Photo by Tracey Buyce. Dress by sigAshop.
Saratoga Springs, NY is a nostalgic place for me. We started taking our annual family summer vacations there when I was just 5 years old and we have since continued the tradition. It’s hard to believe that we have kept this tradition going for over 25 years. And now I officially feel old.
Prime: Dining at Prime was one of my favorite moments during our stay in Saratoga. My husband and I have had limited time together this summer due to his hectic work schedule surrounding the elections, so this was an extra special experience for us to do this together. The Prime staff treated us like royalty, from the moment we arrived until the moment we left and everything in between was just delightful. We were seated on the back patio overlooking the pool and the golf course which was conveniently situated near the live jazz band.
Our server, Nick, was extremely knowledgable about the menu, the wines and even made some killer recommendations when it came to rosé and the appetizers. We started with the fresh oysters and the sushi (made by chefs from Nobu), which were both out of this world. My husband is still talking about the sushi to this day. We then were served the wedge salad, which we both split, which prepped us for the giant tomahawk steak that we shared as well. And if that wasn’t enough food, we also ordered the cookies and ice cream to finish the night. Yes, we had to be rolled out of there and No, we don’t regret a thing. This was a 5 star experience all the way. Even if you just stop by for cocktails by the fire pits after the races, you won’t be disappointed.
Salt & Char: Once previously known as Maestro’s is now one of Saratoga’s newest and hottest restaurant’s downtown. We have heard nothing but great things about this upscale farm to table restaurant as all of the ingredients are organic and locally sourced. We didn’t have the chance to eat at Salt & Char this time but you can bet that we will be dining there the next time we are in town.
Hatties: If you love fried chicken, then you have to try Hatties. You can enjoy one of their famous fried chicken sandwiches trackside or you can head to the full restaurant downtown for the real experience.
Kraverie: What happens when you fuse Korean BBQ and a French creperie? Kraverie! Kraverie was another recommendation from our friends at Explore Saratoga and again, we were not lead astray. If you are looking for something casual and adventurous, this is the spot for you. You must order the Korean wings and the Kimchi Fried Rice with Bulgolgi on top. Out of this world! Portions are huge, so be prepared to bring home leftovers for lunch! They also have a quaint bar with about 9 taps serving mostly local brews.
Hamlet & Ghost: If you love craft cocktails then you have to pay Hamlet & Ghost a visit. Their cocktails are fresh and the vibe is low key and relaxed, even on a wild Saturday summer night in Saratoga. I had the Pineapple Rosemary Soda with Tequila, which was to die for! I will definitely be going to back to Hamlet and Ghost next time I am in town.
Druthers: This is hands down the best place to cool off with a cold craft brew on a hot day. All-In IPA is a favorite of mine.
15 Church: This is the place to go if you want to see and be seen. The atmosphere in the restaurant is upscale and elegant where as the outdoor patio is a bit more relaxed. You can drink or dine in either location but I recommend stopping by the patio for a cocktail or a glass of wine before dinner or hitting the town.
Henry Street Taproom: This is a newer spot in town but people are raving about their craft beer selection. We weren’t able to drop in this time but we will be stopping by the next time we are in town!
Siros: A Saratoga staple that I just couldn’t leave off the list. I think my sister and I have been frequenting Siro’s every year since I turned 19, I mean 21. This is where you might spot a jockey, a world class trainer or one of the many horse owners in Saratoga. If drop in late night, you might even catch the live pianist playing classic Sinatra.
Saratoga Juice Bar: If craft brews and cocktails aren’t your thing, then try swinging by Saratoga Juice Bar for a healthy fresh juice blend or one of their farm fresh smoothies. My favorite is the Saratoga Detox after a long night out!
Uncommon Grounds: This has been one of our family’s go to spots for years. Drop in for a latte and a bagel before hitting the shops on Broadway.
Races: You can absolutely not come to Saratoga Springs, NY and not go to the track to see a race during race season. It’s an absolute must and the main reason we started coming to Saratoga almost 30 years ago. For my family, going to the races is a tradition that we are very serious about! Race season begins July 22nd and runs until September 5th. Anyone on any budget can experience the races and I recommend that you do! You can go casual and post up in a lawn chair with a picnic, get a table at The Porch restaurant along the track or if you want to splurge, you can spring for seats in the Grand Stand. As far as dress goes, it depends which way you are going to experience the races. If you sit in the Grand Stands or are located somewhere in the Club House, then I suggest doing it up and wearing a nice dress and possibly a fascinator or a big hat if you are lady and a button down shirt and slacks in you are a man.
Polo: This was a new experience for me during my Saratoga vacation. Usually we just stick to the races but per Jacob of Explore Saratoga’s recommendation, we stopped by to catch the end of a match. The scenery is super cute and you really can’t beat sipping champagne and watching a turf polo match. I do suggest that you plan to do either the races or Polo and not try to do both. We were a bit over ambitious with that one!
Saratoga Performing Arts Center: We still have yet to see a concert while in Saratoga but it is definitely on our bucket list for next year. We always spend so much time at the races that we are exhausted when it comes to attending other events. The concert venue is a large amphitheater located on the grounds of Saratoga Spa State Park. We even missed seeing Snoop Dog and Wiz Kalifa while we were in town, which we heard was out of this world.
Drive In Movie: If hitting the town to experience Saratoga’s craft beer selection is out of the cards for you because of the kiddos, then I suggest taking them to the Drive In Movie theater just outside of town. My sister and brother in law took our nice and nephew and they all had an amazing time. Fun experience for both adults and kids!
Lake Saratoga: You really can’t beat the weather in Saratoga during the summer. It’s a nice escape from the heat and humidity we experience in DC, that is for sure! We usually head to Lake Saratoga, only a 15 min drive from town, rent a pontoon boat and head out on the lake with a cooler of beer and some deli sandwiches. Perfect day trip with the entire family!
Fasig-Tipton Sales: Looking to buy a world class race horse for $450k? Then you need to drop by the Fasig-Tipton Sales. While most of us don’t have a half million burning a hole in our pockets, this is an event you need to at least observe. Cocktails are served at the outdoor barn, which is beyond gorgeous might I add, and you can sip your cocktail while you watch the next “American Pharaoh” find his new home. You will see anyone from the neighborhood townies to sheikh’s from Dubai and everything in between. Check the schedule and if you are in town, you need to drop in to see what the Fasig-Tipton Sales are all about.
Complexions Spa: Saratoga Springs is pretty well known for their famous spas and mineral springs. I’m sure you have heard of the infamous Saratoga sparkling water. Having visited Saratoga for over 25 years, I was shocked that I hadn’t even tried on of their world famous spas, so this time around I made a point to give one a try.
If you love to shop, then you have to take a walk down Broadway to browse all the cute little boutiques that downtown Saratoga has to offer. Think equestrian-chic. I have listed some of my favorite shops below:
For The Kids:
Special thank you to Jacob of Explore Saratoga for all of his recommendations. Please visit Explore Saratoga for more info on your trip to the beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY.