While the COVID-19 vaccination rate may be on the up and up, at press time, the virus is still a risk. So, while some maybe starting to hop on planes, a Capital Region “staycation” let’s us all celebrate our closer-to-home hot spots. Need some Upstate New York travel inspiration? Check out our One Wonderful Weekend series, in which we highlight the best-of-the-best food, drinks and activities in the area’s most happening small towns. Our latest stop? Delmar!
If you aren’t yet ready to start planning a cross-country trip to the sunny beaches of Del Mar, CA, set your sights on Capital Region residents can set their sights on a closer-to-home destination: Delmar, NY, the small hamlet in Bethlehem located just 15 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Albany. But don’t worry: Spring in Upstate New York may be little more than a dreary continuation of the already-too-long winter, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more than enough action to fill one wonderful weekend in the suburban oasis that is Delmar.
Get your weekend rolling with a sushi roll from Shogun Sushi & Sake Bar. The Shogun team recommends the Golden Dream Roll—made with spicy and crunchy tuna and avocado and topped with tempura shrimp and special sauces—or the Delmar Roll, featuring salmon, eel and avocado wrapped in soy paper and finished with special sauces. If raw fish isn’t your shtick, the menu also boasts plenty of other Japanese (and some Thai) classics, too, such as tempura, teriyaki and Pad Thai. Then, keep the ball rolling (sorry, we couldn’t resist!) at Del Lanes, which offers cosmic bowling Friday and Saturday nights from 9pm-11pm.
Some Saturdays are great for sleeping in; your Saturday in Delmar shouldn’t be one of them. Rise, shine and head directly to McCarroll’s The Village Butcher and Deli in the Delmar Marketplace for one of its legendary breakfast sandwiches on a hard roll. At 10am, head across the street to I Love Books, which not only carries hard and softcover classics, but also toys, greeting cards, jewelry and other quirky items. It has something for everyone—even people who don’t necessarily love books (which is hard for us to imagine). And if you can wait until May, make sure to spend some time perusing the Delmar Farmers’ Market, which is open every Saturday, rain or shine, at Elm Avenue Park (May-October) and in Bethlehem Central Middle School (November-December).
It’s lunchtime, and the Jack Burger from Swifty’s Restaurant & Pub, topped with homemade bourbon sauce, applewood smoked bacon, onion strings and sharp cheddar cheese, is just what you need to fuel the rest of your weekend. Spend your afternoon exploring some of Delmar’s nature preserves, such as the Touhey Family Preserve or Five Rivers, which offers weekly COVID-safe environmental programming. Back in town, happy hour should be going strong at The Warbler Brewery, which just opened this past November. Then, keep the beer flowing at another local brewery, The Real McCoy Beer Co. And if you’re in need of a late afternoon snack—i.e. dinner—at press time, The Real McCoy was partnering with Clifton Park–based catering company Suburban Kitchen to offer up pork ramen and bao buns. Finish off your evening at the iconic Jim’s Tastee Freez, which has been serving Delmar residents shakes, splits and sundaes for nearly 60 years.
It may be your last day in Delmar, but there’s no room for the Sunday Scaries. Pick up a cup of something strong at Brewtus Roasting’s Roastery and Tasting Room, and then walk off all of last night’s beer and ice cream on the Helderberg–Hudson Rail Trail. The walkable suburban hike stretches nine miles from the Port of Albany to Voorheesville, and the Delmar portion goes right past Bliss, a smoothie shop you’re going to want to swing by. A massage is most definitely in the cards for your final day of staycation, too, so head to Balance Massage & Healing Arts Studio for a Swedish, Deep Tissue or Hot Stone massage, before treating yourself to a second caffeine kick and pastry—it’s what’s for lunch!—at Perfect Blend Café and Bakery. Then, get in some shopping next door at Merriman & Pfister Artisans’ Marketplace, which carries a wide variety of accessories and home décor made by local artisans.
Your time in Delmar is coming to an end, but you won’t be leaving empty handed. At the moment, Twisted Vine Wine & Tap is open for takeout only, so grab your Sunday dinner—we’d go with the pretzel sticks with beer cheese, seared scallops and flourless chocolate cake—to go. Luckily, you won’t have a long drive home.