Over the past 20 years, Patchogue has grown younger and livelier as a village, with a near-explosion of restaurants that draw patrons from well outside the area. On a weekend night, Patchogue feels like a party, with traffic at a crawl, bars brimming and parking woes aplenty.
Here are some of the dozens of restaurants, bakeries, bars and cafes that jockey shoulder to shoulder along downtown Patchogue's two main thoroughfares, throwing down broiled oysters and brisket sandwiches, turmeric smoothies and spiked milkshakes.
30 E. Main St.
Oaxaca may be thousands of miles away, but under an umbrella on the back patio of its Patchogue namesake, a grilled pineapple mezcal margarita in hand, you could be transported to Mexico’s culinary capital. This stylish offshoot of the Astoria original opened in 2022, highlighting the artful side of Mexican cuisine. Chefs Carlos and Felipe Arellanos finely tune cochinita pibil tacos and shrimp-calamari ceviche, quesadillas jammed with rajas and Oaxaca cheese, melting seafood enchiladas that fuse the ocean with creamy habanero-spiked salsa. There are multiple spins on mole, from chocolate-tinged mole negro served with chicken buñuelos (fritters) to mole verde to smoky, guajillo-fueled mole Coloradito draped across NY strip steak. The slow-cooked baby back ribs, sheathed in a guava-chipotle glaze, practically fall apart under your gaze — the kind of transcendent dish that leaves you planning a return. More info: 631-569-2233, rutaoaxacamex.com
95 W. Main St.
With plenty of rum, color and bling, The Cuban is a sprawling 154-seat sister restaurant to the original Long Island location in Garden City. Tropicana-style shows featuring costumed dancers and live drummers take place most Friday and Saturday nights (sorry, no dedicated dance floor here though). Cuban and Latin-fusion dishes include appetizers from empanadas and the cod fritters known as bacalaitos to chargrilled octopus (pulpo a la parrila) as well as three kinds of ceviche. Larger plates include the iconic ropa vieja, or Cuban-style braised and pulled beef, plus lechoncito (roasted pork shoulder with pickled onions), a seafood sancocho stew with lobster tail and scallops, and a pernil-stuffed Cuban-style sandwich. More info: 631-714-5626; thecubanny.com
Bird & Bao
58 S. Ocean Ave.
This sweetly minimalist spot spins imaginative takes on bao from chef-owner Conor Swanson. The lineup centers on steamed buns filled layered with all manner of complexity, from Nashville-style hot-chicken bao (with black vinegar pickles and togarashi oil) to pork-belly bao (with house kimchi and peanuts) and crispy tofu bao with peanut sauce, coriander and bean sprouts. Fleeting specials regularly push the bounds — think crispy coconut shrimp bao, double cheeseburger bao (on a milk-bread buns) and guava-glazed salmon bao, usually announced on Instagram — but the s’mores bao is a daily staple. More info: 631-447-2200, birdandbao.com
76 W. Main St.
“Breakfasting” has been elevated to an art form lately, and Buttermilk’s Kitchen is its poster child: Airy and artsy, with a shabby-chic vibe and whimsical takes on breakfast (served all day) and lunch staples such as grilled cheese sandwiches. Behind the bar are mimosas, Bloody Marys and coffee drinks galore; breakfast ventures to S’mores French toast, omelets, and the those buttermilk pancakes. More info: 631-654-6455, buttermilkskitchen.com
Dirty Taco + Tequila
32 W. Main St.
Dirty Taco has become something of an Island juggernaut, going from a single spot in Wantagh to locations that extended into Suffolk when Dirty opened in Patchogue in 2022. Platters of tots, queso and guac are plenty, tacos are the creative types from blackened salmon to duck bao bun-inspired. Mason jar margaritas of every flavor and hue on the color wheel add to the fun, upbeat vibe. More info: 631-977-8226, dirtytacoandtequila.com
Catch Oyster Bar
63 N. Ocean Ave.
This former hair salon has been transformed into a bright, tiled, cozy oyster-centric hangout for tucking into one of Long Island’s greatest local assets — oysters. A handful of varieties are on the menu at any given time, from plump Fire Island Blues to West Coast Kumamotos. Slurp them dabbed with house mignonette, or go for oysters Rockefeller or grilled oysters showered with Parmesan. More info: 631-627-6860, catchoysterbar.com
