"I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." ~Robert Frost
Lake Placid's historic Main Street is a one-mile stretch packed with local shops, artisans, and restaurants. If you have never been to Lake Placid, it's a must-do activity. However, there's a whole world of restaurants beyond Main Street. Let this be your big fat guide to dining off the beaten path.
Redneck Bistro BBQ & Grill
Redneck Bistro is the place to go if you are looking for big portions at reasonable prices. This family-run business is located half a mile from the end of Main Street, which is housed in a gorgeous red brick building with white trim and located within The Pines Inn. Redneck Bistro has seating under a covered porch just outside the historic hotel and has ample parking, so it's a great place to go when the village is busy. They also offer an extensive gluten-free menu, which offers more options than a lot of places in town.
Purple Saige Bistro
Purple Saige Bistro specializes in French-American cuisine and offers a fine dining experience usually reserved for the city. This hidden gem is run by the husband and wife team, Rob and Suzanne Borden. The restaurant is named in memory of the Bordens’ daughter Saige and the pride they have shines through with their service, attention to detail, and purple accents throughout. During the warmer months, Purple Saige offers outdoor seating with colorful purple chairs and fragrant purple flowers. The hip atmosphere continues inside with a stylish interior, making it a great spot to go for date night. I would be remiss to mention that this place has some seriously good craft cocktails, like Saige's Butterfly, which has fig vodka, limoncello, and club soda, or their purpletini, which is indeed purple; it's so pretty, you won't believe you can drink it.
Saranac Sourdough serves breakfast and lunch, five days a week, both available all day. This place has sourdough in the name, which means it's their specialty. Classic breakfast options include homemade sourdough bagels and sourdough pancakes. My go-to is a sourdough bagel and lox. For lunch, every sandwich is made with their hearth-baked sourdough bread, so you can really taste the difference. They also serve inspired specials daily, so there is always something new to check out. For example, they celebrated the beginning of autumn with a Moroccan stuffed squash with lentils, chicken, couscous, dates, and nuts. Are you salivating yet? Saranac Sourdough is the place to go if you are looking for a hearty, homestyle meal.
Simply Gourmet/'Dack Shack
Simply Gourmet and the 'Dack Shack are two sister restaurants located in the same building. You've probably seen it, it's a brown building with bright orange trim. Simply Gourmet is a deli, bakery, and market that sells breakfast and lunch daily. Grab one of their 46 sandwich options named after the 46 High Peaks and wash it down with a craft beer. If that's not your style, they also have a soup bar, salads, smoothies, and coffee. For dinner, head to the 'Dack Shack, where the food is diverse and the vibe is just right. When you walk in, you can't miss the full-wall mural of the Adirondacks. This is the place I came to celebrate after I graduated with my Master's degree. I started with a woodsmoke salad wedge with smoky bleu cheese and smoked bacon for an appetizer, then I indulged in an udon noodle bowl. I washed it all down with a beautiful Pinot Noir. The 'Dack Shack, is the kind of place that fits in no matter if you are celebrating a life achievement, catching up with a friend, or going on a date night. It's just the place you want to be.
Caffe Rustica is a unique and casual European dining experience known for its wood-fired pizzas and Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Their chefs were trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, the same school Anthony Bourdain got his start, which means you are sure to have an expertly crafted meal. Open for dinner only, Caffe Rustica is hands down one of the best restaurants in Lake Placid, so reservations are encouraged.
Lisa G's is a community staple featuring classic comfort foods with influences from across the world like Morrocan-style burritos and Greek chicken wings. Their quirky menu perfectly matches the eclectic atmosphere and the personality of the owners. Monday nights are especially fun because starting at 4 pm it's Wing Night! Choose from classic buffalo, teriyaki, chili dry rub, maple bourbon, honey chipotle, lemon pepper dry rub, and the crowd favorite, greek style. Don't miss the chance to dine outside on their spacious patio overlooking the Chubb River. When the temperatures start to drop, you can stay warm by the fire or get cozy with a blanket that your server will bring to you.
