HOME > Chowhound > New York State (exc. NYC) >


Not to miss on Long Island, anything goes

Wondering what other posters consider their places that they couldn't imagine not going to anymore. Places that you really depend on for your everyday cooking staples, to special treats, to one of a kind eating places, and fancy special occasion splurge places. What are places in Long Island that are dependably good for any kind of food, to go or to stay?

Here' s a couple of mine:

-Roslyn: Chicken Kebab they are turkish
Like their spinach pie and greek salad, great dressing and always fresh. Unfortuntaly their namesake chicken kebab can be dry and not full of any real flavor, but other stuff, is reliably good. Prices are reasonable, but they have raised them in the last couple years. Casual and popular place

-Rosyln: Ravaugh, they are Persian, but not Kosher
Love their Zaresh (spelling?--rice with currants) and their chicken kebab when cooked properly is very juicy and flavorfill. They also make delcious Persian soup, and eggplant dishes and other good apps---Reasonable and casual--but don't go late, they hate that.

-New Hyde Park, (on the line of Long Island)--Iavorone Bros
Can't live without their excellent olive selection. They have other good stuff there, but their olives are standout.

-Westbury--Hale and Hearty
Love Hale and Hearty Soups and their salads are a good value--favorite soups, rhode island chowder, chicken and rice, curry chicken chowder, italian wedding soup, ...

-Rockville Center--Bigelow's Clams, when I'm around there after Jones Beach in the summer time, always go here, love the retro feel, and have not been disapointed in the clams, cole slaw, or onion rings, or quarts of chowder to go. Nice people there.

-Rosyln--Baci Gelati--love this place

For Thai, I stick to Queens (although Sripiphrai is coming to Long Island which is wonderful news), For Chinese, I stick to Queens, For Isreali, I stick to Queens,---

Go shopping a lot in Long Island, or to the beach, live in Queens, so would like to hit some other spots this summer, preferably on the inexpensive side, due to the obvious shortage of mula. Tried a couple of the ice cream places, and wasn't impressed with either the atmosphere (funky smelling run down--musty) and ice cream weird aftertaste)

Thanks everyone---

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Kitchen a Bistro, St. James.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mcf

      Was there 3 weeks ago; it was remarkably good.

      1. re: mcf

        I have to say, for the prices it was good. Considering it got the same zagat rating as the North Fork Table in Southold, I'd rather spend the money and get the entire experience of the Table. Again, it's two different things. I did not have anything at Kitchen that I felt the need to have to go back for, and we ordered about eight plates.

        1. re: chowareyou

          I feel the same, food was nothing to rave about, and the seating arrangements were not that comfortable. I went with sister in law but would never take a guy there.

      2. Ceriellos in Williston Park - Hard to find authentic Italian groceries, dry aged steaks, great deli, amazing marinated mozzarella knots (my favorite)

        1. Hi, janie,
          We are going to Long Island for the first time this week. Staying in Greenport and touring the wineries.
          Sounds as though you are quite knowledgeable about the area. What restaurants in the Greenport/North Fork/Peconic area would you recommend? We love Italian and seafood. Thanks.

          10 Replies
          1. re: taxi

            two suggestions to taxi for the north fork-

            Italian - A mano in Mattituck. Great wine list (extensive bottle list and nice selections by the glass including local and imports).

            Seafood - The sushi bar at Braun Seafood. Local, fresh, delicious.

            1. re: taxi

              Would have to disagree with the recommendation for A Mano. Had a meal with 2 friends a few weeks back and we were all severely disappointed with our meals. Olive Garden probably does it better. And the service? What a joke.

              If you're looking to break the bank but have an outstanding meal, go to North Fork Table & Inn in Southold.
              If you're looking to break the bank again, but have loud but cool ambiance and fun food, go to Frisky Oyster in Greenport.
              If you're looking for seafood with an interesting twist, go to Seafood Barge in Southold.

              Check out the cheese shop on Love Lane in Mattituck. Pick up some Catapano goat cheese as a token of your mini vacation!

              1. re: stefathena

                We weren't impressed with the food at A Mano either, although I wouldn't compare it to Olive Garden. The service was impeccable however.

