Many Manhattanites and residents of the five boroughs never seem to think that going a bit east into Long Island can actually be beneficial to one’s palate. Long Island to most is known for The Hamptons, Montauk, unique accents and where Mariah Carey & Billy Joel came from, but there is also a ton of great places where food reigns supreme. Outside of the everyday chain restaurant you will find some really great places to chow down on, whether you are looking for a wrap, slice of pizza, delicious seafood, and so much more. Take a look at our picks for where to go the next time you find yourself on the LIRR.
Best of Burgers- Dirty Burger (12 Manetto Hill Mall, Plainview)
Nothing wrong with devouring a tasty burger right? Dirty Burger, located in the heart of Plainview, takes the tasty burger concept to a whole other level with their own “dirty” brand of spices (dirty dust) that adapt well with any burger that you order. The burgers taste fresh and the dust just adds a really unique spice to it that blends everything together. I would recommend The Dirty Double– 7 ounces of all-natural, hormone & additive free Angus beef, Dirty-dipped and honey-grilled on a steamy-soft, DB sauced bun. Simply delicious.
Best Wine Bar- City Cellar (1080 Corporate Drive, Westbury)
If you are looking to class it up a little bit, City Cellar is the way to go. The spacious, all encompassing wine bar and restaurant has been a hit on Long Island for several years. Known for its wide array of fabulous wines to choose from, City Cellar also has a stellar menu of top quality appetizers, entrees and desserts for you to choose from. Recommendations here include their Meatball Sliders, Scallops with Corn Puree, and Banana Fosters Cream Pie. Heavenly.
Best Mexican Food- Besito (402 New York Avenue, Huntington)
To me, Huntington Village is reminiscent of the village in New York City in the way it looks but also the endless varieties of great restaurants you can try in a somewhat small area. With all of its competition in a matter of a couple of streets, Besito stands out to me as not only the Best Mexican Food on Long Island but also the best restaurant in Huntington Village. And they have some pretty impressive competition there (Tomo, Samurai, Honu Kitchen). Flavorful, fresh and innovative, Besito goes beyond what is expected of them and delivers ten fold with all of their Mexican food options. Recommendations here include the Taco Al Besito (pictured above) and the Sopa de Tortilla, which is a a tortilla soup with avacado, pulled chicken, quesa chihuahua, chopped cilantro, crema and toasted pasilla paste. Incredible.
Best Wraps- Tie- European Republic (339 New York Avenue, Huntington) and Buffalo Grille (65 Broadway, Greenlawn)
Two places on Long Island, that aren’t too far apart in distance, that get it right every single time is European Republic in Huntington and Buffalo Grille in Greenlawn. European Republic has a sister restaurant in Philadelphia, and is noted as having some of the freshest and tastiest wraps around. They do an incredible job with how they make their grilled chicken in their wraps, one in particular being my favorite in their Grilled Chicken with Fresh Mozzarella. On top of their wraps, they have an endless amount of amazing dipping sauces for their famous french fries that they make, with everything from Jamaican Curry, Roasted Eggplant, and their own European dipping sauce. Yum.
Buffalo Grille is a hometown favorite and is the true definition of the best of the best when you are from a small town. The wraps are mouthwatering and delicious, and they have a ton of options available should you be watching your calorie intake. Want something a bit healthier? Try their Grilled Vegetable Wrap or Sicilian Wrap. Want something that packs a huge punch with flavor and taste? Their Southwestern Wrap and Chicken Finger Wrap will do the trick. Buffalo Grille is a simple place with an extraordinary taste value. Definitely worth checking into.
Best Wings- Changing Times Ale House (Located in Bay Shore, Farmingdale and Northport)
Wings and me go together like Peanut Butter & Jelly. And there are some pretty tasty wings that i have tried in Long Island, but Changing Times just seems to get it right with their simple yet tastefully explosive wings. Crowned Best Wing at the 2014 Wing Fest, the wings have just enough heat in them to not overpower your palate and just enough of a cool down effect to blend both aspects very well. Also, their homemade blue cheese definitely helps as well. With three locations across Long Island, there should be no problem getting there, stopping in, and devouring on some award winnings scrumptious wings.
Best Seafood- Claudio’s (111 Main St, Greenport, NY)
This is a prime example of why that extra travel time can be beneficial in the long run. Located at the end of Long Island in the beautiful town of Greenport, Claudio’s is a world famous on the water restaurant with some of the best damn seafood I have ever tasted. Recently featured in an episode of the award winning HBO hit “Girls”, Claudio’s splits its energy between its amazing restaurant and Clam Bar, serving the best seafood imaginable. Worth the trip out east the next time you are out there, especially during the spring and summertime.
Happy Eating Everyone!