I think this might be my most anticipated booking of the upcoming season at EMPAC. Mark your calendars for October 2.
Surprise surprise, the winner isn’t in Albany. It’s the obvious choice of Grafton Lake State Park. The main beach area is always packed, but walk down the trails a bit and you can find a nice somewhat private area to hang out in. There’s a little rock island you can get to from the trails which is a favorite of mine.
And here is the full directory form the City of Albany.
The best patio in Albany is a hard category to find a clear winner. If you’re drinking beverages of any kind outside during nice weather, chances are you made a good decision on how to spend your time.
Both Hollywood and the City Beer Hall patios are huge, so it’s rare that they feel too crowded and you can still enjoy a conversation at a normal volume. Both patios also have table service, so you don’t have to leave your post outside in order to get a drink from the bar. It is also very hard not to enjoy the walk to the City Beer Hall, if you take State Street down. I also enjoy the Wine Bar’s patio, which is smaller, because of the atmosphere, with exposed brick and vines overhead.
The best sushi in Albany is Shogun on Madison Ave. They are relatively new to the area, celebrating their one-year anniversary in March. The decor and atmosphere gives the restaurant the feel of fine dining, but the prices do not reflect that category. Definitely a great date spot, with a good cocktail menu and even those weird people that exist who “don’t like” sushi will be able to find something delicious to order. Can eat in or take out, and they also have a patio, which is a huge plus for the warm months. They also are open late, which makes it a great place to begin, or end, your evening out.
Runner-up is Sushi X in Latham, which features “all you can eat” sushi and other menu items.
Honestly almost every single bar in Albany is cheap. There’s only a handful that are much higher than normal dive bar prices, such as The Point or dp. Most are the standard $4 for a pint and $5 for a mixed drink.
The best burrito in Albany is from Bros Tacos or Bomber’s. Bros is a more authentic, cooked-to-order style place, whereas Bomber’s is a bit kitschy-er. Bro’s even makes their own corn tortillas in-house.
People love to hate on Bomber’s but the reason they can score so high in this list is they have more than one vegan burrito on their menu, one with tofu, and another with great vegan chicken nuggets. So much so that my non-vegan friends get that instead of anything else on the menu. Bros also takes much longer than Bombers as it’s all cooked fresh to order, so be sure to call ahead.
The best record shop in Albany is Fuzz Records on Lark Street. The shop owners are your tastemakers, and there’s not an overwhelming amount of records to go through, meaning that any record you find there is of quality and carefully selected. That being said, if a record you are looking for isn’t there, they will happily order it for you. Occasionally, they will host shows which are intimate performances by default due to the size of the shop, which makes for a unique live music experience. The shop is also beginning its own record label, with its first vinyl pressing set for release in April.
However, if you are in the mood for digging, Last Vestige on Quail Street is your spot.