                Seafood Barge would be the last place I would recommend, nasty and always out of everything on the menu, I would say go to Claudios even before I'd say go there. Lots better seafood around.

                For Italian, try Touch of Venice,

                1. re: stefathena

                  I wouldn't even begin to think of comparing A Mano to Olive Garden. We had delicious gnocchi and fetuccine alla carbonara that were finely made and tasty. Appetizers of calamari and another dish with cauliflower, pignolas, and raisins were also tasty and well-prepared. Gelato provided a nice finish to the meal. A Mano is supposed to be an osteria, so it isn't intended to be a formal dining experience, but just a casual get together place for some good food. Given that's the definition of the restaurant type, I didn't expect the service to be formal. I think the service was right on par; helpful and without any major problems. A caveat is that we ate an early dinner on a fairly slow night, so that may have enabled better service than what you experienced.

                  I do agree that North Fork table is outstanding, and the service is outstanding as well.
                  The Village Cheese Shop on Love Lane is such a great place to sample a broad spectrum of cheeses, pick up a hunk of cheese & a baguette, and then carry out to a local vineyard.

                  On the South Fork, I like Suki Zuki and Yama Q for fresh seafood and a variety of other dishes in japanese preparation. Also, Dish is a nice, quiet, small restaraunt that has one menu each weekend (so the focus changes with the season).

                  1. re: stefathena

                    Tried A Mano twice and for the price, I'd definitely drive the extra six minutes and go to the Table. Although I remember the truffle pizza being my favorite thing the second time I was there. The first time I was there we tried six things and nothing was outstanding. The plus about this place is that they are one of the only places open on a Tuesday night in this area.

                    stephathena- did you know that Frisky Oyster opened a Frisky Oyster Bar across the street down by Aldo's?

                    Also steph, when you're out in Sag Harbor, go to Cavianola's Cheese shop. It's not a sit down place, but the staff and cheeses are great. It's on Rt. 114 next to the Beverage place in a tiny parking lot.

                    1. re: chowareyou

                      I have to stay out of Cavaniola's or I want to buy everything in the store!! The only place I would shop for special occasions.

                      1. re: chowareyou

                        Hmmm...Every time I have been to Amano it seems that I like it better than before...the last time I had their Prix fixe, and I was thrilled with everything...portions were good too. Service has always been excellent. However, their pizza's are their weak point. I'd avoid them. Seems that my family and I are the only ones on this board to appreciate the Seafood Barge..we always had excellent meals there and excellent service..even had our kids Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties there. I'll miss it...in fact my son and his girlfriend are going out to our Cutchogue place this weekend, in part to go there one last time.

                    2. re: taxi

                      Also, Vine in Greenport is worth a try. If you're looking for a nice quiet meal outdoors, this is the place. Lovely little courtyard, candlelight, lots of greenery all over. There are some tasty dishes. The service is always slow, but it's ok, because I don't mind sitting there for 2+ hours. I always get the mac n' cheese, it's nothing outstanding, but it does the trick with a bottle of wine.

                      1. re: stefathena

                        I just went last week for a quick dessert fix. Since I heard such great things about this place, I figured it would be worth the money. The vanilla cupcake was terrible. I can't even believe I paid for it. The berry chocolate crepe was okay, but it was ten dollars. it's pretty hard to wrap my head around spending that money on something so mediocre.

                      2. re: taxi

                        I have one good suggestion that someone from the area reco over the Frisky Oyster -- Shrimshaw -- amazing seafood. Another good place we go when we are in the area -- Cliff's Elbow Room -- must get the marainated steak.

                      3. Link for both SriPraPhai Thai-Queens & Nassau addresses:

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: kelvin8r

                          i'm an old time customer of srip in woodside, and yes, it will be great when there's a LI outpost, but it's not going to be open for awhile yet. To taxi, I'm actually located in Queens but shop in Long Island a bit, so I'm not familiar with any great spots in the location where you'll be, but please post about your experiences, would love to hear them if I'm out that way.

                        2. I'm not looking to hijack janie's thread at all, but can anyone comment on any places in or around Plainview on LI ? The type of cuisine doesn't matter as long as it's very good. TY.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: Cheese Boy

                            Brasserie Cassis is good bistro food in Plainview.

