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Our Family’s Favorite Lake Placid Restaurants

Our Family’s Favorite Lake Placid Restaurants

One of the things that brings us back to Lake Placid year after year is that the town has a lot of dining for its small size and much of it is very good.

There is plenty of standard ski-town fare: pizza, pasta, chili, steaks and burgers. But quite a few places rise above that and truly stand out. On our latest visits we felt like we encountered “ski-town pricing” more than we had in the past. But We have our standbys now, but we also try something new each time we visit, too.

A few tips: Many places don’t take reservations but have virtual waiting lists, so you can add your name and judge the wait time before heading to the restaurant. If it’s not Friday or Saturday, double check restaurant hours. A lot of places close on Mondays in winter and and stop serving at an earlier hour Sunday through Thursday.

It was exceptionally cold on our last visit so I often skipped my usual beer and cider in favor of hot toddies. Most restaurants had warm apple cider that you could have plain or with booze added to it. I did both ways, going alcohol-free at lunchtime. Having the cider available plain means kids can order, too.

These are of our favorite Lake Placid family dining spots.


More Trip-Planning Help:
• Read more: Top Things To Do With Kids In Winter in Lake Placid.
• I review My 2 favorite Lake Placid Hotels with ideal locations.
• Book the best price on a great Lake Placid hotel.
• Rent a vacation home right on Mirror Lake.


14 Lake Placid Restaurants That Both Parents and Kids Will Love

Kid-Friendly Microbreweries and Tap Rooms

1. Big Slide Brewing

Big Slide is just outside of town, not far from the Ski jump, and it’s become become a place we visit whenever we’re in town, just to see what’s new. Their beer is interesting, all their wines are from New York State and they have “guest” beers from other state brewers; The farm-to-table menu feels more gastropub than bewpub. All-in-all they’re

On our most recent visit Rich had a round, not-too-hoppy pale ale that incorporated oats as well as regular malt. I had a cranberry cider from a local cidery.

Poutine from big slide brewery with peppercorn gravy and new york state cheese curds.

We like to share plates in a place like this so we ordered pretzel nuggets with a cheddar-ale sauce, poutine with New York cheese and peppercorn gravy, and a pizza with boar-and-pheasant sausage, wild mushroom and more local cheese.

On a previous visit Rich and I shared celery root soup and a ham sandwich that were excellent while Tiny Traveler had grilled chicken and carrot sticks off of the kids menu. I always love to see chicken on kids’ menu that isn’t in finger or nugget form.

2. Lake Placid Pub & Brewing

We never leave town without a stop at Lake Placid Brewing. We have long loved all their beers and reliable pub fare—great chili, onion soup, fish & chips and sandwiches— in reasonable portions.

Lakeplacidbrewery

If you have kids under 7, the well-maintained kids’ play area up on the third flood will give you an appreciation for this place even before the food comes.

For a Good, Casual Lunch or Dinner 

3. The Cottage Café

On every visit to Lake Placid I have looked longingly at The Cottage, the Mirror Lake Inn’s cozy, lakeside casual restaurant. But it’s small and the wait is often long at prime hours.

The cottage café at the mirror lake inn is cozy and right on the lake with a great, casual menu.

One year we finally gave in, put our name on the list, we took our beeper and went to play on the frozen lake. And I was happy we did. The room is lovely, the tab is reasonable, and our warm brussel sprout salad and flat-bread pizza with a variety of sausages. It was a perfect shared winter lunch.

I got to return with a girl friend on a quiet Monday where we had hot apple cider (not spiked, though that’s an option). She had the chikli and I had a flatbread with ham, apple, red onion, mozzarella, blue cheese and a drizzle of honey. It sounds odd but was really tasty.

4. Lisa G’s Restaurant

On our latest visit we ate at Lisa G’s, on the outskirts of town, for the first time in years because it was a convenient lunch stop from cross-country skiing.

The adults loved it; the two teens were so-so on it. Both ordered wings because other items that might have appealed had twists they were suspicious of, like garlic-scallion fries with the fish ‘n’ chips.

There are tempting vegetarian options like Moroccan nachos and a curry noodle bowl. Rich and I split a coconut-butternut squash soup and steak-and-swiss sandwich. The chili, burgers and fries (with or without garlic and scallions) are good, too.

5. The Pickled Pig

The Picked Pig is right across from the Olympic Center and can be packed on nights when there are ice skating or hockey events; try to avoid those nights but otherwise make a beeline her. It’s a kid-friendly place with better-than-expected food adults can appreciate and portions are more reasonable than we expected.

A pickled pig pulled-pork sandwich in lake placid.

On a prevous visit, ribs, a pulled-pork sandwich (top) and a steak platter were all exactly what we wanted them to be with good fries and chips. Our only quibble is that they don’t include a half-rack of ribs on the kids’ menu, so Tiny Traveler wound up ordering a full portion. Luckily she’d skied all day and ate more than she usually does.

On a recent visit I had chicken tacos with maple-jalapeño slaw, Rich had shrimp tacos with mango salsa and the rest of the table had brisket sandwiches and chips. The tacos were especially good and the brisket was neither too dry nor too fatty.

Saranac soda's bottled shirley temple cocktail is bright red and easy to find in adirondack towns.

All the kids in the place were drinking pink Saranac Shirley Temple sodas.  

6. Smoke Signals

I admit we wound up eating at Smoke Signals because the 3 restaurants we tried first were all closed on Mondays. After dinner at the Pickled Pig two nights earlier, we weren’t sure we needed bbq again that soon. But it was actually a pretty good meal.

