Chris Shaw’s Holiday Shopping Pitstops in Schenectady

This last installment of places to grab a great bite while you finish up your holiday shopping takes in Schenectady, a town on a strong cultural comeback, and that certainly includes their food scene! 

First, Pinhead Susan’s, a pub with a story behind it that goes back to 1981!  It seems that Susan’s older sister used to love to taunt her with cries of “Susan’s a pinhead!”, and even scrawled it on a downtown wall.  When the writing was cleaned off the wall it magically reappeared. Claire Duggan, older sister to Susan, swore it wasn’t her that put it back, but every time it was washed off the wall, it reappeared, later as “Susan’s STILL a pinhead!”  So in 2000 when Jack and Dennis McDonald decided to open a pub adjacent to the wall with the scribings, their choice for a pub name was a no brainer, and Pinhead Susan’s was born.

A cozy Irish pub feel permeates the place, as does the smell of grilled sandwiches and other pub fare wafting from the kitchen door.  The new managers, Executive Chef  Tyler White, who was part of the team “Middle Feast” winners of The Great Food Truck Race on the Food Channel, and front of house manager Janice Bruce are all in on putting their best foot forward with daily specials, events and music.  (If you hurry, you might catch Breakfast with Santa…).  Watch this space for more on this location. 

Pinhead Susan’s
38-40 N Broadway
Schenectady, NY 12305
(518) 346-6431

Gershon’s is no secret to deli lovers in Schenectady and beyond.  This venerable establishment has been a favorite for hungry lunch seekers for better than 60 years.

Hot Pastrami, triple-deckers, and all the trappings of a fine delicatessen await for anyone doing some shopping on upper Union St.  In short, you can’t go wrong here.  It’s worth the drive from anywhere in the Capital District, period.  You want real deal deli… here you go.

Gershon’s Deli
1600 Union St, Schenectady, NY 12309
(518) 393-0617

A brief note from the author:  This will be my last submission this calendar year, and I wanted to take just a moment to wish you all the happiest of holiday seasons, and thank you for taking the time to read these musings!  May 2020 be your best year yet!   Chris

  1. Diane Amyot says

    I love Gershon’s Deli! My Dad’s step sister lived not too far from there and whenever we would go to visit her we always got a corned beef Reuben and a pickle to go with it!😋😋
    Pinhead Susan’s is where we have celebrated Mike’s son Todd’s milestone birthdays!! It is a fun place to go and the food is delicious!! Two for two on this review! Thank you Chris!!

  2. Sydnee says

    I love your articles hope one day to take my family to their great grandmas home and the home of our clan and enjoy it’s resurgence of life and food with you as my tour guide. Is it called nippertown because of the millenary businesses that were there.

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