NYC beach food: where to eat on the shore
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... Rockaway Taco
Rockaway Taco has been delighting both locals and beach-goers since 2008. The ramshackle but bustling with good vibes building is both quaint and awesome, looking a bit like California, or Mexico. The folks that run Rockaway Taco are poets, lovers and dreamers. Just check out the easy-going video on their website. And the tacos are nothing to shake your head at. The fish taco is popular, and the chorizo taco even better. Rockaway Taco also recently opened up a second location, a concession stand at Beach 96th St., with a limited menu. 95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd., 347-213-7466, rockawaytaco.com (Credit: FLICKR/ kristinepaulus)
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 their fourth season with more "interesting" dinner items, an expanded juice menu and, let's face it, likely some awesome surprises, because that's how the folks from the Meat Hook and Roberta's do. 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
Nathan’s 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: Flickr/WalkingGeek)