Eat at the birthplace of the famous Buffalo Wings or enjoy a great fresh fish cooked to order at Rudy’s on the shore of Lake Ontario: Seaway Trail offers memorable places to eat
By Sandra Scott
One of America’s scenic byways is the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. The 518-mile scenic driving route follows the shores of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in New York and includes the Lake Erie shore in Pennsylvania.
The trail is dotted with historical sites, recreation areas, plus quaint waterfront towns and villages.
Along the way there are great places to eat — eat in or take out and find a place to eat along the water. Some dining establishments are open all year while others are seasonal.
Drive the Seaway Trail and discover a new place to relax, dine and enjoy the view, or check out one of the following places:
• The Anchor Bar has several locations in Western New York and elsewhere but stop at the original one at 1047 Main St., in Buffalo. It is the birthplace of the famous Buffalo Wings. One night in 1964, the owner of the Anchor Bar, Dominic Bellissimo, was tending bar when some of his friends arrived. He asked his mother to make something for his friends to eat. She deep fried the chicken wings that were meant to make the soup stock then covered them with her secret sauce. They were an instant hit and have been on the menu ever since, becoming a worldwide favorite.
• Sodus Bay is the largest bay on the lake and is called “The Crown Jewel of Lake Ontario.” One lakeside place to eat in Sodus Bay is Skipper’s Landing. Since 1984 the restaurant has been serving its patrons both indoors and on the waterside deck. Drive up or boat in to enjoy the great food with a great view — year round.
• The first sign of spring in Oswego County is not seeing the first robin or the St. Patrick’s Day parade but the reopening of Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-in which takes place around St. Patrick’s Day. Since 1946 Rudy’s has been “cooking to order” while their customers can watch. There is limited eat-in space but most customers prefer relaxing at one of the lakeside tables. Kids like to try their hand at skipping stones while others just enjoy the view. Their Rudy’s Homemade Texas Hot Sauce is one of their house specialties.
• Rainbow Shores is located on a cliff above the water near Pulaski. It is renowned for its great sunsets. Check out their live music schedule.The location was once a bootlegging camp that became a summer resort. They also have cottages and cabins to rent.
• Sackets Harbor is home to the Seaway Trail Discovery Center where visitors can pick up maps, and brochures, and learn more about the Seaway Trail. The Sackets Boathouse Restaurant and Bar has a dining room, and, as its name suggests, started as a boathouse in the 1940s where boats were stored and moored as part of the marina. Since 1985 it has been a favorite place to dine and enjoy the views of the harbor where Lake Ontario and the Black River meet.
• Experience the Renaissance of Clayton dining at the 1000 Island Harbor Hotel, one of few AAA four-diamond properties in Upstate New York. It is located directly on the water where diners can eat in or dine alfresco on The riverside patio while watching boats and ships pass by. When ordering a salad make sure to request Thousand Island dressing. One popular oral history story says the dressing was created by a fishing guide’s wife, Sophia LaLonde. One version has one of Thousand Islands’ famous summer residents, George Boldt of Boldt Castle fame and owner of the NYC’s famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, instructing his hotel’s chef to put it on the menu.
Divide the season by picking a different area to explore each week. Central New Yorkers are blessed with a diversity of places to go and dine. The sunsets on Lake Ontario are considered one of the best in the world.
Photo: One lakeside place to eat in Sodus Bay is Skipper’s Landing. Drive up or boat in to enjoy the great food with a great view — year round.