Culinary Schools in Syracuse, NY: Culinary Arts & Cooking Colleges

Culinary Schools in Syracuse

Syracuse is the fifth most populous city in New York, and home to Syracuse University. It's a vibrant hub of central New York, with well over a million residents within the region. Those are just a few good reasons why Syracuse could be a great place for students, particularly culinary students.

According to the National Restaurant Association, there were approximately 1,685 eating and drinking establishments in Syracuse, employing roughly 22,932 people. With those numbers, it makes sense that many high-quality culinary schools can be found in the city of Syracuse and the surrounding area. Those who embark on their education at one of these schools will surely be instructed in the preparation and presentation of a few of the Syracuse staples, including the "salt potatoes" made famous by the region.

Famous restaurants in Syracuse

Syracuse is home to numerous restaurants, including those that boast celebrity names and high-class dining. But the standouts tend to be those down-home places that have been there for decades. Sure, the students at Syracuse University keep all the big pizza chains in business, but if you really want a taste of Syracuse, these Salt City hideaways are the places to be.

  • Dinosaur BBQ: It started in 1983 as a mobile smoker made out of a 55-gallon drum. Today, this restaurant is so popular that it has expanded to seven locations, not including the flagship delight in the heart of Syracuse.
  • Gannon's Isle Ice Cream: During the heat of the summer, we'd encourage you to line up at this fun place that has been dishing up the good stuff since 1982. Between the whimsical designs and "go local" vibe, this is one of the coolest places to try.
  • Heid's of Liverpool: Established in 1917, this Central New York landmark is one of the nation's oldest drive-in restaurants. The menu focuses on the famous hot dogs that draw visitors from all over the world; and of course, you can get them with condiments galore.
  • Bruegger's: This bagel shop makes the best with only five ingredients: water, flour, malt, yeast and salt. The winning no-preservatives stance has made this one of the most beloved bakeries in Syracuse -- and others love it as well, judging by the expansion to over 300 bakeries in 26 states.

From bakeries to barbecue, from upscale to comfort food, there are many opportunities in the wide variety of culinary establishments in Syracuse. Graduates of Syracuse culinary schools should feel free to branch out into everything from hands-on baking to management, with the hopes of stepping in one of the many roles in the restaurant industry.

Culinary career outlook in Syracuse

In the state of New York, 796,000 people worked in the restaurant industry in 2015; that's nine percent of all employment in the state. By 2025, that number is expected to leap to 851,500 people employed in the industry, according to the National Restaurant Association. That means exceptional opportunities across the state for those who graduate from Syracuse cooking schools.

How much can a graduate of Syracuse culinary schools make? Here are the 2014 wages for those in the restaurant industry in Syracuse, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Chefs and head cooks: $40,420
  • Restaurant cooks: $23,220
  • Bartenders: $20,430
  • Waiters or waitresses: $21,410
  • First-line supervisors: $30,930

Keep in mind that these wages might go up dramatically; Governor Andrew Cuomo is entertaining the possibility of raising the minimum wage of quick-service food workers from $8.75 to $15 per hour, thus creating a more livable wage for those living in Syracuse and other New York cities.

Graduates of Syracuse cooking schools who want better tips might find work across the state. There is huge job growth expected for popular culinary positions throughout New York state, as reported by Projections Central:

  • Bartenders: 27.9%
  • Chefs and head cooks: 15.8%
  • Restaurant cooks: 31.4%
  • Waiters or waitresses: 20.2%
  • First-line supervisors: 26.2%

Those who choose Syracuse cooking schools are poised to launch a strong career, whether they work in Salt City or in some other area of New York -- or beyond.


  • Bruegger's Bagels,
  • Dinosaur BBQ,
  • Gannon's Ice Cream,
  • Heid's of Liverpool,
  • Long Term Occupational Projections, New York, Projections Central,
  • May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Syracuse, NY, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
  • State Statistics: New York, National Restaurant Association,
  • "Will a N.Y. wage hike hurt YOUR business?" National Restaurant Association, June 9, 2015,
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