                            1. re: Cheese Boy

                              I think it's Hicksville, not Plainview, but Koreana, right next to H&Y Market on South Oyster Bay Road and Old Country Road, is very good. Also in Hicksville is Chili and Curry, on Woodbury Road, and Masala Wok, on Broadway. Both very good for Indian-Chinese.

                              1. re: phofiend

                                brassserie cassis is in Plainview. Hicksville is on the other side of South oyster bay Road.

                                1. re: linsue

                                  I made no mention at all of Cassis. I was talking about restaurants in Hicksville, which is near Plainview.

                                  1. re: phofiend

                                    I have to disagree about Brass Rail, tried it FOUR times, both lunch and dinnner, really wanted to like it, as we live in the area but honestly NONE of us and we were in groups of 4-8 really liked our meals, we all left saying it was "OK". So I really cannot as much as I would like to recommend this or support your recommedation. Locust Valley in fact is overdue for some great, new restaurants that offer a fresh take and offer innovative foods....I hope somethings coming!

                                    1. re: sushifan516

                                      Huh? I don't know anything about Brass Rail. What kind of food?

                                      Linsue mentioned Brasserie Cassis, which is okay, but I much prefer Bistro Cassis (same owners) in Huntington. HOWEVER - the last time I went there, the food was not as good as it usually is. Maybe it was an off night.

                                      1. re: phofiend

                                        No, sadly it wasn't an off night. It's been declining steadily for the past couple of years. I miss it so much. Really declined as soon as Brasserie Cassis opened.

                            2. In no particular order:

                              Kura Barn in Huntington for Japanese, expensive but very good.
                              Shogi, in Westbury, hole in the wall, but good and fresh. Yuko the owner, is dinner and a show and worth the trip alone.

                              Bar Food and then some:

                              Finnegan's in Huntington, great sandwiches, salmon, specials, burgers, etc. Truly underestimated food. Frankly, I'd rather no one else know about the food there, it's very small. Plus, great bartenders and it's an institution.

                              Iavarrone Bros., in New Hyde Park. Above average.

                              Grimaldi's Coal Oven, Garden City

                              Small plates/Eclectic American:

                              The Brass Rail in Locust Valley. Very good.

                              Good Pastas, Pesto Sauce and then some:

                              Tutto Pazzo in Halesite (Huntington):
                              If you stick with pastas and simple fare, very good. Don't get too elaborate!

                              New American:

                              Wild Honey, Oyster Bay
                              Very good food and very overlooked. Nice atmosphere, dark, quiet, etc. Some surprising standouts, good fresh fish, bread pudding,etc.
                              The only restaurant worth visiting in Obay.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: JGS

                                I live and eat out frequently in Huntington, and Finnegans, Tutto Pazzo and Kura Barn are definitely skippable IMO.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  A few standouts.........NISEN in Syosset/woodbury, EXCELLENT sushi, perhaps better than Blue Ribbon or Nobu, really outstanding!
                                  La Bussola and La Ginestra in Glen Cove, both "old school" Italian........predicatbly good Italian food.
                                  Limani in Manhasset, great Greek food though as of late they have been somewhat inconsistent and with their very high prices, you have to be sure you are having a great meal
                                  For pizza, my college aged son did a pizza survey amongst 18-21 year olds and all agreed that Little Vincents in Huntington won hands down, I have to admit it is darn good pizza, but a real dive albeit one that has a line out the door
                                  For good family friendly Italian food, and brick oven pizzas, La Pizetta in East Norwich....great sole maricheria, chicken dishes and pastas all excellent.
                                  Fiddleheads in Oyster Bay and Huntington, great seafood, innovative and exciting dishes...major bargain of a prix fix lunch menu, you should check it out....
                                  Prime in Huntington, great steaks and sushi....beautiful atmosphere especially in the summer and nice place for Sunday brunch.
                                  These are just a few of our recent favorites................

                                  1. re: sushifan516

                                    Isn't Fiddleheads in Huntington long gone? It always had dismal reviews, nothing comparable to Oyster Bay.

                                    1. re: sushifan516

                                      Actually we had never been to the one in Huntington, we live closer west but often go the Oyster Bay location which is quite reliably good and a lot of food for the money.

