If you’re someone who plans entire vacations around where to eat (guilty), you understand the importance of traveling for a great meal. But you don’t need a pasta tour of Italy to satisfy your foodie wanderlust. These gourmand getaways are all within two hours of New York.
Mitsuwa Marketplace (25 Minutes From Nyc Via Nj Transit)
Calling this place a grocery-store food court doesn’t do it justice: It’s a more like an instant trip to Japan. Yes, there’s fantastic ramen and super-fresh sushi, but also every kind of Pocky imaginable, matcha in the form of bubble tea, cream puffs and soft serve, and much, much more. (There’s also a view of Manhattan or whatever, but c’mon, you’re here for the food.)
Culinary Institute Of America (2 Hours From Nyc Via Metro-North)
One of the world’s top cooking schools—and the alma mater of scores of celebrity chefs—just happens to be a short train ride from the city. Sample the efforts of the next generation of Anthony Bourdain’s and Amanda Freitag’s at the campus’s seven eateries, including French cuisine at The Bocuse Restaurant and farm-to-table fare at American Bounty. Warning: You may become convinced you need to go back to school and explore your true calling in the culinary arts.
Greenport, Ny (2 Hours From Nyc Via Lirr)
There are tons of foodie destinations on the North Fork, but this charming town is one of our faves. Learn to shuck your own oysters at Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market, then sip some Cabernet Franc at Kontokosta or Leaf Pile pumpkin-spice ale at Greenport Harbor Brewing Company. Continue the gluttony with dinner at The Frisky Oyster (grilled lobster quesadilla, anyone?).
Hudson, Ny (2 Hours From Nyc Via Amtrak)
Get a taste of small-town life—in a small town that happens to have an incredible restaurant scene. Start your day with poached eggs and a cinnamon roll at Bonfiglio & Bread (pictured), pick up cheese and charcuterie from Olde Hudson, kill a few hours at The Spotty Dog (a brilliant bar-bookstore hybrid) and chow down on Vietnamese-inflected eats at Hudson Food Studio. (If ever there were a reason to eat two dinners, this would be it.)
Philadelphia, Pa (90 Minutes From Nyc Via Amtrak)
Our neighbor to the south has some serious food game. Reading Terminal Market stands up to NYC’s best food courts, with next-level pastrami sandwiches at Hershel’s and butter cake (even better than it sounds) from Flying Monkey Bakery. For a sit-down meal, go for shareable plates at BYOB spot Helm or binge on dumplings at Bing Bing Dim Sum.
Stone Barns Center For Food & Agriculture (45 Minutes From Nyc Via Metro-North)
The Tarrytown farm may be best known as the site of Dan Barber’s legendary restaurant, Blue Hill, but there’s still plenty to do if you’re not looking to drop $238 on a tasting menu. Book a weekend day pass and you can tour the grounds, learn about foraging and see adorable animals. Pop into the Café and Grain Bar for lattes (with fresh milk), frittatas (with fresh eggs) and kale biscuits (enough said).