Written for LakePlacid.com by guest blogger Christie Sausa
Your guide to finding the best meals, snacks, drinks, and desserts in Lake Placid
Feeling hungry after all that adventuring in the Lake Placid region? Lake Placid’s Main Street boasts restaurants and eateries with meals and snacks to suit every palate. While you might think two-time Olympic town Lake Placid is only known for its sports history, it’s also become a vacation destination separate from the historical sports culture, offering unique taste experiences for every meal - including snacks and sweet treats! So, whether you want to revisit an old favorite or discover new places to eat and relax, read on to find the best places to eat in Lake Placid!
These two well-known Lake Placid restaurants bookending Main Street have been part of Lake Placid’s dining culture for generations. Generations and Dancing Bears Restaurant are attached to their respective resort properties, the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort and High Peaks Resort, and have been standby dining establishments for decades. Generations offers many locally-grown menu options and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a casual setting. Menu favorites include the Wolfjaw Burger and Fire Tower Pretzel. They also offer takeout. I spent many happy hours on Generations' outdoor dining veranda (open seasonally) gazing at Mirror Lake glimpsed over the “green roof” where fresh herbs are grown.
Dancing Bears Restaurant
Dancing Bears Restaurant also offers rooftop dining in season (another stunning view of Mirror Lake!), and the interior restaurant space includes framed photos from the 1980 and 1932 Olympics on the paneled walls, and unique Adirondack decor (the aforementioned “Dancing Bears” greet you as you enter the restaurant’s Main Street entrance). The menu includes American fare like breakfast offerings, salads, and sandwiches, but they also offer an impressive selection of craft and domestic beers and signature cocktails.
Craving pizza? Eres Pizza overlooks Mirror Lake and Mid’s Park, offering a casual dining experience and Italian food favorites. Bring the kids and enjoy one of their specialty pizzas or pasta. They even offer a gluten-free personal pizza! If classic diner food is more your speed, visit Downtown Diner. Located across from High Peaks Cyclery, the diner is a favorite of locals and visitors alike and serves breakfast and lunch. My personal favorite is their custom omelets. The kitschy interior, comfy booths, and unique artwork make it one of Lake Placid's most unique dining experiences.
Big Mountain Deli and Creperie
Big Mountain Deli and Creperie offers precisely what it says - a mind-boggling array of specialty sandwiches named after the 46 high peaks, and an equally extensive crepe selection. They also offer sandwiches, cookies, and specialty coffee drinks. You can stay and enjoy your meal in the dining room, which looks out over Main Street, or take out.
In the Alpine Mall, Wyatt's offers Tex-Mex favorites like burritos, quesadillas, and other specialty items of their creation! They also pride themselves on making their meats, salsas, guacamole, and hot sauces in-house daily. You can order online and have your order ready for you when you arrive, and they can even accommodate large-scale to-go orders if you call ahead!
Although there are several excellent cafe options off of Main Street, this post is about Main Street food options. So, our first recommendation is one of THE original places to meet in Lake Placid.
The Mirror Lake Inn’s casual restaurant, The Cottage, is a favorite for a reason. The cozy indoor seating area and heated outdoor patio offer gorgeous views of Mirror Lake. The cafe offers a variety of beverages, including regional liquor, champagne, beer, wine, and libations, and the elevated cafe fare for lunch and dinner is some of the best in Lake Placid. To-go and online ordering is also available, although we recommend dining in if you can and enjoying the unique ambiance!
Although not technically a cafe, Luna Restaurant’s warm, cozy ambiance makes it feel like one. The restaurant serves Mediterranean, Italian, seafood, and steaks and serves breakfast and lunch next to Big Mountain Deli & Creperie. Grab a window seat and people-watch on Main Street while you enjoy your meal.
The breakfast club etc
The breakfast club etc’s specialty is breakfast and brunch, but they also make a selection of sandwiches, salads, and specialty burgers while whipping up specialty coffee drinks from the BC Coffee Co. But did you know they also offer unique cocktails, including specialty bloody marys, mimosas, and seasonal beverages? Enjoy this while relaxing in their dining room overlooking Mirror Lake, or order online to-go!
If you’re exploring the Olympic Center, visit Roamers Cafe, their new in-house cafe, and enjoy one of the most unique views in Lake Placid! You can see the Olympic Oval, ski jumps, and bobsled tracks in the distance from the dining room. Wander onto the veranda to relax in a rocking chair and enjoy the vista. They offer a light menu of salads and sandwiches (and, unexpectedly, an avocado toast entree), a Happy Hour menu with snacks, and a full bar offering beer and wine. Roamers even hosts special events like trivia night and live music!
