Best Long Island Restaurants
Photo: Chuck Place/Fotolia

Long Island is just a short train ride from Manhattan but a world apart in the atmosphere, lifestyle, and restaurant offerings. Surrounded by the ocean and intersected by rivers, Long Island is home to an array of great restaurants. Some are unassuming, while others are luxurious. There is plenty of fresh seafood and fish as well as seasonal local produce and wines from local wineries.

»Farm Country Kitchen

Farm Country Kitchen

Farm Country Kitchen is located in a lovely renovated 1800’s colonial home on the banks of the Peconic River. This rustic but understatedly elegant restaurant serves lunch and dinner using seasonal local ingredients, fully supporting farm-to-table philosophy.

Chefs Todd Sabatini and Tom Carson change the lunch menu daily and dinner menu seasonally, offering American cuisine at its best. Their wraps, paninis, sandwiches, and salads are bursting with colors and flavors, and with the “bring your own wine” policy, the meals are surprisingly affordable. If you are exploring the neighboring wine country, pick up one of their boxed lunches and have a fabulous picnic.

513 WEST MAIN, Riverhead, NY, website, Phone: 631-369-6311 Photo: Farm Country Kitchen

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»Bostwick’s Chowder House

Bostwick’s Chowder House

Bostwick’s Chowder House has been Hampton’s favorite chowder house for the last 18 years. The easy going vibe and beachy décor create pleasant, relaxed atmosphere .

It is all about great food – plates are paper and forks are plastic, but nobody minds when they dig into a steaming bowl of chowder, a lobster roll, a basket of fried clams or daily catch – swordfish, halibut, mako, tuna, or whatever ends up in the net. The beer is cold and cocktails are delicious and giant, so once you come to Bostwick’s you are sure to come back. During the winter, they close for the season.

277 Pantigo Rd, East Hampton, NY 11937, website, Phone: 631-324-1111 Photo: Bostwick’s Chowder House

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»Mill Pond

Mill Pond

Whether you choose to sit in the elegant indoor dining room, at the bar, or outside on the spacious terrace, Mill Pond in Centerport offers a wonderful view of Mill Pond and spectacular sunsets. This romantic spot is a great destination for delightful sushi, generous steaks, and a range of other delights.

Their weekend brunch is very popular and live music creates a lively, friendly atmosphere. Start with Three Beef Burger Sliders served with Vermont, American or Blue cheese, and then treat yourself with a superb Sesame Crusted Yellowfin Tuna served with stir-fried vegetables in sweet soy and wasabi mayo. Their Monday fixed price three course dinner is an excellent deal. Mill Pond has an award-winning wine cellar.

437 E Main St, Centerport, NY 11721, USA, website, Phone: 631-261-7663 Photo: Mill Pond

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»Hush Bistro

Hush Bistro

Hush Bistro is a small but exquisite boutique restaurant located in Farmingdale, with a 24-foot granite topped mahogany bar, small bistro tables, and the cozy feel of a 20’s speakeasy. The chef and owner Marc Anthony Bynum, twice the winner on the series “Chopped” by the Food Network television, serves seasonal innovative dishes with the freshest, often organic, ingredients from local sources.

The menu is small but everything is delightful. Try Toast with foie gras mousse with crispy duck confit, pistachio Nutella, micro salad and blackberries. The Six Course Tasting & Wine Pairing Menu is a fantastic deal. Hush has an extensive selection of fine wines and local beers.

291 Main St. Farmingdale, NY 11735, website, Phone: 516-293–4874 Photo: Hush Bistro

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»Navy Beach

Navy Beach

If you like to feel sand between your toes while you are snacking, Navy Beach in Montauk is the place for you. The tables are placed literally on the beach, and the waiter has to go through the sand to bring your food. If you prefer to stay sand-free, you can eat in their elegant dining room with wall-to-wall windows, framed vintage bathing suits, and old faded photos of bathing beauties.

Chef Paul LaBue focuses on seafood and offers beautifully presented delights such as Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake as an appetizer or a range of sinfully good large plates such as Fire Roasted Sea Scallops cooked with Chorizo, Double Smoked Bacon, Dates, and Spiced Piquillo Tomato Sauce. There is a large selection of beers and imaginative cocktails.

