Where should we have breakfast and lunch in Syracuse / Brewerton, NY?
May 24, 2013 4:20 AM   Subscribe

Hi, I'm flying in to Syracuse for a wedding in Brewerton this weekend. We'll be eating some breakfasts and lunches at restaurants. Where should we go? We like all sorts of cuisines and would like to have some tasty food at fun places.
posted by Area Man to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The answer you're most likely to receive is: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. It will be packed this weekend, but it's worth it. No reservations.

I've also enjoyed diner-style breakfast at the All Night Egg Plant and Mexican at Alto Cinco.
posted by knile at 4:43 AM on May 24, 2013

I came in to say dino BBQ also. Really good and was suggested by a friend who live in the Cuse.
posted by koolkat at 5:03 AM on May 24, 2013

We always liked the B'ville Diner when we lived there, for breakfast. A little closer to where you'll be than the Dinosaur.

THe Brooklyn Pickle is a great deli, further downtown. THe grocery store Wegmans does good sandwiches at their in-house deli (really, people going back to visit from out of town make it a point to grab a sub from Wegmans....)
posted by Tandem Affinity at 5:18 AM on May 24, 2013

Syracuse is kind of a purgatory for food lovers; their claim to fame is potatoes boiled with salt. They're called "salt potatoes." That said, the Mission is a pretty cool place in a converted church right downtown. For breakfast closer to Brewerton, the Baldwinsville Diner.
posted by headnsouth at 5:55 AM on May 24, 2013

The best place for breakfast is Mother's Cupboard, aka Mother's, which was featured on Man vs. Food. It is a tiny hole in the wall but the frittata is so, so good, even for this avowed egg-hater. Mother's is not a place to go for decor!! be forewarned.

Second the All-Night Eggplant. Plus I just like to say "All-Night Eggplant."

Also I heartily recommend:
Riley's - sort-of upscale Irish pub on Park St.

Blue Tusk - the most delicious sandwiches EVER, downtown Syracuse in Armory Square. Lots of craft beer on tap too.

I've heard a lot of people talk about Funk 'n' Waffles but I've never been.

Syracuse is hardly a purgatory for food lovers. Besides a summer barbecue is incomplete with salt potatoes!
posted by lyssabee at 6:04 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've had good Thai food at Erawan, which is on the endless 4-lane strip mall zone of Erie Boulevard East. And yes, everyone recommends Dinosaur BBQ, but be prepared to drive around the block for parking downtown and to wait a while in line (though the food really is very good). King David's is good Middle Eastern food but is next to the university and might be a pain to park near (though I see they have a Fayetteville mall location now too which might be easier to get to by car).

Here is the local weekly alternative paper's list of "best-of" restaurants for last year, for some other ideas.

I'm amazed the Egg Plant is still open. It was the go-to post-drinking diner when I was in grad school in Syracuse 25 years ago. On googling, I see however it's in a different location, but still has the same logo and pretty much the same menu of hearty diner fare.

If you're keen on hot dogs, there's Heid's in Liverpool (north of Syracuse), which is an old timey hot dog place.
posted by aught at 6:10 AM on May 24, 2013

Riley's is a great spot for a HUGE, satisfying lunch. Different menu every day.

The Mission, which isn't necessarily super awesome for dinner, is serving a terrific brunch now.

Would have also suggested L'Adour for brunch, but it closed last month.

Heid's is good too, but expect a line.
posted by activitystory at 6:49 AM on May 24, 2013

Dinosaur is great, and probably not to be missed if you're a first or one-time visitor to Syracuse, but there are so many other fabulous places to eat in Cuse! I heartily second the recommendations so far, particularly Riley's and Mother's Cupboard. Riley's has a sister sandwich restaurant as well, Darwin's, which makes tremendous food and is home to Syracuse's nicest man, Darryl.

I cannot recommend Welcome Inn enough if you like pierogies. Made by a wonderful Polish grandma, these are the best I have ever had. Her son makes his own smoked meats, too. Truly a treasure.

Syracuse also has one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in New York state (really, better than anything I have had in NYC, and I've had a lot). It is called New Century, and like a lot of Syracuse, the area around it is a bit run down, so use some sense when you go there, but definitely go.