The View Restaurant at the Mirror Lake Inn
Lake Placid’s only AAA Four Diamond Restaurant is The View Restaurant at the Mirror Lake Inn. In addition to breakfast, they offer dinners featuring house-made pasta, custom-cut and aged steaks, heritage breed meats, fresh fish flown in from around the world, and an extensive, curated offering of house-crafted and locally produced foods. Wine enthusiasts will also appreciate their wine list, which earned the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for 20 consecutive years.
Sol De Oro, Smoke Signals, and The Pickled Pig
A memorable trip to Lake Placid calls for unique meal offerings. Luckily, some fantastic restaurants have sprung up in the past few years! Sol De Oro across from the Olympic Center offers Latin American cuisine, including Peruvian entrees and American fare like sandwiches, salads, and burgers. A local and visitor favorite is Smoke Signals, located on mid-Main Street next to The Bookstore Plus. In addition to their famous ribs and brisket, they offer a variety of starters and entrees, including salads, chicken cordon bleu, and seared ahi tuna. If you’re looking for a place open later and offering pub dining with a southern flare, The Pickled Pig is for you. Across from the Olympic Center, they are open until midnight during the week and until 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The Pickled Pig is known for their wings, pulled pork, brisket, and house-made BBQ sauce and dressing. Check them out, enjoy your meal inside or on the outdoor patio, and enjoy a drink around the bonfire!
Jimmy’s 21 is the place to go for Italian cuisine. Touted as the “oldest running restaurant in the town of Lake Placid” and previously the site of a steakhouse, Jimmy’s has been serving Italian cuisine, steak, and seafood since 1975. They also have a lot of seating, so ideal for large groups.
Top of the Park
Above Players Sports Bar and Grill, which also offers American fare and drinks, is Top of the Park. Offering “a spirited view” of Mirror Lake, they serve specialty cocktails, some featuring CBD, beer, and kombucha; mocktails; craft beer; wine; and a great selection of scotch and bourbon. Savor small plate tapas-style creations, including charcuterie, fish, meats, and desserts along with your drink. Another favorite of locals and visitors alike is ZigZags Pub. They offer typical American bar food and no-frills beer and liquors.
The new Marcy Bar at the Marcy Restaurant is part of the freshly renovated Grand Adirondack Hotel (formerly Hotel North Woods). Named after the famous Mt. Marcy High Peak in the Lake Placid region, they serve small plates, upscale takes on classic favorites, and unique twists on bar snacks with drinks that cater to any mood. They also offer a rooftop bar that boasts panoramic views of Mirror Lake.
Snacks & coffee
You can always visit Starbucks to grab your PSL this season, but what if you want to experience a local coffee shop?
Origin Coffee, based in nearby Saranac Lake, just opened its Lake Placid location a few years ago, and it’s been busy ever since! The rustic yet modern cafe offers coffee drinks, a simple breakfast and brunch menu, and delicious baked goods (get there early, they go fast). My favorites are the Sweater Weather Latte, which includes cardamom and is even better than a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and the Butternut Squash Latte. Both are autumn vibes in a cup. Order ahead online, take out, or relax at one of their tables or the coffee bar.
The Coffee Bar
The Coffee Bar in the Alpine Mall is a hidden gem. They offer specialty coffee drinks, simple breakfast and lunch options, and bags of their coffee blend that fans can take home with them. Order in and enjoy your coffee while overlooking Mirror Lake and Whiteface Mountain on their balcony coffee bar.
Do you like chocolate? Lake Placid’s Adirondack Chocolates has an option for every chocolate fan. From truffles to chocolate-covered Oreos, they have you covered.
Emma's Lake Placid Creamery
Prefer your chocolate in ice cream form? Visit Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery, across from Starbucks. The cozy store is packed with ice cream options, from soft serve to traditional hard ice cream, and has specialty items like milkshakes, sundaes, ice cream sandwiches, and more! A favorite is the maple soft serve. They are so busy during the summer that the line often stretches down Main Street! Did you know Lake Placid also has a Ben & Jerrys? If you need Chocolate Therapy or want some Phish Food, stop in and visit them! They also offer dairy-free ice cream options (almond milk and sunflower butter). Ben & Jerry's even makes ice cream cakes for special events.
Adirondack Popcorn Company
A familiar favorite is the Adirondack Popcorn Company. They offer fresh gourmet small-batch popcorn in various flavors located further down Main Street. Try their specialty mixes! Just down the street next to the Palace Theatre, visit Bluesberry Bakery. They offer cakes, cookies, muffins, scones, croissants, and other goodies to help power your day’s activities.
A Pinch or a Pound
Last but not least, A Pinch or a Pound across from the Theatre sells all the candies you remember growing up, along with specialty and unique sweets. Purchase them by the pound, or make your own mix!
While Main Street offers many fine dining, drinking, and snacking establishments, don’t forget about the other excellent places off the main drag as well!
For gourmet sweets: Enuf Pastry and Cheese
For beer tasting: The Boat - Craft Beverage Tasting Room
For coffee: Capisce Coffee (NEW!)