Few towns on Long Island can offer residents and visitors a vibrant downtown, a nationally-recognized working farm, an intimate live music venue where Billy Joel has performed, and a castle. Huntington can. Here’s a sampling of what the area has to offer.
GETTING THERE Know before you go
Simply take Route 110 north directly to the heart of town. Centrally located on Long Island, Huntington offers easy access to those coming from Nassau and Suffolk. Parking during peak hours can be the bigger challenge, but there are numerous municipal lots, as well as metered and street parking. Featuring one of the busier Long Island Rail Road stations, Huntington is on the Port Jefferson branch, and an approximate 1.5-mile drive via taxi or ride-sharing from the downtown area. Once there, the strip is walkable.
GRAB A BITE Brunch and quick eats
The setting, with vibrant color patterns and floor-to-ceiling windows that soak the room with light, and the menu, with savory combinations, are highly Instagramable. It’s brunch from open to close with a multitude of Benedicts, pancake combinations like the cinnamon roll (creamy butter pecan filling, cream cheese glaze, toasted pecans), stuffed French toast, sandwiches, "Not So Guilty" items like avocado toast, and breakfast beverages like mimosas; reservation required for seating.
INFO: 286 Main St.; 631-424-0780; hatchbrunch.com
Toast and Co.
Breakfast and lunch all day, every day. Browse an extensive menu with all the classics, as well as popular signatures like skillet dishes with eggs and potatoes, and a wide variety of eggs Benedict.
INFO: 62 Stewart Ave.; 631-812-0056; toastandcoeatery.com
American comfort food and a comfortable atmosphere for people of all ages and dietary preferences. With brunch and dinner offered daily, popular picks include the breakfast bowl (two poached eggs with avocado, home fries, sautéed spinach, onions, corn, jalapeño, chipotle hollandaise), the skillet mac and cheese (corn, jalapeño, bacon, onion), the Shed bowl (roasted chicken, wild rice, arugula, radish, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, goat cheese, spice honey vinaigrette), the chicken and waffles (made with a homemade honey habanero honey sauce), and of course, the Shed burger.
INFO: 54 New St.; 631-385-7433; intheshed.com
This coffeehouse (one of four Long Island locations) goes beyond the typical brew by bringing in beans from around the world, many of which are organic. Teas, lattes, cappuccinos, hot chocolates and other beverages are on the menu, as are sandwiches, burritos and tacos.
INFO: 210 Wall St.; southdowncoffee.com
This long-standing, family-owned, Greek restaurant offers authentic recipes and large portions. Famous for the Gyros, for which they make their own meat, they also specialize in seafood dishes and favorites like Greek salad, spinach pies, pastichio and moussaka. Seasonal dishes this summer will include feta cheese and watermelon salad, and soft shell crabs.
INFO: 340 New York Ave.; 631-549-8887; skorpiosofhuntington.com
This breakfast-lunch restaurant serves a variety of coffees, teas, lattes and espresso, as well as wraps, sandwiches, burritos and morning-meal standards like waffles and pancakes. Keep an eye out for its weekend specials.
INFO: 387 New York Ave.; 631- 470-4697; soulbrew.coffee
Little Vincent’s Pizza
Don’t forget to ask for the cold cheese! Little Vincent’s, open in Huntington since 1984, has just one item on the menu: a round pizza pie. Like its sister shop in Lake Ronkonkoma, it’s become iconic for its thin crust and its famed cold cheese slice (shredded mozzarella dumped atop a hot slice). Just make sure to bring cash because credit cards are not accepted.
INFO: 329 New York Ave.; 631-423-9620
The Grub Shop
If the @TheGrubfather's social media feed makes you hungry, head to The Grub Shop. Menu items include cheesesteaks made with beef, fried or grilled chicken or "Impossible meat," loaded fries, egg rolls, chicken tenders and more.
INFO: 376 New York Ave.; 631-546-1445; eatgrubshop.com
One of three locations, this bakery takes its name from its use of butter when making croissants, cookies, pastries and other baked goods. Custom cakes are also available, as are special items synonymous with seasons and holidays. There’s also cafe seating, which closes earlier daily than the bakery, so call ahead for in-store dining hours.
INFO: 495 New York Ave.; 631-424-4034; buttercookybakery.com
Herrell’s Ice Cream
Makers of homemade ice cream, flavors here range from standards like vanilla and chocolate to offbeat offerings like "Burnt Sugar" and "Purple Cow," which can all be had in dishes, cones or sundaes. Shakes and floats are also on the menu, and its "smoosh-ins" involve toppings being mixed directly into ice cream or frozen yogurt.