16 Navy Rd, Montauk, NY 11954, USA, website, Phone: 631-668-6868 Photo: Navy Beach

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»The Trattoria

The Trattoria

The Trattoria is a tiny unassuming Italian restaurant that seats twenty-eight. It is located in a small shopping center that is so popular, getting a table on a weekend is like winning the lottery. Chef and owner Steve Gallagher creates magical rustic homey Italian dishes in the open kitchen using seasonal fresh ingredients.

His appetizers are divine – try Meatballs Braised in Tomato over Polenta or Salt Cod Croquettes with Puttanesca Sauce. Pastas are all fantastic – in fact, everything on the menu is extremely satisfying and delicious. The Trattoria does not serve alcohol so bring your best wine. The food deserves no less.

532 N Country Rd, St James, NY 11780, USA, website, Phone: 631-584-3518 Photo: The Trattoria

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»Brasserie Persil

Brasserie Persil

Brasserie Persil in Oceanside is the place to go if you have a sudden craving for French food and atmosphere without wanting to spend a fortune. It is lovely, with brick walls, banquettes by the wall and huge bar filled to bursting with bottles of all kinds.

The food is terrific, their mussels are legendary, and just the appetizer menu will keep you happy for the whole meal with little indulgencies such as Pecan Crusted Jumbo Sea Scallops, Grilled Octopus, or Escargot Bourguignon. Persil has an extensive wine list with choices from all over the world and a nice list of house martinis. The place is popular and hopping for dinner, so expect a lively ambience.

2825 Long Beach Rd, Oceanside, NY 11572, USA, website, Phone: 516-992-1742 Photo: Brasserie Persil

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»H2O Seafood and Sushi

H2O Seafood and Sushi

H2O is an elegant dinner place in Smithtown with a spacious, comfortable dining room with a beachy vibe and lovely outdoor space that quickly gets filled up when the weather permits. The range of fresh fish and seafood from all over the world is amazing. There is a great selection of interesting freshly made sushi (they keep coming up with new combinations), an extensive raw bar, and the fish of the day, which depends on what is in season.

The menu ranges from “keep it simple” steamed or grilled fish or seafood with a choice of sauce to elaborate swordfish encrusted with hazelnut and parmesan and served with truffle couscous, sundried tomatoes, dijon mustard, and lemongrass beurre blanc. The best deal in this fairly expensive restaurant is a Wednesday three-course wine dinner – their wine selection is excellent.

215 W. Main Street, Smithtown, NY 11787, website, Phone: 631-361-6464 Photo: H2O Seafood and Sushi

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Tullulah’s is a newly renovated restaurant in Bay Shore that is full of surprises. It looks and feels like a charming bistro when you get inside. You will see a long, sleek bar, but once you pass it and go behind the curtain you reach a spacious dining room with minimalist décor, leather banquettes, and a magnificent photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

The food is another surprise – a large number of imaginative sliders and delights such as risotto with suckling pig confit, venison with black barley, and duck with red beats. The menu is seasonal and depends on what is locally available. There is a nice assortment of craft beers and old-fashioned cocktails.

12 4th Ave, Bay Shore, NY 11706, USA, website, Phone: 631-969-9800 Photo: Tullulah’s

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»LT Burger Sag Harbor

LT Burger Sag Harbor

It takes a first class chef and the ideal location in Sag Harbor to turn American quintessential comfort food – burgers and fries – into gourmet meals. LT Burger is Chef Laurent Tourondel’s version of a fast food place – it consists of a quirky, brightly colored space with a fireplace, subway tiled walls, and a large orange counter with burgers made of Angus beef, tuna, fresh fish, or veggies.

They come with toppings such as wheatgrass and peppered bacon and are followed by another all-time favorite – shakes – but with flavors like French Toast or Death by Oreo. Inviting families for a meal, LT Burger has coloring books and kids’ special.

