Close up of a pickle pizza with ranch drizzle
Foodie Travel,  Syracuse,  Upstate New York

These Pickle Dishes in Central New York are Getting Extra Creative

My friend Kaity loves pickles. Like, really loves pickles. So every time I see a new food item highlighting pickles, I screenshot it and send it to her. And because I interact with so many pickle posts on social media, the algorithm keeps feeding them to me. (Pun intended.) But the strangest part is I don’t love pickles that much. But since they are the new craze hitting all the local restaurants, I’m embracing it. Here are some of the strangest and most unique pickle dishes in Central New York. There are even some pickle drinks in the mix…

To be transparent, I started writing this article in September, after seeing so many pickle items at the New York State Fair. Like pickle lemonade and the picklewich. But I lost steam. That is until I saw this video on TikTok reacting to another woman asking why no one has ever thought to pickle cucumbers. When I saw it I burst out laughing so hard. And my laughter was only fueled more when I read the comment “because it’s too cucumbersome.”

So my pickle-loving friends, please enjoy this pickle-filled article.

Pickle Appetizers

Bacon Jeezburger Pickle Poppers @ Brewer Union Cafe

Christian Felix at Brewer Union Cafe is known for his delicious creations. One of the latest and craziest? Bacon Jeezburger Pickle Poppers. He takes a hollowed out pickle and fills it with smoked provolone and a ground beef mixture. Then it gets wrapped in bacon and deep fried. Holy moly, folks. These flavor-filled bad boys sold out so quickly, let’s just hope that Christian has plans to bring them back!

Bit of a Pickle Pizza @ Toss ‘n Fire

Toss n Fire Pickle Pizza

First up in the battle of wood-fired pickle pizzas in North Syracuse we have the Bit of a Pickle Pizza at Toss ‘n Fire. This is one of Nick Sanford’s most popular NYS Fair specials that has found a permanent home on the menu. It starts with a garlic olive oil base and is topped with mozzarella, cheddar, dill pickle chips, applewood smoked bacon, and ranch drizzle.

Frickles @ Southern Fare

If you’re in the Oswego area, Southern Fare has a few fun pickle options for you. Choose from the Frickles (fried pickle chips served with aioli) or mix it up with the Pickled Vegetables. The app features sweet, sour, spicy, and dilly flavors.

Fried Pickle Specials @ City Cafe

One of my favorite things about City Cafe in Whitesboro is the creativity they put into their dishes. And with that creativity comes a revolving door of delicious specials. Over the past several months they’ve featured fried pickle chips (“frickles”), spicy fried pickle spears, and regular fried pickle spears. They even have a pickle sauce that they often add to wraps. Keep an eye on their social media to see what pickle-y specials they are cooking up this week!

Fried pickle chips at City Cafe

Koolaid Pickles @ Pop Culture

When it comes to pickles, no one makes them as unique as Pop Roc in Rochester. On their menu you’ll find their “World Famous” Kool-Aid Pickle. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like – a pickle brined in kool-aid. It’s sweet. It’s sour. And it’s incredibly neon in color. The flavor of kool-aid changes sporadically. When I last visited, the current kool-aid pickle was blue raspberry lemonade.

Koolaid Pickles

Garlic Dill Pickles @ Dinosaur BBQ

Okay, not all pickle dishes in Central New York are super original. Sometimes a restaurant just has really great homemade pickles. And Dinosaur BBQ is one of those spots. Their Garlic Dill Pickles are so popular, that they will occasionally share their pickle recipe on social media so that customers can make them at home. As a gift to you, that recipe is below.

Pickle Pizza @ Vicino’s Brick & Brew

And now for part two of the battle of the wood-fired pickle pizzas in North Syracuse: the Pickle Pizza at Vicino’s Brick & Brew. It’s no secret that Vicino’s is one of my favorite go-tos for dinner. But I have to say I haven’t tried the pickle pizza yet! (I usually go for the Prosciutto & Arugula or the Vicino’s special.) But I’ve heard great things about the Pickle Pizza, and have added it to my list to try. The pie features a garlic parmesan sauce, mozzarella, and pickle slices. It’s finished off with a ranch drizzle.