INFO: 46L Gerard St.; 631- 673-1100; herrellshuntington.com
Kilwin’s Huntington Village
The main event is Kilwin’s brand ice cream, available by the cone and dish, or have it in a float or sundae. This shop also specializes in fudge that’s made there daily, as well as handcrafted brittles, caramel apples, caramel corns and chocolate barks.
INFO: 293 Main St.; 631-271-4200; kilwins.com
Bon Bons Chocolatier
Much of the sweets for sale at this family-run chocolate shop are made by hand. Treats include confections like caramels, butter almond crunch, truffles and specialty items that match the current season or holiday. Candles, table decorations and other knickknacks are also for sale.
INFO: 319 Main St.; 631- 549-1059; bonbonschocolatier.com
WINE AND DINE Restaurants, bars and more
You'll find authentic Mexican food in an upscale setting. There is tableside made-to-order guacamole, tacos for all (including vegetarian options like roasted sweet potato tacos), dinner specialties such as the Sonora ribs, and a drink menu that includes a variety of tequilas and margaritas.
INFO: 402 New York Ave.; 631-549-0100; besitomexican.com
A longtime staple in the community, having opened in 1988, this Italian restaurant also mixes in New American cuisine. In addition to homemade pasta and traditional Italian dishes, the menu includes steaks, the popular crispy Blue Point oysters, and an award-winning wine list.
INFO: 215 Wall St.; 631-424-5592; piccolorestaurant.net
Find here mostly small plates and an intimate venue (hence the name), but a big drink menu. Over a dozen martinis, along with hand-shaken cocktails and wine by the glass is served. Popular shareable dishes include the bacon-wrapped apricots, grilled baby octopus, fish tacos, and chicken wings coated with a homemade orange glaze.
INFO: 56 Stewart St.; 631-819-0165; barpetite-li.com
This Cuban-Mediterranean bistro recently expanded, both in square footage and menu options. In addition to favorites like the housemade pernil (slow-roasted pulled pork shoulder), there is steak, fish, roasted chicken and specialties like braised pork belly over cauliflower purée.
INFO: 286 New York Ave.; 631-683-4666; babaluny.com
Finley’s is one of the true backyard bars in the village. You’ll feel right at home at this tavern, which is set inside a house just off the hubbub of New York Avenue. It prides itself as the leader of the craft beer experience with 30 taps and the latest trending beers. On the menu: New Orleans neighbors New England, with everything from fish and chips to twin lobster rolls, as well as Sheppard's Pie (short rib, Guinness gravy, vegetables, crisped potatoes).
INFO: 43 Green St.; 631-351-3440; finleyshuntington.com
The Rust and Gold
This spot combines the traditional sports viewing elements of high-definition televisions, an oversized projection screen, and stadium surround sound with a restaurant feel and chef-driven menu. The classic dishes remain, such as the wings (around a dozen flavors all made in-house), flat-top burgers (get a signature or build your own), and Philly cheesesteaks (three variations on the menu). An award-winning cocktail program offers draft and local beers, and classic cocktails with a twist like the all-natural Tequila cocktail (tequila, pineapple, lime, cucumber, basil, agave, nectar).
INFO: 70 Gerard St.; 631-629-4431; therustandgold.com
At this intimate, Brooklyn-like Gastropub with mood lighting and wood ceilings with a brick accent over the bar, the music is loud (the owners are, after all, musicians), and the craft beers and burgers are the draw. Particularly the kitchen sink burger, which has bacon, pepper jack, beef brisket, mac and cheese and crumbled housemade barbecue chips on a brioche bun.
INFO: 26 Clinton Ave.; 631-425-0222; vauxhallhuntington.com
The Founder’s Room
A speakeasy-style, members-only hideaway beneath The Paramount this spot provides a rock starlike experience. Members and their guests can lounge in hidden theme rooms, order drinks and small plates, and on occasion get the opportunity to mingle with the performers. Exclusivity comes with perks, but does not come cheap, with annual membership ranging from $4,000 to $6,000.
INFO: 370 New York Ave.; 631-673-7300; paramountny.com
The bar celebrates, not just the Roaring 20s, but a specific day in the 1930s: the day Prohibition ended. In the front and back lounges — there’s also an outdoor beer garden — the lights are dim and the rooms are adorned with period artifacts and furniture. The drink menu — with Happy Hour daily from 4:30 to 7 p.m. (begins at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays) — includes a mix of craft and traditional beers. A light menu with bar bites is newly available and the place can now be reserved for private events.
