- An affordable vegetarian sandwich from Outdated Cafe in Kingston.
From greasy spoons to take out counters, Chronogram contributor Melissa Esposito has rounded up the most affordable and delicious places to eat in the Hudson Valley. You'll want to grab a pen and paper—our list includes tacos, pierogies, falafels, and soul food.
Pick Your Price
Outdated's vegetarian-friendly dishes are reasonably priced to begin with, but on the first Thursday of each month cafe-goers can take advantage of a "pay what you can" special. Those who can pay full price often do, while others who need use a financial break are still able to enjoy hearty breakfast options like huevos rancheros or buckwheat waffles, or a salad and sandwich for lunch, at little cost.
Coco Bowl - $10
Real-Deal FalafelAba's, a go-to farmers' market staple, recently developed roots with a storefront in Rhinebeck, much to the delight of falafel lovers near and far. Israeli-born owners Cathy and Roy Naor are committed to providing fresh, authentic flavors that patrons have grown to expect: Crisp falafel and fresh veggies tucked into a warm and soft pita, flavored with rich, homemade tahini sauce for only $8. Don't forget to try the homemade baklava ($4.50), a treat not available at the farm stands.
Combination Plate (salads, hummus, falafels, pita) - $12
Soup or Bowl
Vegetarian café Karma Road has been pleasing herbivore palates for more than a decade, and their Afford-a-bowl deal satisfies wallets, as well. For just a few bucks, you'll fill up with a bowl of grains, beans, and veggies. If you choose to add a hearty soup onto your order, don't forget to ask for a punch card to earn your way to a free soup.
Afford-a-bowl - $6.99
Meatballs with a Conscience
Sharkie's from-scratch meatballs stand out thanks to the sustainable practices that go into them. At this Woodstock eater, you'll get three tasty meatballs of your choice: turkey, chicken, or beef and pork blend—all pasture raised and cooked with locally sourced ingredients, topped with house-made sauce. Think ahead and order a dozen for later.
3 Meatballs with Sauce & Parmesan - $9
Slow Food Takeout
Good to Go Takeout, a Delaware County farm-to-counter to-go restaurant is committed to using local, organic ingredients for offerings that transition with the seasons. Spicy Cajun gumbo with local grassofed beef chorizo, lamb sandwiches, filling burritos, soups (including a rotating bone broth served with fixings), and salads can be found on the evolving menu for under $11, along with organic smoothies and fair-trade coffee.
Bone Broth - $7
Grandma's Home Cooking
Puerto Rican food that tastes just like abuela used to make can be found at JJ's 2 Go, a hidden gem in the Poughkeepsie Plaza. Even with its short menu of traditional Caribbean favorites, it's difficult to settle on one choice. A small order of this savory flavored rice (opt for the gandules) with tender chunks of chicken is just enough to hold you over for a quick lunch.
JJ's 2 Go, Poughkeepsie; (845) 337-8725
Rice, Gandules, and Pork - $8
Cafe Mio is the sort of cozy spot that is welcoming to all: curious out-of-towners, local brunch dates, SUNY students looking to impress visiting parents, or Gunks enthusiasts in need of culinary fuel after a morning trail run. For a hearty brunch at a humble price, try the Banana Bacon French Toast ($11.50), Mojo Roasted Turkey Cubano ($11.50), or Blackened Catfish Sandwich ($11.50).
Brie & Poached Pear Panini - $10
Shrimp and Grits
One of Newburgh's greatest offerings is the diversity of its community, and that's exactly what you'll see new cafe Blacc Vanilla—people of various ages and backgrounds coming together for coffee and good eats. The menu is small (breakfast and lunch sandwiches, pastries, and more) but growing, with brunch specials on weekends. Get it to-go or grab a seat to enjoy the atmosphere's hip vibe.
Egg & cheese biscuit -$6
Breakfast and Nostalgia
Cranberry's Café in Hyde Park is an intimate eatery imbued with history. Situated in the Tilley Hall building (built 1884), this bistro and bakery offers plenty of house-made breakfast and lunch options—muffins and scones, bagels, soups, and quiche—and all breakfast items range from $1.99-$7.99. Stay and enjoy the Victorian-style décor, or take it to-go on your way to a nearby historic site (Vanderbilt Mansion and the Home of FDR are both just down the road).