Wappingers Falls is nestled in the picturesque Hudson Valley of New York. It is a charming village that lies in both the town of Wappingers and in Poughkeepsie. New York is odd to me how villages can lie within multiple towns, and towns can contain multiple hamlets and villages. Furthermore, because several of the surrounding towns are serviced by the post office in Wappingers Falls, their mailing address lists here and not their actual town, causing me more confusion. But perhaps these oddities are for a post of its own.
The village is centered around the cascade (not quite a waterfall) of Wappinger Creek. This can be seen from the bridge above, or as I prefer, from the outside patio of di’Vine Wine Bar. Although there is no train stop in the village itself, it’s serviced by the New Hamburg station just a short 5-minute drive away.
Wappingers Falls is quite small, yet charming and you can find a cafe serving artisanal treats, the aforementioned wine bar with breathtaking views, and some authentic flavors of global cuisine.
Here are the best restaurants in Wappingers Falls for breakfast, lunch or dinner, plus the best places to grab coffee, wine, or local beer.
Norma’s is famous for its rotating menu of personal-sized seasonal baked goods made entirely from scratch on-site. One must-try item is its scrumptious homemade biscuits, a fan favorite among regulars. These biscuits can be enjoyed on their own or as a delightful twist in sandwiches, such as the classic bacon egg and cheese or the unique Southerner sandwich with eggs, sausage gravy, and honey butter. They use a thick cut bacon, which you can also usually get their spicy bacon.
In addition to their delectable pastries, Norma’s offers a range of baked goods. The Garden Cake, which is made with carrots, zucchini, beets, and pecans, is a popular choice among customers. They also take pride in catering to different dietary preferences, with many vegan and gluten-free options.
Start your day right with The Hog’s impressive selection of breakfast sandwiches. The Hog Egg N’ Cheese comes on a country white bun and you can choose to add bacon, ham, house made sausage, or chorizo to it. This is perhaps the best breakfast sandwich in the Hudson Valley.
In addition to a variety of other breakfast sandwiches, they also have tantalizing lunch creations like the Morning Birdie with fried eggs, buttermilk fried chicken, and hot honey bacon.
Heritage Food + Drink
As a haven of New American cuisine with global influences, Heritage Food + Drink takes pride in their farm-to-table ethos and craft cocktails. With seating capacity of over 300, including two bars, an outdoor patio, and private event rooms, Heritage has garnered over 20 “Best of Hudson Valley” awards since its inception. It is located right on Route 9, and offers a significant upgrade to all the chains along this busy road. This is a spot that has a Wappingers Falls address, but technically lies just outside the actual borders of the village.
Begin your epicurean journey with the pork belly appetizer and a tantalizing Matcha Man cocktail, a delightful blend of gin, matcha, lemon, chartreuse, and egg white. The pastrami spiced duck breast and the rainbow trout are excellent entrees. and make sure to save room for dessert, in particular the lava cake banana split which features a medley of flavors, including caramel popcorn, peanut crumble, bourbon cherries, and vanilla ice cream, all crowned with a rice crispy treat.
Heritage also offers a popular Sunday brunch with its signature fried chicken and waffles—a heavenly combination of honey butter fried chicken and a fluffy buttermilk waffle.
di'Vine Wine Bar
Indulge in the best view in Wappingers Falls from the deck at di’Vine Wine Bar while savoring your favorite wine and delectable nibbles. Or in the colder months, you can cozy up inside for a toasty ambiance. It boasts an enticing array of options, from sparkling sensations like the nutty white peach and pear prosecco from Le Colture, Ital, to a 2018 green apple spicy Gruener Veltliner from Austria. Discover a treasure trove of Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Riesling, Rosé, and much more. To complement your wine journey, tantalize your taste buds with mouth-watering snacks like herbed goat cheese crostini, savory empanadas, delectable meatball parmigiana, basil balsamic peaches, and heavenly homemade peanut butter chocolate truffles.
Chef Fermin Ortega worked his way up from helping his grandmother cook as a kid in Mexico, to line cook in NYC, to now owning his own Mexican restaurant here in Wappingers Falls. He offers up traditional Mexican cuisine, but also creates his own modern takes on it.
The signature cocktails are popular, including his margarita and the Cantarito (tequila, mezcal, grapefruit liquor, fresh squeezed grapefruit, orange & lime juice, and topped with squirt soda). Or you can stick with non-alcoholic options like Jarritos soda or agua de jamaica (hibiscus water).
Then move onto the Quesabirra short rib tacos (pictured), chicken enchiladas, or tacos on homemade corn tortillas. You certainly won’t find the same prices here as a taqueria in Tijuana or even at a more local one around here. But the food is definitely worth the splurge!
Cafe Con Leche
At Cafe Con Leche, the menu is a delightful fusion of executive chef and owner Phil and his wife Melodie’s family recipes, passed down through generations in Puerto Rico. This ensures an authentic Puerto Rican culinary experience with items like alcapurrias, jibaritos, tostones, and maduros.
