Gourmet and Gluten-Free:

A Culinary Journey Through the Catskills


With a burgeoning food scene, the Catskills boasts an array of specialty food places and a culinary journey that caters to both gourmands and those with dietary considerations or restrictions.

The Catskills are the culinary epicenter of authenticity and innovation with a rich tapestry of landscape and history, and is one of the most inviting destinations for a culinary adventure.

In a time marked by a fast-paced culinary evolution, it has become necessary for restaurants to continually innovate their menus. The reasons largely revolve around keeping pace with ever-changing customer tastes, and growing dietary considerations.

Restaurants and eateries need to meet diverse palates and demands. The world has shrunk. Globalization has brought about a confluence of cultures, and with it, diverse cuisines. Customers today are well-traveled, well-informed, and curious. They demand authenticity and appreciate a creative twist. For a restaurant to remain relevant, it must cater to these varied palates, blending traditional flavors with innovative recipes; and they must address dietary concerns.

With increasing awareness about health and wellness, many individuals are opting for specific dietary patterns – be it gluten-free, vegan, keto, paleo, or low-carb. Restaurants that don’t cater to these needs risk losing out on a significant customer base. Acknowledging dietary restrictions not only diversifies the clientele but also paints the establishment as sensitive and inclusive.

An increasing number of consumers are making food choices based on their values. Menus that reflect ethical sourcing, sustainability, and environmental considerations appeal to the growing demographic. Incorporating locally sourced ingredients or plant-based options can resonate with ethically-conscious diners. Catskills restaurants are well known for their seasonal, local ingredients.

Abundant local produce makes for a vibrant farm-to-table dining experience. The region is replete with family farms, dairies and orchards which helps eateries craft seasonal menus, built around what’s harvested, ensuring visitors are served fresh and flavorful dishes.

Charting the Savory

Aroma Thyme Bistro
- Ulster County

Vegans and meat eaters alike will delight in the organic, wholesome menu at the green-certified Aroma Thyme Bistro in Ellenville. Their locally sourced, creative cuisine has earned top ratings from Zagat. They also feature locally produced wines, beer and spirits and have been recognized by Wine Spectator for their extensive wine list. 165 Canal St, Ellenville. aromathymebistro.com

See & Be Kitchen
- Greene County

Farm-to-table cooking with a veg-forward focus, featuring Ben’s Bread and Chrissy’s creative dishes. Besides sourcing local ingredients – locally milled flours, butter, milk, fruits, vegetables, etc, and working with local farms, the owners partner with local organizations to support not-for-profit missions and goals. They believe good food should be accessible to all people. 466 Main Street, Cairo. seeandbekitchen.com

On the Rim
- Ulster County

Along with their Puerto Rican culture they added mix of Dominican, Cuban and American dishes. On The Rim unifies people in the cycle of traditional Latin cuisine with an American flare. Serving menu items such as pernil, chuleta, chuleta kan kan, and more. 150 Canal Street, Ellenville. onthe-rim.com

Pure City
- Ulster County

Everything on their menu is vegan except ice cream. Most dishes can be made gluten-free. They can cook with a wheat-free soy sauce and replace items that have gluten in them (regular noodles replaced with rice noodles). 100 Main Street, Pine Bush. purecityny.com

The Arnold House
- Sullivan County

The tavern serves lunch and dinner with locally sourced ingredients like Beaverkill trout and locally made pasta among other items. It’s tavern food with a twist - like pesto and cremini mushroom flatbread and Cajun grilled rib eye. The restaurant is community focused and runs a “Single Bite” campaign, providing meals for people in need. The establishment, owned by Sims and Kirsten Foster, has sister sites Piccolo Paese and The DeBruce, among others, also located in Sullivan County. 839 Shandelee Road, Livingston Manor. thearnoldhouse.com

Catskill Momos
- Delaware County

Authentic Tibetan Momos. The menu is limited, with seven kinds of momos and four dishes of hand-pulled noodles served in stir-fries and soups. Menu items include mushroom tofu momo and chickpea momo. 607-746-2233. 191 Main Street, Delhi.

Origins Cafe
- Otsego County

The community foundation that operates the cafe creates accessible opportunities to explore cultural traditions of the world through food and music, and boasts good, clean, fair food for all. Menu items include lemon dill hummus and seasonal vegetables, carrot ginger soup, a harvest quiche, roasted vegetable enchilada and smoked gouda polenta, among others. A breads & spreads board features focaccia and baguette served with roasted eggplant dip and pickled vegetables. The cafe also features live musical entertainment events. 558 Beaver Meadow Road, Cooperstown. originscafe.org