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Gift guide: Where to eat while shopping

What kind of a mall day are you having? One that only allows you a quick bite at a food stand or the kind that leaves time for a relaxing, full-service meal?

Whatever your needs, you may want to consult this synopsis of top mall picks, from food court nibbles to multicourse indulgences (some a short drive away).



358 B. Broadway Mall, Hicksville, 516-939-0679


A counter service spot that's better than you'd expect at a mall. The fish is fresh, the rice at proper room temperature; get a roll made to order or a bowl of udon soup with shrimp tempura - even bulgoki (Korean marinated barbecued beef). ($)


This Long Island-based chain offers a crisp, oozy Neapolitan slice as well as decent meatballs and tender chicken Francese. Avoid the steam-table pasta and perfunctory salads. ($)


Kabul Grill Kabob & Tea Room, 129 N. Broadway, Hicksville, 516-933-8999.

A friendly family-run Afghan spot serving rice dishes, stews and kebabs. At lunch, try the "naanwich," a Middle Eastern version of a burrito made with grilled meat rolled in a thin, house-baked pita. ($-$$)

Royal Bukhara Grill, 70 Broadway, Hicksville, 516-822-2400,

Calling itself an "Indian Spice Rave," Royal Bukhara Grill seasons with fire. Try the herbal kadai chicken, shrimp bhuna with garlic and ginger, and vegetable fritters, along with various curries and a basket of warm, addictive breads. ($$)



2034 Green Acres Mall

Valley Stream


My Kitchen

At this clever food stand, serve yourself and pay by weight. Top choices include turkey (dark meat, too) with vegetables, home-style baked chicken, bright salads and cool, crisp green beans. The fruit is just gorgeous. ($)

Master Wok

Pan-fried fish weighing in at 70 calories a filet is a virtuous option at this Asian spot where you also can get chicken with broccoli steamed to order. ($)


Berto's Family Ristorante Italiano, 31 Rockaway Ave., Valley Stream, 516-825-2117,

The three-course lunch deal is a bargain at this gracious Italian restaurant where the Caesar salad, gnocchi Sorrentino and linguine with white clam sauce are among the robust standouts. ($$)

Itgen's, 211 Rockaway Ave., Valley Stream, 516-825-7444

This landmark ice cream parlor-luncheonette rewards you with house-made ice cream topped with what may be the best hot fudge on Long Island. For those so inclined, there are sandwiches, salads, platters and burgers, too. ($)


630 Old Country Rd., East Garden City, 516-742-8001,


Cafe Spice

This Indian-inspired stand features well-spiced Indian dishes such as chicken korma, saag paneer (pinch and cheese) and bangain bharta (eggplant); order yours with tandoor-baked bread. In addition, the stand makes some of the best smoothies going. ($)

Johnny Rockets

Burgers are fine and juicy. Have yours with a thick shake at this nationwide chain with a nostalgic vibe. Sit on a counter stool and watch the action behind the griddle. ($)


Grand Lux Cafe, adjacent to north side of the mall, 516-741-0096, In a faux Venetian palace, lunch specials are fresh, flavorful, attractive. House-made desserts are worth every calorie. ($ to $$)

LL Dent, 221 Old Country Rd., Carle Place, 516-742-0940. The team of mom-hostess Lillian and daughter-chef Leisa Dent serve up Southern hospitality as well as fine cooking. Try the crisp fried chicken and warm meringue-topped banana pudding. ($$)

Americana Manhasset:

No food court at this center of conspicuous consumption. But there are restaurants.

Cipollini, 2110C Northern Blvd., Manhasset 516-627-7172

Take time out and relax over a wood-oven pizza, a pasta or a panino at this chic Italian trattoria. ($$$)

Toku, 2014C Northern Blvd., Manhasset, 516-627-8658

Toku offers a first-class tour of Asian cuisines. Try the teriyaki sliders, spring rolls, lobster tacos, short ribs with noodles, sushi rolls or whatever strikes your fancy. ($$$)


Landmark Diner, 1027 Northern Blvd., Roslyn 516-627-4830

Simple pleasures, like a cheeseburger or BLT, are yours for a relative pittance across the street from the Americana. Mac and cheese is a specialty and desserts (great chocolate cream pie) are house-made, served with freshly whipped cream. ($-$$)

Nick & Pedro's

1496 Northern Blvd., Manhasset 516-365-6930

Big, beautiful salads come with dressings on the side at this Manhasset in-spot drawing a weight-conscious clientele. Try the sensational grilled calamari salad. There's also a full Italian menu. ($$-$$$)

WESTFIELD SUNRISE SHOPPING CENTER, 1 Sunrise Mall, Massapequa, 516-795-3550


Yuzu Sushi

Raw fish is fresh and, if you ask, rolled to order. The salmon avocado roll is a particular favorite. ($-$$)

Nathan's/Arthur Treacher's

Bursting with garlicky juices, a Nathan's frank is always a treat, along with the crisp, nutty signature fries. ($)


Big Daddy's, 1A Park Lane, Massapequa, 516-799-8877, Close to the mall, this source of spicy Cajun fare also features pit barbecue and is open for both dinner and lunch. Try a muffuletta or pulled pork sandwich. ($$)

Ephesus, 514 Park Blvd., Massapequa Park, 516-543-4258, A friendly Turkish spot for succulent kebabs, pide (long turnovers) and warm house-baked bread with savory dips. ($$)



