These days, the mercury has been hanging out in the teens. While this frigid winter weather brings with it plenty of unpleasantries, like salting our walkways and cleaning off our cars, there is one silver lining. French onion soup season is in full swing. If you’re all cozied up at home (with Omicron or avoiding it), you could try your hand at making soup a l'oignon gratinee yourself. But if you want to trust the experts, we’ve rounded up the best French onion soup purveyors of the Hudson Valley, so you can get your steamy, gooey, rich, umami, cheese-pull fix.
Le Perche | Hudson
Le Perche’s French onion soup may well win best in show, certainly most artisanal. How many places make their own organic, whole-grain sourdough in-house in a wood-fired oven? And that’s not all, they also make their own broth from scratch using local beef bones from Northwind Farms and Kinderhook Farm. This rich, soul-warming soup is then topped with a blend of gruyere and cheddar for max meltiness. $14.
The Dutch Ale House | Saugerties
We're pretty sure that calling this dish a Dutch onion soup is just a cheeky self-referential nod. In any case, this tasty, photogenic soup from the Dutch Ale House is made with caramelized onions, beef broth, a heel of bread, and a melty mix of muenster and provolone. $11.
Mill House Brewing Co. | Poughkeepsie.
Though first a brewery, Poughkeepsie’s Mill House has garnered somewhat of a cult following for its food program and pop-ups. Their French onion soup special is no exception to the praise. Made with croutons, gruyere, and fresh thyme, MHBC’s take on the classic has people petitioning to make it a regular menu fixture.
Le Canard Enchaine | Kingston
Aside from the melty goodness of Le Canard’s French onion soup, the French restaurant serves up an authenticity that we swear makes all the food better. You could take this crock to go for a quick lunch, but we recommend dining in-house, either at the jovial bar or at one of the white-clothed tables amid the vintage French posters. $12.
Brasserie 292 | Poughkeepsie
Brasserie 292 serves up a traditional onion soup gratinée, made with veal stock, caramelized onions, and fresh herbs, topped with sourdough and melted gruyere. Dine in house and enjoy the Europeam atmosphere with the tin ceiling, white-tiled walls, and long red leather banquette fronted by cafe tables. $9.
Le Petit Bistro | Rhinebeck
Open since 1986, Le Petit Bistro is a staple of Rhinebeck dining scene. Unsurprisingly for a well-pedigreed French restaurant, their French onion soup earns high marks across the board. $12.
P&Gs | New Paltz
P&Gs pub is a far cry from classic French brasserie, but this favorite of New Paltz locals dishes up a pretty damn tasty onion soup. It’s not winning any authenticity awards, but it is smothered in gooey mozzarella and Swiss cheese goodness and consistently fills the emptiness inside. $6.95.
Hoffman House | Kingston
If LOTS OF CHEESE is your main bar for judging French onion soups, make a beeline for the old Kingston institution, the Hoffman House. Their baked onion soup might not win points for nuance of flavor, but that cheese pull? First rate. And at $7 you can’t go wrong.
Brasserie Le Bouchon | Cold Spring
With gingham tablecloths and a cute front porch painted in hues of the tricolor, Le Bouchon is a cozy French brasserie with a Alstian spin, meaning some German influences. They serve up a traditional Alsacienne onion soup gratinée, topped with melted gruyere that earns rave reviews. $11.
Le Gamin Country | Hudson
Le Gamin’s housemade gratinee a l’oignon diverges from many in its use of chicken stock. Check your skepticism at the door though, the soup is so densely loaded with fresh broth, caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, and French bread that it’ll make other restaurants’ versions seem like watery knockoffs. $8.
Pakt | Kingston
Pakt delivers a rich, indulgent spin on the classic French onion soup using steak tips and onions, topped with toasted stuffing and covered in melted cheese. It’s among the best out there, but it only makes periodic cameos on the specials menu, so not a reliable fix.