After a day spent in the invigorating Adirondack air skiing, snowshoeing, or seeing the sights, what you want and need is a relaxed, hot meal, something that will warm you up and top off your day right. Restaurants in the Whiteface Region serve up a wide range of flavors and culinary styles, but they all share two very important elements: great flavor and comfort. Here are some of our favorite spots for hot eats that will make your vacation that much better.
Adirondack Mountain Coffee Cafe
You may have eaten at an amusement park, but have you eaten on the site of a legendary Adirondack amusement park? Located on the site of the former Land of Makebelieve in Upper Jay, the Adirondack Mountain Coffee Cafe offers simple, diner-style food done well, with lovely river views. Even if you haven't caught a fish in the Ausable, you can enjoy pan-fried trout for breakfast. For something sweeter, try thick French toast made with artisan sourdough, or an array of treats from the baked goods case.
Pop in at lunchtime for refreshing sandwiches, burgers, and hot, crisp fries. Be sure to try the coffee, brewed from freshly ground beans. Take some home with you, too!
Country Bear Diner
I could write many wonderful things about the Country Bear Diner, about it's inviting atmosphere, cute setting, and friendly staff. But honestly, I think I'll let Ellie's face — and her plate — do the work for me.
On the subject of French toast, Ellie and I are in complete agreement. The Country Bear is justifiably locally famous for their exceptionally thick, well-battered, fluffy French toast. It's made with homemade bread and cooked perfectly: just the right crispness on the outside, soft, warm bread on the inside. Like Goldilocks testing porridge, the cooks at the Country Bear have found the recipe that is really, truly just right. I should probably tell you that the Country Bear, open only for breakfast, has many other tasty options, but trust me: live like Ellie. Get the French toast.
Pourman's Tap House
Tater tots aren’t just for kids anymore. At Pourman's Tap House, dig in to crispy-on-the-outside, hot and creamy on the inside tots smothered in just about anything: pulled pork, gravy and cheese, or the drool-worthy combo of chicken, bacon, and ranch dressing. Pourman’s elevates the humble tot to something both trendy and nostalgic. They’re also perfect for sharing.
If you’re like my mother and love a fried egg on just about everything, go for the local favorite lumberjack burger. It’s a hearty half pound of beef topped by crisp, salty and sweet candied maple bacon, sharp New York cheddar, and the glorious egg. If your kids go for a flatbread, covered in gooey cheese, make sure to sample it. You won't regret it. Pourman's is also known — and loved — for the rotating array of craft beers it keeps on tap. This changing variety is always fresh and Pourman's makes a point to serve local beer made in the Adirondacks. It is one of the best craft beer bars in the region, period.
R.F. McDougall's Pub
There's a comforting glow about R.F. McDougall's Pub that just makes you want to settle in for the evening and relax. This is classic Adirondack apres everything: skiing and riding in the winter, fishing, hiking, and biking in the summer. Part of the Hungry Trout Resort, R.F. McDougall's offers casual, fine dining pub food (yes, that’s a thing), along with a well-stocked bar of craft beer and cocktails.
Tuck in at the cheerful, cherry bar or a table near the stone fireplace. On a cold winter day, the pepper bacon mac and cheese is a must, or opt for the pub's rich sausage soup. Full of Italian sausage, peppers, onions, and tomatoes, it makes for a flavorful, memorable treat.
For a cozy, classically Adirondack spot to dine, head to the Wilderness Inn in Wilmington. The restaurant might be small, but the menu is hearty and the atmosphere has plenty of vintage charm. Tiny white Christmas lights twine around oak posts and across the ceiling, while the fireplace adds something special. Hearty entrees are comforting, delicious, and remind you of going out to dinner when you were a kid. In fact, the Wilderness Inn has been welcoming locals and visitors for decades. Low ceilings give a warm comfort to the space. Saturday nights are for prime rib. The stuffed pork chop is tender and filled with fragrant stuffing.
More than just offering a stopping point to eat and move on, each of these restaurants offer an atmosphere perfect for enjoying time with family and friends, lingering over a cocktail, craft beer, or yes, tater tots. Savor the food and your time together.
“People who love to eat are always the best people.”- Julia Child