We all know people, some close to us, with serious food allergies, and know others who choose to restrict their diet. Ideally, we should all be able to enjoy one another’s company around a dinner table and eat heartily, whether at home or out on the town.
There is a fool-proof formula for entertaining at home without underfeeding those with food issues: In a three-dish entree, two dishes should be meat-free, two dairy-free, two free of nuts, and two free of gluten, which is a component of wheat, rye, and barley and sometimes an additive in chocolate candies and other prepared foods. Where feasible, make a few extra portions of each dish. If bread is important to the meal at any point, also make available wheat-free crackers, or rice cakes, or corn chips, or corn tortillas. Vegans, as always, will make do. That said, vegan dishes can be terrific.
Or you can just not cook. Either way, Woodstock can accommodate.
In restaurants, meat is easy to avoid (depending how one views eggs), as is fish (unless you count Worcestershire sauce), as is dairy (unless you count butter, in which case you already know to ask for oil instead). Nuts are uncommon enough to be described in menus. Although gluten can be trickier to avoid, as wheat flour is ubiquitous and soy sauce common, area chefs are, to varying degrees, increasingly including gluten-free items in their menus.
The Garden Café on Old Forge Road, a vegan restaurant with additional garden seating in summer; offers wine and beer and accepts reservations. Vegetarian choices are offered by every other restaurant in and around town, all of which offer seated dining, from drop-in-casual to reservations-recommended-on-weekends. Most will prepare meals for take-away as well.
All Woodstock restaurants are open for lunch, the exceptions being four otherwise full service establishments: The Bear Café, in Bearsville; YumYum Noodle Bar on Rock City Road, Cucina, on Mill Hill Road; and Havana Club Bar and Grille, on Country Club Lane. The Bear offers New American cuisine and additional streamside dining in summer; Cucina, which also offers Sunday brunch, offers contemporary Italian cuisine and seasonal porch seating. Havana Club serves Italian and Cuban fare with a South American twist. These and Woodstock’s other full-service restaurants accept reservations. Yum Yum, open for dinner 4:30 to 10 PM daily, offers noodle-and-broth combinations and indoor and seasonal outdoor seating
Woodstock’s other full-service restaurants serve lunch and dinner, the sole exception being Oriole 9, a Continental-themed cafe on Tinker Street, which is open from breakfast through lunch. Joshua’s Cafe, on Tinker Street, has a Mediterranean accent as well as a full breakfast menu. Violette, on Mill Hill Road, has a French accent; the Landau Grill, on Mill Hill Road, has an American accent, as does the Pub at the Club at the Woodstock Golf Course. Wok ‘n’ Roll, on Mill Hill Road, features Chinese cuisine and sushi. All offer outside dining in season in addition to inside space. The Gypsy Wolf Cantina, on Route 212 between Woodstock and Bearsville, offers Mexican cuisine. The Little Bear, in Bearsville, offers Chinese fare. The Mountain Gate offers Indian cuisine.
Breakfast is available at several establishments. The Corner Cupboard, a deli on Tinker Street, opens early for breakfast, as does Maria’s Bazaar, a delicatessen café. Likewise Bread Alone, purveying soups, sandwiches and freshly-made offerings from the Bread Alone Bakery in Boiceville, and Lori's Creative Cafe & Jabelli's Bakery, serving restaurant quality food to eat in or take out as well as homemade bakedgoods; all are on Mill Hill Road.
Lori’s serves dinner as well, as do Catskill Mountain Pizza Company, which has indoor and outdoor seating, and Taco Juan’s, which offers take-out style Mexican dishes and ice cream; both are located on Tinker Street. Also on Tinker Street is Joshua’s Java Lounge, which offers coffee drinks, light fare, and a WiFi hotspot. Tea by the cup or pound is available at the Tea Shop of Woodstock on Maple Lane.
There are two markets in Woodstock that sell meat, poultry, fish, produce, and dairy items year-round, Woodstock Meats on Mill Hill Road and Sunfrost Farms on Route 212 two miles west of the Village Green. The cafe at Sunfrost Farms also offers a variety of made to order juice and smoothie drinks, as does Press and Blend, located at 21 Tinker Street: a cafe specializing in raw and vegan chocolates, desserts, and other foods.
Fresh produce and dairy items, in addition to soups and made-to-order sandwiches, are available year-round also at Sunflower Natural Foods Market, and the Cub Market, in Bearsville. Locally smoked fish and honey is available at Lenny B's smokehouse at his home on Wittenberg Road in Bearsville.
Most markets sell whole bean coffee; for the most freshly roasted beans, visit the sources, including Monkey Joe Roasting Co., located on Broadway in the City of Kingston.
Wines and spirits are available at Woodstock Wine and Liquors on Tinker Street, and in neighboring West Hurley at Hurley Ridge Wines and Spirits on Route 375, adjacent to Hurley Ridge Market, the nearest supermarket. Two other options, both in the Town of Kingston, are the Liquor Cabinet on Zena Road and the Wine Hutch on Route 28.
