When you want it – you want it. For many, Italian food is the most comforting of comfort foods. There is a strong tradition of Italian heritage in the many small cities of the Finger Lakes region, and fortunately for all of us, several of these families have shared their kitchen traditions in popular restaurants throughout the region. Here are some of the best of them.
Jerlando’s Ristorante and Pizza Co. – Watkins Glen/Montour Falls
If it has the word ristorante in its name, it must be great, right? Just trust us, this is a favorite of locals, tourists, and most of the NASCAR community too (they come annually in early August).
WHERE: Two locations actually…Jerlando’s began at its Montour Falls location on West Main Street. This is a walk up counter to take and sit at their booths/tables. For a more traditional restaurant experience, visit their larger venue on the corner of North Franklin and 4th streets in the direct heart of downtown Watkins Glen. This location has full-service wait staff in the front of the building (including bar service) and a small pick-up style service in the back of the building.
STYLE: Family owned with a deep and direct connection to old world Italy.
SPECIALTY: The garlic knots are pretty famous locally. After that, we recommend choosing your favorite Italian dish…you can’t go wrong.
SOMETHING TO KNOW: Parking on either N. Franklin or 4th streets can be a challenge during high season, but if you look behind the building there is a parking lot shared with other businesses, or consider parking a block away around Lafayette Park for a short but pleasant walk.
Keep checking back for more additions to this list of the best Italian restaurants in the Finger Lakes.