Day Tripping: Katonah
A quaint ambiance and unique shops with old-fashioned service make this historic little hamlet just right for a spring outing.
It’s no wonder that Katonah, with its repurposed Victorian-era-buildings housing charming family-owned shops (no chain stores in this town, thank you), reminds me of the town that time forgot. It comes by its old-fashioned vibe honestly, so much so that it is on the National Register of Historic Places.
When New York City condemned and submerged Katonah’s previous location to build a reservoir in 1897, residents moved the whole town. Horses pulled about 55 of its original structures to the current picturesque site. Designed by landscape architects G.S. and B.S. Olmstead, today it features lovely tree-lined streets, wide traffic islands, a gazebo and beautifully restored “Painted Lady” Victorian and Queen Anne houses.
Though a bit hidden away, this little gem is actually quite close to I-684, and everything is conveniently situated along the main street of Katonah Avenue and a few offshoots. And though there are treasures to be uncovered wherever you turn, if you want to hit all the must-visits, check out the suggested itinerary below.
Mingle with the locals at The Reading Room (19 Edgemont Rd; 914-232-1010; www.katonahreadingroom.com) and enjoy a handcrafted latte and house-baked banana pecan muffin in this friendly gourmet market/café/bookstore located in an old library.
Head around the corner to Little Joe’s (25 Katonah Ave; 914-232-7278; www.joescb.com), where a lovingly curated selection of children’s books awaits you on the second floor.
Poke around a unique mix of vintage goods and funky gifts at Suburban Groove* (33 Katonah Ave; 914-232-3300; www.suburbangroove.com).
*Note: Suburban Groove has since closed since this article was originally published.
Pop into Catherine H (24 Pkwy; 914-232-2010; www.catherineh.com) boutique, right off Katonah Avenue, for stylish, easy-to-layer pieces for ladies.
Back on the main street, browse Weinstein’s Pharmacy (101 Katonah Ave; 914-232-2010). Yes, it sells all the typical medications and such, but its unusual selection of just-right gifts for anyone and any occasion is where this shop shines.
Refresh with a professional makeover or relaxing skincare treatment at Eiluj (119 Katonah Ave; 914-232-2227; www.eilujbeauty.com).
Cross the street to check out the inviting home goods at Uovo Moderno (156 Katonah Ave; 914-401-9298; www.uovomoderno.com), located in an old firehouse.
Head to the old train station and the family-owned Peppino’s Ristorante (116 Katonah Ave; 914-232-3212; www.peppinosristornte.com) for Southern Italian favorites.
Or treat yourself to lunch outdoors—weather permitting—at Willy Nick’s* Restaurant & Bar (17 Katonah Ave; 914-232-8030; www.willynicks.com). Enjoy sophisticated American comfort food—especially the tempura string beans.
*Note: Willy Nick's has closed since this article was originally published, but you can now visit The Whitlock at the same location, and yes, they still serve string beans!