                                2. We recently had two very memorable meals, first was at here, http://www.thelakehouserest.com/ in bayshore and the second here:
                                  http://www.cafebuenosaires.net/home.html in huntington.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: csweeny

                                    Following up on comments on huntington area.

                                    Cafe Buenos Aires - loved it when it opened esp. the tapas offerings. have not been lately but definitely blew some necessary fresh air into Huntington village dining scene when it opened a couple of years ago.
                                    Finnegans - I like this place due to its history (the physical bar itself has been there for a long time - nice and worn). Decent bar food is what I would say.
                                    FH Riley's - good, not too expensive American. Very good atmosphere in my opinion. Occasionally there are a few combinations they try that don't work for me.
                                    Oaxaca - this is a low-priced mexican joint on new york ave. I love this place - inexpensive, very good mexican. This is not a fancy meal by any stretch. I suspect most people skip this place but they are missing out. I run in and get tacos to go often.
                                    Sri Thai - this place opened last summer and for me is the go to place for Thai in huntington.

                                    There are many other places and right now there is some significant turnover of locations. Hope we get some more variety in.

                                    PS someone mentioned the Lake House. I would say it was one of the best meals I've had on Long Island.

                                    1. re: StrongIsland

                                      I'll add my vote for the Lake House-very nice place, creative chef, reasonable price, and a water view. I've been meaning to get back there.

                                  2. *Razzano's in Glen cove for Italian foods/deli/bread/meats/pasta/pizza dough

                                    *Uncle Giuseppe's in Port carries bread from Royal Crown Bakery in Brooklyn (great crusty bread) Have a great vinegar from Italy. Comes in a large bottle and its only 2.99!

                                    *Chez Noelle in Port Washington- great french food.

                                    *Hummus World in Roslyn-pitas come from Israel. Homemade Felafel and chicken gyro-like meat. Homemade salads and hot sauces to go on the sandwich. YUM. Interesting Chicken Soup- it has ginger in it.

                                    1. Would add to my own list, Maize Cantina, in Commack, posted on them seperately yesterday--under their own thread, but a good value, fresh and inventive arepas and pupusas.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. A few that come to mind:
                                        1. Peter Luger Restaurant- Great Neck
                                        2. L.L. Dent -Westbury
                                        3. Dominican Restaurant(#2) -Front Street Uniondale
                                        4. Jordan's Lobster Farm- Island Park
                                        5. All American-Massapequa Park
                                        6. King Umberto-Elmont
                                        7. Stella Ristorante-Floral Park
                                        8. Lido Kosher Deli- Lido Beach

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: stuartlafonda

                                          I had dinner at LL Dent a few months ago. Unfortunately, I don't remember what I had, but I enjoyed it, as did the other 2 people I went with. One of the owners came and sat with us for a little while and urged us to return for Sunday brunch, which we did today and it was great. It's buffet, but not self-serve. The menu was a little limited, but more than sufficient and once again the food was good. From what I can remember, omlettes made to order, belgian waffles, bacon, sausages (pork or turkey), biscuits and gravy, grits, fried chicken (really good, crunchy and not greasy), BBQ chicken, pork chops, fried whiting, mac and cheese, some pasta and chicken dish that I did not try (my sister did and liked it), meatballs and pasta (not bad, but least favorite of what I tried), collard greens (not overly bitter), mixed veggies, rice, red beans, peach cobbler, tiramisu (actually not really, as not coffee flavored, but almond flavored), baklavah, chocolate cake and yellow cake. Coffee, tea and fountain soda included. $18.75. Very warm and friendly atmosphere.

                                        2. I really can't agree with you about Ravaugh. The food is good, but nothing that would be considered the best on LI. I didn't like the water marks on the ceiling, and the fact that if you are seated by the front window, you look on the garbage bin from the Persian Market next door. I think they would be better with shades blocking the wonderful view.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: robinsilver

                                            yeah you're right it's not the best, but finding persian food that's affordable on the Island isn't all that easy--Kolbeh which is kosher, is much more expensive. Never noticed the water marks on the ceiling, and their service can be rude sometimes, --and we usually sit at a round table to never noticed the garbage bins, but yeah, can understand your point. Getting takeout there is a decent option. Like to get their Zeresh to go, and sambuseh, and grab some spinach pies with yogurt sauce, and greek salad, from Chicken Kebab up the street, good easy takeout dinner.

