This Month’s Featured Article

A Red Fox’s Guide to Eating In and Around Poughkeepsie, NY

By Published On: June 27th, 2024

This past May, I graduated from Marist College with a BA in English writing. Despite an unconventional start to my undergraduate career because of the pandemic’s restrictions and fears, it was an extremely rewarding four years. I was able to form an incredibly supportive community and pursue fulfilling academic opportunities that I would not have imagined as a freshman in 2020. In addition to learning valuable writing insights from my professors, peers, and academic experiences, I also figured out one very important thing: where to eat.

Because of COVID’s initially harsh limitations on what I could safely do, it took me a little longer to branch out into Poughkeepsie’s culinary offerings. I had fallen into the habit of only going to places I had already been before, and with a meal plan throughout three of my years at Marist, it was difficult to justify leaving campus and spending actual money. Thus, as I approached my final semester at Marist, living off-campus and without a meal plan, I had no more excuses. I had to take action to explore what I could before my time in the city was over.

Here are some of my favorite places to grab a bite in Poughkeepsie and Hyde Park, NY. Hopefully, this list can encourage you to revisit some classic favorites in the area and introduce you to some gems you might not have discovered yet!

Morning bites, coffee chats, & daytime treats
First, I want to highlight places that I’ve loved for anything from a quick cup of coffee and catch-up with a friend to a full-blown three-hour lunch. Some of these locations are not limited to morning and noontime hours, but I’m going to discuss this section of favorites particularly because of their breakfast and lunch offerings.

Eastdale Avenue Bagels
35 Eastdale Ave North
Poughkeepsie, NY
(845) 595-8711

Since we found out about nearby Eastdale Village in Poughkeepsie, my friends and I have often made the trek on rainy mornings to pick up Eastdale Avenue Bagels’ delicious breakfast sandwiches and bagel varieties. My friend Kat has similarly fond memories of her weekend bagel runs: “My friends and I loved to spend our Saturday and Sunday mornings getting bagels and coffee nearby at Crafted Kup; that area is so cozy for a little breakfast outing.”

My personal go-to orders were either a bacon, egg, cheese, and hash brown on an everything bagel, or a French toast bagel, toasted with butter. Truly, whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or savory, it’s hard to go wrong at this bagel shop, and even when the store is filled to the brim with customers, the staff is attentive, ensuring you get the right order. I highly recommend making the drive to Eastdale Village for these bagels alone. You won’t regret it!

Kelly’s Bakery
110C Delafield St
Poughkeepsie, NY

Throughout my time at Marist, I had always heard about and seen pictures of classmates going to Kelly’s for a cup of coffee and a study session. It wasn’t until this past semester that I ended up going to this cafe three times to socialize with friends over coffee and a pastry. My go-to for each occasion was either a hot latte or cappuccino and a flaky pain au chocolat. One of the friends who joined me, Lorah, shared, “I like the atmosphere of the coffee shop itself and its teas are really good.” This bakery’s environment is as cozy and welcoming as its treats, and the seating features a fun assortment of comfy couches that are perfect for a laidback coffee chat!

Eveready Diner
4184 Albany Post Rd
Hyde Park, NY
(845) 229-8100

My history with the Eveready didn’t begin with my college career, but it has undoubtedly intersected with my time around Hyde Park in memorable ways. One of the first times I can remember eating here was with my mom after first touring Marist’s campus. Then, in my freshman year at Marist, I took my little pandemic “pod” of friends for dinner there to celebrate my birthday. Now, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to this diner. Whether I’m ordering two eggs over easy with bacon, home fries, and whole wheat toast at 10am; a pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries and a ginger ale at 12pm; or French toast with a side of bacon at 7pm, the retro ambience and friendly energy emanating from the space is comforting at any time of day. Eveready Diner has, without a doubt, served as a reliable staple during my Marist days. I’m eager to make the trip back down to enjoy the classic diner feel and tasty food at Eveready once again!

Rossi & Sons Rosticceria
45 S Clover St
Poughkeepsie, NY
(845) 471-0654

Anyone at Marist, or anyone who has stepped foot in Poughkeepsie, for that matter, has likely heard of Rossi & Sons. And it would be surprising if Rossi’s came up in conversation without a rave review, followed by avid insistence that you visit. When I was at Marist, Rossi’s was popular among students thanks to the school’s dining services bringing a selection of Rossi’s sandwiches to campus – including my personal favorite, the vodka chicken parm. With a variety of thoroughly stacked paninis and subs, and plenty of other mouth-watering dishes (like an amazing mac and cheese), this deli could not be more of a vital addition to this list.

