After nearly 20 years on the road in Upstate New York writing and researching the region of more than a dozen travel guides, this writer now shares with you his favorite Italian restaurants.


After thousands of miles traveling, from Buffalo to the St. Lawrence Seaway Trail through the Finger Lakes and Central New York, and over to the Capital District and down the Hudson Valley, when I have put my 300 miles in for the day, I head to a restaurant for dinner.  And that usually means Italian.

I have Italian throughout my DNA, in fact my last name (D'Imperio) checks all the boxes:  2 capital letters, an apostrophe, it ends in a vowel, and it comes with a pretty cool translation ("of the empire").

I love an Italian restaurant.  Never really was a "steak guy," and seafood, well, meh.  But a bowl of pasta with some bright red sauce and a large meatball, well, that is heaven to me.  Lasagna, Chicken parm, gnocchi, Italian wedding soup, whatever, put me at a red and white checkered table cloth with a big glass of wine and a large napkin tucked under my chin, and bring it on.

I'd like to share with you my 12 favorite Italian restaurants across the region (yes, I keep track of them!).  I have posted this list before, but it changes a bit each time as new ones pop up.  I have been to each of these, and can certify to their fabulousness.

They are in big cities (Syracuse, Buffalo, Albany, etc.) and small cities (Potsdam, Oneonta).  They are also located in all regions of Upstate.  I encourage you to try these, and who knows, maybe that's be me sitting at the next table (look for that big napkin under my chin).

Please visit our Facebook page and give a shout out to your favorite Italian restaurant in Upstate New York.  There are hundreds of them!

Travel Writer Picks His Top 12 Upstate New York Italian Restaurants

Over the last 15 years or so, I have driven thousands of miles all around Upstate New York researchi8ng and exploring places for my 12 travel guides published for this area. Almost always, when it comes to dinner time, whether in Buffalo, Ithaca, or the Hudson Valley, I head to an Italian restaurant for a meal. And, yes, over these many years and miles I do have favorites. Here are a dozen of them!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

14 Exquisite Gourmet Cheese Shops in Upstate New York

Cheese production is a big business in Upstate New York. In fact, the Empire State is the fifth largest cheese-producing state in the US (Wisconsin is #1 of course).

What many don't know is that New York actually used to be one of the most dominant states in terms of cheese-making in the country. That was about 150 years back at this point. But there are still tons of delicious cheeses being produced in our state and we want to show them off.

Here are 14 of the best gourmet cheese shops in Upstate New York.

We hope you will visit them and when you do, don't forget to ...."say cheese!"

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio