Food & Drink

Consuming in Rockaway Beach, Queens

Food distributors and eating places within the Rockaways have solely gotten higher over time. Here’s the place to eat this summer season, and past.

For New Yorkers, hitting the seashore on sunny summer season days gives some much-needed wide-open, saltwater respite from the city jungle we name dwelling. But when it’s a seashore you possibly can take public transit too, we’re rightfully just a little smug. Rockaway Beach, proper off the A practice, the Q22 bus (amongst different strains), and the unbeatable NYC Ferry, with its beautiful countless boardwalk, resort rooftop bars, and nice and different eateries, is the right instance. Who wants the Jersey Shore with this Queens seashore a stone’s throw away?

Don’t get me flawed—I’m a Jersey Shore native. But I’m additionally a 15-year Queens diehard, and final summer season our household lastly made the leap to a Rockaway Beach staycation. Renting a bungalow close to the seashore 35 minutes from our dwelling proved a superb concept that permit us expertise the Rockaways in an entire new method: not as repeat day-trippers, however as neighborhood locals.

Naturally, between hours on the lovely seashore, we ate lots. We realized that throughout the span of some blocks, you possibly can have Jamaican meals for breakfast, Nigerian for lunch, and Uzbeki delicacies for dinner. Then there’s the summers-only taco and ceviche spots, the ice cream store that’s a should, and the resort rooftop bar with among the finest views in NYC.

But we additionally realized that the good spots to hit are unfold out over some 40-odd blocks, so it helps to have a plan. There remains to be extra we wish to discover on this neighborhood, however for now, right here’s your roadmap for the place to eat in Rockaway Beach.

Tacoway Beach

This is the previous Rockaway Tacos many people knew and cherished, and whereas the seasonal eatery is a 10-minute stroll from the seashore, the surfer vibes and crispy fish tacos are nonetheless incredible (we additionally preferred the vegetarian black bean, cheese, and candy plantain taco). Served two to an order with a hefty scoop of guacamole, cabbage slaw, and sliced radish, the tacos are perfect for mixing and matching with a accomplice.

Our household of 4 paired 4 taco orders with chips and guac and a guajillo-flecked cucumber-mango salad for an ideal dinner al fresco within the festive picnic table-strewn yard. Grab your margaritas on the Rockaway Surf Club, open until midnight, which shares the out of doors area. Tacoway Beach; open every day, 11am-8pm; 302 Beach 87th St., map


A cheeseburger and cheese dog from Ripper's, one of many popular beachfront restaurants in Rockaway Beach



Is any boardwalk price its salt and not using a good burger joint? Ripper’s is right here to your carnivorous, hangover-fueled seashore cravings with its easy menu of (grass-fed) burgers, (pasture-raised) scorching canine, and fries, all of which may have a gooey slice of American cheese melted on prime, when you select. (Vegan burgers can be found too, in addition to beers and juices.) This being Rockaway Beach, beer, wine, and cold-pressed juices are additionally accessible.

If you’re like me, you’ll come right here to feed hungry children, after which end up eagerly downing half a cheese canine. But the basic burgers, with smashed patties, pickles, cabbage, and potato buns, and cheese fries are the issues to get after just a few stable hours on the seashore. Fuel up within the colourful beachfront picnic space, and get again to these sands. Ripper’s; open every day, 11am-8pm, climate allowing; 86-01 Shore Front Pkway, map

A cup of homemade ice cream from Mara's Ice Cream in Rockaway Be

Mara’s Ice Cream Parlor

A visit to Mara’s is a Rockaway should. It hits all of the notes required of a beachy ice cream spot: do-it-yourself ice cream in all kinds of flavors; a candy sandy yard wherein to park your self; a salty-enough location, just some blocks from the ocean. Oh, and there’s boozy ice cream too!

The sandy backyard dining area at Mara's Ice Cream in Rockaway Beach

The decade-old store modified possession this spring, so we hope the nice and cozy environment and scrumptious wares stay. I cherished the wealthy and creamy peanut butter pie ice cream. Mara’s Ice Cream Parlor; open every day for summer season, noon-10pm; 92-14 Rockaway Beach Blvd., map


Saltfish and callaloo and peanut porridge from Best Caribbean in Rockaway Beach, one of many good local restaurants.