INFO: 30 New St.; 631-629-5878; repealxviii.com
Honu Kitchen and Cocktails
It’s sophisticated dining by day. The dining area is contemporary chic with exposed brick, a stacked stone fireplace, and chandeliers that hang from its dramatically high ceilings. The New-American menu includes small plates (including pork mac and cheese, pumpkin ravioli, and many others), salads and burgers, and large plates (steak, fish, short rib, etc.). The bar supplies an array of classic and craft beers, wine by the glass, and handcrafted cocktails.
INFO: 363 New York Ave.; 631-421-6900; honukitchen.com
A venue that prides itself on being a true taco joint, offering more than a dozen taco varieties, and shareables like chicken lollipops, housemade empanadas, and Mexican street corn.
INFO: 371 New York Ave.; 631-614-8226; missiontacoli.com
Finnegan's Restaurant and Tap Room
Referred to by locals as the "Cheers" of Huntington, this Irish pub has been operating since 1912, and has a mural painted on the exterior brick wall of more than 100 past patrons. Once a speakeasy, now an intimate local gathering spot and classic town bar setting where everybody knows your name. There's classic pub fare like Rubens, steak sandwiches and burgers, and a wide-ranging drink menu with craft beers and cocktails.
INFO: 5 Wall St.; 631-423-9696; finnegansny.com
At this Japanese restaurant, currently open for takeout and delivery only, find a mix of traditional dishes and new creations. The menu features the popular sushi/sashimi for two, which includes a sampling of tuna, yellowtail, salmon, white fish and a choosing of sushi rolls.
This spot is known for its elevated pub fare, with appetizers like homemade pierogies, sandwiches like the classic Cubano (pulled pork, ham, swiss, pickles, spicy Dijon mustard), entrees like burgers and tacos made with organic meats, and drinks like 16 craft beers on rotating taps. Dimly lit with Audubon lithographs on the wall and tin on the ceiling, it’s an intimate setting for grub and hops. Limited outdoor, bar and dining room seating is currently available.
INFO: 287 Main St.; 631-683-4945; sapsuckersli.com
THINGS TO DO Museums, parks and a brewery
Spotlight at The Paramount
Located below the music venue, Spotlight is a restaurant, bar and art space. It has a full bar, including 12 taps, and a full menu. There is a gallery that focuses on Experiential Art and displays various exhibits.
INFO: 370 New York Ave.; 631-637-1225; spotlightny.com
Six Harbors Brewing Company
The village’s first microbrewery has a drink named for each of Huntington’s six harbors, with a portion of the proceeds from each going to charitable organizations associated with the area. The family-owned and operated brewery, which is kid and pet friendly, has a tasting room and offers a wide range of craft beers, IPAs, lagers, ciders, ales and snacks.
INFO: 243 New York Ave.; 631-470-1560; sixharborsbrewingcompany.com
In addition to serving its loyal clientele, both from near and far, this working farm has also delivered pies to Oprah Winfrey, received praise for their cookies from Martha Stewart, and cooked its potato-chip-crusted chicken culet on national television with Rachael Ray. The farm — originally founded in 1941, adding nostalgia to its ingredients — offers popular items like their famed cheddar buttermilk biscuit egg sandwich, honey that’s harvested and bottled on site, and Kerberry Pies that have been selected for Oprah’s Favorite Things List. Items like their jarred jams, packaged cookie mixes, and gift crates are also sold in national retailers and independent stores.
INFO: 309 West Pulaski Rd., 631-423-4400; kerbersfarm
Heckscher Museum of Art
Celebrating its centennial in 2020, the museum houses around 2,300 pieces that span 500 years, with an emphasis on Long Island artists. Situated in Heckscher Park, the museum hosts various programs, workshops and exhibitions, both virtual and in-person, including Long Island’s Best, an annual juried exhibition displaying the artwork of local high school students. The museum is currently open Thursday to Sunday and timed tickets are required.
Main St. Board Game Cafe
Reservations are recommended but not required (call ahead to see how busy things are) to hang at this spot where gaming goes down all day. With over 300 board games from which to select, it also serves desserts, snacks, coffee and other beverages — and those include beers and wines, among other alcoholic choices. Children are welcome but must be accompanied and supervised. Three-hour seatings are $15, $10 for kids under 13.
