Discover and Dine Along the Upstate Eats Trail

Discover and Dine Along the Upstate Eats Trail

A Delicious Trip Across New York State
Kip Doyle
Dinosaur BBQ

Spiedie sandwiches. Salt potatoes. Garbage plates. Chicken wings. 

Are you getting hungry?  

These are just a few of the regional dining specialties that originated in Western and Central New York. And when it comes to local delicacies that are as tasty as they are affordable, it’s a hard list to top.  

That’s the inspiration behind the Upstate Eats Trail, a collection of regional restaurants, roadside stands, corner taverns, diners, and ice cream shops throughout Western and Central New York. The Upstate Eats Trail is a partnership between four tourism organizations in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Binghamton, with each city’s dining specialties highlighted along the trail. 

Spanning 225 miles and easy to reach along Interstates 81 and 90, the Upstate Eats Trail can be completed in two to three days, but organizers recommend setting aside four to five days to really take in the experience, which includes much more than just eating. 

Along the way, you’ll also find farm stands, craft breweries, vineyards, museums, historic sites, state parks, hiking trails, beaches, swimming holes, flea markets, drive-in movie theaters, a National Historic Park, New York’s largest living history museum, New York’s largest shopping mall, and special events and festivals throughout the year. 

Why is there such an abundance of food staples created in our area? The roots of many of these regional dishes go back to the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. New employment opportunities opened in cities along the canal, attracting immigrants and their diverse culinary traditions. 

Over the coming generations, a legacy of signature comfort foods emerged, including: 

Chicken Wings – Created by Teressa Bellissimo, owner of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, in 1964. To feed her son’s hungry friends, Teressa deep-fried and sauced chicken wings that usually went into the stockpot for soup. A legend was born.  

Garbage Plates – A one-plate hodgepodge of diner staples including fried potatoes, baked beans, onions, chili sauce, hot dogs and/or a cheeseburger, this Rochester favorite from Nick Tahou Hots has roots that go back to 1918.  

Spiedie Sandwiches – The origin of the famous spiedie sandwich is credited to Augustine Iacovelli of Endicott near Binghamton. In 1939, Iacovelli opened his restaurant Augies, where he served the original spiedie with lamb and sauce made from wine vinegar, water, lemon juice, garlic, and mint.  

Salt Potatoes – Salt potatoes have a less clear historic record, but they can be traced back to the 19th century in Syracuse. Irish immigrants working in salt mines would boil potatoes in salty brine mined from the salt springs. 


If you’re craving great regional food and local attractions this spring, follow the delicious path you’ll only find through the Upstate Eats Trail. 

To make your trip easy, AAA prebuilt an Upstate Eats TripTik to help navigate between regions, as well as individual TripTiks for the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Binghamton areas. Find and book hotels on your route, plan fuel stops and highlight AAA Discount locations and other useful spots. See our prebuilt TripTiks below. 

Visit these featured dining spots along the Upstate Eats Trail. Click the links below to access prebuilt TripTiks of each region: 

Buffalo Region

  • Ted’s Hot Dogs 
    2312 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda, NY 
  • The Anchor Bar
    1047 Main St., Buffalo, NY 
  • Bocce Club Pizza
    4174 Bailey Ave., Buffalo, NY 
  • Parkside Candy
    3208 Main St., Buffalo, NY 


Rochester Region

  • Schaller’s
    965 Edgemere Drive, Rochester, NY 
  • Abbott’s Frozen Custard
    4791 Lake Ave., Rochester, NY 
  • Bill Gray’s
    1000 N River St., Rochester, NY
    4870 Culver Road, Rochester, NY 
  • Don’s Original
  • 4900 Culver Road, Rochester, NY 
  • Rochester Public Market
    280 Union St. N, Rochester, NY 
  • Genesee Brew House
    25 Cataract St., Rochester, NY 
  • Nick Tahou’s Hots
    320 W Main St., Rochester, NY 


Syracuse Area

  • Heid’s of Liverpool
    305 Oswego St., Liverpool, NY 
  • Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub
    100 S Lowell Ave., Syracuse, NY 
  • Dinosaur BBQ
    246 W Willow St., Syracuse, NY 
  • The Bull & Bear Roadhouse
    411 E Genesee St., Fayetteville, NY 
  • Doug’s Fish Fry
    8 Jordan St., Skaneateles, NY 


Binghamton Area

  • Apple Dumpling Café at Apple Hills
    131 Brooks Road, Binghamton, NY
  • Beer Tree Brewing Co.
    197 NY-369, Port Crane, NY 
  • Lupo’s S&S Char Pit
    6 W State St., Binghamton, NY 
  • The Little Venice
    111 Chenango St., Binghamton, NY 
  • Consol’s
    101 Oak Hill Ave., Endicott, NY 

Bring your appetite and your AAA membership along the Upstate Eats Trail. Just make sure your AAA membership level provides the towing mileage and other benefits you need. Upgrade today!

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Submitted by Jim (not verified) on Fri, 02/25/2022 - 20:21


What happened to the Lake Erie Wine Trail & The Southern tier RT 86 corridor ? Also the Finger Lakes region or do just the big cities count ?

Hi Jim!

The Upstate Eats Trail is a collaborative project between tourism organizations based in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Binghamton. There is so much to celebrate and enjoy in Western and Central New York!

Submitted by Vic (not verified) on Thu, 04/14/2022 - 17:46


These are always tasty, though now they're more often made of chicken or beef. Vendors with small grills could be found outside of bars selling their goods to customers when I was a kid.

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