Best Caribbean

Jamaican breakfasts are all the time a deal with, and the saltfish and callaloo we took out from this no-frills nook store one morning (eaten in our home rental’s patio) was very satisfying. The fried dumplings helped mop all of it up, and we snacked on the thick, candy peanut porridge for days in our fridge. Next time I’ll go for lunch and gorge on curry goat or oxtails. Best Caribbean; open every day, 6:30am-10pm; 91-02 Rockaway Beach Blvd., map

Nutella waffle from Rockaway Roasters in Rockaway Beach


Rockaway Roasters

If you reside (or keep) close by, that is your native espresso store, and it’s a great one. As is becoming for an area surfer-owned spot, the environment is chill and rustic, with a reclaimed wooden espresso bar and burlap bean baggage on the ceiling. The espresso is Stumptown, and it hits the spot nevertheless you want your caffeine. But the meals is terrific too. Our children cherished the large Nutella waffles, whereas I loved the frozen banana bowl, a intelligent, honey-drizzled mixture of frozen bananas, almond milk, and almond butter, topped with recent fruit, hemp granola, uncooked cacao nibs, and coconut flakes. The acai and pitaya bowls look scrumptious too. I’ll undoubtedly be grabbing one among these earlier than hitting the seashore this summer season! Juices, smoothies, pastries, and savory croissant sandwiches spherical out the menu. Rockaway Roasters; open Mon-Fri, 7am-3pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-3pm; 92-06 Rockaway Beach Blvd., map

Nigerian egusi from the Cradle NYC in Rockaway Beach, Queens

The Cradle NYC

**Sadly, The Cradle has simply closed on July 16.** Just the bright-painted yellow constructing of this family-owned Nigerian restaurant brings happiness! Start with the powdered sugar-dusted puff puff after which tuck right into a jollof rice bowl—pairing the tomato-cooked rice with candy plantains, kale salad or roasted broccoli, and your protein of alternative—or a conventional Nigerian okele, or swallow. We love the egusi, a deeply flavorful stew of melon seed, greens, locust bean, dry fish, and crayfish, paired with roasted purple snapper and pounded yam. Don’t miss the home scorching sauce.

There’s some sidewalk seating and fabulous juices and smoothies right here, just like the very refreshing watermelon-mint-pineapple we tried. The Nigerian drink hibiscus drink zobo is on my radar for subsequent time. The Cradle NYC; open Wed-Sun, 10am-9pm; 194 Beach 96th St., map


The iconic pina colada taken to go from Connolly's in Rockaway Beach

Connolly’s Bar

If you’ve pushed or walked down Beach ninety fifth St. to achieve the sands, you’ve seemingly handed this place many a time. I do know now we have. And so we lastly handed below the maroon awning to enter this iconic native pub, which was established in 1962 however has been a bar for the reason that late 1800s. The factor to get, when you’re getting only one merchandise, is the cherry-topped frozen piña colada. It’s their signature drink, and so they’re fairly happy with it. We had children in tow, so we acquired ours to go in a Styrofoam cup for a roving completely happy hour.

It’s a piña colada—you already know what you’re getting. But it is vitally tasty: chilly and candy and refreshing. Piña coladas on the seashore are all the time a good suggestion. And we did observe the spacious entrance patio space (the place yoga courses are typically held), the DJ and trivia schedule, and the weekend partnership with The Meat Up Grill for meals. Connolly’s Bar; open every day, midday until late; 155 Beach ninety fifth St., map

Uzebki food on the sidewalk at Uma's, one of many good local restaurants in Rockaway Beach


A full of life family-owned Uzbek restaurant with just a few sidewalk tables (and, randomly, a location in Puerto Rico too), Uma’s makes for a pleasant change of tempo at lunch or dinner. Our household loved the squash-filled manti and the baked lamb samsa, however don’t sleep on the every day specials: We cherished a hearty Georgian hen dish on the specials board known as hen chehambli, stewed with peppers, onions, and eggplant, and served with kasha. Uma’s; open every day, noon-10pm; 92-07 Rockaway Beach Blvd, map

