Taking a trip around the world sounds like a fascinating and thrilling adventure...but might not fit just yet in the budget. Not to worry, though, since Albany has its fair share of international restaurants that clearly demonstrates the diverse history and backgrounds of those who live in Albany. Cultural learning and scrumptious worldly food can be found on nearly every street.
Starting off at the early days of Albany....
Albany used to be known as Beverwyck, just like New York used to be New Amsterdam. But, when the English came in, so too did a new name. It's actually a Scottish term though, since the English king at the time had several titles- including Duke of Albany. And while the Scottish Games coming up in September are only once a year, there's still a chance to sample some of the UK here at home.
The Tavern - 660 Albany-Shaker Rd, Albany, NY 12211
Located near the Albany International Airport, in the Desmond Hotel is this English-style pub, featuring a copper bar, a wood-burning fireplace, free WiFi, a pub-fare to go along with an assortment of beers
Olde English Pub + Pantry - 683 Broadway, Albany, NY 12204
In an historic house from the 1730s - second oldest building in Albany - this restaurant serves English pub food, British beers, single malt scotches, wines, and cocktails with liquor from the Albany Distiilling Co. It even has a takeout menu for those who can't pause long enough to eat out in the historic and cozy outdoor space in the historic Quackenbush Square.
You can even celebrate your birthday meal there with their 2 liter "Birthday Teacup" as part of the "Birthday Tour" that includes Wolff's Biergarten and Bomber's Burrito Bar. If you can make all three during the day, you earn yourself a free t-shirt and a hangover!
After filling up at these places, feel like checking out some gardens? They won't be quite the same, but the flowers throughout Washington Park are beautiful anyway and relazing in the park is a great way to relax.
Irish immigrants make up a significant portion of Albany's history. Many came during the potato famine of the 1840s and took up all varieties of jobs. Irish workers were instrumental in the construction of the monumental Erie Canal project, which changed the way industry was conducted for the state and the country. They were also a part of the railroad industry that helped Albany become an industrialization center in the late 19th century.
And that heritage remains strong today too! There's several opportunities throughout Albany and the Capital District to experience the history and flavor of the Emerald Isle. You can check out these organizations to learn more:
And take it all in with a memorable way of strolling through town! Historic Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides are courtesy of the Irish American Heritage Museum.
McGeary's Irish Pub - 4 Clinton Square, Albany, NY 12207
A place to dine inside or out on the patio, enjoying the selection of items that include shepherd's pie, award-winning wings, a wide variety of beer, and live music every Monday!
Public House 42 - 42 Eagle St, Albany, NY 12207
Set in a restored histroic building, this restaurant serves authentic Irish cuisine and beverages for breakfast, available all day, and amazing lunch and dinners too.
Did you know that the hearty spaghetti and meatballs dish we all know and love is actually not the "authentic" Italian dish imported untouched from the Mediterreanean penninsula, but rather an American Italian dish? Immigrants adapted the dish to go along with their new lives and appetites that could incorporate all that makes it so delicious. But don't worry, you can most likely still find all the favorites and a few other soon-to-be favorites at these restaurants.
American Italian Heritage Museum and Cultural Center - 1227 Central Ave. Albany, NY 12205
This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Italian immigrants that came to call Albany home over the centuries. From northern Italy, Southern Italy, or Sicily, they all have made an impact on the history and culture of the state capital. You might even get to learn more about Albany's Italian sister-city, Verona.
Buca di Beppo - 44 Wolf Rd, Colonie, NY 12205
Enjoy both Northern and Southern Italian cuisine, served family style since this place aims to bring the family together in the shared enjoyment of great food
La Perla - 3016 NY Highway 43 Averill Park, NY 12018
A 45 minute drive from Saratoga Springs and located at The Gregory House, this spacious restaurant has a lodge-like feeling where you can enjoy an extensive wine list to compliment the wonderful food offered.
Aperitivo - 426 State St, Schenectady, NY 12305
Located near the historic Proctor's Theater, this restaurant has a chic, metropolitan feel to it with its exposed brick and creative use of metals in decorating. Meals here range from the "aperitivo" - "small plates" - to larger dishes. All with a fantastic wine menu too
Angelo's Tavolo - 1 Glen Ave., Scotia, NY 12302
Inside the historic Glen Sander's mansion, this short drive from Albany provides the chance to enjoy a selection of meals with a modern Italian theme. It has gorgeous dining areas and a lounge for those looking for a lighter meal to go with any of the selection of alcoholic beverages
It might not be quite the same as a gondola on the narrow Venician canals, but a cruise on the Erie Canal is a great way to relax as you float along a piece of history crafted by immigrants from Italy, Ireland and many other areas of the world that helped to build up Albany.
