Buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with chipotle ranch, lettuce, pickles and...

Buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with chipotle ranch, lettuce, pickles and pepperjack at The North Fork Shack in Southold. Credit: Randee Daddona

Picking a bushel of apples and hauling pumpkins straight from the field works up an appetite, as does sitting in the car inching along Suffolk's notoriously traffic-clogged roads during fall harvest season. You'll want a place to eat with a crowd-pleasing menu that doesn't require reservations.

MID-SUFFOLK RESTAURANTS

Sound Avenue Bistro (3225 Sound Ave., Riverhead): With its blue-awning-ed windows and proud yardarm flagpole, the big, rambling Sound Avenue Bistro is unmissable as you travel along Sound Avenue. The former Lobster Roll Northside is one of the only places around to find that Long Island specialty, fried puffer fish tails. You’ll also find lobster rolls, fried fish baskets, local clams and oysters and, in season, soft-shell crabs and lobster-stuffed beefsteak tomatoes. The family-friendly menu features roast chicken, seared tuna, linguine and clams sauce, veal Milanese and much more. A terraced patio offers outdoor dining. More info: 631-381-0519, soundbistroriverhead.com

The local lobster salad beefstake tomato at Sound Avenue Bistro...

The local lobster salad beefstake tomato at Sound Avenue Bistro in Riverhead. Credit: Randee Daddona

Broadway Market (643 Broadway, Rocky Point): Fuel up for a day in the patch or wind down afterward at this indoor-outdoor cafe, which serves brunch in the form of pancakes, loaded flatbreads, salads and burgers. The hearty market sandwich is layered with fried eggs, maple bacon, tomato and Mornay sauce on a house-baked potato bun ($12). The eatery's cleverly designed backyard seating area gives kids (and adults) space to roam and play. The restaurant's perch is just west of several u-pick farms on Route 27-A in Baiting Hollow and Wading River, making it a good pit stop. More info: 631-849-1729. bmropo.com

Lucha Farm (177 Main St., Center Moriches): Part of Marc LaMaina’s growing empire of Lucharitos restaurants, “the farm” rambles over more than an acre of multiple outdoor dining areas. The menu will be familiar to patrons of the original Lucharitos in Greenport and its outposts as far west as Melville. The exuberant take on Mexican and Mexican American street food — tacos filled with coconut shrimp, quesadillas made with local duck — may all be washed down with premium tequilas, beer and Mexican soft drinks. More info: 631-400-9625, lucharitos.com

A small section of the outdoor area at Lucharitos farm...

A small section of the outdoor area at Lucharitos farm and restaurant in Center Moriches. Credit: Newsday/Joann Vaglica

NORTH FORK RESTAURANTS

Barrow Food House (452 Main Rd., Aquebogue): It's an eatery of high aspirations and distinction at a wallet-friendly price point. The setting is a dramatic one: a rebuilt 1850s farmhouse (the owners live upstairs) with a handsome indoor dining area and a partially shaded picnic table area outside, plus a front porch perfect for dining and drinking. All the dining areas are quaint and cozy, but no reservations are accepted, so get there early. More info: 631-779-3379, barrowfoodhouse.com

Patrons dine on the outdoor patio at Barrow Food House...

Patrons dine on the outdoor patio at Barrow Food House in Aquebogue. Credit: Randee Daddona

Cooperage Inn (2218 Sound Ave., Baiting Hollow): This North Fork stalwart is the very model of a rural restaurant, situated across the street from Fox Hollow Farm and next to Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard. The restaurant’s décor reflects its setting, with a verdant patio, old-fashioned tap room, a "harvest" dining room with a fireplace. The menu blends American standards (homemade potpies, steaks, meatloaf, roast duck) with more contemporary touches and, of course, pasta. Cooperage Inn’s annual fall festival runs every weekend through October, featuring face painting, a hay playground and a petting zoo. Festival menu specials include roasted corn, pulled pork sandwiches, barbecued ribs and chicken and bratwurst. More info: 631-727-8994, cooperageinn.com

North Fork Shack (41150 County Rd. 48, Southold): A compelling little spot whose casual vibe belies its culinary ambitions. Follow a local clam chowder with a sandwich of local fish with tomato, arugula and Old Bay aioli, or a wrap of pulled lamb with cucumber yogurt sauce and pickled vegetables. Tacos and tostadas are filled with your choice of pulled chicken, marinated steak, fried fish or Buffalo eggplant. Order at the counter and dine at picnic tables outside. More info: 631-876-5566, thenorthforkshack.com

Buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with chipotle ranch, lettuce, pickles and...

Buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with chipotle ranch, lettuce, pickles and pepperjack at The North Fork Shack in Southold. Credit: Randee Daddona

Modern Snack Bar (628 Main Rd., Aquebogue) Modern Snack Bar in Aquebogue is like a welcoming center on the North Fork, warm and reliable, as it has been since Truman was president. Recommended: fried soft-shell crabs; lobster salad; chicken croquettes; deep-fried flounder sandwich; fried chicken; roast loin of pork with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and apple sauce; roast turkey, with stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce; meat loaf; New England-style clam chowder; sauerbraten with red cabbage, potato dumplings, and gingersnap gravy; all pies. More info: 631-722-3655, modernsnackbar.com

HAMPTONS/SOUTH FORK RESTAURANTS

Little Gull Cafe (54 N. Phillips Ave., Speonk): At this charmer located in a decommissioned train depot, chef-owner Will Pendergast offers homestyle breakfasts and lunches made with truly local ingredients. The dining room offers unobstructed views of the chefs as they make tender, towering buttermilk biscuits, sourdough pancakes, egg sandwiches on thick-cut toast, lobster rolls on homemade buns, greens-and-grains bowls and much more. Don’t leave without dessert, whether it’s a local fruit buckle or Pendergast’s signature pistachio-olive oil Bundt with a tunnel of chocolate. More info: 631-801-2176, littlegullcafe.com

The chocolate-pistachio cake at Little Gull Cafe in Speonk.

The chocolate-pistachio cake at Little Gull Cafe in Speonk. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Shinnecock Lobster Factory (42 Montauk Hwy., Southampton): If you’re heading to the Hamptons, it’s worth getting off of Route 27 once you cross the Shinnecock Canal. Not only will the scenery improve, but you’ll pass right by Shinnecock Lobster Factory, a collaboration between former Shinnecock tribal leader Lance Gumbs and Sicilian-born chef-caterer Marco Barrila. Lobster rolls here come in guppy, shark and whale sizes and in six varieties, from classic or BLT-style to diablo (with spicy tomato sauce) or “Shinnecock” (with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon). There’s also lobster bisque, lobster salad, lobster tacos … you get the idea. Dine on the porch or at picnic tables on the lawn out back. More info: 631-259-3334, shinnecocklobsterfactory.com

TownLine BBQ (3593 Montauk Hwy., Sagaponack): The roadside barbecue joint is casual and counter-service, making it a perfect turnoff for a quick bite when you've had your fill of agri-tainment at nearby Hank's Pumpkintown or The Milk Pail. Smoked meats reign, of course, especially St. Louis-style ribs. Sides, from cornbread to collard greens, are solid. TownLine is the rare BBQ spot that makes its own (and very good) desserts. More info: 631-537-2271, townlinebbq.com

Ribs served at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack.

Ribs served at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

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