There is something wholesome and quaint about establishments that combine hot food and a marketplace. Less transactional than a grocery store and livelier than a coffee shop, these combination cafe/markets have the old-school general store-feel of a town hub—a bustling, cozy place where neighbors exchange news, swap recipes, stock up on pantry essentials, and plot the future over a steaming latte.
Maybe we’re getting carried away, but we love these little food and provisions outposts and we think you will too. As reliable for picnic fixings as they are for pantry stuffing and Sunday brunch, here are 8 of our favorite cafe/markets in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills.
1. Olsen & Company, Saugerties
A self-described “small specialty grocery store and cafe with an emphasis on local products,” Olsen & Co is your go-to in downtown Saugerties for local value-added products. They stock everything from cheeses and jams to pasta, eggs, artisan bread, herbs, and home and body products. Plus they serve a bang-up breakfast and lunch. The menu rotates regularly, but is apt to feature delicious, hearty dishes like the “the roasted one” sandwich, herb & lemon roasted chicken with gruyere, pesto mayo & greens on a ciabatta roll.
2. Main Street Farm in Livingston Manor
Main Street Farm truly feels like the heart of the town. With cafe seating on one side, marketplace on the other, and a back deck overlooking the Beaverkill, this spot is always abuzz. Their selection is more extensive that some of the other cafe/marketplaces—it wouldn’t be the cheapest option, but you could do a bonafide grocery shop here from oil and flour to miso to local trout and produce, they have all your basics covered. Main Street farms fosters direct relationships with local, small scale, sustainable family farms. The cafe menu features salads, sandwiches served on housemade bread,, and soups and stews from scratch.
3. Village Coffee & Goods, Kingston
With VCG, husband and wife duo Mark Palmer and Anthea White “set out to create a gathering place to meet friends while enjoying a coffee and some food.” Open 7 days a week, VCG has a full coffee bar plus an organic breakfast and lunch menu showcasing products from local farmers and purveyors. On the market side, Village Coffee & Goods stock everything from Yesfolk Tonics to Poor Devil Hot Sauce to local maple syrup, honey, and fresh-baked French baguettes (by way of Kerhonkson).
- Village Coffee and Goods
4. Beacon Pantry, Beacon
Hosting a party? Head to Beacon Pantry to stock up on all the finger food essentials. They offer a wide selection of cut-to-order domestic and imported cheese and charcuterie, imported French and italian pantry provisions, grass-fed meats and dairy, and Stumptown coffee. Sample the goods in house when you order a cheese plate or a sandwich (croque monsieur anyone?) and wash it down with beer or wine.
5. The Big Cheese, Rosendale
There are a lot of reasons to visit The Big Cheese in the little town of Rosendale—an awesome Mediterranean deli counter (think fresh falafel and baba ganoush), hot soups, and sandwiches made to order; a marketplace of imported cheese (duh) and local produce, plus a small universe of second-hand and vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories in the back. This is the type of place you go on a lunch date with a friend, and end up leaving with a vintage sweater, two cheeses, and those three potatoes you needed to make dinner.
- The Big Cheese
6. Hurleyville Market
Since opening in 2014, The Center for Discovery (a magnet institution for developmentally and physically disabled individuals) has spurred the transformation of Hurleyville, a sleepy little town in Sullivan County. The Hurleyville Market is a showcase for the Department of Nourishment Arts and other educational programs at The Center, stocking everything from vegetables to vinegar to maple syrup to artisanal bread and made or grown on campus. Order a coffee or the soup of the day, and then load up on some kitchen staples.
7. Hudson Hil’s, Cold Spring
Hudson Hil’s sits in a cheerful eyebrow Colonial on Main Street in Cold Spring. Chef Bob Hayes brings creative complexity to familiar comfort foods, making over 90 percent of the products in house, from the sausages to the potato chips to the baked goods, using all local produce and meat. The market here is smaller, with a selection of local teas and canned items, but the hot food makes it worth the trip.
8. Olde Hudson, Hudson
With over seventeen years on Warren Street, Olde Hudson was one of the early pioneers of the now vibrant Hudson food scene. A fully-stocked specialty store, Olde Hudson carries all manner of high-end goodies including gourmet baking essentials, crackers, condiments, jams, chutneys, cheeses, charcuterie, oils and vinegars, and spices—both imported and local. The cafe offers a small selection of breakfast sandwiches, randing from smoked Atlantic salmon and cream cheese on a bagel to eggs and raclette de busson on a fresh baguette.