Don't Skip These Regional Eats & Treats From The Capital Region
Cities across America stake their claim as the home to many popular dishes. New York City and Chicago have perfected their pizza styles, Buffalo gave us wings, San Francisco brought us sourdough... the list goes on. The Capital Region is home to a plethora of unique foods that you either can't find anywhere else or can't find a version as good in other areas. Check out some of the top regional eats:
Mini Hot Dogs
While hot dogs topped with meat sauce, yellow mustard, and onion aren't exclusive to the Capital Region, or even Upstate New York, the miniaturized version is an Albany-area classic. Head to Gus's hot Dogs in Watervliet, Hot Dog Charlie's in multiple locations, or Famous Lunch in Troy to try the beloved mini hot dogs. You can typically get a single mini dog for under $1 so packing away a half dozen won't break the bank.
Founded in 1913, Freihofer's Bakery is certainly a Capital Region staple. Today, they're still locally baking their chewy chocolate chip cookies, breads and other specialties like corn toasties. The company also sponsors the Freihofer's Run for Women and Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival each summer.
Who doesn't love the gooey pull of a mozzarella stick? (No, seriously, what is up with those people?). While Albany definitely did not invent this snack dating back to 15th-century France, we did come up with the best dipping sauce for fried cheese. Order mozzarella sticks at many of the local restaurants and pizzerias and they ask "marinara or melba?". The sweet raspberry sauce's origin remains shrouded in mystery, but it's no secret it makes for a delicious combination. Pro Tip: Sweet potato fries are also a great vehicle for melba sauce.
The Peppermint Pig has been a Christmas tradition since the 1880s. Created in Saratoga Springs, this interactive treat has been the topic of national editorials and featured on television programs. Tradition states that you place your pig in a cloth bag and take turns smashing it with a small hammer. Each person that smashes a piece off should share something good from the past year in hopes it will bring good luck for the year ahead.
A fish fry in the Capital District is not intended to be eaten with a fork. When you order a fish fry here, you'll be served a long, skinny piece of white fish fried to a perfectly crisp golden brown and placed in a steamed hot dog bun. If you're looking to start a heated debate amongst friends, family, or coworkers, ask who has the best fish fry in the area.