The thoroughbred racetrack in Saratoga Springs is said to be one of the most beautiful racetracks in the country, if not the world. For some of us, it’s a quick drive, but others come to the area just for the racing season. If you are visiting Saratoga this season, here are some local insights.
If you are like me, you want to enjoy a nice cigar. The best place to buy cigars in Saratoga Springs is the The Adirondack Cigar Shoppe. They have a great selection of cigars and a friendly, knowledgeable staff. You can enjoy a cigar in their comfortable lounge or take your cigar with you to the racetrack or next door to Gaffney’s outdoor patio to enjoy a cocktail and some music.
Staying at a hotel or renting a house and you need to stock your own bar? You need to visit Purdy’s Discount Wine and Liquor. There is an abundance of choices and the prices are the best in Saratoga Springs.
While at the track, I have two favorite places to eat. The first is Pies on Wheels. The Chef/Owner is David Britton. For many years, he was the Chef/Owner of Springwater Bistro on Union Avenue in Saratoga Springs. If you like thin, crispy artisan pizza, you will love Pies on Wheels. In the mood for the best burger at the track? Look no further than Shake Shack. The only Shake Shack in New York, north of Woodbury is open at the racetrack, only during racing season. I’m hoping they will open a year round location soon, but in the meantime, this is a must during racing season.
Ladies, if you are gearing up for a night on the town and you need a blow-out or an updo, my favorite is Simplicity, A Salon. There are lots of reasons to love this salon. The stylists all stay current on products, trends and techniques. The salon is conveniently located in the bottom floor of the Embassy Suites, so there is plenty of parking and you can even book your appointment on line!
Saratoga Polo is the second oldest polo field in the United States. The matches are on Fridays and Sundays at 5:30 p.m. so it’s the perfect place to continue the equine experience. There are two ways to enjoy polo. The General Admission side is laid back and casual. You park your car right on the side of the field and host your own tailgate party. The VIP side is more of the “Pretty Woman” experience. Spectators dress to impress, there are box seats and tables, complete with food and beverage service. After the third chucker (think of it like half-time), no matter what side you sit on, be sure to help repair the field, by stomping the divots. At the end of the match, there is a ceremony for the winners and the runners up, (there are no losers in polo!). You can watch the The Noble Art of Sabrage as they open a bottle of champagne with a sword!
If you are looking to stock up on provisions or some great “grab and go” meals to bring back to your hotel or rental home, I recommend The Fresh Market or Healthy Living Market. Both have a great selection of cheeses, meats, seafood, produce, snacks and beers. They also both have complete meals already prepared that you can take with you. Healthy Living also has a wine and liquor store and a big gluten free section.
There are so many great restaurants in Saratoga Springs, too many to mention, something for everyone. If you need a recommendation in Saratoga Springs, message me I will help you chose one to fit what you are looking for. They are all hopping during racing season, so here are a few places to visit if you want to avoid the crowds.
Just a short ride, in neighboring Ballston Spa is Sunset Cafe. This Southwest fusion restaurant is known for smoked chicken and salmon, pulled pork, brisket, corn chowder and killer Margaritas.
Slightly farther South in the Village of Round Lake is Lake Ridge Restaurant. Stop on the way to the track for lunch or after the track for dinner. The menu has something for everyone and everything is delicious! Their wine, beer and cocktail menu is reason enough to visit, but my favorite thing is the Artichoke Souffle.
If you are in the mood for classically prepared French cuisine, head just a few minutes north to Chez Pierre. This hidden gem has a neon replica of the Eiffel Tower out front and food is decadent. Be sure to save room for the Crepes Suzette, prepared table side, for dessert. If you are lucky, you may even get to hear Pierrette, one of the owners sing for you in her native tongue.
Venture a little farther North and you will be in my neck of the woods, Glens Falls. There a several great restaurants to chose from but one of my favorites is Morgan and Company. The setting is an old mansion, converted into a restaurant. They have the most incredible outdoor dining porch, complete with an outdoor bar. The entrees change seasonally and I’ve never had anything I didn’t love, but my favorite thing to do is sit at the bar and enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail and share some appetizers. I love the glazed spare ribs, the sea salt fries and the hummus platter.
If you would like more of my secret spots or recommendations, message me, and I will be happy to help. If you would like to rent a house for a weekend, a week or the season in Saratoga Springs, I can help with that as well.