Food

Readers’ Poll Winners: Drinks

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Readers’ Poll Winners: Drinks

The top places to grab a refreshment in the Capital Region, as voted by our readers: 

Best Bar
MCGEARY’S
Albany

Tess Collins has weaved her magic on establishments all over Albany and now she has successfully cast her spell on another generation of loyal patrons at McGeary’s.

2ND EXCELSIOR PUB
3RD THE RUCK

Best Bar for Food
MCGEARY’S
Albany

Your standard pub grub that’s kicked up a notch to match their great brews and always sterling company.

2ND DRUTHERS BREWERY
3RD THE RUCK

Best Sports Bar
WOLFF’S BIERGARTEN
Albany, Schenectady, Troy

Matt Baumgartner and partners have created more local chain magic with this European-styled biergarten. Is there a better place to watch a game and eat wurst?

2ND JUNIORS
3RD MCGEARY’S

Best Bar for Music
THE HOLLOW BAR + KITCHEN
Albany

Booking great local shows and sizzling national touring acts, The Hollow has become the Capital Region’s go-to place to grab a drink and catch a show.

2ND MCGEARY’S
3RD THE LOW BEAT

Best Hookup Bar

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Photo by Kiki Vassilakis

THE RUCK
Troy

At 4 AM, you don’t have to go home alone but you can’t stay here…

2ND (TIE) CITY BEER HALL, MCGEARY’S
3RD SUSIE’S

Best Taproom
BROWN’S BREWING CO.
Troy

Locally-brewed beer, a great deck and a river runs through it – Brown’s won this category handily.

2ND EXCELSIOR PUB
3RD DRUTHERS

Best Bar (Selection)
THE RUCK
Troy

This hotspot is home to over 30 different beers on tap that range from family breweries to major distributors – not to mention the dozens offered via bottle or can.

2ND EXCELSIOR PUB
3RD MADISON POURHOUSE

Best Bar for Trivia
THE RUCK
Troy

Study up on your fun facts and get in the ring – the competition is fierce and the atmosphere electric.

2ND (TIE) JUNIORS, MCGEARY’S
3RD SLIDIN’ DIRTY

Best Bar Cocktails
SPEAKEASY 518
Albany

Escape the real world in this literal hole-in-the-wall gem that offers a diverse menu of liquors, bitters and malts, just waiting for that blissful alchemy into expertly crafted cocktails.

2ND THE SHOP
3RD SAVOY TAPROOM

Best Bartender

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Photo by Kiki Vassilakis

HALSEY REED OF MCGEARY’S

Fans of Halsey were outspoken. And then some.

2ND JAY BOWERS OF EXCELSIOR PUB
3RD SAM HOOKER AT THE SHOP

Best Brewery
BROWN’S BREWING CO.
Troy

There’s more and more competition every day, but Capital Region residents are overwhelming in their support for their long-time favorite in Brown’s.

2ND DRUTHERS
3RD RARE FORM

Best Locally Brewed Beer
JUICE BOMB AT SLOOP BREWING

You guys really trekked for this pick but it turns out the hazy IPA from Elizaville is worth the trip.

2ND RARE VOS AT OMMEGANG
3RD FRESHY AT RARE FORM

Best Local Distillery
ALBANY DISTILLING CO.

Albany’s first distillery since prohibition keeps us tipsy with Death Wish Vodka and brings it home with their Ironweed Rye and Ironweed Bourbon.

2ND SARATOGA COURAGE
3RD HARVEST SPIRITS

Best Local Spirit
PICK 6 VODKA
By Saratoga Courage

This 80-proof vodka is distilled with Saratoga water and is smooth as hell.

2ND DEATH WISH COFFEE VODKA
3RD IRONWEED BOURBON WHISKY

Best Local Vineyard
ALTAMONT VINEYARD & WINERY

Home to a lineup of dry whites, savory reds, crisp aromas and flavors for every palate.

2ND CAPOCCIA VINEYARD & WINERY
3RD (TIE)SARATOGA WINERY, HUDSON-CHATHAM WINERY

Gay Bar
WATERWORKS
Albany

This high-energy pub and dance club has been top of their game for 30-plus years and they’re still killin’ it.

