Welcome back to the second installment of my Saratoga Travel Guide series. If you missed my last post, I covered my favorite places from breakfast/brunch in the Saratoga area. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to meet friends for lunch or a place to eat after a day at the track, Saratoga has great options no matter what you’re craving. There are so many awesome restaurants in the area, I won’t be able to cover all of them in this post, but I always share lots of foodie pictures on my Instagram if you want more.
Lunch and Dinner Hot Spots in Saratoga
My go-to after any day at the track is the Ripe Tomato. It holds a bit of a sentimental place in my heart and they have some of my favorite American-Italian food in the 518. There’s a strong family-owned vibe to this restaurant and you can actually see where they grow their tomatoes outside. I highly recommend the chicken parmesan and dessert after your meal.
Another Italian favorite in Ballston Spa is Augie’s on Low Street. Their meals are all served family style, meaning that all the plates serve 2-3 people. They also have a to-go location for just take out in Saratoga. This is the perfect place to grab food with friends or to get as takeout for Sunday family dinner. The “Kitchen Sink” is my go-to order, because it has everything but the kitchen sink in it, with chicken, shrimp, pasta and veggies covered in a pink sauce, there’s a something in it that everyone will like. Unless you have a seafood allergy, sorry.
If you’re looking for a more casual spot, hit up PJ’s BBQ-S-A off of route 9. They have authentic BBQ from around the country and bring a down south feeling upstate. I’m a big fan of the NC pulled pork sandwich on some Texas toast, and their sides are noting to sleep on either. Their parking lot set up can get pretty busy during the summer so try to avoid peak hours, and even then don’t expect people to follow the one way arrows.
Another upstate southern staple is Hattie’s. They are known for their fried chicken sandwiches and Louisiana style food. Hattie’s has two locations, the Hattie’s Restaurant on Phila St. (right next to Sweet Mimi’s) and Hattie’s Chicken Shack in the Wilton Plaza. They also have a seasonal location at the track which has a limited feature menu. Their sweet potato fries are thick cut and cooked to perfection and are some of my favorite in the area. If you’re going to cheat on your diet while in Saratoga, this is definitely the place to go.
On a healthier note is Greenhouse Salad Company. They also have two stands at the track, one in the Clubhouse and one under the Grandstand as well as their year-round restaurant located near Price Chopper on Railroad Pl in downtown Saratoga. They specialize in chopped salads, wraps and sandwiches but you can also get smoothies and Death Wish coffee at their downtown location. Just like Hattie’s, their menu at the track features just their most popular staples but their downtown location offers other options as well as make-your-own. I always get the Classic Caesar (without the anchovies) and it’s a must-have whenever I’m in Saratoga at lunch time. There’s just something about a chopped salad that makes it tastier.
Some other honorable mentions are Max London’s (you might spot some celebs here), Harvey’s and Cantina, all on or just around the corner from the main stretch of downtown on Broadway. I’ve featured these places lots on my insta stories and in my food highlight, so I wanted to shine some light on different restaurants in this post. There’s so many hidden gems in the area and I’m sure if you asked any local their top picks they’d all tell you something different so there really is something for everyone here.