The West Taghkanic Diner opened its doors in 1953 as one of four Taghkanic Diners, all built to serve travelers along the Taconic Parkway.
Our menu is built upon classic diner staples, reimagined using all that the Hudson Valley has to offer. From produce and grains, to dairy and meat, we’re working with nearby farms to source flavorful, local ingredients. Our pantry is stocked with products that we believe in, many of which are created right here in our community. Our meats will be house smoked, all thanks to the 9ft hot smoker - full of beautiful oak chopped by our neighbor Ron Miller - parked right outside the diner.
We’re excited to be here and can’t wait to share the spirit of the diner - good vibes, great coffee, and stellar eats.
From Edible Hudson Valley
"When you think of Hudson’s architecture, it’s easy to privilege the 19th century: all that age and ornament, all those fancy roofs. But in Ancram, there’s a building that speaks equally eloquently of its time. It’s the West Taghkanic Diner, straight outta 1953, a beacon of stainless steel.
Its new owner, Chef Kristopher Schram, knows from restaurant bling. Beyond his extensive fine-dining experience (in which no technology was denied), he also comes from Bæst, Christian Puglisi’s wood-fired pizzeria in Copenhagen. Bæst is notoriously unhinged. First, it cured its own salumi. Then it made its own cheese. Then it bought its own cows.
Nowadays, Schram and two other chefs battle it out in a miniscule kitchen that was designed for frying burgers. His solitary blingy tool is the nine-foot smoker outside where Schram and his team smoke bacon, pastrami, clams, pork belly, turkey breast—even water, which Schram uses like dashi to add a subtle umami richness to many foods, even hollandaise.
'I see a diner in a different way,' he says. 'Yes, there is short order cooking, there are eggs for breakfast. And I loveeating at diners. But what I’ve planned here is that you have your staples—your Reubens, your breakfast plates, your turkey clubs—but everything else can be kinda different. And when you look at diner menus—Greek diners, Mexican diners—there really are no rules.'
WTD’s breakfasts nod to modern appetites. 'Local Greens and Grains' offers eggs over smoked chickpeas with Nordic rye bread. There’s local yogurt with chia seeds and local grain porridge; at the same time, Schram is literally slinging hash—a plate of eggs, pastrami, bacon, potatoes, and toast.
Meanwhile, Schram is lovingly restoring WTD’s wealth of vintage, diner-specific equipment. This includes steely waiter stations with reach-in flatware troughs, gravity-fed plate and saucer dispensers, and virtually everything behind the counter. The only thing missing is the Bunn-O-Matic coffee machine.
'We were going with much better quality, but I didn’t want to lose that touch. We’re putting our really good coffee in insulated pitchers and pouring free re-fills at the table.'"
—Edible Hudson Valley, Fall 2019