Rossi’s was also one of my first introductions to Poughkeepsie cuisine when I moved into my freshman dorm. A friend from middle school and her mother joined me for a socially distanced picnic, and we touched base about our summers and future plans over huge sandwiches. I think this moment reflects how food can act as a heartwarming, reliable constant, even when circumstances are unpredictable and new beginnings are difficult to navigate.

My top candidates for an ideal dinner
The dinner question is one that I often agonized over as a college student. If anything, this speaks to the sheer number of options in the Poughkeepsie area, and the sheer number of delicious options at that. These are my favorite dinner stops as a recent Marist grad, illustrated through memorable moments and well-loved dishes from these restaurants.

Cosimo’s Trattoria & Bar
120 Delafield St
Poughkeepsie, NY
(845) 485-7172

I recently celebrated my 22nd birthday by going to Cosimo’s for dinner. At Marist, we always counted on Cosimo’s for an elegant dining experience, complete with tasty Italian food. In addition to wonderfully crunchy Caesar salad and crispy pizzas, I have always been partial to its chicken Francese and even enjoyed a pillowy tiramisu for my birthday dinner dessert!

In addition to these fond recent memories, I think of how Cosimo’s offered a crucial breather from the stresses of college life in 2020. My very first time at Cosimo’s might look familiar to that of my class of 2024 peers: my pandemic pod suited up in dresses, fancy blouses, and our best masks, emerging from our freshman dorm for a special treat to break up the restrictive status quo. Indeed, the Cosimo’s atmosphere remains welcoming all these years later.

Akari Sushi & Japanese Food
35 Main St
Poughkeepsie, NY
(845) 471-1773

For sushi lovers like me, I could not speak more highly of Akari, located right by the Poughkeepsie train station. Ever since I learned, firsthand, that they had perfected some of my favorite staples, pork gyoza and shrimp tempura rolls, I always tried to treat myself to this scrumptious cuisine at least once a semester. In my sophomore year, we would often make whopping group orders and all travel together to pick it up; again, in the fashion of college students with extensive meal plans, it was always quite the exciting, all-hands-on-deck occasion. As my friend Cidney recalls, she and her housemates “really loved it, and it was the perfect finals week meal.”

Lolita’s Pizza
129 Washington Street
Poughkeepsie, NY
(845) 452-8100

Lolita’s Pizza, located next to the Walkway Over the Hudson, is another restaurant I hadn’t visited until my senior year. As with Kelly’s, I had often seen pictures of pizzas and entrees posted to Instagram stories with Lolita’s geotagged, but never got around to making plans until it dawned on me that I couldn’t put it off forever. My time in Poughkeepsie was waning, and my friend Kylie and I both knew it. We arranged to stop in on a Friday night, splitting the macaroni and cheese and a margherita pizza, and I could not be happier that we did. We truly savored both dishes, to the extent that we did a best of three rock, paper, scissors match to determine who could take home the leftover macaroni – and to my dismay, I lost.

As Kylie herself puts it, Lolita’s checks all the boxes, from the delectable food to the attentive service and cozy dining environment, making it truly shine as a pizza restaurant: “Lolita’s Pizza is a unique spot to Poughkeepsie that everyone should visit if they have a chance.”

El Guacamole Mexican Grill
4290 Albany Post Rd
Hyde Park, NY
(845) 233-4256

While there are plenty of wonderful Mexican restaurants in the Poughkeepsie area, including another one of my favorites, La Catrina Mexican Restaurant in Hyde Park, I chose to speak about El Guacamole because of its presence throughout my Marist years. When I was a sophomore, the dining hall held an event highlighting the various cuisines available around Marist, including El Guacamole’s delectable tacos. I was blown away by the incredible flavor and immediately knew why the restaurant is so well loved by Marist students. The birria tacos are outstanding, as are the chips and salsa. Whether you’re grabbing takeout or dining in at one of its vibrant venues, you’re sure to have a positive experience.

When talking about her love for Eastdale Bagels and Eveready Diner, Kat said, “I love sharing both breakfast places with my friends and family. It makes them more memorable and special than if I enjoyed them by myself.” This sentiment encapsulates the power of these restaurants to not only offer yummy food to the local community but also provide places for people to gather and bond in the midst of packed schedules, deadlines, and daily stresses. These places mean so much to me as I look back on my time as a Marist Red Fox, and in (re)discovering the locations on this list, I hope you can create or revisit your own valuable (and tasty) memories as well.