62 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963, website, Phone: 631-899-4646 Photo: LT Burger Sag Harbor

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»DiMaggio’s Trattoria

DiMaggio’s Trattoria

Port Washington’s favorite Italian trattoria since 1978, DiMaggio’s is an Old Word gathering place where friends and family share home-made meals and stories. It feels cozy whether you are sitting in the elegant dining room with the large mural of a village scenes, or in the dining room that is designed like an old fashioned courtyard.

The stone pizza oven, laid-back homey atmosphere, and traditional dishes such as pizza, chicken parmigiana or juicy veal chop add to the inviting atmosphere. In addition, the owners present a number of traditional dishes from the Bari region of Italy such as roasted rabbit or stuffed zucchini blossoms. There is a nice wine list to accompany the food, both from Old and New worlds.

706 Port Washington Blvd, Port Washington, NY 11050, website, Phone: 516-944-6363 Photo: DiMaggio’s Trattoria

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»Tweeds Restaurant & Buffalo Bar

Tweeds Restaurant & Buffalo Bar

In the same location since 1896 in the renowned J.J. Sullivan Hotel, Tweeds is one of Riverhead’s finest institutions. Completely renovated, it retains the same elegant atmosphere with the original marble and mahogany bar, wood paneling, leather banquette, and well stocked bar. The menu is extensive and very sophisticated, with buffalo or bison featuring prominently in any shape and form, from Grilled Bison Kebab and Tweeds Bison Hanger Steak to Tweeds Bison Burger.

Tweeds has a superb wine list with selections from all over the world and a world class selection of liquors. There is live music every Saturday, adding to the popularity of this fun restaurant and bar.

17 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901, website, Phone: 631-237-8120 Photo: Tweeds Restaurant & Buffalo Bar

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»Shiro of Japan

Shiro of Japan

If you grabbed something on the go at Shiro’s at the Grand Central Station in NYC and liked it, you might want to experience the full menu of this traditional Japanese sushi and hibachi place. The Long Island location in Carle Place is elegant and massive. Spread across two levels, the restaurant has a range of dining options – you can sit at the sushi bar, in the sushi room, at the classic bar counter, in the garden, or in the traditional Japanese tatami room.

The menu is equally extensive, from the huge selection of sushi and sashimi to the special assortment of meats on hibachi, Kobe beef dinners, and chef’s specials. It is a fun place to bring the whole family, and their flaming dessert is a special attraction for the kids.

401 Old Country Rd, Carle Place, NY 11514, website, Phone: 516-997-4770 Photo: Shiro of Japan

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»Montauk Yacht Club Resort and Marina

Montauk Yacht Club Resort and Marina

An iconic Montauk hotel with its own private waterfront, Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina is an upscale, luxury place to spend a weekend or vacation, or you can simply come for a meal while visiting the Hamptons. The resort’s Gulf Coast Kitchen restaurant with a wide view of the marina serves high quality dinners using local ingredients, as well as excellent wines. They offer brunch on weekends and breakfast and lunch in full season.

You can also have a bite to eat at the charming B Bar and Lounge decorated with vintage maps and travel posters. Enjoy wonderful hand-made pizzas with superb cocktails. The Lounge, a replica of the landmark Montauk 1920s lighthouse, is a small, cozy space that serves cocktails in a tavern-style. The most relaxed space to grab something to eat after the day on the beach is the Alley, where they serve excellent hearty breakfasts in the morning and snacks in the afternoon, as well as full lunch and dinner in a charming old-fashioned bait and tackle fish shack.

32 Star Island Rd, Montauk, NY 11954, USA, website, Phone: 631-668-3100 Photo: Montauk Yacht Club Resort and Marina

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»Five Guys

Five Guys

You would think there is nothing new anyone can possible do to America’s favorite comfort food of burgers and fries, but when a fast food burger joint is being reviewed by Zagat year after year, they must be doing something right. It all started in 1986 with hand-made burgers with fresh ground beef, hand-cut fries fried in pure peanut oil, and 250,000 possible ways to fill your bun.

