home-cooked yet elevated, like the sizzling baked clams filled with bacon and topped with bagna càuda, and the decadent black pepper carbonara with pancetta and egg. Save room for the cinnamon-sugar bombolini—the Italian take on doughnuts—for a dessert you’ll want to rush back for.
698 Saw Mill River Rd., Ardsley; 914-693-5400 or liniziony.com
Notorious across the Hudson Valley for its incredible chicken wings, this neighborhood tavern is a long-standing Scarsdale tradition. It’s constantly packed, so expect a wait (and don’t forget to bring cash). There’s a full menu of bar food like baby back ribs, jalapeño poppers and chili, but the move here is the chicken wings (and more surprisingly, legs), crispy and coated with your choice of sauce.
519 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale; 914-472-9706
Turns out that exceptional old-school New York–style pizza can be found outside the city. Johnny’s has been a Mount Vernon staple since 1942, and the family-run parlor is still a local favorite for its super thin-crust pies bubbling with tomato sauce. There’s nothing fancy about this cash-only joint with a no-frills interior decorated with Yankees memorabilia, but the pizza is well worth the trip.
30 W. Lincoln Ave., Mount Vernon; 914-668-1957 or johnnys1942.com