Syracuse has a growing downtown. It's worth a visit, and some great places have already been listed there, including Dino, Darwin's, and the Blue Tusk. I would also highly recommend a stop at Pasta's Daily Bread for stretch bread (with the hot oil if you like sweet tomatoes) or a raisin roll, with the latter making a great breakfast. Also downtown is Sweet on Chocolate, which would make a great post-lunch stop. There's also a Gannon's downtown now; they have fabulous classic ice cream. It's not fancy, but it's darn good.

If you want wings for lunch, and since you're going to Cuse, you might, I like the ones at the Blarney Stone. This is a matter of great local debate, so if you ask around, you'll get the names of many (great) places.

People get down on Syracuse, but it's actually a really nice place, with really nice food, especially for the short period of time you'll be there. Enjoy!
posted by MeadowlarkMaude at 6:57 AM on May 24, 2013 [4 favorites]

Seconding MeadowlarkMaude: Darwin's is a must if you are here through Monday. They're sadly not open on weekends.

MeadowlarkMaude: I really like Blarney Stone's wings, but would offer either Change of Pace and the Saltine Warrior as the best in town by a slim margin. I LOVE New Century. Don't go there enough!
posted by activitystory at 7:03 AM on May 24, 2013

Oh, also one other Syracuse place I used to go to that might be of interest is Danzer's, which serves German-style food, which in this case basically means giant hot sandwiches (think Reubens and hot roast beef or ham open-faced on large slices of bread), as well as a menu page of German standards like sauer braten and wiener schnitzel. Fun to go to back in the day (and still getting 4* on Yelp a couple decades later) but meat-oriented (in case you have vegetarians in your group, in which case it would be... problematic) and you need to bring a big appetite.
posted by aught at 8:33 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Avoid Mother's Cupboard if you have more than 4 people, the place is teeny tiny and cannot accommodate large groups. Get the Fritatta, but maybe only the 1/2 portion.

Riley's has odd summer hours and is not open on Sundays, so call ahead. Great food, the menu is usually pretty seafood heavy, but the burgers are a standard and they are very tasty.

The All Night Eggplant is expensive for run of the mill breakfast food.

My favorite breakfast in Syracuse is Empire Brewing Company's Sunday Blues Brunch, great food and awesome atmosphere. Get the blue cornbread.

Also in the Armory- Pastabilities has a very tasty Chicken Parm with homemade ricotta and Kitty Hoynes has a very good burger (my favorite in Syracuse), it's not on the menu so you have to ask for it. Blue Tusk has pretty darn good sandwiches, they are served on the previously mentioned Pastabilites Stretch Bread and the place is on a list of "125 places to have a beer before you die" although I can't find the list at the moment.

Danzer's is a great choice, they have a pretty large German beer selection.

For wings, I would suggest Shifty's. I am from Buffalo originally and these are the only wings I will eat in Syracuse.

I personally think Syracuse has great food options and anyone who says otherwise probably never left the SU hill.
posted by ridiculous at 9:00 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Last suggestion is for two Indian places I've been to in the last couple years and liked pretty well: Taj Mahal and Dosa Grill. I ate lunch buffets at both. The former is a somewhat tricky to find mini mall along Erie Boulevard, so use a GPS to distinguish it from all the other mini-mall storefronts; the latter is in a mini-mall at the eastern end of Erie Boulevard where it hits Genesee.

I personally think Syracuse has great food options and anyone who says otherwise probably never left the SU hill.

I agree there is good food to be had in Syracuse. My only problem back when I lived there was coming from Ithaca which has about the same number of good food options (well, more Asian choices maybe, but fewer American food/diner options) - in an area about a tenth (or less?) the size of Syracuse, so places were much easier to get to (i.e. you can't generally walk to any place you want to eat in Syracuse).
posted by aught at 9:39 AM on May 24, 2013

Most of my favorite places have already been mentioned but I'll add Stella's for breakfast. Get there early or be prepared to wait. The Gem Diner (formerly Little Gem) is a Syracuse institution but that's the main reason to go -- the food isn't anything special.

Of the places already mentioned, I'm a big fan of Empire Brewing Company and Blue Tusk.
posted by maurice at 9:41 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Check out the brunches at LoFo and Parisa too! Excellent!
posted by stefnet at 11:00 AM on May 24, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice. I ended up eating at chain restaurants because that's where the rest of my extended family went.

I did, however, get to have salt potatoes at a barbecue and they were great.
posted by Area Man at 7:30 AM on May 28, 2013

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