And it is still going on just like that. Five Guys now have 100,000 joints all over the country. You get free peanuts while waiting for your burger to be cooked and assembled – bags of peanuts are piled all over each Five Guys shop. Don’t be fooled by the name “small burger” – there is nothing small about it, ask anyone who has tried it. Don’t forget to put bacon on your patty, it is smoked and delicious. The meat is never frozen, everything is super fresh, and shakes have whipped cream added if you want it.

Deer Park Shopping Center, 1942 Deer Park Ave, Deer Park, NY 11729, USA, website, Phone: 631-243-4447 Photo: Five Guys

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»Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a large, luxuriously appointed Italian restaurant in a strip mall in Huntington Station with three large opulent dining rooms and separate rooms for the bar and lounge. Chrystal chandeliers, fireplaces, oil paintings on the walls, and white table cloths all create a cozy, celebratory feel. Chef and owner Antony Page presents a classic Italian menu inspired by the food of Ligurian coast where the five small hilly towns of the Five Lands are located.

You’ll find fresh seafood and vegetables commonly used in Liguria. His Fritto Misto appetizer is not to be missed – it features fried Calamari, baby Shrimp, Filet of Sole, and Sepia, and it is sprinkled with Pesto and served with Marinara sauce. The respectable wine list has 97 labels, 38 of which are offered by the glass.

872 East Jericho Tpke., Huntington Station, NY 11746, website, Phone: 631-923-1255 Photo: Cinque Terre

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»Vittorio's Restaurant and Wine Bar

Vittorio's Restaurant and Wine Bar

Vittorio’s is one of Amityville’s favorite Italian restaurants, and it is famous for its aged steaks, excellent wine lists, and daily specials. The cozy, intimate dining room has soft lighting and white tablecloths. The space remains simple and unadorned, with the focus being on food. The menu is a perfect American interpretation of classic Italian dishes – you have to try the Veal Saltimbocca with prosciutto, spinach, and mozzarella that is cooked in sage and white wine sauce.

Portions are generous and their lobster Monday special is fantastic deal. They have 80 wine selections, many of which are offered by glass. While not strictly Italian, their weekend brunch is simply divine and has just about everything you might desire for breakfast. Try their breakfast fries with melted mozzarella and pastrami, loaded with gravy, and served with a sunny side up egg.

184 Broadway, Amityville, NY 11701, USA, website, Phone: 631-264-3333 Photo: Vittorio’s Restaurant and Wine Bar

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What started as a small seafood shop in the early 1900s began thriving in 1983 under the skilled and very busy hands of Mr. Joe "Citarella" Gurrera. Today, Citarella is New York’s epicurean heaven, a fine food market offering more than 80 kinds of fresh ocean bounty, fresh prime cuts of beef, and a range of specialty foods such as their famous rotisserie chickens, wonderful pastries, fresh pastas, pate, caviar, truffles, soups, sauces, stocks, and fresh produce from a number of Long Island farms.

The store also sells prepared food such as salads, soups, sandwiches, pastas, and other items you can grab and take with you for a picnic on the beach. If you are preparing a party in your summer house on Long Island, there are three Citarella shops to help you with it. Just give them a call before heading to the Hamptons, and they will have all your supplies ready for you.

2 Pantigo Rd, East Hampton, NY 11937, USA, website, Phone: 631-283-6600 Photo: Citarella

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»Harbor Crab Co.

Harbor Crab Co.

The Harbor Crab is fun party place on the banks of the Patchogue River famous for its fresh crabs and other seafood, cold beer, cool breezes, and live music every night. The atmosphere is casual and friendly. The restaurant has space for about 80 people on two levels. There are indoor and outdoor spaces and you can enjoy your evening in the dining room or at one of its two bars.

Don’t worry if seafood is not your thing, as they also offer chicken, beef, and pasta dishes. There is a floating dock you can use if you come on your boat, and docking is free for customers. There is something going on every night, from date nights with half price drinks to steak or lobster nights.

116 Division St, Patchogue, NY 11772, USA, website, Phone: 631-687-2722 Photo: Harbor Crab Co.

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»Lessings Inc.

Lessings Inc.

