The Who’s Who of Albany Dining

In the past, describing the nightlife scene in Albany as posh or classy might have resulted in a laugh, but now it would just be accurate. The newest addition to the downtown nightlife scene is a swank bar/restaurant on 2nd Avenue called The Still. It used to be JP’s, but the inside is unrecognizable after the remodel. The chandeliers over the tables showcase the bar and create dramatic lighting to set the mood. They have a full bar and restaurant menu, happy hour, and live music some nights of the week.

Ever wish you could be transported to a little cafe somewhere in Europe for an evening? Head over to Sweet Red Bistro in Albany and enjoy delicious menu items, and an atmosphere unlike any other in the area. Their pleasant music selection and decor is sure to set the stage for a romantic dinner with a loved one, or a fun evening out with friends.

Live jazz in Albany? Cellar Cat has lived up to all of the hype that surrounded its arrival. Their previous location in Sonoma Valley was well known for the food, extensive wine selection, and live jazz music. They’ve managed to create a similar experience here in Albany. The atmosphere is both upscale and homey, with seating on the main floor and up in the open loft that overlooks the bar. All of their food is made from scratch (even the ketchup!) and you won’t recognize most of their wines if you only buy yours at the grocery store. Their presence has added a whole new element to Albany’s historic downtown area.

If you’re a connoisseur of good happy hour faire, Vault 244 is the place for you. They have $3, $5, and $7 categories, but it all tastes like a million bucks. They also serve dinner, tapas, and dessert. And their drinks? Ah-maze-ing. All of the bartenders know what they’re doing, so there is no wrong choice, unless you choose not to order anything at all.

Sybaris is a longtime favorite for special celebrations and date nights. Their classy atmosphere and upscale, seasonal menu are sure to have you saying, “I don’t think we’re in Albany anymore…” If you’re looking for the right place to make lasting memories, Sybaris is your spot!

Novak’s Hungarian Restaurant is an old favorite in the valley, and their recent downtown addition makes them even more accessible. Novak’s serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner… Oh, and don’t forget about dessert. (You must try their traditional apple strudel!) Their sausage is homemade and whether you’re in the mood for schnitzel, spaetzle, or paprikash, they’ve got it all.

For more information or to find other places to eat, shop, or play in Downtown Albany, visit

By Hannah Darling