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Guidebook for Watertown

Jessica

Guidebook for Watertown

Food Scene
Maggie's is my fave. Great burger and beer joint, American sized (everything is big!) with a Cheers-like quality (well, they at least know my name). Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch (call ahead, brunch is seasonal). There's outdoor seating overlooking the Black River and if you hit it right you can watch the white water rafters and kayaks surfing the rapids. Monday kids eat free, Tuesday is Trivia, Wednesday Jam Band night, Thursday karaoke and more on the weekends. I told you it was my fave.
Maggie's on the River
500 Newell St
Maggie's is my fave. Great burger and beer joint, American sized (everything is big!) with a Cheers-like quality (well, they at least know my name). Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch (call ahead, brunch is seasonal). There's outdoor seating overlooking the Black River and if you hit it right you can watch the white water rafters and kayaks surfing the rapids. Monday kids eat free, Tuesday is Trivia, Wednesday Jam Band night, Thursday karaoke and more on the weekends. I told you it was my fave.
Not very unique, but a quick trip from my house. Drive through available.
Dunkin'
1238 Washington St
Not very unique, but a quick trip from my house. Drive through available.
The cleverly named Thailand Thai restaurant is run by a sweet grandmotherly woman who will make off-menu items upon request. It's much more a sit down spot, rather than take out, but no liquor license (byob allowed). Try the Crispy Basil Duck or any of her curry dishes. Lunch and dinner available. Update: Change in ownership has not changed the quality - still great! Look for Wish Thai Restaurant in same location.
Wish Thai Kitchen
1857 State St
The cleverly named Thailand Thai restaurant is run by a sweet grandmotherly woman who will make off-menu items upon request. It's much more a sit down spot, rather than take out, but no liquor license (byob allowed). Try the Crispy Basil Duck or any of her curry dishes. Lunch and dinner available. Update: Change in ownership has not changed the quality - still great! Look for Wish Thai Restaurant in same location.
Coleman's is a Watertown standard. Newly renovated Irish pub with a nice selection of sandwiches, apps and entrees. Try the Irish fries with whiskey gravy (no, they're not healthy, but you won't care). Great staff, immaculate bathrooms (these things matter) and quick service for a business lunch or family dinner. Seasonal outdoor seating under a landscaped arbor is particularly lovely.
Coleman's Corner
849 Lawrence St
Coleman's is a Watertown standard. Newly renovated Irish pub with a nice selection of sandwiches, apps and entrees. Try the Irish fries with whiskey gravy (no, they're not healthy, but you won't care). Great staff, immaculate bathrooms (these things matter) and quick service for a business lunch or family dinner. Seasonal outdoor seating under a landscaped arbor is particularly lovely.
THE spot to grab a quick and delicious lunch downtown. Daily sandwich and soup specials, grab and go items and an extensive wrap/panini/sandwich menu. Eat in (or outside) or take away with ease.
Vito's Gourmet
3 Public Square
THE spot to grab a quick and delicious lunch downtown. Daily sandwich and soup specials, grab and go items and an extensive wrap/panini/sandwich menu. Eat in (or outside) or take away with ease.
Tin Pan (to me) is THE brunch place in the North Country. It is the standard, and has been going strong for 25+ years, or as long as I can remember. It is also a fabulous spot for a fancy dinner, with live music in the background of the beautifully landscaped court yard. My other favorite trick is to eat somewhere else in Sackets then stop for creme brulee at Tin Pan before heading home. As for brunch, Tin Pan is BUSY. Either get there early, or be prepared to wait (worth it). Sackets Harbor is thankfully adorable, so give your name and number and take a walk down to the water, shop at the hippie store down the street (homemade soaps, crystals, crazy stuff but cute finds too) or try a tea blend at the tea shop directly across. When in doubt, order the Eggs Rosalie or Strawberry Marscapone Stuffed French Toast.
10
locals recommend
Tin Pan Galley Restaurant - Fine Dining, serving Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner April-October
110 West Main Street
10
locals recommend
Tin Pan (to me) is THE brunch place in the North Country. It is the standard, and has been going strong for 25+ years, or as long as I can remember. It is also a fabulous spot for a fancy dinner, with live music in the background of the beautifully landscaped court yard. My other favorite trick is to eat somewhere else in Sackets then stop for creme brulee at Tin Pan before heading home. As for brunch, Tin Pan is BUSY. Either get there early, or be prepared to wait (worth it). Sackets Harbor is thankfully adorable, so give your name and number and take a walk down to the water, shop at the hippie store down the street (homemade soaps, crystals, crazy stuff but cute finds too) or try a tea blend at the tea shop directly across. When in doubt, order the Eggs Rosalie or Strawberry Marscapone Stuffed French Toast.
This is not a baguette bakery, this is a cupcake and cannoli and tart and cake pop and cookie and loaded brownie bakery. Single handedly run by a sweet European lady with an eye for flavor combinations and perfect frosting application. Check out her beautiful special event cakes on display.
Europe Cakes
1 Public Square
This is not a baguette bakery, this is a cupcake and cannoli and tart and cake pop and cookie and loaded brownie bakery. Single handedly run by a sweet European lady with an eye for flavor combinations and perfect frosting application. Check out her beautiful special event cakes on display.
Because of $2 Wine Night Wednesdays. But seriously, Goodfellows has been doing brick oven pizza for decades and their extensive selection of thin crust individual pizzas, plus well chosen pastas and mains, not to mention their amazing antipasto for a crowd, make this a no-brainer recommendation. Be sure to check the specials before you order, they are always inspired and amazing.
Good Fellos
202 West Main Street
Because of $2 Wine Night Wednesdays. But seriously, Goodfellows has been doing brick oven pizza for decades and their extensive selection of thin crust individual pizzas, plus well chosen pastas and mains, not to mention their amazing antipasto for a crowd, make this a no-brainer recommendation. Be sure to check the specials before you order, they are always inspired and amazing.
Wise Guys is happening when all the summer people invade Chaumont, and is thankfully open year round so that the locals can still get their favorite pizza. More of a sit down spot than a place to stop for a slice, but take out is available. Try the Luna pizza, garlic knots or any of their amazing pasta dishes.
Wise Guys
12113 NY-12E
Wise Guys is happening when all the summer people invade Chaumont, and is thankfully open year round so that the locals can still get their favorite pizza. More of a sit down spot than a place to stop for a slice, but take out is available. Try the Luna pizza, garlic knots or any of their amazing pasta dishes.
New to Public Square, Spokes is a welcome addition to the Watertown restaurant scene! It's a tapas/small plates place with literally 99 beers on the wall to choose from. The mini gyros, any of the flatbreads or the giant homemade pretzel will help soak up the suds and the atmosphere can't be beat. Parking located behind the entire row of buildings, use the lighted walkway up to the square and Spokes is the first door on the left.
Spokes
81 Public Square
New to Public Square, Spokes is a welcome addition to the Watertown restaurant scene! It's a tapas/small plates place with literally 99 beers on the wall to choose from. The mini gyros, any of the flatbreads or the giant homemade pretzel will help soak up the suds and the atmosphere can't be beat. Parking located behind the entire row of buildings, use the lighted walkway up to the square and Spokes is the first door on the left.
Brand new local brewery housed in an old refurbished machine shop. Fantastic brews, farm to table food, communal tables and wonderful staff. Make yourself comfortable but remember that there is no wait staff - head to the bar to open a tab and towards the kitchen to place a food order. Play giant Jenga or skeeball in the back corner or Cornhole on their beautiful side patio!