                                          2. gotta jump in with another pizza "best" - Roadhouse Pizza in Riverhead makes fantastic pizza. Their salads are great, too, always with a bit of fruit - orange halves, or a bunch of fresh grapes on top.

                                            19 Replies
                                            1. re: elfcook

                                              thanks, great to know, always looking for places to eat when at outlets...is their pasta dishes any good? Which pizza is best?

                                              1. re: janie

                                                Their pizza is pretty good, I wouldn't call it "the best" in this area though. Lots better in town and Wading River. I never get anything except a regular pie so that's all I know. But they have a great picnic area out back, on the river, which makes it a great place to chill after a day of shopping.

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  hmm, we lived in Wading River and never liked any of the pizza places there. Oh well, to each their own! Can't remember trying their pastas - we usually did a couple of pies & salads to go. Their bread was wonderful too.

                                                  1. re: elfcook

                                                    Bella Gusto is pretty darn good: and Divinos great, but they mysteriously disappeared a few weeks ago ("family emergency") even they they were mobbed all the time. Maybe you lived in Wading River before these places opened? Both have much better pizza than RoadHouse. Although when you reheat the leftovers from Road House, it improves immensely. Julia's in Riverhead Village can rival any place in Brooklyn, which is my basis of comparison for all pizza.

                                                    1. re: coll

                                                      If you are around western suffolk county, a must is Maroni's Cuisine in Northport.
                                                      12 course sampler, go hungry u will be stuffed.
                                                      famous meatballs
                                                      the menus changes so it is never boring
                                                      all u can drink vino included
                                                      great service, Mike Maroni the owner and chef always floats around to say hello
                                                      cash only!! about $100-125 per person
                                                      very expensive but worth it for that special occasion and a "must try" place once

                                                      you won't be disappointed!!!!!

                                                      Make reservations there are only about 12 small tables...

                                                      1. re: coll

                                                        Divino's turned into Foccaccia Oven recently (in King Kullen shopping center, Wading River). When I saw the name, I thought it would be some kind of yuppie place, but I just had some of the best pizza, and also fried calamari, ever. The crust is perfect with slight taste of yeast, cheese is a mixture that is not disgusting globs of mozzarella but some kind of heavenly blend, and the sauce had a slight hint of garlic that was so perfect (I'm not usually a garlic lover). Calamari coated in a great, obviously homemade, cornmeal breading. I saw some gorgeous slices with eggplant that I would have got if I didn't order my pie in advance, beautiful ribbons of fried eggplant alternated with lines of pesto, and extremely homemade looking riceballs. The side sauce is like Grandma. The topper was, the family running the place made me feel like I was back in Italy, they were so so so nice. I will be going back soon, I am so lucky to have this place right nearby. (So if you're planning on Tangers or Christmas tree shopping soon, give it a try)

                                                        1. re: coll

                                                          oh wow, sounds great, will definitely check it out.

                                                            1. re: coll

                                                              Hi Coll! I agree with you about the Foccacia Oven. It was immaculately clean and the Italian lady gave it such a nice touch. My friend ordered a salad and asked her to put some slices of their grilled eggplant. The dressing was superb. I think it's the salad that comes with the gorgonzola. On another thread I read that you knew of the best place for pizza in Riverhead. Is it Julia's? I've been going to Caruso's for the convenience but I'd much rather go with what you like. I can see we have the same taste from comments of yours that I've read. The place next to Walmart scares me. I actually went to Rocky Point and in the Kohl's shopping center next to Michaels is a pizza place called Pompeii. I stopped there once and got a pie with eggplant and ricotta and I quite liked it if you are ever around there. What I've always been looking for on the east end (north or south forks) is a pizza with seafood on it. No red sauce. It could be shrimp or clams or whatever. Actually if anyone knows of anybody who does that in Suffolk I'd be interested to know.

