Historic Clinton Square in Downtown Syracuse, NY boasts a beautiful panoramic of architecture from the 19th & early 20th centuries. Once the city's original town center, Clinton Square is home to a stunning fountain park where the Erie Canal once ran through. Find trendy shops, salons, restaurants, pubs, and other small businesses surrounding this area.
No matter the season, there's always something going on in Clinton Square, annual Syracuse events include Jazz Fest, Crawfish Festival, Polish Fest, the historic Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Irish Fest, Taste of Syracuse and the summer-long Downtown Farmers Market are just a few we can name.
Clinton Square is also home to the Jerry Rescue Monument, a dedication to William “Jerry” Henry, a Freedom Seeker from Missouri. In fact, Syracuse was known as the “Great Central Depot” of the Underground Railroad of New York State.
Best breakfasts + brunch spots
No cheat day is complete without a stop to Glazed and Confused. Specializing in artisan donuts that will make your camera lens blush, this sweet bakery is the place to satisfy your morning sugar rush and grab a cup of local drip coffee.
Best afternoon eats
- Order up your fill of rice, noodles, curries and other Thai standards at appeThaizing on West Genesee Street. This favorite lunch spot features a wide variety of meal options to please any palate.
- A little Mediterranean eatery with big flavor, Byblos is your Downtown go-to for Lebanese specialties, pitas, kebabs and pastries. Try out the Byblos Gyro Bowl at their café or be on the lookout for their food truck at one of the many Syracuse street food rodeos and festivals.
- Save some room for dessert. Open spring through fall, The Ice Cream Stand scoops up some serious sweet treats, including vegan and gluten-free options, all with the perfect back drop of beautiful Clinton Square. Is there a better way to end your day?
Best place for pizza + pints
On the cusp of Clinton Square is Apizza Regionale, a top-rated gourmet restaurant specializing in fresh seasonal pizzas, creative cocktails and delicious specials. Grab a bottle of wine, pint of fresh craft beer or a refreshing sangria and enjoy the fireside ambience of this intimate restaurant.
Best supper spots
- No trip to Syracuse is complete without a trip to the original Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Just a quick walk from the Clinton Square park, this biker bar and blues venue is famous for its finger-licking Southern-style BBQ and live music almost every night of the week.
- Looking for authentic Mexican cuisine with an exceptionally full menu featuring generations of family recipes? Hit up Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant and choose from steak plates, pollo plates, seafood plates, carnitas plates, even children's plates — this place has it all. Try the Carnitas Mexicanas Plate, Pollo Poblano Plate, and grab a Children's Taco Plate, fried ice cream and churros for the kiddos.
- Get ready for a modern, fresh, and local take on everyone's favorite cuisine aesthetic at Board & Bar Charcuterie. This brand new, first-class dining destination features a varietal menu of cured meats, local cheeses, pickled vegetables, delicacies and breads. And make plans to reserve your spot at their Saturday and Sunday brunches, featuring boards complete with waffles, frittatas, pancakes and more.
Best late night lounges
Best way to get outdoors
Dubbed the true heart of Downtown Syracuse, Clinton Square is where you can find all kinds of outdoor action, all year round. Grab the kids and hit up the ice rink for family fun all winter long. Take a sunny walk through the square in the summer and enjoy the food truck roundup, farmer's market, or make a splash in the massive fountain pool. Or check out the dozens of festivals, concerts and events that happen in and around Clinton Square throughout the entire year.
Best evening entertainment
If drinks and dancing are part of your weekend plans, head to Studio 54, one of Syracuse's largest night clubs. This 21+ lounge and live music venue hosts live DJs with drinks and top shelf spirits every weekend.
A hybrid of Armory Square's previous Showoffs Boutique and Scottie D’s Pop Up Shop, Boutique Wonderland showcases trendy women’s clothing and accessories, as well as home décor, accessories, barware and more.