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Long Island: good food along Rt 27

drbouba May 20, 2013 09:43 AM

We are driving from Philadelphia to Southampton on Friday and plan to stop along the way. Goal is to avoid fast food or chain restaurants. can anyone recommend a family friend lunch place not too far off the highway, maybe a fun pizzeria, burger shack, or mexican place.
We'll probably be ready for a stop sometime between JFK and Islip.


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  1. Motosport May 20, 2013 12:58 PM

    Stop at the Canal Cafe in Hampton Bays. Amazing location on the Shinnecock Canal and the bestest lobster rolls I have ever had. Kid friendly too!! Only 2 minutes off of 27!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Motosport
      drbouba May 20, 2013 01:33 PM

      thanks for the suggestion. We probably will want to stop somewhere further west on 27th to break up the drive en route to Southampton, maybe around Hempstead.

    2. j
      jpf1980 May 20, 2013 07:35 PM

      A. Route 27 is Sunrise Highway, have you done this trip before? In Nassau County and through the first few towns in Suffolk county, Sunrise Highway is not a highway but more of a very busy 3 lane in each direction road with lots of traffic lights.
      B. Assuming you want to stick with this plan, Rockville Centre probably has more restaurants than any other town in Long Island except for Huntington. I personally like Press 195, Blue Moon Pizza.

      1. l
        Leonard J. Pugatch May 21, 2013 07:52 AM

        Pit Stop in Merrick or Bellmore, was on triple D

        1 Reply
        1. re: Leonard J. Pugatch
          MacTAC May 22, 2013 03:53 AM

          It's in Merrick very close to the Meadowbrook Parkway, an easy off & on from the Southern State Parkway. I ate there a couple of times and enjoyed it.

          I think that's a good call.

        2. s
          Scott_R May 21, 2013 04:34 PM

          As jpf notes, you're not driving along 27 the whole way, are you? For a good part of the drive--all of Nassau and the western few miles of Suffolk--there are a LOT of lights and traffic. Will you be taking the Southern State part of the length?

          You mention Hempstead; 27 doesn't pass through it, though the SS borders it on the south.

          Ditto Press 195 (though they serve the beer too cold), and there's a nice ice cream place basically across the street (Five Pennies Creamery), though I don't know if it really rates as "family friendly"--what age kids?

          Are you stopping for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? if the former two, there's also Cornucopia's Noshery in Amityville:
          If you take the Southern State, you'd get off on Rt 110 south to CN, then go back up north a minute or so to 27, which will only have lights a short distance more.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Scott_R
            drbouba May 21, 2013 05:27 PM

            would you recommend southern state parkway or LIE? again, we are coming from Philly to LIE would be a bit out of our way and I always think of it as having terrible traffic.

            thank you everyone for the great recs.
            the ice cream and sandwiches sound terrific.

            1. re: drbouba
              Scott_R May 21, 2013 06:32 PM

              Definitely the Southern State. RVC is a bit out of the way from the SS, but not terribly. If you do go to RVC you can get back on it by taking rt 27 (Sunrise Highway) straight east to the Meadowbrook Pkwy up to the Southern State, then taking that the end, where it dips south to 27, which at that point is express to Southampton. Even going back north, the SS will take easily a third the time Rt 27 will.

              Oh, and I had a dangling modifier: I meant Press 195 isn't really a family place so much. The ice cream place, of course, is.

              As far as the LIE having traffic, I'd worry at least as much about the Belt Parkway.

              1. re: Scott_R
                drbouba May 22, 2013 06:12 AM

                I think we will definitely take the southern state parkway. When I looked at the google map and saw 27 for the section leading up to Southampton, I mistakenly thought this was the same highway although from JFK onward.

                Does that change things in terms of dining options? Would the ice cream shop be too far out of the way? Any must try pizza shop or the like -- or other ice cream stops worth mention?


                1. re: Scott_R
                  drbouba May 22, 2013 07:17 AM

                  How is Coyle's ice cream in Bay Shore?
                  The Pie at Salvatore's?

                  1. re: drbouba
                    emarcus May 22, 2013 10:42 AM

                    Both very good and worth a stop. Coyle's makes a particularly great ice cream soda. The Pie has great NYC-style coal-oven pizza.

                    1. re: drbouba
                      Scott_R May 22, 2013 04:31 PM

                      if you don't mind dividing things up a bit, try stopping for ice cream at Ice Cream Cottage in Mastic. I like it quite a bit better than Coyle's:
                      otherwise, there's nothing else ice cream-related I'd really recommend along your route.
                      As Erica indicated, The Pie is probably your best bet for pizza along your route.

                  2. re: drbouba
                    jon May 23, 2013 02:29 PM

                    how has no one recommended bigelow's in rockville center? get a platter of fried clams, maybe some fried scallops too, and leave happy and full.

                    1. re: jon
                      jpf1980 May 23, 2013 06:41 PM

                      with no table, and only bar type seating, how could bigelow's be called family friendly?

                      1. re: jpf1980
                        susanl143 May 24, 2013 07:36 AM

                        It was a long time ago but my parents would take me to Bigelows from when I was a very small child until I was grown and moved away. I always loved it. As it is informal, and sitting at the bar no problem, I would certainly call it child and family friendly.

                        1. re: jpf1980
                          jon May 24, 2013 10:26 AM

                          there are very few things more fun to a kid than eating fried food and spinning around on a barstool until you are dizzy.

                  3. d
                    drbouba May 28, 2013 09:24 AM

                    Thank you everyone for your helpful suggestions.
                    As it turned out, the family couldn't wait until LI on the way there, so we stopped in Brooklyn at L&B Spumoni gardens for some terrific Sicilian pie. We then made a second stop at Coyle's in Bay Shore which was outstanding.
                    On the way back yesterday, we left after lunch and had an amazingly quick ride so made it all the way to Trenton before stopping at Popa's for some excellent tomato pie (kids are on pizza kick!).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: drbouba
                      Motosport May 28, 2013 11:01 AM

                      Coyle's and L&B, two great places.

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