Fresh, locally grown, and delicious - this is how to define Finger Lakes cuisine! From downtown eateries to country bistros, the freshest ingredients are to be found on the table and in the glass. Locally sourced farm-to-table meals, craft brews and award-winning wines create an unforgettable foodie experience of unique and tasty dishes.
Naples, New York is known as the “Grape Pie Capital of the World” for the sweet, fruity, pie made with local Concord grapes that can be bought at roadside stands and small shops around Naples and Canandaigua Lake. It is so popular, there is even an annual contest during the Naples Grape Festival to decide the best grape pie of the year.
But there is more to Finger Lakes cuisine than pie.
During summer and fall try a famous Cornell style chicken dinner, usually prepared by a charity group, with a side of salt potatoes, made famous at the Great New York State Fair.
Any time of year, dive into the trademarked Garbage Plate, a Rochester specialty that has migrated here. This dish starts with a base of any combination of home fries, macaroni salad, baked beans, or French Fries, topped by a choice of meat and dressed to your liking, but always with Nick Tahou’s hot sauce. Delicious, but not for the diet conscious for sure!
Chicken French is another dish that has made a home in the Finger Lakes. And, though they were invented in Buffalo, you sure can grab some exceptional chicken wings from these parts!
The Finger Lakes are steeped in Native American tradition and a must-try/must-buy product is a bag of heirloom cornmeal and whole roasted corn kernels from the Iroquois White Corn Project, made by hand at Ganondagan State Historic Site.
Ontario County also grows a lot of cabbage that ends up as sauerkraut. Phelps, once one the largest sauerkraut producers in the world, even has an annual Sauerkraut Festival to celebrate everything sauerkraut!
Maple syrup, fruit juices, apple ciders, and other farm products also play a significant role in Finger Lakes culinary offerings. The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station at The Technology Farm, Geneva has become an incubator of exciting gourmet and health food products, from Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice to Stony Brook WholeHeartedFoods expeller-pressed squash seed oils.
Look for these Finger Lakes specialties at local food stores, restaurants, and farm stands, as well as the renowned Wegman’s grocery store as you travel throughout Ontario County and take home a little flavor of the Finger Lakes to last until your next visit.