Hi there! Kristen here. Remember a few months ago I wrote a post about my favorite spots to eat and drink in Schenectady? No? Well, not only did that happen, but I also promised a Part Two. So here it is for your reading and hopefully eating pleasure. This post will focus mainly on coffee and dessert! And breakfast.
Perreca’s – I first discovered Perreca’s when I went there for breakfast with friends for our book club. It’s a church book club, because we are cool like that. It’s located on a small block that is called Schenectady’s Little Italy. A few years ago, Hillary Clinton made that official. There is even a sign on an archway that says so. Anyway, initially I was not super thrilled with the choice because I could not find breakfast anywhere on the menu. I’m the kind of weirdo who likes to look at a menu ahead of time because I really love food and planning what I am going to eat. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised when we walked into the restaurant. Its a cute little Italian place with a bakery where they make their famous bread right next door. The menu includes complicated dishes, like Eggs in Purgatory and various breakfast pizzas, as well as simple breakfast choices. I ended up being so impressed with Perreca’s that for months I bugged my husband to go there with me. We finally went about three weeks ago, and he liked it so much that we went again on our Friday off together. We both got the breakfast special-coffee, eggs, potatoes, sausage, and that famous toast! Our bill was a grand total of $11 for a breakfast so large that we had trouble finishing it. Somehow, we managed. Afterward, we went to the bakery next door, and got a loaf of bread for Easter Sunday. We ate it all in two days. So much for that. It was awesome, though. Go there.
Villa Italia– If you are looking for a large selection of gelato, and a ton of Italian pastries, Villa Italia is the place to go! It is a bakery, but it also has little groupings of tables so that you can sit inside or outside with a cup of coffee and an authentic rainbow cookie. They do have a lunch menu as well that I have not tried yet- but everything I’ve had there is good- so it seems promising. It is one of the best places to get dessert in the area- or to grab a snack before walking over to the movie theater. My husband and I take turns surprising each other with boxes of their pastries after important life events. I got him treats after he passed a final, and he got me a box when I started teaching preschool.
The Happy Cappuccino– I remember shortly after we moved upstate and discovered the wonders of Jay Street, I was dying to try this place due to the name alone! It’s a cute little coffee shop, kind of dark inside and filled with estate sale furniture and board games. When you go there, a Jay Street hipster will most likely be serenading you outside. It’s a nice place to sit and talk, or just a good place to grab a coffee before walking down to the Green Market. They offer a few baked goods at the counter, but this really is a better place to get a latte than dessert. My drink of choice is an iced green tea matcha latte! It’s pretty amazing if you are into that sort of thing. Apparently The Happy Cappuccino just opened up an Albany location, but I haven’t tried it yet.
Puzzles Bakery and Cafe– I get extra excited about Puzzles because they train and employ adults with developmental disabilities. I worked as a job coach right out of college, and I’ve seen this exact type of endeavor very poorly run- but Puzzles seems to be the real deal! The Schenectady bakery is the first of what will hopefully be many locations. Every time I have gone into Puzzles, all of the staff members were courteous to customers, and seemed to be friendly and respectful to one another. The food was also delicious! I have tried their desserts, and their chili during the Schenectady Soup stroll this past winter. I’m definitely looking forward to going back and trying more items on their menu!
Top’s– Top’s Diner is about three minutes from my house, so we find ourselves going there pretty often! It holds a special place in my heart because we ate there with my in-laws, including Ilana, the first weekend we moved into our house. I remember sitting there, dead tired after moving boxes all day and eating dinner at 9 pm. The guys were even more tired than us because they all started tearing down plaster in one of the bedrooms. Remember how I recently wrote about how we decided to restore the damaged plaster in our home? That’s why! Anyway, back to Tops. They offer a huge menu and make just as good breakfasts as they do dinners. All of their omelets are huge and delicious, with the most amazing home fries. I also love the Eggs Florentine- kind of like Benedict, but with spinach. I’ve also committed the sin of ordering Italian food from a diner- and guess what? I have not been disappointed yet. You can get just about anything there from wraps to risotto or a nice steak- and it will be delicious. They also have an assortment of cakes and pies. We end up taking home pie or a slice of rainbow cake to eat almost every time we go. I can’t wait until Key Lime is back in season!
So there you have it, more recommendations for places to eat in Schenectady! We’ve had fun eating out a little bit more because we know tiny baby boy will most likely have us cooped up at home for a bit! We’ve already started a little freezer meal prep! So far, we have frozen chili, next up- lasagna! Does anyone have any good freezer meal ideas? We’d love suggestions!
At least the weather should be warm by then. I say SHOULD BE because we just got about four inches of snow on Sunday night- and it’s STILL HERE. I’m dreaming of eating gelato and taking the baby for long walks in the stroller next month! Unless baby comes in June instead. Who knows:)