Long Island is 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.
1. 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.
One of the best things to do in Riverhead, the restaurant offers 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, Phone: 631-369-6311
2. 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, Phone: 631-324-1111
3. 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, Phone: 631-261-7663
4. 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, Phone: 631-668-6868
One of the best things to do in Port Jefferson, Nantucket's is a seafood restaurant in downtown serving traditional American food and fresh fish and seafood. There are two cozy, pleasant dining rooms that can be reserved for private celebrations, but the best seats in the place are outside on their large patio shaded with large umbrellas. Chef Tara Weaver offers large portions of beautifully presented dishes prepared with the freshest seasonal ingredients. The menu is large and diverse, with something for everyone. The chef’s specialty is a unique seafood Bolognese. The full bar mixes classical and modern, fresh-prepared cocktails, wine, and craft beers. Their signature cocktail is the Lobster Bacon Bloody Mary.
9 Trader’s Cove, Port Jefferson, NY 11777, Phone: 631-509-4848
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6. Toast Coffeehouse
© Toast Coffeehouse
Toast Coffeehouse is a delightful West Coast-style breakfast and lunch spot in Patchogue, originally opened in 2016 by restaurateur Terence Scarlatos. The restaurant, which opened its first location in Port Jefferson in 2002, showcases innovative breakfast and lunch dishes throughout the week at its intimate space, including a full menu of clever tea and espresso-based beverages such as peanut butter mochas and caramel apple chai. At breakfast, diners can choose from hearty scrambles, clever omelettes, sweet and savory French toast dishes, breakfast burritos, and waffles in unique flavors such as sweet potato and cranberry apple. Lunch specials include fun burgers, toasted sandwiches, and health-conscious wrap sandwiches. Diners should note that wait times for tables can range between 45 and 90 minutes, though reservation service is available through the NoWait app.
3102, 46 E Main St, Patchogue, NY 11772, Phone: 631-654-7091
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, Phone: 631-969-9800
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8. 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, Phone: 631-899-4646
9. DiMaggio’s Trattoria, Long Island
© 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, Phone: 516-944-6363
10. 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, Phone: 631-237-8120
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11. 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, Phone: 516-997-4770
12. 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, Phone: 631-668-3100
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13. Five Guys, Long Island
© 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, Phone: 631-243-4447
14. 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, Phone: 631-264-3333
15. Citarella, Long Island
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, Phone: 631-283-6600,
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16. 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, Phone: 631-687-2722
17. 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, Phone: 631-589-2694
18. Brasserie Persil, Long Island
© 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, Phone: 516-992-1742
19. 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, Phone: 631-298-5851
20. H2O Seafood and Sushi, Long Island
© 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, Phone: 631-361-6464
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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, Phone: 631-584-3518