Also in the Town of Kingston along Route 28 are several food-service establishments. Blue Mountain Bistro Catering's Bistro-to-Go serves restaurant-quality food to eat in or take out as well as local and imported food products and homemade baked goods; next to them is Cheese Louise, a purveyor of specialty cheeses. La Bella Pasta sells fresh pasta and homemade sauces. The Hobo Deli is a 24-hour deli offering sandwiches and other take-away items. E & S Discount Beverages, which carries beer and soft drinks.
Both the Hickory Barbecue and Smokehouse on Route 28 and the Reservoir Inn, south of Route 28, on Basin Road in West Hurley, are full-service restaurants that serve lunch and dinner.
Just over Woodstock’s western borders in Mount Tremper are French-themed La Duchesse Anne, at Wittenberg Road; the New American-themed Catskill Rose, on Route 212, and the Italian-themed Tiso’s, also on Route 212. On Route 28 at Emerson Place is The Phoenix, offering modern American cuisine.
Just east of Woodstock at Route 212 and Glasco Turnpike in West Saugerties are the New American-themed Red Onion Restaurant and Bar. A mile or so east of these eateries on Route 212 is New World Home Cooking, which features fish and BBQ. Alll three are full-service dinner restaurants; the Red Onion, with seasonal porch and patio dining, also offers a Sunday brunch. In the same neighborhood, along Route 212, is Jolly's British Food and Good Grub Groceries, which offers imported products, local fresh produce in season, and take-out food.
Woodstock’s live entertainment venues include the Colony Café on Rock City Road, which features regional acts, and the 250-seat Bearsville Theater, located in Bearsville, which hosts regional acts on weekdays and national performers on weekends. The Bearsville Theater has a bar in the adjacent lounge; the Colony Cafe has a bar as well. Woodstock is also known for the Midnight Rambles held at the studio/home of Levon Helm, former drummer of The Band.
Occasional live entertainment can be found also at various other spots in Woodstock, including the newly refurbished 300-seat Woodstock Playhouse, the Harmony Cafe at 52 Mill Hill Road, the Music Festival at the Village Green on Saturdays in the summer, and special events at Woodstock's Mescal Hornbeck Community Center on Rock City Road. Warm-weather venues include Mower’s Flea Market on Maple Lane, open Saturdays and Sundays. On Wednesdays from late May through late October, one can purchase take-away meals by local cooks and restaurateurs and enjoy live music as part the Woodstock Farm Festival, where baked goods and local produce are sold. The Maverick Concert Hall on Maverick Road offers a music series on summer weekends.
Beyond Woodstock's western borders, on South Plank Road in Mount Tremper, is Mount Tremper Arts, a contemporary arts center that integrates performances, exhibitions, artist residencies, educational programming, and informal gatherings.
Woodstock being a self-described Colony of the Arts, representation abounds. The Woodstock Artists' Association and Museum on Tinker Street features rotating group and solo exhibitions by local artists as well as exhibits from their extensive permanent collection. The Woodstock School of Art also mounts regular exhibitions of regional artists past and present. Fletcher Gallery, at 40 Mill Hill Road, features contemporary art, as does the Woodstock Framing Gallery at 31 Mill Hill Road. Lotus Fine Art &Design, on Rock City Road, features fine art and painted glass. Varga Gallery, on Tinker Street, is an art collective. Elena Zang Gallery, on Route 212 in Shady, features rotating exhibitions by contemporary artists, as does James Cox Gallery at Woodstock, located on Route 212 in Willow, which also features historic art.
The Center for Photography at Woodstock, located on Tinker Street, supports artists working in photography and related media through rotating exhibitions. Galerie BMG, located on Tannery Brook Road, features contemporary photography, as does Photosensualis, with an emphasis on the nude figure, located on Rock City Road.
First-run films are shown regularly at Upstate Films at the Tinker Street Cinema and at various venues during the Woodstock Film Festival, held annually the first weekend in October.
The Linda Diamond Dance Company, located on Glasco Turnpike just over the border with Saugerties, features occasional performances of contemporary dance. Friends of Fiddle and Dance hosts contra dances, usually once a month, at the Woodstock Community Center. Ars Choralis, performs choral music of all periods and style at various local venues throughout the summer season. The Woodstock Poetry Society meets every 2nd Saturday at 2pm for featured poets
and open reading, usually at Woodstock Town Hall on Tinker
Performing Arts of Woodstock, located at Town Hall on Tinker Street, mounts productions of both new and classic plays in its spring and autumn seasons. Woodstock Fringe presents theater and song Thursdays through Sundays in the summer at the Byrdcliffe Theatre on Upper Byrdcliffe Road, part of the historic Byrdcliffe Colony maintained by the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. The Guild also hosts regional and national performing, visual and literary artists in its Kleinert/James Arts Center. Bird-On-A-Cliff Theater Company, associated with the Woodstock Playhouse, offers free productions of Shakespeare’s plays at the 77-acre Comeau Property, the seat of Woodstock’s government, which is also the home of the Woodstock Historical Society, open on summer weekends and for special exhibitions.