Of course, when thinking about France, it's impossible to not think of their culinary traditions. But what about when you think about the original European settlers of Albany? Did you know that French explorers had named the Hudson River in 1540 La Grande Riviere? Fort Orange, the original colony, was built and settled in 1624 by French Walloons (an actual term - it refers to the French-speaking peoples of the Wallonia region of what is now modern-day Belgium).
What better way to take part in this history than through some authentic French cuisine? Check out these spots around Albany!
Provence - 1475 Western Ave, Albany, NY 12203
Enjoy a Mediterranean fell to lunch or dinner with selections from Southern France. Diners can sit inside or choose a covered outdoor seating area. Located in Styvesant Plaze, why not take some time afterward to take a leisurely stroll and at least indulge in some window shopping...
La Serre - 14 Green St, Albany, NY 12207
A range of food choices that include Italian and fusion styles alongside French masterpieces, the charm of La Serre is furthered by the building itself. A restored 1829 building with an outdoor courtyard provides a quaint setting to enjoy a meal with a glass of wine before heading out to see a show or event at the Times Union (only a block away!) or at the nearby Capital Repertoire Theater or the Palace Theater
dp An American Brasserie - 25 Chapel St, Albany, NY 12210
An interior with 18ft ceilings and 6 oversized windows to illimunate the modern atmosphere, dp offers a selection of classic French brasserie staples...and some American burgers to please the lunch, dinner and late night crowd. Check out the bar too as a great way to finish a delicious meal, or a fantastic night. Or head out to enjoy an event at the Times Union or Palace Theater
And when you're done sampling the food and wine and feel like you'd like to maybe work that off - you know, to deserve a little, or a lot, more later.... - you can do so at a leisurely pace while walking along the paths that provide beautiful, romantic, views of the Cohoes Falls.
Brewery Ommegang - 656 Co Hwy 33, Cooperstown, NY 13326
A bit of a drive, but this brewery is worth a trip. It was constructed in 1997 based on a tradition Belgian farmhouse on what used to be ahop farm, making this the first farmstead brewery built in the US in over 100 years.
It's a great chance to explore what makes one beer so unique from another, and to maybe taste the difference yourself. Learn more about Cooperstown as the epicenter of hop production in the US during the 19th century.
And stop into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown while you're there!
German immigrants were one of the major groups that came to America in teh 19th century, Albany being no exception. And while transportation was a huge factor at that time to the economic sucess, other businesses contributed to, such as the industries established by the Dutch and German immigrants in the...wait for it....beer industry! This beer industry was then exported from Albany to a plethora of other markets, showing off the excellence of German-American beer.
Wolff's Biergarten Und Wurst Haus - 895 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207
A traditional, authentic German Biergarten located in Albany's North End, known for its dedication to serving the finest German, Belgian and Czech beers. It's known for being the place to go and watch televised soccer games with fellow enthusiasts, all while enjoying some great drinks and fantastic German-style food. And enjoy a 2 liter "Birthday Boot" with your meal to celebrate the day. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner. Definately try the wurst! It's may not seem it, but there are options for those below the legal drinking age too, and it's a welcoming, fun atmosphere that'll make the meal all the more enjoyable
World of Beer - 1 Crossgates Mall Road,Albany, NY 12203
An international tour on its ouwn, this stop offers 56 beers on tap from more than 40 countries. As one might expect with a name like this, even the selection of food is crafted to be paired up with the cold beverage.There's something for everyone - including gluten-free options available if you ask. Check out the great food and drinks and depending on the night, hear some live music or take part in a trivia game!
Albany has always been a city of immigrants. In the late 19th century, Albany experienced an influx of Asian immigrants coming to America and calling the New York capital their new home. These were primarily Chinese and east Asian immigrants who settled mainly in the downtown Albany area. Since then, the Asian population has continued to grow alongside the city.
Check out these various locations to enjoy some Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian dishes. And in the summer, you can check out when there are some fireworks shows. It may be a Chinese invention, but don't forget how multicultural things can be - it was the Italians who turned it into an art form by developing the shells that allowed for the fountain of colors. Which can be enjoyed all over the the capital region during the summer, and at the Empire State Plaza on the Fourth of July!
This restaurant offers the chance to enjoy a fun atmophere inspired by Chinese and American cultures. You can dine on some exceptional Chinese dishes, surrounded by terra cotta soldiers throughout the restaurant, a panoramic mural depicting 12th century China, and of course, make your way past the 11 ft tall horses that stand guard over the entrance.
