Located just north of New York City on the edge of the Hudson River, Yonkers’ dining scene is undergoing big changes, and today plays host to a strong community of outstanding restaurants. Whether it’s seafood, classic Cuban cuisine or pan-Asian fare that takes your fancy, our guide will put you on the right track towards Yonkers’ best local food.
Boasting a prime location on a Victorian pier jutting out into the Hudson River, Xavier’s X20 on the Hudson is the latest venture from native chef and restaurateur Peter X. Kelly, a 2010 nominee for the James Beard Award for Best Chef Northeast. Dramatic vaulted ceilings, a stylish dining room and a hip lounge form the interior of Xavier’s X20 on the Hudson, while glass walls reveal spectacular sunsets and views of the George Washington and Tappan Zee bridges. An eclectic menu features influences from the cuisines of France, Spain and Asia, with standout dishes such as grilled locally-raised quail, flavored with rosemary, thyme and garlic, served alongside kale ragout, fingerling potatoes and a shiitake Madeira sauce.
Specializing in seafood dishes with distinct, eclectic flavors from the Mediterranean and Asia, Dolphin is a unique downtown restaurant established by local restaurateur Elio Rugova and his sons. Sited on the edge of the Hudson River, Dolphin’s design motif perfectly matches its menu. A coastal New England-themed exterior invites guests into a thoroughly modern and chic interior full of onyx marble, illuminated by cool-hued LED lighting and complemented by a large patio area overlooking the river. Guests can choose from dishes like Thai basil-steamed mussels and paella with clams, mussels, jumbo shrimp, chorizo, saffron rice, English peas, Spanish olives and tomato confit.
For a traditional Irish pub experience in the heart of Yonkers, local diners in the know head straight to Rory Dolan’s – a warm, welcoming restaurant and bar voted one of The Best Fun & Leisure Options in the county. Rory Dolan’s menu features tempting Irish and American dishes such as Maryland crab cakes served with a red pepper remoulade sauce, and Dublin-style fish served with golden-fried chips and tartar sauce. Brunch offers include classics like eggs benedict and a traditional Irish breakfast. By night, Rory Dolan’s bar comes alive and offers a range of Irish libations like Guinness and Harp.
An 11-year-long history of serving delicious, refined Italian fare and a sparkling review in the New York Times have Zuppa pegged as one of the best restaurants in Yonkers. Opened in 2003 in downtown Yonkers within a beautifully renovated former printing press warehouse, Zuppa’s rustic, inviting interior transports guests to southern Italy with its warm color scheme, redbrick walls and original wooden flooring, complemented by an art collection showcasing the talents of locally-based artists. Seasonal menus present inventive options like Nutella-braised short ribs with baby carrots, white polenta and hazelnut powder, or gargenelli pasta with Atlantic shrimp alongside an impressive wine list, cocktails and artisan beers.
Bar, Restaurant, Japanese, Sushi, Contemporary, $$$
Pinch American Grill | Courtesy of Uber
If you have a hankering for authentic and eclectic pan-Asian fare, look no further than Little Buddha, a much-loved Yonkers fusion restaurant popular with both families and younger, hip diners. Upon entering Little Buddha note its stylish interior, a chic mix of modern industrial elements and references to classic Asian design. Choose to eat at a table in the dining room, take a seat at the restaurant’s sushi bar for eel avocado rolls and pepper tuna tataki maki, or watch your food sizzle hibachi-style at a table-side grill. Standout dishes include crispy red snapper with Panang curry, and hibachi-grilled filet mignon with lobster tail.
Located within Yonkers’ Empire City Casino, Pinch American Grillis a popular eatery specializing in updated classic American plates and an outstanding number of New York State brewed beers. Featuring a design dreamed up by award-winning agency Roman & Williams, Pinch American Grill’s interior is reminiscent of a retro, 1950s-style diner with comfortable booths, red leather counter top seating and an open kitchen. Executive chef Fabienne Eymard oversees dishes like Littleneck clams, mac and cheese with ham, and the Black Angus beef burger, while Pinch’s craft beer menu features 30 varieties, including Brewery Ommegang’s Three Philosophers and Brooklyn Brewery’s Local 2.
Offering classic Cuban cuisine and a lively atmosphere reminiscent of 1950s Havana, Havana Central is a popular restaurant established by business partners Jeremy Merrin and Arlene Spiegel. Executive Chef Stanley Licairac and his talented team cook up authentic Cuban dishes and a range of tapas-style appetizers such as handmade beef picadillo empanadas and pulled pork taquitos. Bigger plates include Cuban-style beef hash and pineapple chicken, paired with classic Cuban drinks like mojitos and rum.
Founded by locals John Rubbo and Nick Califano in 2012, Yonkers Brewing Co. offers visitors the opportunity to indulge in a number of the brewery’s own handcrafted beers, alongside a range of small plates, salads and sandwiches. With a coveted spot on the National Register of Historic Places, Yonkers Brewing Co. offers tours of its onsite brewery, where beers such as its Smoked Marzen, Dortmunder Gold and Amarillo Pale Ale are brewed, while guests are invited to chow down on cheese plates, fish tacos and wings with honey ale-infused sweet chili sauce.
Something of a Yonkers dining tradition, Giulio’s first opened its doors in 1987 and is known throughout the city for its authentic Italian fare, hearty portions and warm, welcoming family atmosphere. Guests are invited to dine in Giulio’s quintessentially Italian-American dining room, or on warmer days to enjoy a spot of al fresco dining on the restaurant’s charming patio terrace. Expect plenty of classic Italian appetizers such as baked clams oreganato, pasta fagiole soup and fried calamari, while entrée options include the likes of fettucine alfredo and veal scallopine piccata. Treat yourself and finish your meal with an indulgent dessert like crème brûlée cheesecake.
Guapo Cocina Mexicana is a cozy restaurant established by the same folks that introduced Zuppa to Yonkers, and serves deliciously authentic Mexican food in a lively space. Since first setting up shop in early 2013, Guapo Cocina Mexicana has quickly established itself at Yonkers’ go-to for tasty Mexican eats, and its terracotta floors, rustic brick walls and vibrantly-colored serape wall hangings certainly add a touch of authenticity. Team appetizers like spiced pork and pineapple tacos with entrées such as plancha-seared shrimp fajitas and mole poblano (roasted chicken with a traditional chocolate and smoked red chili sauce).