Our 10 Best Food-Centric Day Trips

Old Field Vineyard is worth visiting for the grounds alone.
Old Field Vineyard is worth visiting for the grounds alone.
Photo courtesy the Old Field

In honor of the upcoming Labor Day weekend, we devote our top 10 list this week to food-centric day trips.

Our list contains a lot of good eating, mostly accessible by train or bus, all within range for a low-stress day trip from the city. We're recommending jaunts into New Jersey and Philadelphia, up to New Haven, and out to the Hudson Valley -- the trips revolve around food, but most of the destinations feature other attractions, too.

Did we miss your favorite day trip? Let us know in the comments.

Rutt's rippers.
Rutt's rippers.
Robert Sietsema

10. Apple-Picking in Dutchess County, New York

It's amazing how close the Hudson Valley is to New York City and how utterly apart it feels -- beautiful craggy terrain, dense forests, and a slower pace are barely more than an hour away. Head up to Dutchess County in the mid-Hudson Valley for a bucolic day of apple-picking. Check out your options on this website.

9. Bent Spoon Ice Cream, Princeton, New Jersey

Go check out what might be the tristate area's best ice cream in its native habitat, Princeton, New Jersey, where you can also wander the college town and check out the school's art museum.

8. Kayaking and Butchery at Fleisher's

Kingston, New York, where Fleisher's Meats is located, offers plenty of opportunities to kayak on the Hudson, where, later in the season, you can see a serous foliage show. After paddling the river, stop by Fleisher's Meats, the cultishly loved provider of great-quality pastured meat. Maybe you even want to sign on to their butcher training, like Julie Powell did.

7. Rutt's Hut and the Gates of Hell, Clifton New Jersey

Make a hot dog pilgrimage to Rutt's Hut (417 River Road) in Clifton, New Jersey. The deep-fried hot dogs -- No. 1 on our 10 Best Hot Dogs list -- are called "rippers" for the way they crack in the hot oil, or "cremators" for the ones fried longer, to a blackened crisp. Get some disco fries while you're at it. Besides deep-fried hot dogs, Clifton's claim to fame is a system of eerie drainage tunnels called the Gates of Hell, supposedly haunted and containing spooky things like a coffin from the 1800s. Try to find those gates if you dare, but eat first.

6. New Haven Pizza and Taco Trucks

Journey up 95 to New Haven to try the original Frank Pepe's pizza (157 Wooster Street). We recommend the clam pie, a coal-oven-cooked wonder topped with fresh clams and their liquor and heaps of garlic and parsley. On the way home, as you pass through southern New Haven on the highway, just to the east you'll see a cluster of taco trucks in a parking lot on the water. Why not stop off and grab an al pastor or tripe taco to complete the day's eating?

Winners 5 through 10, coming right up ...

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