After a long day lazily lounging in the sun, building sand castles or, let's face it, drinking beer and hanging with friends, the next move is to find something good to eat.
In NYC, beaches are becoming more and more of a destination. We're biking to Fort Tilden, taking the Rock-a-Bus to the Rockaways and the subway to Coney. And the food scenes at the beach is keeping pace. There are options. It's a beautiful thing.
Some of our favorite beach eats are classics (they've been around for awhile) and some are new-school. They're all delicious.
Welcome to the summer of eating surf side!
If you're at Rockaway Beach... The Summer Shift
The Rockaway Taco location has been transformed! That awesome summertime hang spot hasn't been abandoned, despite chef Andrew Field's decision to open Tacoway Beach nearby and owner David Selig's decision to take Rockaway Taco on the road. Instead, it's been transformed by Selig and The MP Shift. This summer, The Summer Shift will be on site serving up Latin-infused foods from a rotating cast of hot chefs including Gerardo Gonzales of El Rey and Nicholas Morgenstern of Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream, Fernando Aciar of O Cafe, Fany Gerson of La Newyorkina, Camille Becerra of Navy and others. The Summer Shift will be up and running everyday starting May 21 through Labor Day. 95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd. at Beach 96th St., thempshift.com (Credit: The MP Shift)
If you're at Jacob Riis... the Riis Park Beach Bazaar
After being pushed out from their location in Greenpoint, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar is launching the Jacob Riis Park Bazaar. New this summer and beginning Memorial Day weekend, delicious food vendors will be operating out of the pavilion at Bay 9. They include: Ample Hills Creamery, Fletcher's Brooklyn BBQ, Court Street Grocers (sandwiches, etc.), La Newyorkina and Barzaar (wine, cocktails, beer.)157 Rockaway Beach Blvd., riisparkbeachbazaar.com (Credit: Riis Park Beach Bazaar via Facebook)
If you're at Rockaway Beach... Rippers
Rippers is one of the establishments that has helped make Rockaway Beach more of a destination over the past few years. People flock to the concession stand, which has a full kitchen, every day all summer long for burgers, dogs, fish sandwiches, burritos, local beer, sangria, wine and entertainment. There are dance parties and sometimes, bands. Rippers is celebrating its fifth season this year. Beach 86th Street and the beach, 718-634-3034, 86badvibes.com (Credit: 86badvibes.com)
If you're at Coney Island... Totonno's
Yes, pizza and the beach go together. (One time on Staten Island, I saw a family get a couple of pies delivered, and every person on the beach was jealous.) Totonno's is classic New York, and if you're out at Coney, you must eat there. The coal-oven pies are made with care, but only a little. They are treated simply, and made with perfect dough and ingredients. This is perfect stuff. But just FYI: you can only order pies at Totonno's, no slices. Go hungry or with friends. 1524 Neptune Ave., 718-372-8606 (Credit: FLICKR/ ChrisGoldberg)
If you're at Coney Island... Nathan's Famous
Nathans Famous was founded in Coney Island in 1913 and is an institution today, with hundreds of millions of dogs sold across the country each year. It's a quick (if the line isn't too long) and simple snack, making it perfect for the beach. The snappy, salty dogs and fries smothered in cheese might not be refreshing, but the salt air will be a nice compliment. 1310 Surf Ave., 718-946-2202,nathansfamous.com (Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton)
If you're at Brighton Beach... Tatiana
OK, so Tatiana is mostly associated with freezing cold bottles of vodka, cabaret singers and chicken Kiev, but Tatiana on the boardwalk can't be beat if you're at Brighton Beach. The Russian food and music compliment the vibe on the boardwalk, and a visit there completes the experience. It's a quiet beach compared to Rockaway or Tilden or Jacob Riis, as there are fewer families and cool kids. But it's worth checking out if you want a nice day on the sand followed by a cold vodka, some caviar or chicken schnitzel, all enjoyed al fresco. 3152 Brighton 6th St., 718-891-5151, tatianarestaurant.com (Credit: FLICKR/ duluozcats)
If you're at Orchard Beach... Havana Cafe
Orchard Beach in the Bronx is known for being the only beach in the borough, for its views of City Island and for its promenade. The water is calm, and perfect for families with young kids. If heading to Orchard Beach hungry, you're in luck. The Michelin-recommended Havana Cafe, a popular Cuban spot on E. Tremont Avenue, recently opened another location at the beach. The yucca fries and the Cuban sandwich are not to be missed, but if you're in the mood for American food, they also serve burgers and chicken tenders. 1 Orchard Beach Rd., 718-518-1800, bronxhavanacafe.com (Credit: WalkingGeek via Flickr (CC BY-SA))