I ordered meatloaf that was wrapped in bacon and glazed with the house bbq sauce, which had a nice, unexpected dose of heat and came with Brussels Sprouts.

Two people ordered mashed potatoes with brisket on top. They both thought the brisket was good but had the same spicy sauce as my meatloaf and they could have used more potatoes and less brisket to cut the heat. A brisket French dip and mushroom-Swiss burger were good renditions.

7. Generation Tap & Grill

Generations belongs to the Golden Arrow hotel, but faces the street and draws in plenty of diners who aren’t guests.

For us, it’s a good place to grab a table in the bar area on that night when we want a light meal of appetizers and desserts rather than a full sit-down dinner.

The fried calamari comes with a well-spiced marinara, the spinach salad and onion soup are great. And we stopped in a few times for dessert– great cheesecake and tiramisu–even on nights when we dined elsewhere.

8. Wyatt’s BBQ

When we want something very quick, cheap and easy head to the somewhat misnamed Wyatt’s BBQ, a Te-Mex counter in the Alpine Mall on Main Street. Everything in this burrito joint was fresh and felt homemade.

The beans and meat that were supposed to have a kick had a nice one — they have their own hot sauce if you need more heat. Tiny Traveler, was not a burrito fan at that age but was happy with a plate of rice, beans and cornbred. They’ve since added mac & cheese to the menu, an easy kids’ favorite.

The price was right. The only downside is that they don’t have any real seating so if your kids can’t reach the counters you’ll have to get your burritos to go.

For a Fancier Dinner

9. Great Adirondack Steak & Seafood Company

Great Adirondack Co. in the center of town is always packed weekends and holidays and doesn’t take reservations. There is always something tempting  on the menu and on a Sunday night we had no problem getting a table (the restaurant closed earlier than we expected it to but they kept the kitchen open long enough for us to finish eating and have dessert).

The classic prime rib dinner is hard to resist and popular and no matter who we travel with, a few peope at the table usually order it. On our latest visit our table shared crispy duck wings with bourbon bbq sauce, a fund twist on the usually Buffalo wings. I had classic, gooey onion soup and a beet salad while others had fish & chips, burgers and pan-fried local trout.

One of the desserts was a flourless cake involving chocolate and caramel. Each teen ordered their own and ate every last crumb.

10. Liquids & Solids at the Handlebar

We have gone twice now to the hip and impressive Liquids and Solids.

They don’t have a kids’ menu and won’t tweak any of the dishes for a kid. But the wait staff has always been friendly to our young traveler and they serve Boylan’s soda in bottles. The farm-to-fork menu is always interesting and Rich and I enjoy our dinners and cocktails there very much.

Liquids solids cocktail

He’s had kidneys and cassoulet. I’ve had house-made French sausage and pappardelle with a rich duck confit. The first time we ate there Tiny Traveler had olives and bread for dinner because nothing else remotely appealed to her. But she’s warmed to the place as she’s gotten older and a bit more adventurous. She’ll eat their fried chicken, bratwurst and gnocchi, even if the sides don’t always win her over.

When we were last there they were about to lose the lease on their existing locale. I’m keeping the review for another year in the hope that they find a new home.

For Breakast & Coffee in Lake Placid

I feel like every time we visit a bakery or doughnut shop we liked is a gone and a new one has opened. They’ve all been good so I don’t know why they don’t last.

Cocoa dough

11. Cocoa & Dough

On our latest visit the new kid in town was Cocoa & Dough, a doughnut shop that also sells hot dogs at lunchtime and pairs its doughtnuts with the ice cream sold next door.

They specialize in over-top doughnuts covered in cereal, Oreos and all kinds of things. But they have respectable sugar-coated cake and chocolate cake doughnuts that are perfect with coffee. Teen Traveler rated their Boston cream “excellent” with a generous dollop of Bavarian cream and chocolate glaze on top.

They have a few items ready in the case and have a menu of douhtnuts they’ll fry, fill and dip to order. They sell drip coffee and hot cocoa. If you want fancy coffee drinks you’ll have to stop in to Starbucks after you pick up your doughnuts.

The owner told me he’s opening a second store in Saranac, so hopefully this doughnot shop will stick around awhile.

12. Saranac Sourdough

This bakery and deli is just outside of town toward Saranac is our go-to place for breakfast sandwiches served on the store’s own sourdough bread. We haven’t ventured here for lunch but have faith their lunch sandwiches would be just as good. They make good pancakes, too.

One of many chandeliers at the downtown diner in lake placid

13. The Downtown Diner

The Downtown Diner that sits right at the beginning of town, doesn’t look like much from the outside, but have breakfast there at least once. The service is friendly and everything was made in-house from Tiny Traveler’s pancakes to Rich’s hash to the salsa on my omelette. And the chandeliers are fabulous!

14. The River View Café

The River View Cafe at High Falls Gorge is one of my favorite places in the area.There is a comfy love seat if you can grab it, next to the wood stove with a view of the gorge. I’ve spent many a morning here with mug of tea or a latté and my laptop while the rest of my family skied just up the road.

After I collect them we sometimes return so they can warm up by the wood stove with après-ski beer and hot cocoa. The café has a small menu of soups and sandwiches, too, but like a lot of things that’s on hiatus because of Covid.

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Photos of Lake Placid BrewPub, Saranac Soda, the Cottage, Liquids & Solids cocktail and the disco ball by FamiliesGo©. All others courtesy of the restaurants.