The Good Bite Kitchen
The Good Bite Kitchen is the place to go for Heat-n-Eat meals you can eat at home. This mother-daughter operation creates a new farm-to-table menu every week, which comes out every Tuesday afternoon and is posted on their social media accounts. The Good Bite Kitchen has been satisfying the community for the last ten years on Main Street, but they recently moved to a new location on Sentinel Road, which is right across the street from Lisa G's. The Good Bite Kitchen has a loyal fan base, so you know the food is delicious! Stop by for fresh meals, frozen entrees, salad of the week, and Gail's treats.
Salt of the Earth Bistro
Salt of the Earth Bistro is a charming restaurant located inside an adorable house that will make you feel right at home. The menu changes with the seasons, so each dish is fresh and reflects the growing season. Menu highlights for the fall include a venison stew and a salted caramel apple sundae. The interior is fun and quirky, much like the menu. This is a place you will want to visit again and again.
Big Slide Brewery
Big Slide Brewery is a sister location of the Lake Placid Pub & Brewing which features 10 house brews on tap, including sour beers and barrel-aged beers. Big Slide Brewery is located near the ski jumping complex, which is where the brewery gets its name and logo from. As if that wasn't fun enough, the menu has quirky names for its entrees like a pizza called "The Greek Squad," a play on the slang term "geek squad." This pizza is a part of its new fall/winter menu, so there are lots of new options to try for repeat visitors. Did I mention the entire menu is farm-to-table and offers gluten-free and vegan options? This place truly goes above and beyond what a typical brewery stands for. Check out Big Slide for one of their weekly specials, Sunday Brunch from 10am-1pm, Taco Tuesday, Wasabi Wednesday, and Oyster Friday at 5pm.
The Cascade Inn is located just a few miles from the center of Lake Placid in between Mt. Van Hoevenberg and the Olympic Jumping Complex, so while it's on the quieter side of town, it's still close to many of the top attractions. The Cascade Inn has offered a classic Adirondack-style dining experience for the last 30 years. With its hand-hewn beams, gorgeous fireplace, and romantic candlelight, it offers a traditional Adirondack ambiance. Their menu includes Italian classics like veal, chicken, lamb, pork, seafood, and steak. Don’t forget their famous Prime Rib Night, which happens every Saturday night. For $30, you get an all-you-can-eat King Cut, or $27 for a Queen Cut. The boutique Inn also offers some of the best golf packages around, which include unlimited golf, breakfast, dinner, and lodging.
Mirror Lake Drive
The Cottage offers a memorable dining experience year-round with unique twists on pub-style favorites. In the warmer months, a spacious deck invites guests to take in the views of Mirror Lake. In the winter, guests can unwind by the fire and watch a game of pond hockey or watch people skating on the 2-mile ice path. The Cottage is a great place to hang out with a cocktail in hand, and they have plenty of options to choose from. This is a place I frequent and with cooler days upon us, it's time to warm up with specialty nightcaps. My husband usually orders a ginger hot toddy and I get a snowstorm, which is rumchata, hot chocolate, and whipped cream. Don't even get me started about their dessert martinis. Just go, once you do, you will already be planning your next visit.
Lake Placid Pub & Brewery
The Lake Placid Pub & Brewery has been brewing award-winning ales and lagers, like their brewery's flagship beer, Ubu Ale, for more than 25 years. But the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery does more than just brew good beer, it routinely offers some seriously fun events. The longest-running pub tradition is Two-For-One-Tuesdays, which means when you buy your first pint, your second one is free. Two-for-One Tuesdays starts at 6:00 PM and ends at closing. Thursdays are Brat Night, so you can experience that Oktoberfest feeling all year long, starting at 4pm. You can get a single brat meal for $7 or a double brat meal for $9, which comes with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and gravy. The pub also hosts other events like the Annual Ugly Sweater Party, so check out their Facebook page for other updates.
In Lake Placid, there is more than meets the eye. Come stay awhile and experience everything Lake Placid has to offer.