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Finding the best restaurants is ultimately subjective, pending the likes and dislikes of each person.
But Yelp, an online review site in which customers share their experiences, can help you make informed decisions on which restaurants are worth your time.
Here are the best restaurants in Binghamton and the surrounding areas according to Yelp.
And please, let us know if you disagree. Subscribers and registered users can click on the blue comment button at the top of the story.
1. Lost Dog Cafe & Lounge
Lost Dog Cafe & Lounge takes the top spot as the best restaurant in Binghamton, coming in with four out of five stars, based on 612 reviews.
The menu at Lost Dog features a wide array of options including sandwiches, salads, small plates, desserts and entrees along with complimentary homemade bread.
Short rib mac and cheese, rigatoni ala vodka and a quinoa burrito bowl are just some of the entrees offered at Lost Dog.
The restaurant also features cocktails, coffee, wine, kombucha and loose leaf tea.
The most mentioned dishes on Yelp are the rigatoni ala vodka, New School Greek chicken or tofu, or Chihuahua and Caesar salads.
Lost Dog is open noon-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, and noon-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, with the kitchen closing at 10 p.m. those days.
One Yelper says: “Delicious hipster American restaurant. Reservation recommended to eat inside (Nice Decor) otherwise you can eat outside. All three dishes we ordered came out delicious. They also serve beer and cocktails. Our waitress Abby was so nice, responsive and awesome attitude! Will deff come back.”
Go: 222 Water St, Binghamton, 607-771-6063, lostdogcafe.net
2. Spiedie & Rib Pit
Coming in at number two according to Yelp is the Spiedie & Rib Pit on Upper Front Street, and it’s no surprise — spiedies are one of the staple foods of Binghamton. It has a 4.5 rating based on 302 reviews. Also try the restaurant on the Vestal Parkway near Binghamton University.
Spiedie & Rib Pit offers traditional chicken or pork spiedies as well as six specialty spiedie sandwiches. Ribs, burgers, steak and salads are also featured on the menu.
The most mentioned dishes on Yelp are the chicken spiedie sandwich, Buffalo chicken sandwich, pork spiedie and Buffalo spiedie sub.
Spiedie & Rib Pit is open 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday–Saturday, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.
One Yelper says: “Great spin on a local food, I have no complaints here, every time I go and get a spiedie sub, it’s always cooked correctly, and I’ve never had a burnt or dry overcooked spiedie from this place – I would definitely recommend them.”
Go: 1268 Upper Front St. Binghamton; 607-722-7628; or 3908 Vestal Parkway East
Vestal; 607-729-2679; spiedieandribpit.com
3. Copper Top Tavern
Ok, so fine, the Copper Top Tavern isn’t in Binghamton, it’s in Vestal (blame Yelp, not me). The Copper Top Tavern sports a four-star rating based on 136 reviews.
According to their website, the ambiance is a relaxed and social atmosphere with a menu that offers an eclectic blend of American dishes with European and Asian influences.
The Copper Top Tavern features a diverse menu that features soups, stone-fired pizza, burgers, sandwich creations, tavern classics, pasta and noodles, and much more.
The most mentioned dishes on Yelp are the avocado egg rolls, chicken tender dinner, stone-fired chicken wings, and baked French onion soup.
One Yelper says: “Love this place. Lots of menu choices and I’ve not been disappointed by any of them. The patio seating has been great, especially during the pandemic. Service is always fast and friendly and the prices are reasonable.”
Go: 4700 Vestal Pkwy E, Vestal; 607-729-0164; coppertoptavern.com
4. Social On State
Social On State comes in as the fourth-best restaurant in Binghamton according to Yelp with a four-star rating based on 113 reviews.
Social On State’s tapas menu features small dishes like pork belly skewers, grilled octopus and lobster BLT sliders, and rack of lamb, stuffed tenderloin and seared sea scallops just a portion of the large dishes offered.
According to its website, the menu is comprised of items that are designed for sharing. Instead of typical appetizer and entrée courses, the tapas dishes are made to order and delivered to the table throughout the dining experience.
The most mentioned dishes on Yelp are the spicy tuna tower, crispy pork belly skewers, BBQ chicken flatbread pizza, NY strip steak, grilled octopus and arugula burrata salad.
One Yelper says: “Hands down, this is the best restaurant in Binghamton. When it comes to fine dining in this area, the options could not be more scarce. However, after finding this gem, I can confidently say that this restaurant is comparable to places in Manhattan!
“I came here on Sunday with my boyfriend for our anniversary dinner, and we ordered the pesto burrata, the brussel sprouts, the tuna tartare, and the ny strip steak. The crispy brussel sprouts were some of the best sprouts I’ve ever eaten and the tuna tartare was out of this world. My boyfriend, who focused mainly on the burrata and the steak, loved every single bite he took.”
Go: 201 State St. Binghamton; 607-296-4017; socialonstate.com
5. The Colonial
The Colonial doubles as a bar and a restaurant offering a wide variety of craft beers and American comfort food and features brunch, classic and late-night menus.