There is no food court at Walt Whitman Mall

Cirella's at Saks Fifth Avenue, first floor, Saks Fifth Avenue, 631-350-1229. The sushi bar at this unusual lunch spot serves up impeccable raw fish and perfectly cooked rice. Salads are big, bright and fresh. You'll also find sandwiches, wraps, entrees and frozen yogurt. ($$)

California Pizza Kitchen, 160 Walt Whitman Rd. (No. 1074), 631-423-7565, This chain is on top of trend, with a well-priced menu of small plates, designer pizzas, pastas, Panini and entrees, too. ($ to $$)

Cheesecake Factory, 160 Walt Whitman Rd., (No. 1109), Huntington Station, 631-271-8200, cheesecake Whether it's a full-course meal or a few fashionable small plates, this cacophonous palace of possibilities has it all. Some favorites: Vietnamese taco, the "double crunch" and any of the oversized salads. ($ to $$)

Panera Bread, 160 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station, 631-424-0060, For a quick bite, this order-at-the-counter bakery-cafe has the soup, salad, sandwich routine down to a science. ($)



313 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, 631-724-8066

Mosaic Turkish Grill

One of the best food court choices going, this family-owned Turkish eatery offers restaurant-quality fare, such as the fine donor kebabs (marinated slices of lamb and steak stacked, spit-roasted and sliced to order) and chicken Adana kebab (minced spiced poultry, skewered and grilled to piquant juiciness). ($)


Bobby's Burger Palace, 355 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, 631-382-9590, At Iron Chef Bobby Flay's burger emporium, you order at the counter and your food is brought to you. Good bets: the signature Crunchburger with American cheese and potato chips inside, hand-cut freshly fried potatoes and the heavenly chocolate malted. ($-$$)


Zan's Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterer, 135 Alexander Ave., Lake Grove, 631-979-8771. A short walk from the mall, in an adjacent parking lot, is this oasis of satisfying kosher-style classics like chicken matzo ball soup, hot pastrami or corned beef on rye, standout fries and knishes.

Ragazzi Italian Kitchen & Bar, 2950 Middle Country Rd., Nesconset, 631-265-8200,

A sleek new Italian restaurant with a buzz. Share a margherita pizza, have a panino at lunch or, at dinner, bone-in chicken scarpariello. House-made desserts, like baked peaches or panna cotta, are superstars.($$)



1701 Sunrise Hwy., Bay Shore, 631-665-8600, /southshore

Yogo Monster

The "plain tart" flavor of the featured frozen yogurt has only 20 calories an ounce and is positively addictive. Fresh fruit or crazy candy toppings.($)

My Kitchen

Load your plate and pay by weight at this chain where the steam-table selections are eclipsed by the colorful fresh salads and tropical fruits.($)


Smokin' Al's Famous BBQ, 19 W. Main St., Bay Shore, 631-206-3000. Depend upon Al for well-smoked ribs, chicken, brisket and pulled pork (which may be had as a salad topping). ($$)

Galanga, 25 W. Main St., Bay Shore, 631-666-6696. Amazing chicken coconut soup is only one draw at this minimalist-decor Thai restaurant. Curries and stir-fried dishes are full of flavor and nuance. ($$)



1770 W. Main St., Riverhead


Wok & Roll

Do better than the usual steam-table fare by requesting steamed chicken and vegetables with brown sauce on the side. The chicken is remarkably tender, the vegetables retain a hint of crispness. ($)

Villa Pizza

Put together a decent meal (pasta, entree, vegetable) at this competent pizza-pasta spot. Try the savory meatballs (a trifle bready but very good) with baked ziti and surprisingly bright vegetables. ($)


Haiku, 40 E. Main St., Riverhead, 631-727-7778. This new Japanese place has good looks (raftered ceilings and handsome furnishings) and skilled sushi chefs. Ornate maki rolls and simple sashimi platters are all beautifully wrought. ($$)

Star Confectionery, 4 E. Main St., Riverhead, 631-727-9873. At this old-fashioned ice cream parlor, you'll find such simple pleasures as a BLT, a burger, an egg salad sandwich, an egg cream, a hot fudge sundae. House-made ice cream, divine fudge.($)

Tanger Outlets at the Arches

Fratelli Trattoria, Suite 996, The Arches Circle, Deer Park, 631-274-4811. A bi-level spot that's part pizzeria, part full-service restaurant. Good bets include a personal pizza and the savory-sweet rigatoni "alla Fratelli's." ($-$$)

Chipotle Mexican Grill, 1090 The Arches Circle, Tanger Outlet at the Arches, Deer Park, 631-586-0301. This Tex-Mex national chain specializes in responsibly raised and hormone-free meat and mostly organic and local produce. Soft corn tacos are a welcome new option. There are also burritos, salads or "bols." Favorite fillings: carnitas (highly seasoned seared and braised pork), and spicy grilled dark meat chicken. Fresh salsas add verve. ($)


Bamboo Chinese & Japanese Restaurant is at 534 Commack Rd., Deer Park, 631-586-6888. At this informal strip mall Chinese-Japanese spot, you'll find some culinary surprises: tender savory-sweet barbecued short ribs, a fine salmon-avocado roll and exemplary hot-and-sour soup studded with bright green peas and pieces of pork. ($$)

Panchita Grill, 354 Commack Rd., Deer Park, 631-242-0355. Mexican and Spanish food as well as Colombian dishes are featured at this colorful Latin spot where rotisserie chicken is a highlight.

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