A day at the races is just part of the experience racing fans can have when visiting Saratoga Springs, NY. The whole town is centered around competition at the Saratoga Racetrack during the summer. , and you can also enjoy hobbies such as casino games, shopping, nightlife, and of course, plenty of great restaurants while you’re in town.
If you’re a horse player and foodie planning a week-long trip to Travers to the “spa” or plan to be in town the last week of the season or Labor Day weekend, here’s a shortlist of places you should visit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Saratoga Springs.
457 Broadway, 518-584-9632
For a great old-fashioned dining experience located right in the heart of the action on Broadway, try this Saratoga breakfast staple with great pancakes and famous homemade fries. The coffee is hot and the OJ is cold, and the check won’t break the bank. Greasy spoon lunch is also delicious. Don’t be surprised if your waitress has her hair in a bun and is called Flo.
The bread basket bakery
65 Spring Street, 518-587-4233
Located directly across from scenic Congress Park, this veteran Saratoga breakfast destination focuses on upscale pastries and delicious coffee. Good service, reasonable prices and the muffins and croissants won’t disappoint. Also have a soup and a sandwich for lunch.
The local pub and tea room
142 Grand Avenue 518-587-7256
Have lunch or brunch like a local at this neighborhood spot a few blocks from Main Street. Lots of teas and craft beers to choose from, including a long list on tap. They offer an extensive menu and comfortable sidewalk seating inside or outside.
General Restaurant Inquiries: 888-516-NYRA
If you’re in town for the races, chances are you’ll be having your lunch on the track. Saratoga offers a plethora of dining options from places where you’ll need reservations and may need to dress up, like the Grass terracethe Club terraceand the porch. There are also great take-out food options on the trail. One of the favorites is Shake Shacka burger chain joint with beer and great shakes located next to the paddock at the busy area Post bar. For a real taste of Saratoga, a must-do is Hattie’s Chicken Shack on the trail. Their famous fried chicken beat Bobby Flay’s recipe in a Food Network head-to-head.
389 Broadway, 518-886-8962
Every year there’s a hot new restaurant you’ll see and be seen in Saratoga, and this summer, that hot reservation is at Rhea. Go sample pan-Asian fare and signature mixology while rubbing shoulders with the A-list at the racetrack. Small plates and ramen mean you won’t need to cash a superfecta to pay the check. This is a beautiful space in the best location on Broadway in the middle of downtown. You will not be able to enter. Book in advance.
41 Nelson Avenue, 518 584-4466
At the antipodes of the trendy, this Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurant is installed in an old house behind the seven-meter waterfall of the hippodrome. They’ve thrived since 1979 serving the best south of the border fare in town with a good list of Tequilas to sip or shoot. Take a seat at the lively (but small) bar and start with a strong margarita or an ice-cold Mexican beer. A popular route after the track is a stop at the raucous Horseshoe Inn for a post-race drink, followed by dinner at the Mexican Connection. You can walk there from the clubhouse entrance on Nelson Ave. to the track.