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 Buffalo, the five signature food stops include:
• The Anchor Bar, 1047 Main St. The Anchor Bar is the world-renowned birthplace of an American classic, the Buffalo wing, created here in 1964.
• Schwabl’s, 789 Center Rd., West Seneca. One of the region’s oldest restaurants – dating back to 1837 – is also a legendary purveyor of its signature sandwich, the hand-carved beef on weck.
• Ted’s Hot Dogs, 2312 Sheridan Dr., Tonawanda. Ted’s has been charcoal broiling Buffalo iconic Sahlen’s hot dogs – including footlongs rarely seen outside the region – for generations.
• Bocce Club Pizza, 4174 Bailey Ave., Amherst –Bocce, which has been slinging pies longer than almost every other pizzeria in the area, also offers one of the best examples of “Buffalo-Style” pizza with small pepperoni that cups and chars upon baking.
• Parkside Candy, 3208 Main St.,This impeccably preserved, century-old candy shop and ice cream parlor is also one of Buffalo’s favorite spots for its signature sweet, sponge candy.
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.”
“There’s no better way to kick off the coming tourism season than by celebrating the delicious foods, historic sites and roadside Americana that define who we are and set us apart as a city and region,” added Patrick Kaler, Visit Buffalo Niagara President and CEO. “The Upstate Eats Trail gives us an incredible story to tell of pilgrimage-worthy, mouthwatering regional food specialties found in each of our four cities that will collectively put us on the culinary tourism map and serve as a catalyst for the recovery of our region’s tourism economy.”
More information can be found at www.upstateeatstrail.com.