Aji Steak Stone + Sushi - Japanese - 30 S Pearl St, Albany, NY 12207
Aiming to serve a meal to be enjoyed by all the senses, come enjoy a quality, authentic Japanese meal in a relaxed setting. Known for their creative, fresh, and awarding winning sushi rolls and sashimi, they also feature an expanded selection of teriyaki, tempura, and non-Sushi entrees.
Mr. Fuji - 1475 Western Ave.,Stuyvesant Plaza,Albany, NY 12203
A dedication to proving that Japanese cuisine is a comfort and a healthy food to be enjoyed is something that'll be worth tring something new. Or even if you're looking for old favorites, this restaurant is a great way to enjoy some wonderful food and the delights of Stuyvesant Plaza
Yono' Restaurant - Indonesian - 25 Chapel St, Albany, NY 12210
A unique chance to enjoy a blend of contemporary American dishes using Indonesian spices, created with ingredients found here, from the Hudson Valley region and beyond. It serves dinner only and reservations are recommended. It also has been inducted into the Distinguished Restaurants of North America!
The Hispanic community is one of the fastest growing communities in the Albany area. According to the 2010 Census, the Capital Region's Hispanic population was actually higher than the national average from the previous decade. The Capital Region's three major cities - Albany, Schenectady and Troy - at the time of the census, were home to 55% of the region's Hispanic population and Hispanics composed 4.18% of the Capital Region's residents. For all you numbers people out there, those statistics are pretty interesting, especially when you think about what they'll be like for the next census.
But some other numbers are interesting too - like how many dishes of delicious food can you enjoy at the many Hispanic places around Albany....
Ama Cocina - 4 Sheridan Ave, Albany, NY 12207
Enjoy downtown Albany with this stop which offers a variety of dishes that demonstrates the many flavors of modern Mexican street food. This is one place that doesn't mind if you talk a little loudly with your friends and family, since it aims to encourage the "table-talk" days where good food and good company where the only things to worry about!
Casa Real - 1228 Western Ave, Albany, NY 12203
Craving some TEX-MEX? You can find it here, with Casa Real's selection of a merger of traditional Mexican food and the modern seasoning and techniques from Texas. There are so many dishes, sips and salsas to try, all with the fresh and natural ingredients that make everythng taste sooo good!
Bomber's Burrito Bar - 258 Lark St, Albany, NY 12210
Check out what makes Bomber's most notable - giant burritos and their award-winning wings. Among their selection of great foods are an equally awesome layout of premium margaritas and beers. Especially their "Giant Birthday Margarita" with your birthday meal!
Moe's Southwest Grill - 307 Troy Rd, Rensselaer, NY 12144
A fast-casual restaurant serving made-to-order Southwestern foods with funny, pop-culture inspired dish names like Earmuffs, Wrong Doug, Close Talker and Joey Bag of Donuts. It'll be hard not to have a good time at a place so open, enjoying some hand-selected music playlists that pay homage to some dearly departed musicians. In addition to their well-known and awesome burritos, the menu also features kids', vegetarian and low-calorie options all served with free chips and salsa.
Texas de Brazil - 1 Crossgates Mall Rd E-111,Albany, NY 12203
An opportunity to taste dishes from an authentic Brazilian-American "Churrascaria", or steakhouse. Here, the cuisines of Southern Brazil and the generous spirit of Texas are combined to create a flovorful experience and a sated appetite. Have a look at their wine list, with some input from one of their in-house wine connoisseurs if you're up for something different than the normal routine. You can then wind down slowly with an espresso and a treat from their decadent dessert menu while you enjoy the ambience.
And with the Olympics coming up very soon in Rio, why not let your imagination bubble float and pretend you're an Olympian too? There are plenty of areas around Albany to show off your athletic prowess...but maybe wait a little while if you decide to do anything too enthusiastically so soon after such awesome meals. You could always try catching a game too at the Times Union Center, or check out the Tri-City Valley Cats!
But, if you still want to stick with good ol' American cuisine, there are plenty of opportunities to dine in a setting that gives a different feel of taking a trip - more of a time-travel style. There are numerous historic buildings throughout Albany, and many of them are used for restaurants. Check out these and stop into the historic centers and institutes to learn more about the history and people of Albany!
C.H. Evans Brewing Co. at the Albany Pump - 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany, NY 12207
This is a microbrewery and a full-service restaurant, with a 120-year family heritage in the brewing industry. It's located in the building which housed the original water pumping station for the Albany Water Works, next to the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center. It has a historic feel with some contemporary food and drinks to make the meal something to remember!
City Beer Hall - 42 Howard St, Albany, NY 12207
The City Beer Hall is located in a former telephone building in downtown Albany and carries 16 craft beers on tap. Guests receive a free personal pizza with each beer/cocktail purchased and can select meals from a full gastropub menu as well. It also features a mechanical bull and a huge outdoor beergarden. Beer-to-go in growlers and bottles/cans are available and free parking in the Wellington lot around the corner after 5pm.