                                                              1. re: chowareyou

                                                                How about The Pie in Port Jeff? It's been a while since I've been there, but their pies were pretty good (wood fired oven and all). They have a Gamberi pie, "Red or White • Shrimp, garlic, mozzarella, basil & olive oil" and a Casino, "Clam or Shrimp, onion, red pepper, butter sauce topped with bacon"

                                                                1. re: Scott_R

                                                                  The Pie is a destination, but it's quite the trip from out here, so you can't really do takeout, if that's your thing. If I have to be in Port Jeff, it's the first place I think of. They do the seafood pie thing which is a nice change, and the salads are gigantic and loaded with goodies.

                                                                  Julia's makes great pizza, although you have to put up with the owner's psychotic attitude, if he's in a bad mood. Parto across the street (next to Diggers) is good if you're in the mood for something more modern, like Grandma pies. Their house salad dressing is divine. Carlo's in Polishtown has been wildly unpredictable but I've gotten a few great pies there recently too. Depends on who's working that day. Sergio's by Walmart has a new owner (a year or two), and he's gone through a bunch of pizzamen. The first one was excellent, but he left quickly (money problems) and I don't think the owner even knows how to make a pie, so it's totally inconsistant. He's living on the reputation of the previous owners.

                                                                  I also like Bella Gusto across from Foccaccia in Wading River, their pie is a little heavier but I don't avoid them. Nice family too.

                                                                  I've been in Pompeii and agree it's really nice, on the order of Foccaccia. Just don't go when school gets out, it's right behind the shopping center and they mob the place around 2 or 3.

                                                                  Parto's Restaurant
                                                                  12 W Main St, Riverhead, NY 11901

                                                                  Bella Gusto
                                                                  6278 Route 25A, Wading River, NY 11792

                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                    I love the oxymoron of Grandma pie being modern.

                                                                    1. re: sbp

                                                                      I know, but how long have they been around commercially? 10 years maybe? Maybe longer but without the cute name I guess. Parto's has them with diagonal lines of pesto and cut tomatoes running across them, that type of thing, which is to say not old school.

                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                        No argument here, Grandma pies are "new." But it's still funny.

                                                                    2. re: coll

                                                                      Well, the question *did* specify "anybody who does that in Suffolk ."

                                                                      1. re: Scott_R

                                                                        I know, sorry, I realized that after posting. I was thinking chowareyou was looking for lunchtime pizza. I really can't think of anyone else that has those toppings offhand, except their sister store in Bay Shore, if they're still there. Oh wait, a new place just opened in Center Moriches, they might have it, I'll get right back to you.

                                                                        This is the place I was thinking of, I'm going to try it in the near future as it sounds molto delizioso. But no Sorrento type seafood pies, sad to say.
                                                                        I used to get slices at their little pizzeria years back all the time and didn't even realize it was them.

                                                                    3. re: Scott_R

                                                                      I believe The Pie's oven is fired by coal, not wood.

                                                                      1. re: EZ Pass

                                                                        You're right: it's coal. I've always wondered if there's a real difference in taste/texture, coal vs. gas ovens. Heat is heat, isn't it? Presumably coal has more particulates, but is that a particularly desirable taste? I would suppose that a wood fire would add something more than just heat.

                                                                        1. re: Scott_R

                                                                          Well, it's great to know about this Pie place. Thanks so much guys! I know I will get to Port Jeff at some point to check it out. You were right Coll, I was thinking of a place I could stop on the way home from work which is from East Hampton but starting from Wainscott. I do not like the whole parking situation in the bowels of East Hampton. I remember a great Nonna pizza (the grandma) in mastic, shirley. I remember going over the tracks, a little south passing the big pizza place on the right and then making a left turn and it was on the little side street adjacent to the parking lot with the bar. I forget the name of it and I doubt the italian couple that ran it is still there. I do not find myself going to mastic but I do have fond memories of that nonna. It had all the caramelized onions on it. No red sauce.

                                                  2. In Elmont there is a great pizza place:

                                                    Gino's Pizza
                                                    1615 Dutch Broadway, Elmont, NY 11003
                                                    (516) 561-6664

                                                    This is NY Style pizza, not brick oven coal or wood, just good pizza. You may need to visit more than once to truly appreciate the pizza here.