Eat & Drink

Want to know a secret?

Away from the wine trails and the long lean lakes, there’s a special part of the Finger Lakes most folks don’t even know is there. For those who do, this is the way life was meant to be lived. 

Gorgeous outdoor spaces. Delicious food. And some of the best craft beverages in all of New York State.

Now is your chance to experience country life the way locals do. 

Cider Creek Porch
Cider Creek courtesy Michael B Studios

Redefining Locally-Crafted Libations 

Getting off the beaten path allows you a glimpse into the heart of a place. It’s where you’ll find small towns, as well as wonderful outdoor adventures. 

If you’re lucky, you can also find some of the best craft beverages in the entire country. 

Cider Creek Sign
Cider Creek

On the slow curve of a gravely farm road you’ll find New York State’s most awarded farm cidery. Creative, funky, and progressive in their brewing methods and in their recipes, Cider Creek proudly uses 100% New York State apples and they never add water, sugar, artificial flavors or sweeteners to their products. 

Their mission is to produce high-quality, craft, hard cider with authenticity. You’ll taste the difference. 

Cider Creek Hard Cider Tasting
Cider Creek courtesy Michael B Studios

About ten minutes away, nestled close to the railroad tracks, you’ll find a simple brewery crafting excellent brews. Aptly named, Railhead (which signifies the beginning or the end of the line), this is a neighborhood brewery through-and-through (even though the neighborhood is the whole town).

Railhead Brewing 14 courtesy of Stu Gallagher
Railhead Brewing

Railhead's pub-like feel also dictates the types of beers they make, as they try to have something for every taste; beers that are accessible and consistently delicious. They mostly focus on German, American, and Belgian style brews, though they do Belgian Ales less frequently than the others due to the yeasts they like to use. As beer writer Will Cleveland notes, Railhead crafts "simple, well-made beer." 

With a train-whistle nod to a bit of dual history (Hornell was an essential railroad town, but also a longstanding brewery town back in the day), this is one hometown brewery that delivers with its ambience and its brews. Oh, and the pizzas are pretty darn good as well.

Railhead Brewing 11 courtesy of Stu Gallagher
Railhead Brewing

“When you visit the brewery, make sure to get a wood-fired pizza with your pint or flight. They also offer homemade soft pretzels, cheese boards, and candied bacon. Yum!” - Danielle, Wanderlust on a Budget

Railhead Brewing

Down the road a short drive in the tiny town of Arkport, there are two rustic wineries just over the hill from each other. We’re talking Savor and Wild Brute (both aptly named).

Savor Vineyards courtesy Michael B Studios

One winery is the passion of a couple who started out making homemade wine for themselves. And then for their friends. And then, a couple decades later, they started to share their vision of what wine can be with folks from all over. You’ll often be treated to local music on the weekends. But you’ll always find friendly folks who make you feel at home. 

Savor Vineyards
Savor Vineyards courtesy Michael B Studios

The other, just up yonder, was founded by a winemaker with more formal training. He’s collaborated with some of the top names around. And his take on wine is a lot like the winery itself: unfiltered, a bit wild (we’re talking yeast and fermentation of course).

Wile Brute Winery courtesy Michael B Studios

Why Settle For Just Eating When You Can Have Oh-So-Good?!

What’s better than sharing a secret among friends? When that secret has to do with great food, that’s what! We’ll let you in on something locals in “The Maple City” know that many people don’t: Marino’s Restaurant is committed to excellence, offering both an overall dining experience and food that was voted “The Best” by the people who live here.

Marino's Restaurant
Marino's Restaurant courtesy Michael B Studios

Stretching nearly 90 miles from Addison to Mumford, Finger Lakes Rustic & Wild is chock full of wonderful places to enjoy a great meal like Fran’s Landing, Big Papa’s, and Paddy's Pub which were all voted by locals to the Top 10 Burger Joints for 2021 in Steuben County. 

Burger at Fran's Landing
Burger at Fran's Landing

You’ll find small town diners like the Village Café, rustic eateries like the Killbuck Inn, and fine dining establishments like Scovill’s Grill serving up delicious meals ranging from Crispy Calamari to Beef on Weck, from tender steak to flavorful scampi. Looking for a vegetarian option? Try the tasty Portabella Sandwich. 

There are restaurants located in historic buildings, like Jack’s Place Gaslight Grill which has been serving the local community for over a century. Not far away, there’s a repurposed train depot originally built over 150 years ago and transformed into Battle Street Brewery where you can enjoy fresh brews with pizza or a charcuterie board featuring local NYS cheeses and meats. 

And speaking of local cheese, down in Woodhull there’s a local cheesemaker carrying on a tradition from bygone days, as small creameries and cheese producers have been part of Steuben’s agricultural roots since the late 19th-century. While Golden Age isn’t a sit-down dining option, it is the source of excellent cheeses you can take home to make a delicious meal of your own. 

Cheeses courtesy Golden Age Cheese

If you're looking for a unique dining experience (we're talking an historic setting and excellent cuisine), Caroline's Restaurant at the Glenn Iris Inn, located in the heart of Letchworth State Park, is a great spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

More interested in keeping it simple with fresh fruits and veggies and other items for picnic options to enjoy in the state parks? Grab a to-go order from the many nearby restaurants or swing by Fitzpatrick Farm Market & Deli for fresh produce or an assortment of sandwiches and subs. 

FitzPatrick Farm Market Selfie Sign courtesy Michael B Studios
FitzPatrick's Farm Market courtesy Michael B Studios

Looking for other great places to eat or fun outdoor adventures? Download the free Explore Steuben App and discover nearby sites. Use the map-it feature to help you get around.