Nerds Gotta Eat: Favorite Restaurants of the New York Capital Region

1171388So, Fangirls, for the past few weeks my kitchen has been being remodeled. It started with my faucet breaking, but then all of a sudden we were getting new cabinets, counter top, and the whole nine yards. With the kitchen officially dubbed as “closed” by my mother, being able making food at home is on hold. So, I figured now is the best time to show you some of my favorite restaurants that the Capital District has to offer!

Albany and it’s surrounding areas certainly don’t have a lot going on, you’ve got to look pretty hard to find the things to do and places to go. However, one thing that’s pretty obvious about this area is all of the fantastic options it presents for food. There are all sorts of places to eat around here, and many of them are incredible. This makes an adventurous eater like myself very happy. I could eat a different cuisine every day of the week, and be satisfied with all of it. So, I thought I would show you around to some of my favorite spots of the area.

Comfort Kitchen – 454 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NYimage6I only started eating at Comfort a few months ago, but since then my girlfriend and I have been regulars at this nearly hidden gem. Tucked in the back of the Saratoga Marketplace among clothing boutiques, Comfort Kitchen is one of the best things Saratoga has to offer. Even with the rows of incredible restaurants and bars downtown. They market themselves as leaning more towards soul food, and though it might not follow that sort of cuisine to a tee, it’s certainly food for the soul. They’ve got delicious burgers, perfectly crafted sandwiches, and my favorite, the tacos. They have a knack for all things pickley, pumping out delicious pickles and pickled cabbage. If you’re a pickle person, I strongly recommend the pickle plate, which we order every single time. It’s a platter full of pickles, pickled onions, pickled jalapenos, pickled everything. It’s a dream. Most notably, this place is very affordable. For two unemployed, young, 20 somethings, this place is an easy place to afford when we’re short on cash.

La Fiesta – 15 Park Ave, Clifton Park, NYimage5This place seems like it would be a hokey chain for imitation latin food. However, I’ve got a real, proud Hispanic woman right next to me who will give you her word that this place serves fantastic & authentic Mexican food. Another great place in a more affordable price range, I frequent this spot too. They’re menu is huge, with so much to choose from. They’re very vegetarian friendly, but also offer pages of dishes with chicken, pork, beef or seafood. The one thing I hate about this place is that they give you so much to choose from, so ordering is always a whole ordeal. With so much to choose from, I’ve regularly been going to this place for the last few years and have never gotten the same thing twice. Though, it usually is a type of taco. And I am waiting for them to have Pollo con Mole back up on the specials board. La Fiesta also has a great staff, and a great bar, where you can easily afford an amazing Mojito. Everything about this place really is a Fiesta. image4Pho Yum – 1558 Central Ave, Albany, NY

image_3 (2)I’ve already raved about this place, but I can’t skip over it in this article. Pho Yum is where it’s at in Albany. Very authentic, very affordable, very tasty Vietnamese food. The staff is friendly, the food is quick and fantastic. Unlike at La Fiesta, I always get the same thing here; Vegetable pho. And, of course, a cafe phin, the traditional Vietnamese coffee served with sweetened condensed milk; I swear, I have dreams about it. Pho Yum gives you tons of bang for your buck, I usually spend about $15 on my whole meal, coffee included, and always take leftovers home. There’s no other option for Asian cuisine for me.

Leah’s Cakery – 3 Curry Road, Round Lake, NYimage3Look no further for your bakery needs, Fangirls. Leah’s is where it’s at. Their honey sticky buns are the things that dreams are made of. The shop itself is the epitome of the hometown feeling, and you’ll swear that grandma is in the kitchen, too. They’ve got a wide selection of baked goods like cookies, buns, & scones as well as a whole cake baking & decorating side of the business. They make those crazy event cakes like you’d see on television. They’re the real deal. Whether you’re planning a wedding or just stopping in for breakfast, Leah’s Cakery should be on your list. Plus, they have free, all-day refills on coffee! Fill up, leave, come back, fill up! There’s not much more you could ask for.

Wired Coffee + Bagel – 1104 Ellsworth Boulevard, Ballston Spa, NYimage2The real coffee goodness is over at Wired. This is my regular, everyday coffee shop. Nearly every morning, I come here to grab a latte or americano, and sometimes one of their amazing bagels. Practically everything there is made in house, and made right. Often, they’re roasting the coffee right near the door when you walk in. They’re small batch, fair trade roasters who know their way around a latte. They also offer delicious sandwiches, and many fantastic flavors of bagels & cream cheese. The staff is incredibly nice, and are very kind to their regulars. One trip here, and it’s impossible not to become a regular. As you can see by the picture above, I’m regularly making runs to Wired for people to get their fix. I’ve happily become the Wired Fairy.

 

Whether you’re in the city of Albany or one of the many lovely towns more north, there’s no excuse to not be eating & drinking well. The Capital Region can certainly make sure you take care of both, and without breaking the bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners. 

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