2ND OH BAR
3RD ROCKS

Best Cafe

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Photo by Richard Lovrich

SUPERIOR MERCHANDISE CO.
Troy 

It’s got coffee that makes your heart skip a beat, avocado toast to take down the housing market, handmade functional trinkets to browse and local live musicians on the patio. Shall we go on?

2ND IRON GATE CAFE
3RD (TIE) HAPPY CAPPUCCINO, SHORT AND STOUT

Best Cafe (Selection)
HAPPY CAPPUCCINO
Schenectady

Need a cafe with a fully stocked arsenal of caffeinated beverages? Readers say there is no better place to go than Happy Cappuccino.

2ND SUPERIOR MERCHANDISE
3RD SHORT AND STOUT

Best Cafe (to get work done)

screen-shot-2017-09-06-at-1-25-55-pmSTACKS
Albany

Open up your laptop, pull up a seat and know you’re only an arm’s reach away from a steady supply of carefully crafted caffeinated refreshments.

2ND SHORT AND STOUT
3RD DAILY GRIND

Best Cafe (to relax)
3FISH COFFEE

Read a book on the patio, relax at the coffee bar – kick back and do what you will at this welcoming and cozy new coffee spot.

2ND (TIE) SUPERIOR MERCHANDISE CO., PSYCHEDELICATESSEN
3RD DAILY GRIND

Best Cafe for Music

screen-shot-2017-09-06-at-1-32-50-pmCAFFE LENA
Saratoga

This legendary folk venue has given so many musicians their start and allowed area residents to bear witness.

2ND SUPERIOR MERCHANDISE
3RD DAILY GRIND

Best Cafe (Cup of Coffee)

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Photo by Richard Lovrich

SUPERIOR MERCHANDISE
Troy

Superior Merch is a cafe for those who enjoy elegant simplicity. Yes, Superior Merch does a lot of things well – but it completes its most vital function to perfection.

2ND HAPPY CAPPUCCINO
3RD UNCOMMON GROUNDS

Best Cafe for Food
DAILY GRIND
Albany, Troy

They’ve got a killer breakfast menu that – oh, music to our ears – is served all day long. We bet you’ll love their deli sandwiches, salads and smoothies, too.

2ND PSYCHEDELICATESSEN
3RD IRON GATE CAFE

Best Espresso
STACKS
Albany

Need a ZAP of energy? Look no further than Stacks!

2ND SUPERIOR MERCHANDISE
3RD HAPPY CAPPUCCINO

Best Chai
SHORT AND STOUT
Guilderland

If you’re not sipping a warm, spicy chai from this joint, you’re doing it wrong.

2ND PSYCHEDELICATESSEN
3RD STACKS

Iced Coffee
UNCOMMON GROUNDS
Albany, Clifton Park, Saratoga Springs

The cafe has mastered the caffeine knockout with this cold, refreshing kick.

2ND HAPPY CAPPUCCINO
3RD DAILY GRIND

Best Americano
STACKS
Albany

Stacks reigns supreme in the espresso department.

Best Mocha
SUPERIOR MERCHANDISE CO.
Troy

The chocolate Superior Merch employs in their cafe mocha is to die for. If there’s a superior drinkable version of the cocoa bean we haven’t sipped it.

2ND HAPPY CAPPUCCINO
3RD 3FISH COFFEE

Best Frappe
HAPPY CAPPUCCINO
Albany, Schenectady

The #basic frozen coffee drinks are best crafted right here.

2ND UNCOMMON GROUNDS

Best Redeye
UNCOMMON GROUNDS
Albany, Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park

They’ve got the magic touch when it comes to giving your classic cup of coffee that extra espresso punch.

2ND SUPERIOR MERCH
3RD STACKS

Best Tea
SHORT AND STOUT
Guilderland

There are over 120 loose tea choices here, plus an entire menu of house-crafted tea creations. You know what’s up.

2ND WHISTLING KETTLE
3RD SUPERIOR MERCH

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