49 E. Main St.
Food meets retro fun at this throwback spot, which has so many vintage details it's hard to know where to look first. The place resembles a theater set, with moody 1970s hues running throughout two soaring rooms, one lined by a long bar whose puzzle of cubbyholes hold memorabilia such as decades-old roller skates. Bao buns and birria tacos join bar standards such as cavatelli mac-and-cheese with shards of smoked ham and pimento cheese sauce, wings and a smash burger laced with pork belly. Lovers of both Cubano sandwiches and hot dogs will find comrade in the Cubano dog. The beer list is quasi-hidden in an oversized Scrabble board. Out of sight, in the back, is a room full of arcade games such as Skee-Ball and Off Road (with a few other video arcade games scattered around, too). More info: 631-730-8100, stndrec.com
124 E. Main St.
Friends Rob Delgiorno and Michael Jordan opened this 85-seat restaurant and whiskey bar with dishes that range from gochujang wings and grilled octopus to pastrami sandwiches and fried boneless chicken thighs over grits doused with hot honey. The spot offers all-day happy hour, from noon to 7 p.m., that slashes prices by half for every spirit behind the bar. Rarer finds include Wellers 90 Proof Rye (rare) or Old Rip Van Winkle 12 Year (super rare) which retails at $2,150 or so a bottle. More info: 631-600-3434, whiskeyneatny.com
13 E. Main St.
On the top floor of this bold, trilevel restaurant is one of the downtown’s most atmospheric spots: A rooftop bar and deck with swings for bar stools and a cityscape view. With a prickly pear margarita and some Caribbean-style wings in hand, it’s a fine place to while away a Sunday afternoon, and maybe even sing a bar of Rupert Holmes. More info: 631-569-5944, rhumpatchogue.com
5 Village Green Way
This tucked-away oyster-and-Italian-wine bar doesn’t necessarily bill itself as a place for apertivo, or predinner snacks and drinks, but Virgola might revive that late-day ritual. Its cocktail menu is dotted with bittersweet drinks (go for the Aperol-laced Margarita Italiano); its thoughtful wine list is entirely Italian; and its menu doesn’t wander far from shellfish, crudo, ceviche and caviar, plus imported Italian cheeses and salumi. More info: 631-714-5000, virgolausa.com
411 W. Main St.
Gastropub fare mixes with Mexican, Spanish and Ecuadorian dishes at this spot serving daily brunch (until 3 p.m.) with omelets, eggs Benedict, huevos rancheros and a flatbread breakfast pizza. Later in the day, starters go from skirt-steak-topped nachos to shrimp ceviche with tostones. Burgers, pumpkin ravioli, paella and wine-braised short ribs appear on the larger plate list. There's also a lengthy cocktail roster featuring a bracing house margarita (made with agave syrup and tequila infused with multiple berries) and shareable 100-ounce sangrias and rum punch. More info: 631-730-8602, tiestosrestaurant.com
Local Burger Co.
15 W. Main St.
The yearning for burgers (and burger photos) can never be sated, which helps explain the popularity of Local Burger Co. The base model comes draped in American cheese and branded with the local ZIP code, 11722; but bacon, eggs, and mac-and-cheese are all in the kitchen’s toolbox. When the weather is warm, a garage door rolls up to lend an al-freso vibe. There’s plenty of craft beer and cocktails, too. More info: 631-714-5220, localburgerco.com
70 W. Main St.
Order at the counter, grab a table and soon you’ll be elbow-deep in pulled pork, brisket and St. Louis-style ribs, slow-cooked inside a 700-pound Southern Pride rotisserie-smoker. Don’t bypass the jumbo barbecue chicken wings, either. More info: 631-447-7744, bobbique.com
PATCHOGUE BAKERIES, COFFEE & ICE CREAM
CoHo Coffee House
62 W. Main St.
This village coffee shop is many things: A coffee bar (there’s an actual marble bar), a cold-brew lab (12 drip on the wall at any given time), a juice bar, a gelateria and an events space, with regular live music. Customers (especially students) are encouraged to linger, with USB ports under the bar, free Wi-Fi and a printer, plus a communal table made from 300-year-old German oak. Pastries come from local bakers and the gelato from Gelato King, but all of the coffee comes from East End Coffee Roasters. More info: 631-569-4900
Mademoiselle of Patchogue
61 N. Ocean Ave.
Passersby might spot baker-owner Michelle Gillette Kelly shaping pastry in the front window. Step inside, and you can sit at a small counter and taste her handiwork: Macarons, croissants, apricot Danish, fruit tarts and an array of sweet and savory pastries that are turned out fresh daily. More info: 631-627-8560, mademoiselleofpatchogue.com