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Restaurants in Upstate New York Worth The Drive

Submarine King - Cortland
Eric Meier Collection

I read with interest the Foodie column in the O-D on Sunday about the best restaurants “worth the drive.”  I skimmed the article looking for a new hidden gem but was disappointed:  the Foodie never left the friendly confines of Oneida County.  So I present to you a few of my favorite restaurants across Upstate New York that are worth the drive.  After all, good food is a perfectly legitimate excuse to hit the road.

1-Manga in PlattsburghThe Clinton County seat at the far end of the Adirondack Northway is probably the last place you’d think to encounter an amazing Italian experience, but Manga (on Route 3 just off 1-87) delivers.  Amazing fresh bread makes the best bruschetta.  The pastas and sauces were amazing.  Carb Heaven. UPDATE: Manga is now closed.

2-Oswego Sub Shop.  This restaurant might as well be an extension of a dining hall at SUNY Oswego.  The Shop seems to feed the majority of the student body at times.  Al Roker’s got a sub named after him there.  Huge and tasty and one of the few places outside Western New York that understands weck.

3-Chef’s in Buffalo.  Speaking of Western New York, an upstate food tour is not complete without Chef’s.  Each diner dons his bib and the gastronomy begins.  Great Italian food here, and a tip that the locals know, ask for your dish “Parmed” and it will arrive blanketed in melted Parmesan cheese.

4-Atlas Pizza in Corning.  Located downtown in the Gaffer District of this Southern Tier city, Atlas serves up an amazing wood-fired pie.  (Bonus for someone like me who loves broadcasting.  The restaurant is on the same block as the local radio/television station and they feature store-front studios.  As you walk by, you can peer in and watch the announcer in his radio studio and the television station’s master control operator.)

5-Submarine King in Cortland.  Oswego has their subshop; not to be outdone, Corland does too.  I stumbled upon this place by happenstance and was overjoyed.  Perfect portions of meat, vegetables and cheese.  Mayo and oil played perfectly together.

Share with me some of your favorites and next time, I’ll expand my range outside of the Empire State and share with you a few of my favorites from around the Northeast.

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