INFO: 307 Main St.; 631- 729-0060; mainstboardgamecafe.com
Long Island’s most prominent independent bookstore, with two floors totaling 17,500 square feet, is one of the country’s largest. A destination for celebrity book signings and author readings, the store also hosts events such as the Book Revue Book Group, which is free and meets once a month (currently being held virtually). The bookstore is open for browsing and curbside pickup is also available.
INFO: 313 New York Ave.; 631-271-1442; bookrevue.com
Montauk Salt Cave
If a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down, think of what a cave full of salt can do. At this Huntington wellness facility, the sister store of Long Island’s first halotherapy room in Montauk, enter a cave with a floor lined with 13-tons of salt from the Himalayan Mountains, walls of salt rocks, and a ceiling of starlit sky. Additional services include sound therapy, reiki, yoga, massages and more.
INFO: 169 New York Ave.; 631-923-3030; montauksaltcave.com
Wine and dine in authentic European ambience at the bar and restaurant (by reservation only), or spend the night like royalty (33 rooms and suites). Mansion tours are currently suspended but you can have a wedding on the premises (your friends will be impressed).
INFO: 135 W. Gate Dr.; 631-659-1400; oheka.com
With over 18 acres of parkland and a pond just off the village’s main strip, it’s hailed by some the "Central Park" of Huntington. After dining, take a stroll through the park, which includes a playground, athletic fields, picnic areas and outdoor amphitheater.
INFO: New York and Prime avenues; 631-351-3089; huntingtonny.gov/heckscher-park
SHOPPING Boutiques, vintage and home décor shops
Built into an 1830s farmhouse, with a themed front window display that changes every month, this vintage antique shop offers everything from furniture to clothes to vinyl records to décor and more. The specialty is goods from the 1940s to 1960s — including vibrant, colorful kitsch collectibles — but the diverse product line is pridefully selected to ensure browsers of any generation will find an item of interest.
INFO: 101 Woodbury Rd.; 631-549-9100; rosiesvintagestore.com
This lifestyle boutique offers an eclectic mix of home décor, women’s clothing, and fashion accessories well-curated to meet the latest trends.
INFO: 14 Wall St.; 631-683-5700; madisonsniche.com
One of two locations in the Town of Huntington, these boutiques sell women’s clothing with an emphasis on trendy garments like tank and cropped tops, dresses and jeans.
INFO: 306 Main St.; 631-809-8690; graffitiboutique.com
Kate & Hale
One of three (two Long Island) locations operated by a pair of sisters from Suffolk County, this upscale boutique sells clothing for women, ranging from T-shirts, blouses and sweaters to bottoms, dresses, jackets and loungewear. Jewelry, bags and other accessories are also available.
INFO: 331 Main St.; 631-824-6434; kateandhaleshop.com
Clipper Ship Tea Co.
As the name implies, tea is the name of the game at this retail shop where customers can find several loose-leaf varieties. A number of honeys are also for sale in-store, including infused and varietal raw options.
INFO: 297 Main St.; 631-651-2764; facebook.com/ClipperShipTea
Featuring upscale women’s clothing such as dresses, outerwear, tops, jumpsuits, rompers and accessories, this boutique also offers to take a free photo of customers for social media use. Longer photo shoots can be arranged for a fee.
INFO: 27 Wall St.; 631-275-3462, alwaysreason.com
This shop offers the latest trends in men’s fashion with a "lux for less" mantra. Whether looking for something to wear for a night out on the town or to a black-tie affair, this boutique has everything from sportswear to suits, available in both slim and classic fit, and all complementary accessories needed to tie the outfit together.
INFO: 261 Main. St.; 631-923-2242
Give the gift of personalization by adding monograms, last names or company logos to items from an extensive, and stylish, product line. Whether embroidered or engraved, with various font and color options, this boutique puts a unique touch on everything from linens to throw blankets, bathroom accessories, glassware and wooden cutting boards.
INFO: 147 Woodbury Rd. (2nd floor); 631-470-5678; signaturegiftsinc.com
Crystal and Sage Boutique
Formerly known as "Henna Happiness," this renamed venue now focuses on metaphysical items for sale, such as crystals and tumble stones. Accessories such as rings and pendants are also among the inventory, as are books, candles and both oracle and tarot cards. Intuitive astrology readings are also available.
INFO: 6 East Carver St.; 631-935-2714; hennahappiness.com
Personalization also comes in the form of scent. A wide array of perfume oils are used to create signature fragrances and other custom scented products, including lotions, bath gels and hair care products. Additional products include essential oils for aromatherapy, skin and body care products, and gift baskets.
INFO: 259 Main St.; 631-549-2090; escentsational.com