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Kingston Places to Eat

9 Great Places to Try in Kingston, New York

Legacy restaurants and a couple of newer ones that have made a mark in this Hudson River town, 90 miles north

by Robert Sietsema  

Photography by Robert Sietsema

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OverOver the last decade or so, Kingston, New York has become a Hudson Valley magnet for artists, history buffs, antique hunters, literary types, and tourists, offering in particular a roster of interesting places to dine. Established restaurants that are worthy of a destination include a Chinese restaurant older than anything Chinatown has to offer, a modern tapas bar that would do Barcelona justice, and a Beard-award-winning Jamaican cafe, among many others.

Indigenous people called the area Katarokwi, but when the hill overlooking the Hudson River 90 miles north of New York City was settled in the 1600s by the British, it became known as Kings Town, a name that was eventually shortened to Kingston. That hill became what is now the oldest part of town, dubbed Uptown or the Stockade District. It is home to one of the state’s greatest historic sites, the Four Corners, where all the stone buildings date to the 1600s and 1700s, and a visit feels like a stroll through America’s colonial era. Kingston was also New York’s first capital, and original buildings remain.

Church on the left, stone houses on the right. Churches and 18th century stone houses make up much of Kingston’s Stockade District.

Adjacent to Uptown, moving downhill toward the river, is the curving Midtown district centered on Broadway, where brick and wood-frame architecture mirrors the neighborhood’s origins in the late 19th and early 20th century. Both historic and brand-new restaurants are located there, as well as bars and cocktail lounges. Below that along the Hudson River is an area known as the Rondout, where riverfront architecture that might seem familiar to Mark Twain is located, along with abandoned factories and brickyards, a fair number of arts institutions, some of the city’s more touristy restaurants, and a swimmable beach.

Stockade District

Near where the old stockade once stood, the bookstore Rough Draft Bar & Books (82 John Street, at Crown Street) has occupied a ground floor at the Four Corners since 2018, and is Kingston’s most popular hangout and so much more. In addition to an up-to-the-moment book selection well-stocked with LGBTQ titles, it has a coffee bar and beer bar, hosts author talks, and is an informal meeting space for local activist organizations.

A bookstore with lots of people milling around. Weekday afternoon crowd at Rough Draft in the Four Corners.




A glass case filled with Dutch wooden shoes. Display of 18th-century wooden shoes in the Old Dutch Church.

The best place for shopping and strolling in this neighborhood is Front Street, where secondhand stores, designer boutiques, bakeries, galleries, bookstores, a guitar shop, and the retail store of Rhino Records can be found. Many old churches nearby invite exploration, including the Old Dutch Church, which is the site of a lively Saturday farmers market, and where artifacts dating to the founding of the church in 1659 are on display, including a case full of wooden shoes.

Dozens of restaurants are located Uptown, including Lola, which opened in 2020, (243 Fair Street, at Main Street), offering exceptional wood-fired pizzas, pastas, cocktails, and wines, and an outdoor patio; Kingston Bread & Bar (43 N. Front Street, near Fair Street), also open since 2020, for great pastries and sandwiches mornings and afternoons; Hoffman House (94 N Front Street, near Green Street) for pub grub in a circa-1680 stone tavern; and Santa Fe (11 Main Street, near Clinton Avenue), open since 2012, with fish tacos, achiote-marinated chicken burritos, and San Miguel-style enchiladas.

A round red pizza of the Naples type. Lola’s margherita pizza.  




A bakery filled with customers sitting down at tables. Get your sandwiches and baked goods at Kingston Bread & Bar.


Separating Midtown from Uptown is Academy Green, a classic village green established in the late 17th century. Also connecting the two neighborhoods is a railway right-of-way turned into an urban hiking path called Midtown Linear Park, a nice way to get between neighborhoods.


A white brick building with neon at twilight. Eng’s is one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in the country.  




Three rounds of ridged masa with beans and crema on top. Oaxacan memelitas from La Hacienda.

Midtown has Kingston’s best and most interesting restaurants. On the other side of the traffic circle between Uptown and Midtown is Eng’s (726 Broadway, near Albany Avenue), a white edifice gleaming with neon founded in 1927, making it one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in the nation. The menu offers dishes like chop suey and chow mein, with an all-you-can-eat buffet some evenings.

Working your way down Broadway, next find La Hacienda (680 Broadway, near Downs Street), open since 2014, one of the Oaxacan restaurants that characterize Mexican food throughout the Hudson Valley. Mexican standards are available, buy why not go for distinctive Oaxacan fare like tlayudas and memelitas? Next find a new tapas bar that wouldn’t be out of place in Soho. Mirador (636 Broadway, near O’Neill Street), opening late last year, offers evolved Spanish bar snacks, with plenty of seafood and fritters, and an up-to-the-minute list of buzzy Spanish wines.

A green and yellow two story frame house. Midtown’s Top Taste.

One of the best-known restaurants in Midtown is the Beard-awarded Top Taste (446 Hasbrouck Avenue, near the Empire State Trail), open since 2014. The jerk chicken, escovitch fish, and curry goat are all top notch. Ready for some ice cream? Open year ‘round, Boice Brothers (62 O’Neil Street, near Tremper Avenue), well over 100 years old, combines a creamery selling local milk and an ice cream store, with some unexpected flavors, including one using walnuts and Syrian dates. 

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