But the selection of mofongo is what I go for. Whether you want these mashed plantains served original vegetarian, pernil, chicken, chicharron de pollo, shrimp, or the churrasco with house made chimichurri sauce this is an ideal way to experience this authentic Puerto Rican dish.
But if the mofongo isn’t for you, try their Sofrito Burger, an 8oz all-beef patty seasoned with their special homemade sofrito. Then it’s piled high with lettuce, tomato, red onions, swiss cheese, crispy bacon, a fried egg, and their secret sauce, all nestled between a toasted garlic-buttered brioche bun.
Los Hornitos Bakery
Los Hornitos Bakery is much more than just a bakery in Wappingers Falls – it has become a beloved community gathering place. It’s known for its Latin American baked goods, daily lunch and dinner entrees, and an emphasis on Chilean specials. The menu is a treasure trove of flavors, offering a diverse selection of empanadas, pernil with rice and beans, beer-battered Chilean fish, and mouthwatering artisanal desserts and cakes like the peach & dulce de leche cake. Los Hornitos Bakery has garnered numerous awards for their unique Latin fusion creations, and they remain committed to using fresh ingredients that provide an authentic taste of Latin cuisine.
Their breakfast burrito with carne, rice, beans, egg, and cheese is also one of my top picks for cheap breakfast eats in the area.
Obercreek Brewing Company
While you may occasionally find Obercreek Brewing Company’s beer on tap at select local spots, its primary focus is serving on-site in their taproom and packaging their masterful creations in growlers to take home. Although they don’t serve food, you can often find a food truck on site.
By sourcing ingredients from their own certified organic Obercreek Farm, the Hudson Valley, and elsewhere in New York State, they create harmonious flavor profiles and celebrate the unique expressions of each ingredient. These show in their American IPAs and Farmhouse Ales.
They also brew limited seasonal creations using local fruit, and if they have bottles such as their Fleur d’Hibiscus (Farmhouse ale with hibiscus and lime) or Light Visions (farmhouse ale with raspberries and vanilla beans), I highly recommend you purchase some to take home.
County Fare is the place to come if you’re looking for a variety of local craft beers on tap. When I go, I tend to sit at the roughly 15-person bar, where there will always be local patrons to chat with and a friendly bartender.
At the dining tables you’ll see people on their lunch break from work, families with children stopping in for an early dinner, and people grabbing a quick burger and beer before heading home after work. During the warmer months, there are also outside tables on a back porch.
County Fare serves casual comfort food… wings, sandwiches, fried pickles, and tater tots that they can serve topped with chili, pulled pork, or as Reuben style (sauerkraut, corned beef, cheese, and thousand Island dressing). But the double-patty burger and house-cut fries are perhaps the best in the area.
Coupe Champagne Bar
At Coupe Champagne Bar, the focus is on the effervescent charm of champagne, but that’s not all. With a full liquor license, you can also relish a variety of beer, wine, cocktails, and even cider on tap. However, the owner Vanessa Goodwin’s true passion lies in the endless possibilities and pairings that champagne offers, and she’s determined to share these delightful discoveries with all her guests. The ambiance of Coupe Champagne Bar is as vibrant and inviting as the flavors it serves. Featuring elaborate wallpapers, neon signs, and creatively repurposed furniture, this charming spot exudes comfort and warmth.
Goodwin loves sharing her favorite champagnes, like the one aged using a Spanish-style solera process, which creates a truly exceptional and unique experience for customers. Expect the selection to evolve continuously, with exclusive small-batch wines making surprise appearances.
Owned by the talented wife-husband duo of Jenny (Yanmei) Hu and Joe Conetta, this eatery offers a delightful array of over 30 dumpling varieties, thoughtfully categorized by pork, egg, chicken, beef, seafood, lamb, and a vegetarian option. The craftsmanship of the dumplings is a true art form, with nearly translucent wheat casings enveloping moist, explosively flavorful fillings. The shrimp with pork dumplings, adorned with whole chunks of shrimp, and the lamb dumplings pairing perfectly with vegetables like squash and mushrooms, are among the crowd favorites. Complementing the dumplings are a selection of homemade sauces that elevate the experience even further. From the sharp and mustardy Dumpling Sauce that pairs beautifully with pork dumplings to the family-secret-infused Sweet Dumpling Sauce that enhances fish and shrimp dishes, each sauce brings a unique twist to the delightful journey.
Miss Saigon Pho
Miss Saigon Pho is a Vietnamese noodle bar that is probably one of the more hidden gems of the area. This is where I go when I crave pho or Vietnamese coffee (cà phê đá). But it’s also a great spot to grab a Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwich on your lunch break or to try other dishes like the Vietnamese crêpe stuffed with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts.
Meadowbrook Farm Market
Meadowbrook Farm Market is a well-known destination for fresh, locally sourced fruits and vegetables spanning three generations. Make sure to take your kids with you to see the friendly goats, chickens, and ducks after you shop.
They also have home-baked goods and the ever-popular apple cider donuts. Take home the essence of Meadowbrook Farm with its specialty baking mixes, allowing you to recreate the magic in your own kitchen.