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Diners' Choice: Lively restaurants in Upstate New York

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that have the most vibrant bar scenes in Upstate New York? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant - Clifton Park restaurant
4.9
4.9 (149)
$30 and under
Mexican
Clifton Park
About the restaurant
If you're looking for high quality and personal service, you've come to the right place. At La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant in CLIFTON PARK we'll give you the attention and personal service you'll come to expect and enjoy!!
Top review
NeilAvip
Dined on Jun 9, 2024
I was surprised when I see any restaurant with a perfect 5 Star Rating but now I know!!! What a great experience from the moment we walked in to the moment we left. Appetizers, Drinks and food were all beyond AMAZING. What a gem and easy to find in Clifton Park, with outdoor dining available and a great selection of options to satisfy any appetite, large portions and a large variety excellently prepared will keep you coming back for more.
A photo of Ama Cocina restaurant
4.7
4.7 (285)
$30 and under
Mexican
Albany
About the restaurant
Located in Downtown Albany, ama cocina delivers a fresh and funky twist on
modern mexican street food.

Our mission is to encompass the three most important elements of life -food•laughter•love

Let's get back to the days when we bond over a good meal and tasty beverage. Discuss our dreams, plan our next adventure, and remember the feeling you get when a thoughtfully prepared meal hits you. Don't forget to relax and laugh while you’re here - we will do the rest.
 Welcome to our kitchen - and know that there is a lot of thought, fun & love here at ama.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 12, 2024
Cassandra was an excellent server! Food was good and fast! Perfect spot before a concert at MVP!
A photo of Savoy Taproom restaurant
4.6
4.6 (234)
$31 to $50
American
Albany
About the restaurant
Known for their award winning craft cocktails, scratch made food & hidden gem of a back patio, Savoy Taproom is an approachable, upscale bar and restaurant located on Lark Street in the heart of Albany’s Center Square neighborhood. First established in 1936, the storied and historic Savoy reopened in early 2016. Their American gastropub food menu features a variety of pub fare favorites and exquisitely prepared entrees including a wealth of gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options. Starting April 1st, The kitchen is open Monday through Friday from 5pm to 11pm, and Saturday and Sunday noon to 11pm. The restaurant has two outdoor patios and a private dining room.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 15, 2024
The and drinks food were amazing. I recommend the pimento stuffed pretzels and the gates to hell.
A photo of Tatu Tacos & Tequila restaurant
4.6
4.6 (356)
$30 and under
Mexican
Troy
About the restaurant
Chef/Owner Kareem NeJame brings inspired cuisine from the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, featuring the most extensive library of Tequila & Mezcal in the region, all wrapped in an elegantly funky tattoo art gallery! Thoughtful dishes, exciting cocktails, fun vibes, private and patio dining all come together to bring you Tatu, voted Best New Restaurant and Best Chef in the region for 2021.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 14, 2024
Really amazing! Food is fresh, delicious, meticulously plated. Beautiful space, friendly staff.
A photo of The Tap Room at Clarksburg Cider restaurant
4.6
4.6 (392)
$30 and under
Brewery
Lancaster
About the restaurant
Clarksburg is for hard cider drinkers who don’t take themselves too seriously. Whether you enjoy foraging for wild edibles, or your roof rack just came with the car, your Clarksburg is out there. So, grab one of ours. And see where it takes you.
Top review
Victoria
Dined on Jun 14, 2024
We had a great time sitting outside. We were bummed that the pizzas were no longer on the menu. The BBQ menu was tasty. Get the baked beans as your side!
A photo of Portofino Restaurant & Events restaurant
4.6
4.6 (76)
$31 to $50
Italian
Utica
About the restaurant
Nestled on the banks of the picturesque Erie Canal, Portofino is more than just a restaurant – it’s an exquisite taste of Italy in the heart of our beloved city.

Step inside and immerse yourself in an ambiance that blends classic Italian charm with a modern touch. Our menu showcases the rich and diverse flavors of Italy, prepared with passion and the finest ingredients.

Whether you’re seeking a romantic dinner for two, a gathering with friends, or a memorable family celebration, Portofino offers a warm and inviting atmosphere for any occasion. Join us and embark on a culinary journey to Italy without leaving Utica. Buon appetito!
Top review
Chowhound
Dined 5 days ago
Fabulous food! We did apps to dessert and everything was more delicious than the next. Hidden gem with drunk and food specials on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. They have a beautiful patio by the canal with live music all summer on Wednesdays. What a great place. The drinks were upscale and creative. We had a wonderful time and we will be back!
A photo of The City Beer Hall restaurant
4.5
4.5 (244)
$30 and under
Gastro Pub
Albany
About the restaurant
The City Beer Hall is an American beer hall & housed within downtown Albany’s historic & beautiful old telephone company. Inventive menus focus on locally sourced, seasonal, from-scratch cuisine. Indoor/outdoor seating for dinner, brunch, & late night.
Featuring some of the best craft beverages in the area; we have 20 rotating beer/cider taps, an extensive can/bottle list, & full bar. If you’re looking for a special brew that’s available in the area, chances are we’re pouring it. Not to mention, guests receive a FREE personal pizza with each beer/cocktail purchased! If you’re not looking to stay long, we offer beer to-go in cans.
Our Main Hall is a great location to host a lively group dinner, enjoy a cozy first date by the fireplace, or simply meet some friends for happy hour & a free pizza. Our huge outdoor patio is perfect for a sunny brunch or late night cocktail under the stars. Friday & Saturday late night our second level turns into a dance flo
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined on Jun 16, 2024
Great food! Wonderful server! Sat outside and enjoyed the pato
A photo of The Burning Buffalo Bar & Grill restaurant
4.5
4.5 (245)
$30 and under
American
Buffalo
About the restaurant
At The Burning Buffalo being a good neighbor is at the forefront of everything we do. We serve our community by providing impeccable food and beverages served with exceptional hospitality. In the spirit of generosity and kindness, we support our neighbors by sponsoring local sports leagues, hosting local events and giving back to the community where we live and work.

We specialize in elevated pub fare, craft cocktails, and craft beer. Come join us for cocktails, dinner, lunch or brunch. We also offer takeout and online ordering.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Lots of gluten free options! Meats were cooked as requested. The bison burger was especially good.
A photo of 42N at The Flats restaurant
4.3
4.3 (15)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Buffalo
About the restaurant
42 North at The Flats is home to 42 North Brewing Company’s downtown taproom located in the historic Wurlitzer Flats building. In the heart of Buffalo’s theater district, craft beers and a full bar are complimented by creative and contemporary artisan fare from Queen City Bistro. Whether you are stopping in for a beverage or a full meal, 42 North at The Flats is designed to offer a great experience for all.
Top review
MichelleZ
Dined on Jun 14, 2024
Our server was very helpful and nice. I had the pretzel hamburger and it was delicious. Everyone enjoyed their choices as well. Will definitely go back.
A photo of Monks on the Commons restaurant
4.1
4.1 (131)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Ithaca
About the restaurant
Here at Monks on the Commons, we embrace the communal spirit and strive to promote the best the region has to offer. We consider it our calling to create thoughtful food and drink in a space you can share with other good and like-minded people. We hope you make it your calling to check us out and find some respite from the pace of modern life.
Top review
RobertM
Dined on May 24, 2024
Sat outside under tent. Great food, great service!
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