Two types of Peruvian ceviche from La Cevicheria in Rockaway Beach

La Cevicheria

This standard seasonal vendor contained in the Rockaway Bazaar meals court docket at Beach 97 focuses on Peruvian ceviche. It is perhaps the right summer season lunch, mild, citrusy, and refreshing—and right here you possibly can eat it beachfront, precisely how we all the time need our ceviche! We cherished the common shrimp selection, and one other that paired ceviche mixto (hake and shrimp) over quinoa and causa (mashed potato with ají amarillo), for a extra filling meal. A Rockaway Beach should! La Cevicheria; open Mon-Fri, 11:30am-7:30pm; Sat-Sun, 11:30am-8:30pm; 97-01 Shore Front Pkwy, map


Two cocktails outside on the terrace at the Rooftop at the Rockaway Hotel, in Rockaway Beach, NYC

The Rooftop on the Rockaway Hotel

Head as much as the sixth ground of the gorgeous, art-strewn Rockaway Hotel to achieve this expansive oasis of a rooftop bar and restaurant. The views are phenomenal, stretching throughout the cottages of Rockaway and Jamaica Bay to the Manhattan skyline on one facet and full-frontal Atlantic Ocean on the others. What a particular POV.

Interior view of the Rooftop at the Rockaway Hotel in Rockaway Beach, at sunset

You’d assume it’d be overrun with hipster vacationers or raucous day-trippers, however we discovered the vibe was chill at sundown—a wonderful time to go to—and even welcoming to our household (on Fridays and Saturdays, you have to be 21 to enter after 6pm). It’s an unbelievable spot for a cocktail, and the snack-focused menu is surprisingly good too, at the very least the lone dish we tried (and rapidly devoured): a Mason jar of plump sardines served with do-it-yourself potato chips and onion dip.

Note that the resort gives non-guests day passes to its candy heated swimming pool. Next time! The Rooftop at the Rockaway Hotel; open Thurs, 4pm-9pm; Fri, 4pm-9pm (bar is open later); Sat, 2pm-9pm (bar is open later); Sun, 2pm-9pm; 108-10 Rockaway Beach Dr., map


A stuffed Venezuelan-style arepa from Caracas Arepa Bar in Rockaway Beach, Queens

Caracas Arepa Bar

We’ll shamelessly date ourselves by saying we regularly ate at Caracas when it was nonetheless new within the East Village, within the early 2000s. Venezuelan stuffed arepas have been such a novelty in NYC again then, and this place stays iconic for them. While the unique location has since closed, Queens of us are fortunate that Caracas Arepa Bar is a summertime fixed on the boardwalk at Beach 106. The arepas, whereas a bit smaller and undoubtedly pricier than I recall, are simply as scrumptious, and so they’re fairly generously crammed (and due to this fact filling). We cherished the straightforward black bean and cheese arepa, and the arepa de pollo, with plenty of shredded hen, plantains, avocado sauce, and pickled jalapenos. This can also be the place to attempt a frozen sangria, a visually pleasing and refreshing twist of slushy white and purple wine. Caracas Arepa Bar; open every day, 11:30am-7:30pm; 106-01 Shore Front Pkwy, map


A plate of fresh pasta from Rocco's in Rockaway Beach, one of many restaurants to try in the neighborhood.

Rocco’s of Roc Beach

We drove just a little west to this pizzeria and red-sauce joint on the recommendation of a pal, who advised us it was their favourite Italian restaurant in Queens. We wouldn’t go that far, but it surely was a enjoyable, tasty, splurgy evening. All of the restaurant’s pastas and breads are made recent in-house, which is fairly particular. We cherished the meatballs and one of many pasta specials, a pile of seafood over black squid ink spaghetti. Pictured is the bucatini all’Amatriciana—scrumptious, however served just a little too al dente for my style.

