NY State & CT gastronomy & regional specialties

I was chatting with some friends from work and wanted to bring the discussion here too. New York State & CT have some regional specialties that are still unknown to quite a few people. I love regional foods from all over the country - I guess I caught the bug from the power couple of “Roadfood”, Jane & Michael Stern.

Although Buffalo wings and sponge candy is well-known and Rochester garbage plates are infamous, my pals had never heard of chicken riggies (Syracuse/central NY), spiedies & spiedie subs (Binghamton & Endicott) and grape pies (Naples, NY). Such delicious experiences.

CT and its “A-pizz” and bar pizza (a la Colony) is famous as well as their hot dogs and steamed cheeseburgers (I’m still anxious to get to Ted’s in Meriden). Grapenuts pudding (my absolute favorite - I make this all the time at home), and their homemade ice cream shops are worth leaving Westchester County for. :slight_smile:

Any more regional goody knowledge to share? I know I’m missing tons more, but I haven’t had my morning coffee yet! :slight_smile:


Oh, this is a great thread! Binghamton spiedies are practically in my husband’s blood. I personally could take them or leave them. Syracuse has some specialties too like salt potatoes and half moon cookies (like black and whites but not exactly). I’ve been to places in other states and countries that feature Hudson Valley duck on the menu. I can’t really think of any Westchester specific specialties.

What is grape pie?

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I moved to nyc from ca for college and just never left (it’s been a while now too!) but i totally had to look up spiedies and grape nuts pudding…
it wasn’t until there was some hoopla in the press about the upscale version of a bodega “chopped cheese” sandwich that i knew what that was and i have been living in harlem for two years now! (Given i don’t order chopped meat sandwiches in bodegas but still had never heard of it)

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Thanks! I know you’re very familiar with the Bing area! On a Western NY/Niagara Falls road trip in 2015, we stopped at Lupo’s Char Pit in Endicott and had pork & chicken spiedie subs. My husband couldn’t stop talking about them. He even savored the char and marinade scent that it left on his fingers long after they were devoured! So now it’s become a necessary detour, no matter where in upstate NY we go!

Grape pie is a Finger Lakes specialty – a concord grape pie - famously made in Naples, NY - where they have a Grape Festival every September. All the bakers bring out their best versions of it. One of the most famous outposts is Monica’s, but I remember devouring an amazing one at a tiny roadside stand when my hubby and I stopped in Naples on our way back from a wedding in Rochester.



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“Chopped cheese” subs sound delicious! Have you tried one yet? I must get to my local bodega soon - hopefully, they’ll know what I’m asking for!

I haven’t had one- the main ingredient seems to be he chopped meat (and I’m vegetarian), and the cheese hates me … totally ask for one at your local bodega, if you’re uptown they definitely know what it is, and seems to have had a surge in popularity after nyt article.

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Buffalo has the beef on weck sandwich too, roast beef and horseradish on a salt/caraway seed roll.

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Yes! Thank you! I think a really good version can be had at Schwabl’s in Buffalo. I can’t believe I haven’t had one yet!

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Thought of another NYS delight - Cornell chicken. Here’s a backstory and a good recipe. The chicken comes out great!

If you want to try one, and fantastic cocktails at the same time, the cocktail bar, Suffolk Arms on Houston St, makes a classic chopped cheese, $5 at happy hour. The owner grew up in the BX and father owned bodegas. He has it on the menu as a loss leader item. Oh, and the other food is great.



This place has some personality! Thanks for sharing!

Suffolk Arms is fantastic. Not an uptight cocktail bar, more of a nicely done neighborhood place, providing the best drinks and food. Relaxed, comfortable, good looking decor, great tunes, amazing cocktails, fabulous bartenders, good prices, tasty food. The owner has bartended or been part owner at some of the best places in NYC. Clover Club, Pegu Club, Flatiron Lounge, Dutch Kills, Painkiller (PKNY), Golden Cadillac, etc.

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And you gotta love a brunch menu with Biggie on it! :slight_smile:

Well, there’s the Michigan Dog, basically a localized version of a Coney or chili dog, supposedly invented in Plattsburg and found along Lake Champlain (and as far north as Montreal). It features a “red hot” dog like those from Glazier, chopped onions, and a local chili sauce variant, served on a New England bun. The onions are optionally served under the hot dog (“bury the onions”).

Here’s one I recently enjoyed at the Noon Mark Diner in Keene NY on a recent swing through NY and New England, accompanied by a sideof fried sea scallops (a real treat for us from the Left Coast):



Chicken riggies is more precisely from Utica, not Syracuse. We can claim salt potatoes.

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Beautiful plate you had there! Michigans - yes! I almost went to Plattsburgh State - such a great town. I think the only Michigan I had was at Clare & Carl’s - so good. :slight_smile:

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Long Island Bonac clam pie is a well known secret around here.


And no I’m not taking pizza pie :wink:

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I’m intrigued!! I immediately thought of a clam pie a la Pepe’s or Sally’s in New Haven! Just googled another pic after your link. Looks awesome - like a clam quiche! Eatyourworld.com calls it clam chowder in pie form - does it taste like that?

If we were asked, we’d say that Schwabl’s is a bucket list destination.