Anthony Bourdain in the Hudson Valley: 5 Spots Where Tony Ate

It’s a strange fact of life that most travelers visit places much farther from home than the destinations closer to them. The same is true for Anthony Bourdain, who visited the far-flung corners of the world but didn’t typically explore those destinations nearer to New York City, where he lived. Over the course of his career, he does correct this somewhat – including his trip to the Hudson Valley, almost a stone’s throw from where he grew up (New Jersey) and where he lived.

Anthony Bourdain visited the Hudson Valley to film season 6 (episode 5) of No Reservations; it is his only on-screen visit to the region despite its proximity to his home in New York City and was apparently quite a big deal per the stories that long-time Bourdain director Tom Vitale tells in his book In the Weeds: Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain.

Anthony Bourdain in the Hudson Valley Hero

Whether you live in the area and have never visited or are planning a trip from further afield and want to eat well, below you’ll find a list of the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in the Hudson Valley. There aren’t many, but they run the gamut, showing off all that makes this region unique – both in New York State and in American History.

Want to watch the episode where Anthony Bourdain visits the Hudson Valley?
The No Reservations episode is available on Amazon, Hulu, and Apple TV.

In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Mohican, Munsee Lenape, and Schaghticoke peoples, among others. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.

Dick’s Dog Floating Hot Dog Stand (CLOSED?)

Where better to start exploring the Hudson Valley than on the Hudson River? Tony starts out by joining a lifelong sailor and his son on a historic boat for a sail up the river… and of course, they work up an appetite.

To satiate themselves, they sail over to Dick’s Dog Floating Hot Dog Stand to nosh on hot dogs with all the fixins. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out if this “spot” (or rather, moving spot!) is still open, as they don’t seem to have any presence on Google. If you are familiar with the Hudson Valley and its waterborne tubular meat cuisines, please let me know in the comments.

Quaker Creek Store

Anthony Bourdain in the Hudson Valley - Pierogies

Moving elsewhere in the Hudson River Valley, Bourdain next heads to Quaker Creek Store in the community of Pine Island – but it’s not actually an island! In any case, here he visits the proprietor of this store, deli, and restaurant that specializes in Polish cuisine; it’s a tradition he learned from his grandfather.

Tony tries the classics: potato and onion pierogies (the onions of which come from this incredibly fertile “black dirt region” within the valley) and kielbasa (Polish sausage) in kapusta (Polish sauerkraut with bacon and granny smith apples).

Rondout Bay Marina Bar (CLOSED)

After meeting up with fellow cook and food writer Michael Ruhlmann for a proper schooling at CIA (more on that below), the pair head down to the now-closed Rondout Bay Marina Bar in Kingston. They continue to rib each other about their respective renown and cooking skills, as well as connecting with the locals over a few drinks.

Mohonk Mountain House

Anthony Bourdain in the Hudson Valley - Afternoon Tea

The pair next visit an unusual stop: Mohonk Mountain House. This self-described (and aptly-described) “Victorian Castle Resort” dates back to the Antebellum era and has come to be a retreat for many, including the likes of Bourdain (obviously) and Stephen King.

I’m not sure how long they stay, but Tony and Michael enjoy tea on the veranda with canapes, plus wander the grounds and halls to see this sprawling escape in the heart of the Hudson Valley.

X2O/Xaviars on the Hudson

Anthony Bourdain in the Hudson Valley - Duck Buns

Last but not least, Bourdain begins making his way back to New York, with a stop off in Yonkers to dine at X2O (Xaviars on the Hudson). While this restaurant has faced some financial troubles in the past, it’s still open today – though you probably won’t have the same dining companion Tony did… Bill Murray!

(This is actually the first time they meet and Tony’s a bit star-struck; they reconnect near another of Murray’s homes in Charleston, South Carolina later.)

The pair enjoy fine dining almost literally within view of their respective homes (Murray in the Palisades and Bourdain in Manhattan). Dishes they try include lobster two ways (cappuccino and lobster sausage), an elaborate sashimi presentation, Hudson Valley duck breast with hoisin sauce, steamed barbecue duck bun, and the “Cowboy ribeye” with bearnaise.

Bonus: Culinary Institute (CIA)

I wasn’t sure whether to include this spot on my list, but thought it was worth adding as a “bonus” since it is a place that Bourdain and Ruhlmann visit during their time exploring the Hudson Valley together; it’s also a place important to Tony as he trained there as a young cook.

The two head back to their roots at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, and are put to the test cooking stir-fried squid with basil by chef Michael Pardis. (They later join Pardis at his home for a gourmet, worldly backyard barbecue including Bahn mi, bulgogi tacos, green mango salad, oyster kimchi, and much more…).

In the end, Bourdain’s skill comes out on top; though he’s a few years beyond his chef days by this point in his career, it seems to be a bit like riding a bicycle in that he never forgets how to do it properly.

Have any other questions about the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in the Hudson Valley? Let me know in the comments below!

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Valerie is a travel writer currently based in Cleveland, but her favorite destinations are Alaska, London, and Jordan – only one of which Bourdain ever visited! You can find her writing on Lonely Planet, Forbes, and her travel blog, Valerie & Valise.

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