County seatings: Exploring downtown Hudson

Swoon Kitchenbar and American Glory in Hudson.

Years ago, Hudson was like many county seats around the nation, and particularly the Northeast: The main course at local restaurants was breakfast or lunch. And no, that didn’t mean three martinis before heading back to the office or courthouse. Think loads of what we would now call “weak coffee” or iced tea, sodas and a decent cup-of-soup-and-sandwich combo. There are places like that now in Hudson, but they’re mostly all “neo,” meaning that they’re intentional throwbacks; or the very few survivors left along Warren Street, the City’s main thoroughfare, leading from the river up to a big hill overlooking the rest of town.

Culinary Hudson, you see, has taken the same route as the large town’s contemporary antiques, art gallery, shopping and second-home scenes: It has been gentrified, specialized and more expensive, to the point where Hudson’s starting to be seen far and wide as one of the Hudson Valley’s leading “foodie” destinations. That means that it’s now a great place to go for top French bakeries, state-of-the-art Scandinavian cuisine, Northern Italian specialties, down-home Low Country cooking, amazing wine-and-spirits stores, bistro and sushi getaways, farm-to-table burger joints, haute cuisine (on a modern scale) and affordable falafel, plus plenty of great West Indian, South Asian and food-truck options everywhere, in all seasons – as well as some of the best sit-down pizza anywhere. That’s not to forget a vibrant cocktail, wine bar and classic saloon scene – with music in most locations – that keeps everyone hopping into the wee hours (and a healthy taxi business on the streets).

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