August 18, 2009

Napping in Cooperstown, NY {Naptime on the Road}

Writing a single travel post about Cooperstown NY, my hometown, is next to impossible. There are so many wonderful things to see and do in this idyllic upstate NY village that I am going to have to split up the information. Today is my first installment, and I will plan a second installment this fall. Even then, I doubt I will have covered everything, but at least I will be able to highlight the best of the best. So, without further ado, here is the beginning of my favorite adventures, foodie and otherwise, in Cooperstown, New York. And, if any of you decide to plan a trip to Cooperstown, please let me know, I will happily answer any questions you have.

The Naptime Chef’s Cooperstown Favorite’s (in no particular order):

1) Museums: Cooperstown is chock-full of amazing museums. When you are here be sure to visit: The National Baseball Hall of Fame, The Farmers’ Museum and The Fenimore Art Museum. They are all worth visiting and are great for children, as well.

2) Stagecoach Coffee: My childhood friend Matt and his brother, Chris, own this amazing coffee shop. Needless to say, with my daughter waking at dawn these days, I pay them a daily visit. Sometimes I even return for lunch, their homemade paninis are to die for.

3) The Lemon Tree: Jeanne Ayers has the most charming kitchen and paper shop I have ever seen, and it is located right on Main Street. Her well-edited selection of kitchen equipment and fine papers means that I am never without anything I need while I experiment with new recipes. I swear by her array of Le Creuset products.

4) Little Bo’tique: If your children are in need of a few bribes, or if you need a baby gift, this is the perfect shop for you. I love their selection of children’s clothing, wooden toys and knick-knacks. My daughter is spoiled by her grandparents, they shop for her here, almost exclusively.

5) Alex & Ika: How can you not love a restaurant that grows an herb garden in their front window, pledges to use only local sustainable ingredients, and changes their menu seasonally?! This is our favorite restaurant for date night, the food is delicious and the atmosphere warm and comfortable. Plus, the wine list is exceptional. Leave young children with a babysitter.

6) Fly Creek Cider Mill: I have been loving my trips to the Cider Mill since I will little. At this charmingly small operation you can watch cider be made with an old-fashioned motorized press. There is also a sweet gift shop where you can get bushels of fresh apples, jars of apple butter and homemade fudge and cheese. Also, the snackbar features fresh cider donuts, which are easily the best I’ve ever had.

7) Sal’s Pizzeria: Every town needs a great pizza place, and this is the best in Central NY. Sal’s serves up NY-style pizza year-round and, despite how much pizza I’ve eaten in my lifetime (a lot!) this is still the best.

8) Doubleday Cafe: This is my daughter’s favorite restaurant in the whole wide world. It is completely kid friendly, has a tasty menu ranging from burgers to fajitas, and a great selection of beers on tap. My daughter especially enjoys the fresh popped popcorn they bring to the table while you wait for your food.

9) Cooperstown Farmers’ Market: Central NY is alive with amazing farms and here is where the farmers come to sell their crops. We eat almost exclusively from our purchases here all summer long, there is no limit to the delicious vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy products you can find. My current favorite is Fairytale Eggplant (pictured below).

10) Yum Yum Shack: This restaurant always lives up to it’s appetizing name. We always love visiting this family-friendly spot to enjoy the delicious seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes. My personal favorite are the fish-n-chips, the most authentic tasting version I’ve found since I lived in Scotland.