I'm from Schenectady and I love sharing my city with other people from other parts of the Capital Region. The only thing is, you may not know where to go (sometimes I don't know where to go), so here's a list of some great options if you're looking to explore but don't want to spend a ton of money.

Could I give you the top ten best restaurants in Schenectady? Sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're places you can afford. I get it, you want to go out to eat, support the Capital Region, but dates get expensive. This is why, with the help of Yelp, I'm going to give you some of the cheaper options that are still pretty delicious.

  1. Union Cafe (1725 Union Street): I grew up in this neighborhood so, to me, this used to be a Pizza Hut, but thankfully they cleared the place and added a delicious cafe that everybody only raves about. My boyfriend's father is Greek and will tell you to go here for Greek food, that's how great this is. The downside, it's not a place for dinner, just breakfast and lunch but who said when you go out to eat, it has to be nighttime?
  2. Ambition Coffee & Eatery (154 Jay Street): you'll know you found it because there's a small chef statue usually standing out front. It's where a good amount of the cast of "Place Beyond the Pines" got their food while they were here (breathe in the same air as Bradley Cooper did). Homemade food, great vegetarian and vegan options, and close to everything downtown.
  3. Jade Bistro (120 Mohawk Ave, Scotia): so it's not in the city of Schenectady but it's in the county so it counts too. This is a great place to get some delicious Asian food and it's just over the bridge. You could go there before a cheap movie at Scotia Cinemas or maybe stop at Jumpin Jacks and see the Mohawk River on your way home. It's a little more expensive than the two previous options but you can eat on a budget here if you wanted to.
  4. The City Squire (1018 Keyes Ave): If you haven't been to Schenectady in awhile and you're thinking of the old City Squire wondering how I could possibly put it on this list, come back and visit. The entire restaurant, same name, was knocked down and completely redone. It's more like American/Irish foods, definitely a pub atmosphere but there are great tasting selections and they don't cost too much either.
  5. The Horses Lounge (912 McClellan St): This place is a hidden gem in Schenectady because it's off the beaten path, more of a neighborhood bar but the food is great! They, too, had a bit of a reinvent a year or so ago and since then it's gone from a neighborhood hangout to a place that offers great food. The decor may leave you confused but the food may bring you back for a second visit.