If you're planning to hit Jones Beach, consider a lunch or dinner stop at any of these eateries. All are conveniently situated off either the Meadowbrook or Wantagh, the two parkways that lead to the beach. And all will welcome you in your flip-flops, shorts and bathing suit cover-ups.
Shake Shack, 860 Old Country Rd., Garden City: There's invariably a line that moves quickly at Danny Meyer's nexus for burgers, dogs and shakes. Try the simple Shack Burger, topped with lettuce, tomato, American cheese and the mayo-based shack sauce. It's a juicy treat and one of the area's best values.
Lobster Shack, 3915 Merrick Rd., Seaford: Casual, family-friendly spot for lobster rolls, steamed lobster, fish and chips, fried calamari, sautéed scungilli, crab cakes, New England and Manhattan clam chowders.
Passione Della Cucina
Passione Della Cucina, 231 Old Country Rd., Carle Place: This sprawling place, under the same ownership as Emilio's in Commack, has a pizzeria on one side. There, you'll find some top-notch pies and slices. The grandma, grandpa and marinara pizzas are three of many standouts.
Pit Stop, 1706 Sunrise Hwy., Merrick: Much TLC goes into the sprightly salads, inventive wraps and juicy burgers at this renovated Carvel stand with indoor and outdoor seating.
Bobby's Burger Palace
Bobby's Burger Palace, 630 Old Country Rd., Garden City: Order at the reception desk and grab a counter seat at Iron Chef Bobby Flay's place for burgers imaginatively topped and cooked to specs. Hand-cut fries may be habit-forming. Do indulge in one of the terrific malteds or milk shakes.
Pollos El Paisa
Pollos El Paisa, 989 Old Country Rd., Westbury: A popular standby for its namesake dish, the national chicken of Colombia, this bright little eatery offers glistening bronze-rotisseried birds and lots more. Eat in the diner-like restaurant or have your chicken boxed to go, for the beach.
Pastrami Plus, 2568 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow: In small, simple digs, deli man Sal Gawish produces an exemplary pastrami. His house-made knishes are tall, flaky and onion-enriched. You'll also find all the deli classics: matzo ball soup, stuffed cabbage, corned beef and brisket.
One Block East
One Block East, 3261 Merrick Rd., Wantagh: The successor to the former Mara's Too offers sandwiches, salads, barbecue, burgers and craft beers. It's about as casual as a sit-down restaurant gets.
Chickens Road, 2975 Merrick Rd., Bellmore: This counter-serve Venezuelan eatery specializes in more than just rotisserie-roasted chicken. Try the gallo rice, a Chinese-South American stir-fry, as well as the house-made empanadas. Eat on-site or have your meal packaged to go.