Dinner in Syracuse that will make me feel happy?
September 21, 2014 2:08 PM   Subscribe

I have just arrived in Syracuse, NY, in anticipation of an interview tomorrow morning, to find a literal black cloud over the city and to be greeted by the receptionist at my hotel telling me, "Don't move to Syracuse. It's the worst." I want to turn my first impression of this place around. Can you recommend a great, happy-making restaurant for me to go to this evening?

My interview is at Upstate Medical University, and since I'm about to go drive there to check it out, suggestions that are easily reachable from there are particularly appreciated.

I don't particularly care about the style of restaurant; just tell me what you like!
posted by ocherdraco to Travel & Transportation around Syracuse, NY (24 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Dinosaur BBQ
posted by notme at 2:13 PM on September 21, 2014 [12 favorites]

Seconding Dinosaur, which is wonderful.

Also, for whatever it's worth, I lived in Syracuse for a while and thought it was great. I'd happily move back, in the event that my life led me in that direction.
posted by MeghanC at 2:24 PM on September 21, 2014

Everyone is going to say Dinosaur.
posted by history is a weapon at 2:27 PM on September 21, 2014 [5 favorites]

Nthing Dinosaur, but for comfort food I always liked Pastabilities (their hot tomato oil sauce is spicy and great) too.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:35 PM on September 21, 2014

I loved living in Syracuse. I'd move back in a heartbeat if both my husband and I could find jobs there.

Yeah, got to go to Dinosaur if you're only in town for one evening.
posted by Kriesa at 2:40 PM on September 21, 2014

Response by poster: All right! Sounds like a plan. Thanks, y'all.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:41 PM on September 21, 2014

Response by poster: And I'm already seated at Dinosaur. Smells like home to this transplanted Alabamian.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:57 PM on September 21, 2014 [9 favorites]

ocherdraco: Good luck on the interview. Came here 14 years ago for a job. It grows on you.
posted by greenskpr at 3:34 PM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Good luck on your interview! You already have your dinner taken care of but please feel free to contact me if you have other questions! #syracusan
posted by stefnet at 3:53 PM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Buy a good winter coat and a nice set of snow tires. You'll find out why soon enough. :-)
posted by Wild_Eep at 5:04 PM on September 21, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks, all. If I may ask for another recommendation: what is a good cafe or diner near the university to get breakfast in the morning? (I'd love a place where I could get a bacon and egg sandwich, though that's not required.)
posted by ocherdraco at 5:11 PM on September 21, 2014

The Syracuse tradition for breakfast would be the All Night Eggplant. Just happens to have a bacon and egg sammich on the menu. Been years since I was there, but word is it's still good. Nothing fancy; a little funky. Good.

And best of everything with your interview! I have mixed feeling about the years I spent in Syracuse, but there are some wonderful people, neighborhoods and cultural gems there.
posted by vers at 5:35 PM on September 21, 2014

Sorry that I'm late on this, but I live in Syracuse.

So, everyone is saying Dinosaur, and that's fine. It's got great BBQ, a pretty cool honky-tonk atmosphere, etc. That being said, it is not our best restaurant, just our most famous.

I have three recommendations:

1. Alto Cinco: This is kind a kind of Mexican with a hipster twist restaurant. It's located in the Westcott (University) area and is within walking distance of serveral other restaurants, bars, and a pretty great coffee house.

2. Eva's European Sweets: Freaking amazing Polish food. And the desserts are fantastic. It's in Solvay, which is kind of out of the way (western suburb), but it's worth the drive if that's your kind of fare.

3. Riley's Restaurant: It's easy to miss, as it's kind of randomly in a residential area, but holy crap, what a great traditional American food place in a vaguely Irish-looking pub that looks straight from the early 1900s. The menu changes daily, so you won't be able to find what they have online, but this is probably Syracuse's gem.

Best of luck with your interview. That receptionist should be fired from his job. What an ass.
posted by JimBJ9 at 5:51 PM on September 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh, for breakfast, I would recommend:

1. Stella's Diner: It's a diner, but a pretty great diner. Probably our most famous breakfast spot.

2. Mother's Cupboard: Again, a diner, but an excellent one. It was featured on Man Vs. Food and they're famous for their six pound frittata. Don't try to eat the six pound frittata.

3. Beer Belly Deli: I don't know whether they do brunch during the weekdays or not, but they are killer at it and everything else that they do. Located in the Westcott/University area, it's a gastropub and one of our better spots. They're also a block or so away from Picasso's Pastries where we go every Sunday morning for a pistachio croissant and a cappuccino. Good stuff, man.
posted by JimBJ9 at 5:59 PM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: All Night Egg Plant is right near my hotel, so that's perfect.

Thanks so much, everyone. If this weren't such a short trip, I'd have called a meetup.

As it stands, if I end up here next fall, I'll definitely call a meetup, and buy each of you a beer. (And take advantage of the rest of these great recommendations.)
posted by ocherdraco at 6:35 PM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

If beer is on the menu, maybe Clark's Ale House will finally be reopened by next fall.
posted by maurice at 6:56 PM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sorry I'm late on this, but if you do move there, hit up bc Restaurant and Kitty Hoyne's, both in Armory Square. Our friend Mike hosts an awesome trivia night at Hoyne's on Mondays and bc is just plain awesome, food-wise. (Also MeMail me because said friend Mike can show you around if you move there!)
posted by bedhead at 8:35 PM on September 21, 2014

I know you just asked for dinner and breakfast recs, but seriously, ignore the receptionist. Syracuse and environs is not "the worst." Yes, we joke about living on a glacier in the dark ages and all that, but there are some absolutely beautiful places to visit and experience around here. And, if you like snow related activities at all, this is a great place to engage in them. And because we do have an insane amount of snow, our local snow removal is top notch. Like, you won't see cars on fire after getting an inch of snow like you will in VA or TX.
posted by xyzzy at 8:58 PM on September 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Can't link b/c I'm on my phone, but I had a courier trip take me to the Everson (a great museum) and the staff took us to Sparky Town and I had a great meal there. I think it's vegan or vegetarian and I'm not and never noticed and ate well.
posted by PussKillian at 9:00 PM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the additional recommendations, y'all. This has made my visit so much better.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:11 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would go to Strong Hearts Cafe. It exudes good vibes.
posted by akk2014 at 5:54 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm slapping myself in the forehead for not linking this earlier, but CNY Menus is an incredibly useful resource. They do a pretty great job of keeping it up to date with new restaurants, menus, contact info, etc.

I hope you end up coming back!
posted by JimBJ9 at 6:04 AM on September 22, 2014

Get the fretta (Syracuse version of frittata) at Stella's. Beer Belly has a different kind of salt potato( Syracuse classic) each day; I asked about which local places had SPs here a few years ago.
posted by brujita at 6:39 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

On your next trip, if you go to Mother's Cupboard (and I second this recommendation 100%), I had the best latte ever from Cafe Kubal right up James St. by the Sacred Melody. I'm pretty picky about my caffeine drinks, and I don't necessarily like their coffee, but WOW this latte was good!

Syracuse has so, so many great places to eat. And drink!
posted by lyssabee at 7:11 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older Social Media Etiquette for the Networked Era   |   Should I try to fix things with angry... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.