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Hit the Road This Summer on the Upstate Eats Trail

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 11:00 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – May 5, 2021 – Travelers looking for the next great American road trip will find it this summer along the newly launched Upstate Eats Trail connecting Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton.

The digital travel guide that launched Wednesday curates a 225-mile journey between the four cities through a regional food culture of mom-and-pop restaurants, corner taverns, hideaway cafes and roadside stands found nowhere else in the United States. Visitors exploring the trail will learn the origins of Buffalo wings in Buffalo, Garbage Plates in Rochester, salt potatoes in Syracuse, spiedies in Binghamton, and a host of other lesser known specialties, from century-old frozen custard and hot dog traditions to beef on weck sandwiches, hot pies and ground rounds. The guide includes 20 total signature stops – five in each city – and additional suggestions known as “side dishes” to continue exploring.

The trail also points visitors off the interstate for a scenic drive in between each city along Lake Ontario, the Erie Canal, the Finger Lakes and rolling hills of Central New York. This route winds its way past some of the country’s most inspiring historic sites and off-the-beaten path curiosities, including the Harriet Tubman House in Auburn, the Jell-O Gallery in LeRoy and the “It’s a Wonderful Life” Museum in Seneca Falls.

In Rochester, the five signature food stops include:

  • Abbott’s Frozen Custard, 4791 Lake Ave. Abbott’s has been churning out creamy custard along the Lake Ontario shoreline for nearly a century.

  • The Genesee Brew House, 25 Cataract St. Rochester’s legendary brewery, and the oldest in New York State, opened this restaurant and tasting room overlooking High Falls in 2012. Be sure to try a classic Genesee Cream Ale.

  • Hots and ground rounds along the lake: The trail points visitors to three long-running roadside stands along Lake Ontario to enjoy Zweigle’s white hots and ground rounds: Don’s Original and Bill Gray’s in Irondequoit on a stretch of road once known as “Hot Dog Row,” along with Schaller’s Drive-In in Greece and Bill Gray’s at the Port of Rochester. 

  • Nick Tahou Hots, 320 Main St. Nick Tahou’s helped put Rochester on the American culinary map with its creation of the Garbage Plate.

  • The Rochester Public Market, 280 Union St. N. One of the oldest public markets in the United States offers a wide variety of foods that reflect the ethnic diversity of Rochester.

Visit Buffalo Niagara, Visit Rochester, Visit Syracuse and Visit Binghamton collaborated on the creation of the trail and will work together to market and promote it to the traveling public and national food and travel media outlets. The destination marketing organizations partnered on the project to help jump-start tourism in Western and Central New York following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Market research indicates that travelers in 2021 are more likely to opt for road trips as they ease back into planning safe, comfortable getaways. The Upstate Eats Trail presents the perfect opportunity to point those tourists seeking road trip inspiration to Western and Central New York.

“New York State succeeds when we all work together and what better way to bring us together than with food,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The Upstate Eats Trail between Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton will not only showcase unique regional culinary options to the rest of the world, but also boost local tourism and small businesses. As we emerge into a post-pandemic future, these four cities will be ready to greet you with great food and one-of-a-kind attractions that will make Upstate New York a must-visit this year.”

New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, "Upstate New York's culinary offerings are as varied and unique as the communities themselves. I LOVE NY is excited to welcome the Upstate Eats Trail as a fun and convenient way to discover delicious dishes and learn the origins of regional favorites in and around Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton. Exploring the trail will be an appetizing addition to any Upstate New York vacation while also supporting small, local businesses."

“The Upstate Eats Food Trail creates a multi-city culinary road map based on regional specialties while serving as another platform to aid in the recovery of the local tourism economy,” said Don Jeffries, president & CEO, Visit Rochester. “We are excited to add to the culinary tourism narrative of Rochester by highlighting signature local dishes, historic restaurants and all the wonderful things to see and do along the way.”   

More information can be found at www.upstateeatstrail.com .

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