What, no summer house? You don’t have to leave the city for the Hamptons or the Jersey Shore to enjoy a day at the beach. From Coney Island to the Rockaways there are lively boardwalks lined with restaurants offering delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options. By Sarah Shaker.
Place To Beach
Coney Island’s post-Sandy resurgence comes with the launch of Luna Park’s newest dining concept. It’s called Place to Beach — a casual, beach-themed Mexican restaurant and bar offering an outdoor dining experience across the bustling boardwalk from Coney Island beach. Soak up the sun on their cabana-style patio and full-service bar. The patio turns into a dance floor at night with live DJs and bands performing weekly events all summer long. Starters include fresh guacamole and chips and golden-fried shrimp served with a spicy chipotle mayo. Entrees consist of herb-marinated steak topped with roasted garlic and Pasilla Chile sauce as well as citrus-marinated chicken breast topped with spicy pico de gallo and sliced avocado.
Call it the Hamptons for the hipster set. The newest hotel to hit the scene in Brooklyn opened in Rockaway this summer. Partygoers are getting a taste of the “out East” nightlife without hopping on the Jitney. Much like a beach getaway, there is sun, sand and fun to be had at Playland Motel. Enjoy something from their diner or pizza menu, from small bites to a raw bar and entrees. Wade in the inflatable pool or play a few rounds of ping-pong or cornhole with your crew for a full day of summer fun.
The photo at this shack just a few steps away from the Atlantic Ocean in Queens doesn’t do its fish tacos justice. Beneath the skinny rectangles of lettuce and circles of radish are planks of fish that somehow retain their moist meatiness despite serious time in the fryer. Also terrific are the fried plantains sprinkled with cotija. Beloved by skaters and surfers, this summertime institution is even stronger, and more revered, post-Hurricane Sandy.
This authentic Ukrainian restaurant is a classic in Brighton Beach. The recipes were passed down from the owner’s grandmother, with specialties like a heaping bowl of Borscht, Vareniki (Ukrainian handmade dumplings) stuffed with cabbage, meat or cheese and the fall-off-the-bone Glechik Stew beef served with pan-fried potato vareniki. This family style cafe is great for a leisurely lunch or dinner when spending the day at Coney Island or Brighton Beach.
Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club
You can expect a “beach” feel at Beekman Beer Garden at South Street Seaport. Kick back in a hammock or lounge chair while sipping on a craft beer, challenge friends to a game of ping pong, pool or foosball, while taking in the gorgeous view of the Brooklyn Bridge. With an array of events like concerts and parties, there’s always something happening on Pier 17. Dine on casual eats like barbecue or burgers for a backyard cookout vibe by the water.
Open May through September, Lobster Joint’s Rockaway Beach location is serving up lobster and crab rolls to hungry beach goers. What better way to enjoy a day on the water than to dine on delicacies from the sea? Try one of their combos for a delicious meal deal, like a lobster roll with a pickle, chips and a drink. There’s a larger menu available at their Lower East Side and Greenpoint locations for those looking for even more seafood delights.
The Beach at Dream Downtown
The Beach at Dream Downtown may not be a nature-made shoreline, but you won’t mind one bit when dining poolside with their delicious Latin-inspired fare. Recently imported white sand, cabanas and a 550 square foot pool brings a beach oasis to the heart of Chelsea. A recent partnership with Kelvin Natural Slush Co. has expanded ways to cool down with customizable classic ginger slushes with fresh fruit purees like caramelized pineapple, white peach, green apple, and strawberry, as well as a choice of spirits to spike your summer drink for a sweet pairing with dishes like Chipotle Caesar Salad and Seared Tuna Tacos.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.