Autumn is the apple of Albany's eye! Albany County celebrates the apple, New York State's official state fruit, during the autumn months. This year, indulge in some of the best seasonal eats and drinks crafted from New York's treasured apples at local restaurants, craft beverage producers and small businesses. Keep reading and start planning your culinary autumn adventure today!
Housed in a converted historic mansion, Iron Gate Cafe is a charming restaurant boasting a picturesque garden patio. A brunch hotspot for locals, Iron Gate Cafe specializes in fresh eats with ingredients from local farms and businesses. The restaurant recently added "Apple Streusel Pancakes" to the menu. Savor pancakes stuffed with local apples (from Indian Ladder Farms) and a brown sugar cinnamon crumble, topped off with a house-made caramel drizzle. Wash it down with an Apple Cider Mimosa for an apple-solutely seasonal brunch.
What's Poppin, Albany's locally-owned gourmet popcorn shop, offers festive flavors for every holiday and during all four seasons. This autumn the menu is stacked with apple flavors including apple cider donut, green apple, and caramel apple. The fall flavors will sell out quickly, so pick up the festive popcorn at the shop in Colonie today!
The Olde English Pub, housed in the second oldest building in Albany, is a local favorite. The must-visit eatery serves up English fare and seasonal eats inside the cozy pub and outside in the Insta-worthy garden. Cheers to autumn with handcrafted apple cider cocktails and mocktails! Sip on the "Apple Crisp" featuring apple cider, caramel & Eleven Lakes vodka with a cinnamon sugar ring or the "Apple Cider Fizz" made with apple cider, egg white, vanilla, club soda, nutmeg, honey and cinnamon. Munch on scrumptious house-made "Cider Donut Holes" rolled in sugar for a seasonal sweet treat.
Whether it is autumn or not, Cider Belly Doughnuts serves up fresh and delicious apple cider-based doughnuts every morning. Located in the heart of downtown Albany, the popular doughnut shop jazzes up traditional apple cider doughnuts with unique toppings, glazes, drizzles and fillings. Flavors frequently rotate, but apple fans should keep an eye out for "Ol' Albany," a cider doughnut smothered in an apple cider glaze. Cider Bellys tend to fly off the shelves, so arrive bright and early to snag your favorite.
The Hollow Bar + Kitchen is a downtown Albany staple. The popular restaurant boasts a menu stacked with mouthwatering dishes comprised of farm-fresh ingredients. Two of the seasonal fare offerings are perfect for apple fans. Order the "Pulled Chicken" for smoked pulled organic chicken, tangy house BBQ sauce, apple slaw and sweet cornbread. Searching for vegan cuisine? Try the "Nine Pin Vegan 'Pulled Pork'" for Nine Pin Cider-braised soy protein and apple slaw on a toasted ciabatta.
Albany County boasts New York's first farm cidery, Nine Pin Cider. The Warehouse District cidery crafts small batch cider using 100% New York apples and local ingredients. Pop into the tasting room to choose from a selection of rotating premium and limited small batch hard ciders. For a true taste of autumn, order Apple Pie-Secco. This new fall seasonal cider is crafted with apples from Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook and features notes of vanilla and cinnamon.
Nicole's Restaurant is a Delaware Avenue neighborhood gem specializing in upscale Italian and contemporary American cuisine. The family-owned restaurant's seasonal menu features a must-try apple butternut bisque. Looking to pop in just for a drink? Order the "Apple Cider Sangria" made with local apple cider, white wine, spiced rum and vanilla vodka or the "Spiced Apple Rum Punch" featuring light rum, local apple cider, and ginger beer served with an apple slide and cinnamon stick.