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Long Island family-friendly waterfront restaurants great for kids

Waterfront dining on Long Island doesn’t have to be a formal affair. There are plenty of family-friendly restaurants and seafood shacks with great views — and some special perks.

La Casa Cafe

Sisters Shayna 6 (l) and Aliya Rand 5
Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

This restaurant has been a Crab Meadow Beach fixture for 26 years and, aside from a menu filled with pasta and grilled meats, families can order pizza and enjoy it under a brick pavilion steps from the sand “while watching their kids play on the beach,” says owner Joe Celano. Prices range from $8.95 to a kid-sized dish of spaghetti to $41.95 for twin lobster tails. A pizza pie is $21.50. Info: 445 Waterside Rd., Northport, 631-757-7720, lacasacaferestaurant.com

Pictured: Sisters Shayna, 6, left, and Aliya Rand, 5, of Huntington get ice cream at La Casa Cafe.

The Buoy Bar Waterfront Restaurant

Kids play in the water, Scotty's Fishing Station,
Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

On summer Wednesday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. (July 11-Aug. 29), kids are given a pole and a life jacket to go fishing before grabbing a bite at the Buoy Bar. The eatery has been hosting the event for eight years and it sells out every week, says Andrew Doheny, son of owners Tom and Roberta Doheny. It’s $25 per child and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. “The kids get dinner included in their entry fee and then the parents can eat while their kids fish,” Doheny says. Info: 72 Bayside Dr., Point Lookout, 516-432-3975, buoybarli.com

Clam Bar at Bridge Marine

Diners eat outside at The Clam Bar at
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales


This casual spot, open through Sept. 30, sits right on Mill Neck Creek, allowing kids to play in the water before or after eating. “There’s a beach here so most of the kids play on the beach,” says owner Richard Valicenti. Prices range from $7.25 for a hamburger with fries to $25 for steamed clams. Info: 40 Ludlam Ave., Bayville, 516-628-8688, bridgemarinesales.com.

Turkuaz Grill

Outdoor seating picnic tables with colorful umbrellas are
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

This colorful Middle Eastern restaurant has outdoor seating on the Peconic River and is steps away from the boardwalk. There’s also a prime view of local events, including the annual Riverhead Cardboard Boat Race. “On the Fourth of July they do the fireworks and you can see them from the restaurant,” says owner Mustafa Gulsen. Info: 40 McDermott Ave., Riverhead, 631-591-1757, turkuazgrillriverhead.com

Case’s Place

Fried clams on the patio at Case's Place
Photo Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

This comfort food spot has a large outdoor deck overlooking Little Peconic Bay, next to a sprawling lawn that leads to a dock, with plenty of boat watching. “Kids play on the lawn and become friends,” says owner Maryann Birmingham, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Ken. “It’s nice to see them playing instead of sitting at a table with an electronic device.” While there’s no dedicated children’s menu, kids can order a regular beef hot dog ($8.95), chicken fingers made in-house ($9.95) and macaroni and cheese for ($5.95). Info: 650 First St., New Suffolk, 631-734-8686, casesplace.com.

The Shipwreck Tavern

Betty , Bill, and Ava, 7, Kakis, from
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

This kitschy, nautical-themed spot on Long Island Sound features an outdoor seating at the tiki bar, next to a large wooden boat. There’s also a roof deck. Info: 10 Bayville Ave., Bayville, 516-628-2628, shipwreckpub.com.

Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill

Lia Cook (R), 3, of Freeport plays with
Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

While more of a party spot in the evenings, this seafood spot welcomes kids earlier in the day. It has a man-made white sand beach with palm trees on Reynolds Channel with a deck and some fire pit tables. Info: 15 Railroad Place, Island Park, 516-432-7677, popsseafoodshack.com.

Pictured: Lia Cook, 3, of Freeport, right, plays with Abby Castellagnos, 9, of Manhattan, while their families eat at Pop's Seafood Shack and Grill.

Claws Seafood Market

Gavin and Amanda Fee from Sayville enjoy a
Photo Credit: Nicole Horton

This roadside clam bar and fish market sits on Green Creek and features a beanbag-toss game. Order at the window, grab a seat and maybe feed the ducks that come to visit. “It wouldn’t be odd to see 20 or 30 ducks come up to the kids,” says owner Frank Palermo. “We’ll give kids a roll of Italian bread so they can feed them.” Prices range from $9 for fried clams to $22 for a lobster roll. There is also burgers and chicken tenders for the non-seafood eaters. Info: 20 E. Main St., West Sayville, 631-256-5900, clawsseafoodmarket.com.

Pictured: Gavin and Amanda Fee of Sayville enjoy lunch at Claws Seafood Market.

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