Garland City Beer Works
321 Howk St
Brand new local brewery housed in an old refurbished machine shop. Fantastic brews, farm to table food, communal tables and wonderful staff. Make yourself comfortable but remember that there is no wait staff - head to the bar to open a tab and towards the kitchen to place a food order. Play giant Jenga or skeeball in the back corner or Cornhole on their beautiful side patio!
Parks & Nature
Designed by Olmstead, who created Central Park, our elevated Thompson Park overlooks the city. Plenty of green space to sit, play, relax, etc. There's also the Thompson Park Zoo, a Paranormal Vortex (Area 51), the brand new Fort Drum monument, stone walled walks and a great playground. Splashpad coming soon!
Thompson Park
Designed by Olmstead, who created Central Park, our elevated Thompson Park overlooks the city. Plenty of green space to sit, play, relax, etc. There's also the Thompson Park Zoo, a Paranormal Vortex (Area 51), the brand new Fort Drum monument, stone walled walks and a great playground. Splashpad coming soon!
Essentials
It's in the corner of an awkward intersection, but just plan to take a right when exiting out of either entrance. My dry cleaner of choice. Stop at the deli/bakery next door for a cake pop, because I said so.
Nelson's Dry Cleaners
1171 Coffeen St
It's in the corner of an awkward intersection, but just plan to take a right when exiting out of either entrance. My dry cleaner of choice. Stop at the deli/bakery next door for a cake pop, because I said so.
This is not my local Tops, but the guide won't let me tag it. The Tops on Washington Street is super close to my house and has everything you would need. There's a liquor store and great pizza joint in the same plaza.
TOPS Friendly Markets
22050 Seaway Shopping Center
This is not my local Tops, but the guide won't let me tag it. The Tops on Washington Street is super close to my house and has everything you would need. There's a liquor store and great pizza joint in the same plaza.
One of our two great beer shops. This one has a massive walk-in cooler plus racks of singles for 6-pack mix and match. It's a convenience store in name, but a beer (and cigar) store at heart.
Bear World
22093 U.S. 11
One of our two great beer shops. This one has a massive walk-in cooler plus racks of singles for 6-pack mix and match. It's a convenience store in name, but a beer (and cigar) store at heart.
I don't know why this guide doesn't allow for a beer/wine/liquor store category as "essentials." BottleCaps has a great selection and a knowledgeable staff. You'll find secret bottles of Cantillon, all the good local stuff and on tap options for growler fill ups. One of the nicer liquor stores lives upstairs in the same building.
Bottlecaps Beverge Center
952 Arsenal St
I don't know why this guide doesn't allow for a beer/wine/liquor store category as "essentials." BottleCaps has a great selection and a knowledgeable staff. You'll find secret bottles of Cantillon, all the good local stuff and on tap options for growler fill ups. One of the nicer liquor stores lives upstairs in the same building.
Drinks & Nightlife
Mostly martini bar, part nightclub, plus a dash of restaurant. I heart the Paddock. It's dark, sexy, classy, fun, and they pour a great martini (any one from the multi page menu of options will do, but check for their specials). The first room is your classic cozy martini bar, second a fire-lit lounge with couches and booths, the third space is for live music or events (like Sex Ed Trivia ;). If the kitchen is open try the panko crusted goat cheese with pomegranate glaze and fried pita chips (do it!). Actually, almost everything on their menu is both well conceived and executed. Kitchen hours are somewhat limited, so be sure to check before you plan to eat there.
The Paddock Club
1 Public Square
Mostly martini bar, part nightclub, plus a dash of restaurant. I heart the Paddock. It's dark, sexy, classy, fun, and they pour a great martini (any one from the multi page menu of options will do, but check for their specials). The first room is your classic cozy martini bar, second a fire-lit lounge with couches and booths, the third space is for live music or events (like Sex Ed Trivia ;). If the kitchen is open try the panko crusted goat cheese with pomegranate glaze and fried pita chips (do it!). Actually, almost everything on their menu is both well conceived and executed. Kitchen hours are somewhat limited, so be sure to check before you plan to eat there.
