Leeds, a picturesque town nestled in Upstate New York, has recently emerged as a hub for food enthusiasts and aficionados thanks to recognition from Esquire Magazine's "The Best New Restaurants in America, 2023" list."

98.1 The Hawk logo
Get our free mobile app

Esquire Magazine has recognized Casa Susanna and put it on the map for food lovers nationwide. With an emphasis on authenticity and innovation, Casa Susanna has captured the hearts and palates of diners seeking extraordinary gastronomic experiences.

Located in the scenic Catskills, Camptown is a unique cluster of renovated cabins run by visionary entrepreneurs. While one might expect typical campfire fare such as burgers, hot dogs, and s'mores, the Camptown team took a bold leap and entrusted Chef Efrén Hernández with a surprising culinary direction for their restaurant, Casa Susanna. The result? An unexpected treasure just minutes away from the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and some would argue that Casa Susanna serves the best Mexican food on the entire East Coast.

At Casa Susanna, Hernández's menu is nothing short of extraordinary, featuring dishes like the tantalizing squash-blossom tetela, the flavorful mackerel al pastor, and the rich tamal de chocolat. Those who have had the privilege of dining there say that every bite is a symphony of flavors. To maintain the authenticity of his creations, Hernández sources heirloom corn and chiles directly from Mexico, ensuring an unparalleled taste experience. Even the summer wine list boasts selections from the same region, complementing the culinary journey at Casa Susanna.

Stepping into Casa Susanna at Camptown will transport you to a whole new realm of Mexican cuisine. The fusion of traditional flavors combined with Chef Hernández's skill and creativity create a dining experience that far surpasses any expectations which is no surprise that the restaurant, the only one in Upstate New York, found itself on the Esquire Magazine's list of "The Best New Restaurants in America, 2023."

13 Five-Star Restaurants in Some of Upstate New York's Tiniest Towns!

This gallery takes a look at some of the finest restaurants in Upstate New York that are located in some of the smallest communities. Each is definitely worth a stop in for a meal. All are excellent. One of the best restaurants in this gallery is in a hamlet of only 243 residents. But is is awesome!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

Travel Writer Picks His Top 12 Upstate New York Italian Restaurants

Over the last 15 years or so, I have driven thousands of miles all around Upstate New York researchi8ng and exploring places for my 12 travel guides published for this area. Almost always, when it comes to dinner time, whether in Buffalo, Ithaca, or the Hudson Valley, I head to an Italian restaurant for a meal. And, yes, over these many years and miles I do have favorites. Here are a dozen of them!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

More From 98.1 The Hawk