Family Weekend 2021

6 high quality restaurants that won’t make you and your family wait hours in line

Louis Platt | Culture Editor

"Loded" is a new restaurant in Syracuse this year, with '90s inspired aesthetics and fried food to match.

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This weekend is Family Weekend at Syracuse University, and most families will rush to Pastabilities, Dinosaur BBQ or Oh My Darling, where they will inevitably wait in line for hours as they get progressively hangrier. Here are six restaurants to opt for instead this weekend, with a range of cuisine, hours and locations. With food from Philadelphia to Japan, this list should have something for every family to enjoy. Most take reservations, and we advise you not to wait. Bon appétit!

Beer Belly Deli & Pub

If your family is looking for a menu decorated with classic comfort foods, Beer Belly Deli & Pub is the place to go. The restaurant’s menu is filled with comfort foods like burgers, fries and wings, and they also offer creative twists to the items.

The eatery, located at 510 Westcott St., offers four different types of loaded fries to choose from, including the Deli, which has a variety of toppings including beer-braised beef, jellied jalapeños and gouda beer cheese. Besides their food, the restaurant also offers a wide selection of alcoholic beverages, including beers, wines and mimosas.

Beer Belly is open Fridays 11:30 a.m. all the way to 12 a.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Along with indoor dining, the restaurant also offers takeout and delivery services.


Gino’s Cheese Steak & Onion

The Philadelphia-Syracuse connection runs strong on campus, but few may know about the Philadelphia-Fayetteville connection at Gino’s Cheese Steak and Onion. The store gets Philadelphia-based Amoroso rolls shipped to it three-to-four times a week, owner Josh Amidon told CNYCentral in May. Along with cheesesteaks, Amidon’s team makes many other sandwiches like chicken riggie cheesesteaks, reubens and corned beef sandwiches.

In his interview with CNYCentral, Amidon said that the two things that separate his cheesesteak from the rest of the competition in the area are the restaurant’s au jus — French for broth — that Gino’s cooks marinate the steak in, as well as their house-melted “cheese whiz.” Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 511 E. Genesee St. in Fayetteville, Gino’s is a must-hit this parent’s weekend.



Opened earlier this year by the same owners of Rise N Shine, ‘90s-inspired burger joint Loded is a solid choice for Family Weekend. The restaurant, open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., is located at 6393 Thompson Road in Syracuse.

The menu offers a variety of decked-out choices: the burgers, chicken sandwiches and mac and cheese are available with toppings like lobster claws, carnitas and fried pork belly. To accompany your elaborate entrée, get some fries on the side, either plain or with the same special toppings, and save room for a milkshake or an order of dessert funnel cake fries.

Kasai Ramen

If you’re looking for a low-key spot around Armory Square, look no further than Kasai Ramen. Not exactly a hole-in-the-wall location, but maybe as close to it as a Syracuse restaurant can get, Kasai has a cool vibe and a good amount of seating for mid-sized families.

There’s nine different ramens on the menu to try, and the Kasai chicken sandwich with kimchi pickles is a must. With an extensive craft sake menu, Japanese whisky and cocktails, this restaurant has drinks that compliment the nation’s cuisine. Kasai takes reservations and is open until 9 p.m. on Thursday and until 12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Red Chili Chinese Restaurant

Red Chili is known as one of the most authentic Chinese restaurants in Syracuse. Ordering the cold and hot appetizers which will peak your taste buds is a necessity. The restaurant provides various options of vegetables and meats such as whole fish, chicken, beef, pork and shrimp for visitors to customize their own hot pot or dry pot.

Customers with different flavor preferences can choose from a couple sizzling styles for the entrée such as classic Szechuan, spicy, cumin, soupy or garlic sauce. Families can also try the deep fried little buns and steamed little buns for dessert. Dipping the hot golden buns in condensed milk is the best way to enjoy this delicacy. While you are eating at Red Chili, you can also enjoy the ambient Chinese music playing in the restaurant and traditional Chinese decor.

Located at 2740 Erie Blvd. E, and open Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Red Chilli is a must-try for Chinese in Syracuse this weekend.

Francesca’s Cucina

For families who want high quality Italian cuisine at affordable prices, Francesca’s Cucina is the perfect stop. From their finely crafted steaks made with dry aged beef to the wide selection of pasta, seafood and appetizers like Italian-style poutine and Arancini rice balls, the menu has something for everyone.

The restaurant, located at 545 North Salina St. in Syracuse’s Little Italy neighborhood, is open for dinner from 4-9 p.m. on Mondays and from 4-10 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Guests can make an online reservation to enjoy Francesca’s indoor and outdoor dining options or order online if they prefer takeout.

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