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Where and what to eat at Long Island beaches this summer

The seafood platter served during the Seafood Festival

The seafood platter served during the Seafood Festival at the Sunken Meadow pavilion.

Last year’s wave of new beach restaurants returns this summer with some menu surprises for beachgoers who like dining outdoors with a sea breeze, a water view and live music in the background. Spicy crab corn chowder, paella, Texas barbecue and Caribbean lobster join seaside menu classics such as French fries, clam strips and Neapolitan pizza. Here’s a roundup of new treats and old favorites at beach eateries.  

Jones Beach State Park/The Boardwalk Café

Food concessionaire Centerplate continues to feature menu items with New York State-sourced ingredients, according to state parks officials. Boardwalk coffee comes hot or iced this summer from Double Barrel Roasters in Yonkers. Drink choices include Bridge Lane Wine from Mattituck and beer from Blue Point in Patchogue and Montauk Brewing Co. At the Boardwalk Café, which opened last summer in a new, $20 million building on the Central Mall (Field 4), you can still pick up pressed panini, sandwiches, salads and chicken tenders. Tasty additions this summer include New England clam chowder, spicy crab corn chowder, and baskets of breaded buttermilk shrimp and fries. Also new on the menu: a platter of flounder fillet, breaded shrimp and scallops, and a 5-ounce salmon burger. Two hot summer day standards — friend clam strips and crabcakes — are also new to the menu.  

Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park

Local craft breweries and East End wineries pour the drinks from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Seafood Festival (Wednesdays beginning June 5), Country BBQ and Line Dancing night (Thursdays starting June 6), and Caribbean Fridays beginning July 5, all at Field 1 on the boardwalk. Prices range from $13 to $20 for a barbecue plate and $28 for a seafood platter.  

Venetian Shores, Lindenhurst & Tanner Park, Copiague

Long Island-based Katch Drinks & Eats has been aiming to create a full-service restaurant for beachfront dining since it took over the Beach Huts last year. On Tuesday nights at Venetian Shores, you buy a ticket and line up for a helping of paella with mussels, shrimp, clams and fish. At Tanner park on Sundays, Caribbean night serves up lobster and Calypso bands. Drink choices include piña coladas and mudslide slushies, and this summer’s new concoction: a Katch Me Outside banana rum punch topped with a 151 proof shot.  

La Casa Café, Crab Meadow Beach, Northport

It’s pretty much status quo at this 26-table indoor sit-down Italian restaurant serving pasta, pork chops and steak. (An salad bar option costs $13.95.) Many beachgoers prefer the breezy 50 tables in the open pavilion, where prices are a little friendlier. A Neapolitan pizza with meatballs or pepperoni can be ordered from the waitstaff or at a concession window. For dessert: Stroll the boardwalk with ice cream or Italian ice. Salt Shack Seaside Grill, Cedar Beach, Town of Babylon Acai, poke and sushi Bango Bowls are back at the concession (also a former Beach Hut) run since 2018 by the Long Islanders who own Harbor Crab and Dublin Deck in Patchogue. Tacos, clam chowder and burgers are served at indoors and out (including a rooftop deck) with views of the Atlantic and the Great South Bay. Tuesday Sandals and Saddles Country Music Night is a Texas barbecue feast. Tobay Beach, Town of Oyster Bay The town’s two bayside restaurants are being taken over by Island Time Hospitality of Patchogue. Mango Bay becomes The Wharf, a marketplace-style outdoor cafe, and The Crazy Oyster becomes The Beach House, a tiki-style Polynesian-theme restaurant. Both are scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend.

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