Road Trip! 9 Eateries Worth Leaving NYC

The New York City dining scene can make any enthusiastic eater very myopic. With 20,000-plus restaurants within the five boroughs, it’s easy to get lost. Don’t forget that outside of the city there are also some excellent places to stick your fork into.

Case in point: the nine restaurants below are worth leaving the city for with an empty stomach and a curiosity to explore. You’ll find everything from elegant-yet-rustic, hyper-seasonal fare to hard-to-find regional Chinese food to one of the best burgers you might ever chomp into to a couple of great examples of regional pizza. Keep reading for our recommendations of the nine best eateries worth leaving NYC.

Interior shot of the dining room of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, an eatery worth leaving NYC for.
New York City is full of incredible restaurants. But there are several spots worth leaving the City for. Photo credit: Wally Gobetz

The Barn at Bedford Post

Located in the intimate eight-room boutique hotel, Bedford Post in Bedford, NY, The Barn is helmed by chef Roxanne Spruance. Spruance creates a seasonal, market-driven menu that is elegant and yet rustic at the same time. Expect to find Wagyu steak tartare, prosciutto-wrapped diver scallops, and mushroom-laden pasta dishes, all with ingredients sourced from the Hudson Valley.

extreme close up of a white plate with steak tartare topped with greens
There’s tartare, and then theres wagyu tartare. Photo credit: Michael Keen

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Since 2004, aficionados of fine dining have been making the trek 40 miles north of New York City to eat at this temple of hyper-seasonal gastronomy. Chef Dan Barber creates an ever-changing menu made mostly with ingredients that are produced right on the restaurant’s farm.

The long, multi-course meal may likely be your dining highlight of the decade. If you can’t make it to Westchester Country, there’s a Blue Hill outpost of sorts in Greenwich Village called Family Meal.

extreme close up of a carrot and tomato sushi dish at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, an eatery just outside of NYC
Blue Hill at Stone Barns makes their innovative dishes with farm fresh ingredients. Photo credit: Wally Gobetz

Bread & Salt

Rick Easton is the baking wizard behind Bread & Salt. This excellent eatery worth leaving NYC isn’t too far away, located in Jersey City Heights. It’s best accessed from Manhattan via the Path train to Jersey City and then a car service.

Bread & Salt excels at just about everything that comes out of Easton’s oven, including addictive Roman-style pizza. Check the website for the business hours, as in 2022 they’re currently only open Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They don’t offer indoor dining at the moment.

Insider’s Tip: In addition to Bread & Salt, check out our other favorite Jersey City restaurants!

Four

Located in Oyster Bay on Long Island, Four consists of a 10-seat dining counter. The chef is renowned Jesse Schenker who made a name for himself at the Gander and Recette in New York City.

Chef Schenker serves a 12-to-15 course dinner every night. It’s a tw0-and-a-half-hour dining extravaganza consisting of tricked-out dishes with foie gras, caviar, and truffles. But it’s not all just edible trappings of luxury. The chef manages to do inventive things, pairing them with veal, fennel, and even horchata to create a divine taste on the palate.

Extreme close up of a white place with a small piece of raw beef carpaccio, topped with greens
Chef Jesse Schenker is known in and out of NYC for his extravagant dishes. Photo credit: Krista

Insider’s Tip: No trip to Long Island would be complete with visiting at least one of these amazing Long Island wineries!

The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges

The man in the kitchen here—at least theoretically—is super-chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, one of the one of the most renowned toques in the nation. At this rustically elegant spot in Pound Ridge, Westchester Country, expect excellently executed seasonal fare. Food that looks like it’s not trying too hard until you take a bite and realize it’s layered with palate-popping ingredients.

In typical Jean-Georges flair, dishes at the Inn at Pound Ridge are inspired by France and Italy with plenty of influence from Asia. You won’t regret the trip if you visit this one on our list of the best eateries worth leaving NYC.

extreme close up of a plate of sauteed shrimp in a restaurant by Chef Jean-Georges
Chef Jean-Georges is known for Asian influences in his eateries in and out of NYC. Photo credit: wEnDy

King Umberto

Since 1976, King Umberto has been reigning in Elmont on Long Island, serving up classic and very good Italian-American fare like pastas, stuffed artichokes, and veal porcini. Pizza lovers gravitate here because of their excellent New York-style pie, as well as a thick, square, crispy pizza– the great version of the grandma slice. King Umberto didn’t invent the grandma slice though; that would be, confusingly enough, Umberto’s, located two miles away in New Hyde Park.

Close up of a white plate with a grandma slice of pizza, invented in NYC. It is a thin crust in the shape of a square, topped with tomatoes, cheese, and basil.
Often compared to Sicilian style pizza, a grandma slice is a delicious departure from typical New York-style pizza. Photo credit: Garrett Ziegler

Krug’s Tavern

Food lovers point themselves to Newark’s Ironbound district because of its high proliferation of old-school Portuguese restaurants that line the streets. But there’s one more restaurant that should be on the list of anyone bound for Ironbound: Krug’s Tavern.

At first sight, Krug’s seem like any ordinary tavern, because it is, but it just happens to make a burger that is good enough to rival any burger in New York City. The bacon cheeseburger is the way to go for first-timers.

A bacon cheese burger sits on a blue cutting board with the top bun on the side so we can see the crispy bacon and yellow melty cheese
Sometimes, you gotta leave NYC to get a great bacon cheeseburger. Photo credit: Nathan Dumlao

Mayflower Inn

If England and New England were to collide somewhere over Washington, C0nnecticut, it would feel, look, and taste a lot like the menu at the Mayflower Inn. About 85 miles northeast of the City, Mayflower Inn is the farthest on our list of eateries worth leaving NYC.

With ingredients sourced from nearby farms, the kitchen churns out things like slow-roasted veggies (whatever is in season) and rustic, but well-executed meat and seafood dishes.

New Fu Run

Located in Great Neck, NY, on Long Island, New Fu Run originally was smack in the middle of the Chinatown in Flushing, Queens (under the names Fu Run and then Fu Ran). What makes New Fu Run special is that they serve up the cuisine of Dongbei, a region in China that is north of North Korea, formerly known as Manchuria.

Expect cumin to be laced into everything. The grilled meat dishes, including a whole rack of lamb, are excellent here, and the menu might expand your definition of what you thought Chinese food was. Offal lovers will find plenty of organ meats on the menu too.

Three dishes of Chinese food at Fu Run in NYC sit on a dark wooden table
The food at New Fu Run may very well change your perception of Chinese food forever. Photo credit: feetin2worlds