But there’s more than just pickles on pizza at Vicino’s. They also serve an appetizer of Fried Pickles with ranch dipping sauce.

Pickle Popcorn @ Nav’s Popcorn

Eastwood’s beloved popcorn store has over 30 different flavors of popcorn. And you guessed it, pickle is one of the many flavors available! One of the best parts about Nav’s Popcorn is that you can sample the flavored popcorns before committing to a full bag. So go try a few pieces and find out if pickle-flavored popcorn is your ‘cup of tea’.

Pickled & Brined @ Tallman Cocktail Club

Sure, everyone pickles vegetables. But have you had pickled fruit? One of the options you can choose to add to your slate at Tallman Cocktail Club is Pickled & Brined. An assortment of items pickled in-house. And you can choose from vegetables or fruit.

Spicy Pickled Flight @ A. W. Wander

Grilled cheese sandwich with a pickled carrot and chips on a checkerboard paper at A. W. Wander

If you’ve ever ordered one of A. W. Wander‘s famous grilled cheese sandwiches, you’ll notice it comes with an unexpected side: a pickled carrot. But if you talk to any of Wander’s regulars, they will swear by how amazing these pickled carrots are! And it’s not just the carrots. One of the appetizers on the menu is actually a Spicy Pickled Flight. All made in-house, the flight includes a dill pickle, pickled seasonal vegetables, and a pickled egg.

Wine & Pickle Pairing @ Toast Winery

We’ve heard of wine and cheese flights. Wine and chocolate flights. Wine and … whatever. But have you ever heard of wine and pickle flights? Well that was a recent special at Toast Winery along Seneca Lake.

Pickle Drinks

Bill Pickle Ale @ Stout Beard Brewing Company

At Stout Beard, they are known for being a little weird – and they like it that way! So of course it’s no surprise that one of their special beers is a pickle beer. According to brewer/owner Mike LeRoy, the Bill Pickle Ale is an English style ale. It is brewed with pickling spices to bring out all that pickle-y flavor. And when you order it at the bar, it’s served with – you guessed it – a pickle.

A fresh batch of Bill Pickle Ale will be back on tap at the brewery next month.

Rickle Pick Gose @ Bullfinch Brewing Company

If you’ve ever watched Rick & Morty, chances are you’ve shouted “Pickle Rick!” a time or two. And since owner/brewer Dave Collins at Bullfinch Brewing loves Rick & Morty, he made a beer to honor the animated show. Introducing the Rickle Pick Gose, a cucumber pickle gose. While this beer isn’t currently available at the brewery, here’s hoping Dave has another batch coming soon.

Pickle Shots

Now they aren’t necessarily my thing, but I certainly love watching other people do pickle shots. Luckily for those folks, there are plenty of places in Syracuse and Central New York offering their own versions of pickle shots.

Binghamton’s speakeasy, 205 Dry, has a Pickle Snap shot. It’s chilled tequila with a pickle juice chaser.

Three Lives Bar has so many incredible and creative shots. So of course one of them is pickle-based. The Yoshi Back shot is made with Jameson and pickle juice.

Wolff’s Biergarten is famous for more than just their beer selection. They also serve popular pickle back shots. Even better, you and your friends can do them on a shotski.

More unique pickles in Central New York

You can’t right an article about pickles in Syracuse and NOT mention Brooklyn Pickle. Heck, they have pickle in their name! And – fun fact – they are known to be beloved by the Baldwin family. Every sandwich you order from this famous deli comes with a class Brooklyn-style pickle.

I bet you wouldn’t expect an Indian restaurant to serve pickles. But at Clay Oven in Liverpool, you’ll find Indian Spiced Pickles on their menu.

So what’s your favorite pickle appetizer, snack, or drink in Central New York? Did I miss any? Let me know!

Tell me your thoughts!