Jack's Oyster House - 42 State Street , Albany , NY 12207
Opened in 1913, the restaurant has been continuously operated by the same family. It has been regarded as "Albany's Greatest Restaurant Legend". Come check out this histroic restaurant and see for yourself if it's earned that title.
Albany Distilling Co., Inc.- 78 Montgomery St., Albany, NY 12207
The first licensed distillery in Albany since Prohibition, the Albany Distilling Company produces a full range of hand-crafted, small-batch distilled spirits. Tours and tastings offered and products are also available at local bars, restaurants, and liquor stores.
Barrel Saloon - 942 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207
For good times, live music and maybe even a ride on a mechanical bull, come to the Barrel Saloon Rock & Roll Country Bar located in the Warehouse district of Albany. In the summer time, hang out on the huge, open patio complete with a mechanical bull and beer shed!
Century House - 997 New Loudon Rd., Route 9, Latham, NY 12110
The Century House offers premium selections set in its Federal Style Tavern. It has received critical acclaim, while offering a wide range of menu choices - including special requests- and pricing. The Century House offers the perfect place to unwind and enjoy casual fine-dining in a comfortable, cozy environment.
Wellington's - Renaissance Albany Hotel - 144 State St, Albany, NY 12207
A contemporary dining experience with fresh,healthy options, this restaurant is located inside the new Renaissance Hotel. It has a historical yet modern feel with a spacious restaurant and lounge.You can grab a quick breakfast before you start your day, or relax and enjoy your evening. There's a wide range of menu options to enjoy!
Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center - 25 Quackenbush Sq, Albany, NY 12207
Inside the building that was orginally the water pumping station is the staffed tourist information center that provides an orientation to the City of Albany, open daily to visitors. There are museum galleries offering permanent and special exhibits featuring the history of the Capital Region from 1609 to the present, along with a gallery dedicated to the USS Albany Exhibit about the history of ships given the name of the capital city. A self-guided walking tour is available in print and in audio format downloadable at www.albany.org.
The Henry Hudson Planetarium, located at the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center offers public planetarium shows the third Saturday of every month, and for groups by reservation.
Corning Tower Observation Deck -Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12242
A part of the Empire State Plaza located in the heart of downtown Albany, and open to the public for self guided visual tour of the city. On the 42nd floor of the tower, the view literally goes on for miles!
New York State Museum - 222 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12230
The New York State Museum in Downtown Albany explores the cultural and natural history of New York State. The Museum features a variety of history, science and art exhibitions. Within the main exhibit halls are popular long-standing favorites, including Adirondack Wilderness, Birds of New York, Beneath the City: Albany Archeology, Black Capital: Harlem in the 20s, The Cohoes Mastodon, Fire Engine Hall, Minerals of New York, Native Peoples of New York, and The World Trade Center: Rescue, Recovery, Response. There's also a working full-sized carousel on the 4th floor of the Museum. And the museum is free, but donations are accepted.
First Church in Albany -110 North Pearl St.,Albany, NY 12207
The First Church in Albany is part of the Reformed Church in America, a mainline Protestant denomination and one of the oldest active denominations in North America with a continuous ministry since 1642. Come visit and see the historic architecture and check out the oldest pulpit in America housed here!
Albany Rural Cemetery - Cemetery Ave.,Albany, NY 12204
Established on October 7, 1844, the Albany Rural Cemetery is one of the most beautiful and historic cemeteries in upstate New York. Its 467 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds include the burial plots of many distinguished national and local dignitaries. Tours are available periodically and if you ask for a private tour of the grounds, and depending on the time of year, haunted tours can also be arranged.
Iroquois Indian Museum - 324 Caverns Rd,Howes Cave, NY 12092
The Iroquois Indian Museum is a truly unique cultural destination located 40 minutes from Albany. The Museum's mission is to educate the public about Iroquois art, culture and history. An annual Labor Day weekend Festival features Iroquois singing and dancing, storytelling, native foods and children's activities. A large Iroquois Art Market is set up at the festival as well.
International Center of the Capital Region -423 State Street, Hart Hall, Rm 306, Albany, NY
The Global Albany International Center helps the Capital Region engage with the world and promote international understanding.
Albany Institute of History & Art - 125 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12210
Founded in 1791, the Albany Institute of History & Art is a museum dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting and promoting interest in the history, art and culture of Albany and the upper Hudson Valley region. Check out all the permanent and new exhibits on display as the Institute celebrates its 225th Anniversary! Admission is $2.25 on Saturdays as a part of this celebreation!