All too often, people focus on the award-winning restaurants in New York City instead of exploring the amazing food places outside of it. New York is a huge state with many varied locations and some awesome cities, all of which contain restaurants that have incredible, unique food you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else, often accompanied by stunning views.

The Bear Cafe – Woodstock

Before settling down to dinner, take a hike up Overlook Mountain to work up your appetite for filet mignon and mashed potatoes, flavored with garlic. This restaurant is located in the woods, next to a small stream, and has great drinks as well as an incredible menu. The restaurant offers New American cuisine, inspired by the Hudson River Valley.

The Frisky Oyster – Greenport

This place is known for its Oysters Friskafella, similar to the Oysters Rockefeller. There are also all kinds of other seafood available, along with mouth-watering desserts. Chef and owner, Robert Beaver, purchased the restaurant with his wife, Shannon, in 2010. He’s worked all over the East Coast and loved being able to take the reins at this phenomenal restaurant. He’s worked to include organic and sustainable foods into the menu, with stunning results.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns – Pocantico Hills

This amazing restaurant is located in Westchester, on a farm. You can visit the different animals that make their homes there, such as ducks, pigs, sheep, and many others. Once you’re done seeing the animals, head inside for a ten-course meal that’s been created with local ingredients. The restaurant opened within Stone Barns, an educational center, specializing in food and agriculture.

Empire Brewing Company – Syracuse

The Empire Brewing Company offers great brews and delicious food, such as the Tumbleweed Burger. It’s located in the center of downtown Syracuse and has been there since 1994. The brewery utilizes fresh, local ingredients from farmers of central New York. Empire was even able to purchase over 22 acres to farm their own ingredients for beer and food, and also to use as an educational center.

Forte – Jamestown

Forte is located fairly close to Lake Erie, a picturesque area. While the American menu changes frequently, you can always get the $14 special of a steak and beer. The walls of the restaurant are covered with local art, which fits well with Forte’s dedication to using as many local ingredients in their food as possible.

Just a Taste – Ithaca

Located in downtown Ithaca, Just a Taste specializes in the Spanish tradition of tapas, or small plates. You can sample various dishes off of their constantly changing menu and decide what you like best. Just a Taste has been opened for over 20 years, but there’s still almost always a wait to get a table because they’ve built a great reputation for themselves!