What do locals consider to be the best iconic Long Island foods? Don’t miss our Long Island foodie bucket list.
Are you looking to take a food tour of Long Island? Wondering what classic Long Island foods you must try at least once?
Maybe you’re local and are curious if you’ve satisfied all the Long Island cuisine musts.
We can promise you one thing – while our Long Island foodie bucket isn’t exactly waist conscious, it is absolutely delicious and will leave you wondering how you never knew Long Island was all about the food.
You might be familiar with some of the most iconic Long Island foods. If you live here, you have very strong opinions about where to get the best BEC.
And no matter where you’re from, you know Long Island boasts some of the absolute best pizza in the entire country.
But what other lesser known staples are an absolute must, especially if you’re from out of town. What hidden gems can and should top any list of the best Long Island foods you must try? And what gourmet delicacies are hidden amongst a sea of carbs?
As locals who’ve lived and dined across Long Island for 30+ years, we’re sharing our Long Island cuisine bucket list.
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11 Long Island Foods You Don’t Want to Miss
Pizza… Even With Cold Cheese
Pizza on Long Island is some of the best in the world. Need we say more…probably not.
Whenever we head back to Long Island, we take a tour of our favorite Long Island foods. Always starting with pizza, always ending with pizza. Nothing compares to our favorite Margherita, white, or plain old regular slices.
But putting cold cheese on top of a piping hot slice of pizza? Little Vincent’s Pizza in Huntington puts its own spin on a classic, and it is more than just the most epic drunk food ever.
A Bacon Egg and Cheese on a Roll
It doesn’t get more classic than a bacon egg and cheese on a roll. Perhaps the most iconic of the Long Island foods you must try at least once, what’s affectionately known simply as a BEC may not seem like a delicacy, but trust us, it’s an absolute must!
Swap out the roll for a bagel of your choice, opt for sausage over bacon, or customize your egg order. But do dry the standard version at least once!
You might be from Long Island if you can decode LMGABECSPK.
New York is known for their bagels, and Long Island is no exception. In fact, many Long Islanders believe Long Island bagels are superior to New York City bagels. From standards, like everything, egg, and sesame, to niche flavors such as blueberry, jalapeno cheddar, and rainbow, you can’t go wrong with bagels on a Sunday morning.
Simply put, bagels ARE Long Island cuisine.
Zorn’s of Bethpage
A Long Island staple since 1940, Zorn’s of Bethpage serves the original rotisserie and Southern Fried chicken. Four generations later, Zorn’s is still family owned and still serving farm to table poultry, ribs, and homestyle sides, using the same generations old recipes.
In addition to individual and family style meals to go, Zorn’s serves salads, topped with their famous rotisserie chicken, pies, and holiday feasts. Our go-tos include a Caesar salad, when we’re feeling healthy, or a family pack with half rotisserie, half fried chicken, garlic mash, and creamed spinach.
All American Hamburger Drive In
A local landmark amongst Long Islanders, All American Hamburger Drive In has been serving the best hamburgers in the world since 1963. With extremely low prices, classic sides, and consistently good burgers, it’s no wonder why All American draws crowds around the block. Don’t miss the strawberry shake!
Deli Sandwich (with a brewed iced tea!)
It’s no secret that deli sandwiches outside of New York are meh. As someone who’s lived out of state for a while, I can promise you that one of the things New Yorkers do right is the classic deli sandwich.
We typically go for a pastrami on rye, or a warm chicken cutlet hero, always with the fresh deli brewed iced tea! Some of our favorites are Pete’s Deli in Farmingdale, Pastrami King in Merrick, and Cherry Valley in West Hempstead.
Diner Disco Fries
Did you even grow up on Long Island if you didn’t have a first date at a diner and shared a plate of cheesy disco fries? What’s disco fries? Long Island’s take on a traditional poutine, disco fries are basically thick diner french fries, smothered in mozzarella cheese and topped with brown gravy. It’s the absolute best comfort meal.
Move over New England, Long Island’s East End, particularly Montauk, is known for their lobster. Hit up the famous Lobster Roll for lunch (featured in The Affair) or a more locally known favorite, The Clam Bar at Napeague (correct pronunciation by Long Islanders only!).
Fresh Shucked Oysters
Both the Peconic Bay and the Great South Bay are home to oyster farms. In fact, world famous blue point oysters hail from the Great South Bay between Long Island and Fire Island. With such delicacies in abundance, it’s no wonder that oysters are one of the Long Island foods visitors seek to try.
In fact, Long Island celebrates its oysters annually at the Oysterfest each October.
Grilled Wings from Changing Times
While the chicken wing may have been invented in Buffalo, Changing Times in Farmingdale has turned it into a Long Island staple. After flash frying, the wings are grilled to perfection and served with housemade hot sauce and blue cheese. A never-going-out-of-style classic for years to come, Changing Times grilled wings have been around for decades; my dad (who’s 60) remembers stopping in for grilled wings during his runs as a beer distributor.
Copenhagen Bakery Kringle
This isn’t one you’ll see on other lists of iconic Long Island foods, but as locals, we promise you it’s worthy of a spot. As Danes, we also promise you they’re about as authentic as you’ll get stateside. Choose from traditional almond, apricot, or raspberry. Or grab all three and know that while they’re best fresh, they do freeze well. A word to the wise: Copenhagen Bakery will typically sell out of kringles daily so get there early or be prepared for at very minimal stock.
Which Long Island cuisine is your favorite? What will you try next?
Do you have a favorite Long Island staple that we should add to our foodie bucket list? What are your favorites from our list and what will you try next?