Rocco’s has a clubby vibe to it, with a DJ three nights every week, together with throughout our weeknight go to, however there’s an out of doors backyard in again too. During the summer season, there’s a home made gelato bar on the sidewalk. The menu is huge, and the Parm sandwiches look divine, however its pizza was just lately voted finest within the borough in a brand new Queens Chamber of Commerce competitors, so subsequent time we’ll be attempting that. Rocco’s of Roc Beach; open Tues-Thurs, noon-10pm; Fri-Sat, noon-11pm; Sun, noon-9pm; 115-10 Rockaway Beach Blvd, map

Frozen yogurt at Coastal in Rockaway Beach, NYC

Coastal Frozen Yogurt

Near the Rockaway Hotel, there’s just a little cluster of bars and eating places, plus this cute and colourful fro-yo store! Actually it carries ice cream, milkshakes, and sorbet too, and appears to concentrate on sundae cups with many various toppings. We are all in regards to the Reese’s Cup topping in our household. Coastal Frozen Yogurt; open Tues-Sun, 1pm-9pm; 108-19 Rockaway Beach Dr., map


Falafel bowl from Cuisine by Claudette on the beach in Rocakway Beach, Queens

Cuisine by Claudette

Moroccan-born Jewish chef Claudette Flatow opened up her causal counter-service Mediterranean spot on 116th St. in 2012—proper earlier than Sandy struck—and the place has turn into a neighborhood staple, with three places. The beneficiant, health-conscious menu spans espresso drinks and pastries (together with vegan choices), juices and smoothies, acai bowls, pita sandwiches, and protein bowls. Talk a couple of incredible lunch to carry to the seashore! Cuisine by Claudette; open every day, 8am-8pm; 143 Beach 116th St. + 190 Beach 69th St., map


The spacious interior of Rockaway Brewing Co in Rockaway Beach, Queens

Rockaway Brewing Co.

The beers are brewed in Long Island City, however you higher consider there’s a pleasant large, chill tasting room right here in Rockaway (technically that is Arverne), with pool tables, a brewery cat, out of doors seating, and many beers on faucet. They’re recognized for his or her Hawaiian Pizza IPA—it doesn’t style as loopy because it sounds, don’t fear (low bitterness, juicy pineapple notes, no ham)—and whereas there’s no kitchen right here, there’s normally an onsite meals shack of some type doing BBQ or empanadas or salchipapas. Rockaway Brewing Co.; open Mon-Tues, 3pm-10pm, Wed-Sun, noon-10pm; 415 Beach 72nd St., map


Colorful frozen nutcracker cocktails sold on the beach at Rockaway Beach

Nutcrackers … on the Beach

While not invented right here (that honor goes to a Chino-Latino restaurant on the Upper East Side within the early Nineteen Nineties), nutcrackers are a Rockaway custom I’ve all the time been cautious of … who is aware of what goes in these candy-colored frozen drinks peddled on the sands? A nutcracker, for the uninitiated, isn’t any one drink; moderately, it’s a basic identify for any candy, boozy beverage peddled illegally on the road, in bodegas and barber outlets, and most undoubtedly on the seashore. However, we have been fortunate to run into a man working for The Beachtender, apparently one among only a few “official” distributors with an LLC. The Beachtender himself is Anthony Robinson—peep his Instagram, so you already know who to search for—however he does have just a few different guys roaming round.

The gentleman we met (pictured here) defined that they used actual fruit and greens of their drinks, demonstrating by taking each taste out and displaying us the seen seeds. Passionfruit with Hennessy, a mudslide with mushrooms, strawberry lemonade vodka, peach-mango Maker’s Mark, watermelon tequila, rum punch—we tried the latter two, and so they have been scrumptious. Also icy, refreshing, and $10 a pop. Look for the Beachtender!

The beautiful Rockaway Beach boardwalk, popular with bikers, just before sunset

This is definitely not an exhaustive record of the place to eat in Rockaway Beach … now we have hit up numerous spots over time, however not all of them! We know Thai Rock is well-liked for Thai eating overlooking the bay, whereas the Bungalow Bar, which we’re method overdue to revisit, is iconic for waterfront meals and cocktails. Goody’s BBQ Chicken + Ribs has been on my record for a very long time, over in Arverne. Whit’s End, standard for pizza and so many daily seafood specials, is on our record for subsequent time, as is Super Burrito and its irresistible Mission-style burritos, and Tap That looks as if a enjoyable place to seize a drink. Sayra’s Wine Bar sounds incredible too.

I suppose you already know the place you’ll discover us this summer season!

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