Founded in 1890, Lessings Inc. is the oldest American family-owned, highly diverse food service company. Among a range of other businesses and interests, Lessings has nine restaurants, but the View is their crowning glory. Located in Oakdale on the water’s edge with spectacular views of the Great South Bay, this luxurious, upscale restaurant is a fantastic place for a romantic evening or a celebration.

You can sit inside by one of the three cozy fireplaces or out on the deck, where even in the winter you can enjoy the sunset with your favorite cocktail. The menu is fairly small and uncomplicated, offering only the best of the best in seafood and meats. Once a week, Chef Muzio offers a special, a treat not to be missed. There is live music on Fridays and Saturdays and a range of other regular events.

3 Consuelo Pl, Oakdale, NY 11769, USA, website, Phone: 631-589-2694 Photo: Lessings Inc.

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»Good Steer

Good Steer

Good Streer is one of those neighborhood places that locals love and travelers discover and rave about. Family owned and operated since 1957, The Good Steer is cozy in spite of being able to fit 240 people. It is also homey and unpretentious, and you will instantly feel at home. Rustic cabin décor in the four dining rooms and the smell of smoked and barbecued meat will put you in the mood for some carnivorous delights.

The menu is enormous, portions are huge, and you will have a hard time making up your mind about what to eat. Definitively start with some of their famous onion rings, and if you’re in the right company, get their Good Stuff Beginner sampler of barbecue wings and chopped pork ribs. Everything is finger-licking good.

2810 Middle Country Rd, Lake Grove, NY 11755, USA, website, Phone: 631-585-8212 Photo: Good Steer

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»Aperitif Bistro Bayside

Aperitif Bistro Bayside

Though it is located in a large, industrial space, Aperitif Bistro Bayside somehow manages to look like it was transported straight from a chic Parisian neighborhood. The interior is replete with plush velvet seats, mirror-paneled walls, gleaming wood, crystal chandeliers, and bistro globes, and the friendly buzz of lively conversation from a young and beautiful crowd is particularly enticing.

The food is mostly French with touches of Mediterranean and Asian influences. You cannot get more French than Grilled chicken paillard with celery, apple, walnut, and blue cheese salad drenched in a champagne vinaigrette. The dinner menu is extensive and there is something for everyone, but the best deal is a list of Meats and Cheeses – you have a choice of three, five, or the whole board – perfect for sharing. The wine list is extensive and excellent.

213-41 39th Ave, Bayside, NY 11361, USA, website, Phone: 718-215-6470 Photo: Aperitif Bistro Bayside

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»Old Mill Inn

Old Mill Inn

Old Mill, built in 1821, is a home to the Old Mill Inn, one of the most romantic and charming restaurants on Long Island. Located right on the water where you can come by boat or car, it offers spectacular views of the estuary and passing boats. The kitchen serves the same menu all day, from noon to nine pm, in the dining room on the deck, in the pub, or on the beach.

They serve classic American fare and old favorites, using organic and seasonal ingredients whenever possible. There is a nice selection of wines and craft beers, and live music entertains guests every Friday in the pub and on Sunday on the beach under the stars. Old Mill Inn is open during the warmer season, from Spring to Fall.

5775 West Mill Rd., Mattituck, NY 11952, website, Phone: 631-298-8080 Photo: Old Mill Inn

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»Touch of Venice

Touch of Venice

Beautifully decorated, Touch of Venice is a lovely Italian restaurant perfect for a romantic dinner or lunch with the family. There is a feel of Old Europe in the tin ceilings, tiled floors, rustic woods, and lovely old posters on the walls. Cozy banquettes make for comfortable dining, and white tablecloths add a touch of class.

Chef and co-owner Brian Pennacchia offers a small but exquisite menu of Italian classics such as Veal Rollatini with Prosciutto, pecorino, mozzarella, mushrooms, and porcini in marsala wine sauce and served with rice balls. The chef uses many ingredients imported from Italy or purchased from the local North Fork farmers. The guests can see the extensive wine selection in the glass-enclosed, temperature-controlled wine room. Many wines are from local North Fork vineyards.

28350 Main Rd, Cutchogue, NY 11935, USA, website, Phone: 631-298-5851 Photo: Touch of Venice

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25 Best Long Island Restaurants