The Colonial is open 365 days a year and according to their website, the Colonial prides itself on using the best ingredients.
The most mentioned dishes according to Yelp include the peanut butter and jelly burger, eggs Benedict, tofu wings and the southern chicken sandwich.
One Yelper says: “This was a nice, last-minute find. There are few decent restaurants in the area, and they were able to get us a table outside with only a couple minutes’ wait. Server was VERY nice and attentive, even though we were at one of the tables around the corner of the block. Burgers were great, the tomato soup with grilled cheese strips was excellent, and the chicken sliders were tasty. Prices are pretty reasonable. Wasn’t able to see much of the interior, but other reviews and photos cover that. Definitely a place to return.”
Go: 56-58 Court St., Binghamton; 607-238-7741; thecolonialbing.com
6. Strange Brew Cafe
Strange Brew Cafe offers breakfast and lunch accompanied by a choice of over half-a-dozen different coffee blends as well as tea.
According to their website, all of their breakfast sandwiches and omelets are hand-crafted and made-to-order oatmeal and fruit parfaits are available.
The restaurant serves breakfast all day.
The most mentioned dishes on Yelp are breakfast sandwiches, mac and cheese grilled sandwich, grilled cheese sandwich and pulled chicken.
One Yelper says: “i LOVE strange brew. It’s one of my favorite restaurants to go for breakfast or brunch. They also have great meals for lunch and later. The ambiance is like a city coffee shop & the employees are always so so kind and accommodating.
Go: 137 Washington St., Binghamton; 607-238-7875; strangebrewny.com
7. The Shop
The Shop is a cafe, bar and kitchen in downtown Binghamton that specializes in burgers and crepes.
The drink selection at The Shop is vast with cocktails, sparklers, wine and beer.
The most mentioned dishes on Yelp are the rose hip mascarpone crepe, egg ham swiss crepe, Nutella crepe, Buffalo fried chicken sandwich, and the brie burger.
One Yelper says: “A cute place in Binghamton that reminds me of New York City. They have a large selection of sweet and savory crepes & a large drink menu. I enjoy the lavender lemonade & have tried a different crepe each time I went. Perfect for a date or a chill lunch with friends. Definitely try to go at least once at night too because they offer drinks called sparklers which are pretty strong yet taste like juice.”
Go: 219 Washington St., Binghamton; 607-296-4436; theshop219.com
8. Moxie Wood Fire Grill
Moxie Wood Fire Grill features wood fire-grilled steaks and chops, a selection of seafood and vegan dishes, wood-fired pizza and more.
Moxie has also been awarded the coveted “Award of Excellence” by Wine Spectator for its selection of world-class fine wines.
Just a couple of the most mentioned dishes on Yelp include the filet minion, rotisserie prime rib, firecracker shrimp and cedar plank salmon.
One Yelper says: “We dined at Moxie Wood Fire Grill to celebrate our son’s college graduation and the entire experience was amazing! The service and staff were top notch and the food was absolutely delicious. The venue was super clean and spacious. Definitely check it out if you’re in the area!”
Go: 998 Conklin Road, Conklin; 607-237-0779; moxiegrill.com
9. Water Street Brewing Co.
Water Street Brewing Co. features a fast-casual style restaurant offering a full menu along with over a dozen beers on tap as well as a selection of four-packs to-go.
According to their website, Water Street Brewing Co. prides itself on its diverse tap list, thoughtfully prepared menu, and laid-back atmosphere.
True to its name, the different styles of brews range from German pilsners and Hefeweizens to hazy NEIPAs, barrel-aged stouts, and more.
The signature burger, Buffalo chicken sandwich and the pulled pork sandwich are the most mentioned dishes from the restaurant on Yelp.
One Yelper says: “Stopped in for a drink and meal while in town on business. Beer flight is the way to go, lots of smooth drinking options. Signature burger and loaded tots were prepared well and represented solid pub grub. The atmosphere is friendly and casual with a mix of regular groups, couples, and families.”
Go: 168 Water St., Binghamton; 607-296-4206; waterstreetbrewingco.com
10. Craft Bar + Kitchen
Rounding out the top 10 restaurants in Binghamton according to Yelp is Craft Bar + Kitchen.
The menu features specialty sliders, shakes and salad bowls along with an extensive drink list that includes cocktails, punch bowls, wine and more.
The most mentioned dishes on Yelp include the Korean pork belly slider, sushi slider, shrimp slider, and social sliders.
One Yelper says: “Stopped for lunch on the way home from NYC to meet up with a friend who lives in Binghamton. A couple of sliders each and a large order of tots to split was pretty much perfect for what we needed – the pork belly slider being possibly the greatest thing I’ve eaten in a while. I could probably have gotten a third, and there was no shortage of options. Great value, great service.”
Go: 135 Washington St., Binghamton; 607-217-5276; craftbinghamton.com
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