The Warp is definitely a straight up local dive bar: the jukebox may scratch when you walk in the door. However, stay strong, steal a spot at the middle bar, and put in a wing order. They have the BEST wings in town, always fresh/never frozen, with a ridiculous list of sauces. Local faves are Black Betty or Hackers, but they're all good. You're in luck if the FFOG Band is playing, or any other of our local bands. It's also a great place to watch the game, with many a tv screen and NFL Sunday Ticket, plus the most rabid Syracuse fans you'll ever find.
Time Warp Tavern
302 State St
The Warp is definitely a straight up local dive bar: the jukebox may scratch when you walk in the door. However, stay strong, steal a spot at the middle bar, and put in a wing order. They have the BEST wings in town, always fresh/never frozen, with a ridiculous list of sauces. Local faves are Black Betty or Hackers, but they're all good. You're in luck if the FFOG Band is playing, or any other of our local bands. It's also a great place to watch the game, with many a tv screen and NFL Sunday Ticket, plus the most rabid Syracuse fans you'll ever find.
Shopping
Plus our one movie theater, which shows ZERO indie flicks but is otherwise quite nice and new. Sigh...
Salmon Run Mall
21182 Salmon Run Mall Loop West
Plus our one movie theater, which shows ZERO indie flicks but is otherwise quite nice and new. Sigh...
Some people know about the bulk food stores of this world, perhaps those who hail from Amish country. Little Barn is a little gem (and one of our three in-county bulk food stores - all fantastic). It's literally in a little old barn with rough wooden floors and poor overhead lighting. It's run by a lovely family (one of the school age girls will likely check you out) who are super helpful and friendly. It has a full service deli with fresh cut steaks, giant marinated chicken breasts, slab bacon (the ONLY bacon I buy), an olive bar and great subs. There's spices, baking basics, homemade granola, fresh ground peanut butter, hot sauces, local cheese, popcorn, local produce, and you best not let your kids spy the candy and snacks aisle.
The Little Barn Bulk Foods
17939 NY-3
Some people know about the bulk food stores of this world, perhaps those who hail from Amish country. Little Barn is a little gem (and one of our three in-county bulk food stores - all fantastic). It's literally in a little old barn with rough wooden floors and poor overhead lighting. It's run by a lovely family (one of the school age girls will likely check you out) who are super helpful and friendly. It has a full service deli with fresh cut steaks, giant marinated chicken breasts, slab bacon (the ONLY bacon I buy), an olive bar and great subs. There's spices, baking basics, homemade granola, fresh ground peanut butter, hot sauces, local cheese, popcorn, local produce, and you best not let your kids spy the candy and snacks aisle.
Entertainment & Activities
A beautiful golf course, pretty much in my backyard. The bar is cool and classy with good food options, a surprising beer selection, and a professional staff. The walk home takes about 30 seconds, which can't be beat.
Ives Hill Country Club
435 W Flower Ave
A beautiful golf course, pretty much in my backyard. The bar is cool and classy with good food options, a surprising beer selection, and a professional staff. The walk home takes about 30 seconds, which can't be beat.
Sightseeing
The Paddock Arcade is the oldest covered shopping mall still in existence (or something like that). It's adorable and houses this antique shop, Europe Cakes, Johnny D's, the Paddock Arcade, a yoga studio and more.
Paddock Art & Antiques
1 Public Square
The Paddock Arcade is the oldest covered shopping mall still in existence (or something like that). It's adorable and houses this antique shop, Europe Cakes, Johnny D's, the Paddock Arcade, a yoga studio and more.
Even locals take these cruises on a regular basis. Boldt Castle is a must-see gem of the Thousand Islands.
9
locals recommend
Uncle Sam Boat Tours
47 James Street
9
locals recommend
Even locals take these cruises on a regular basis. Boldt Castle is a must-see gem of the Thousand Islands.