Eating one's way through any destination is the idea of a perfect vacation for many. In the U.S., this usually also includes some kind of road trip - because everyone knows that the best food destinations are the ones you drive yourself to. There's freedom in being able to pull over for a diner or local dive, and there's excitement in going out of the way of the GPS to hit up a local recommendation. In the great state of New York, there are no shortages of moments such as this, especially once you're north of the city.


Related: Eat Your Way Through New York, Part II: Long Island

Each small (or sometimes large) town in Upstate New York is full of promise for a true foodie. From Upstate specialties to New York favorites, any number of restaurants could pave the way to a person's new favorite dish. What's even more, the scenery is beautiful, the drives are easy, and accommodations range from camping to luxury resorts. In short, there's nothing not to love about a road trip through New York - especially when you're following the newly-founded Upstate Eats Trail. This is what you can experience at the stops along the east coast's most impressive food road trip.


Get ready to plan that road trip playlist and hit the highway because Buffalo is about to be one of your favorite stops. For those coming into Western and Central New York from the west or the north, this will be the first stop (those coming from downstate and the south, this will be your last destination). The trail is roughly 225 miles and runs along Interstates 81 and 90, along with some scenic highways, which make it incredibly easy to follow.

In Buffalo, road trippers have the chance to experience authenticity at its finest by heading to the Anchor Bar, the place where the buffalo wing was first created. The city's historic districts pave the way for an artistic, up-and-coming atmosphere, combined with the modern hip vibes of a college town. The beef on weck, a signature sandwich of the city, is also on the list, along with life-changing pizza, candy, fried fish, and ice cream. Don't worry about eating too much because this city's many attractions, including the entirety of Downtown Buffalo and the Waterfront, are well-suited for walking.


Next up is Rochester, featuing a beloved itinerary that's sure to combine both the city's rich culinary traditions as well as its scenery. The third-largest city in the state rovolves around the Genessee River, and it's here that the highly curated Garbage Plate was born. We'd recommend tackling this on an empty stomach or sharing it with another person (or five), at none other than Nick Tahou Hots.

From there, you can wash it all down with a brew from Genessee Brewing Company before finishing up with dessert in the form of frozen custard, a Rochester specialty. If you need a place to walk all of this off, head to the Rochester Public Market, which opens at 5 AM Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays. The early rising will be worth it to get a chance to expereince the country's oldest public market in existence.


Save some room for traditional BBQ because that's exactly what Syracuse has in store, along with some well-earned salt potatoes. You're halfway there! Speaking of salt potatoes, this dish is appropriately named thanks to the fact that Syracuse is also known as 'Salt City' due to its many lakeside salt springs. Irish immigrants who lived in the area were known to boil potatoes in this salty water, thus, the name of the dish was given.

You'll be swinging by a traditional Irish pub, getting stuffed to the gills with a local fish fry, and checking out Dinosaur BBQ to top of what's already an extraordinary food-themed trip. Walk it off at Clinton Square and, if you have room leftover, grab a half-moon cookie - it's tradition.


Binghamton is either the last stop or the first stop depending on where you're coming from, and it's here that travelers will find an Upstate original: spiedies. This stop also includes multiple pizza joints, Beer Tree Brew Co. for a cold one to wash it all down, and The Apple Dumpling Cafe - because nothing is more 'Upstate New York' than a sweet treat from a beloved cafe.

There's plenty of history to explore in this city, as well, and the downtown area is completely walkable. It's also a college town, so there's no shortage of fun stops to make and things to see. Two rivers run through Binghamton, as well, giving it some rustic charm in the way of scenic views.

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