Great Outdoor Restaurants for Long Island Families
What could be nicer during the warm-weather months than taking the kids to a family restaurant with an open-air atmosphere? There's just something about a warm breeze that makes a tasty meal even more delectable. With Long Island on the brink of Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan, NY Forward, many of our favorite local outdoor restaurants have reopened.
With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite restaurants with outdoor seating in Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End. Family-friendly menus, locations, and attractions make them ideal choices for parents with hungry kids. It's just part of our comprehensive guide to Long Island family-friendly restaurants.
If, after dinner, your kids crave some sweets, why not check out our list of old-time ice cream parlors.
Before venturing out, be sure to check each businesses' website. Reservation policies may have changed, seats and party sizes may be limited to accommodate social distancing guidelines, and all guests must wear a mask anytime they're not seated at their table. You may be asked to view the menu on a mobile device or use a single-use paper version.
Outdoor Restaurants in Nassau County
1. Louie's Grill & Liquors — Port Washington
Adults can come for the seafood and exquisite cocktails while kids can enjoy dining on Louie's chicken strips, grilled cheese, and pasta. Kids can, of course, sample the adult menu, which includes lobster rolls, fresh seafood, steaks, burgers, and biscuits. Louie's dessert menu offers both adult and kid-friendly options to suit the whole family. While you dine, soak in the views of Manhasset Bay and the Port Washington harbor.
2. Salt — Merrick
With a marina view like the one at Salt, it's no wonder reservations here fill up fast. Salt has an enticing brunch menu. Here, kids can dine on such delicacies as cookies-and-cream pancakes, stuffed French toast, and avocado toast. Salt's dinner menu features its signature burgers along with fun fare such as soft-shell crab sandwiches, fingerling potatoes, and zucchini noodles.
Pop's in Island Park offers a fun, tropical vibe. Photo by bernard121882 via Instagram
3. Pop's Seafood — Island Park
Pop's offers lunch, dinner, and drinks seven days a week, May through September. It's a hotbed of live music and DJs all summer long. In addition to its covered outdoor deck, Pop's also boasts a beach area, dockside view, and a gorgeous fire pit lounge. While the nightlife at Pop's might not be kid-friendly, it's a great place to bring the kids for lunch or an early dinner. With vibrantly lit palm trees and a white sand atmosphere, you feel as if you're taking a tropical getaway without leaving Long Island.
4. Swingbelly's Beachside BBQ — Long Beach
If your family loves barbecue, this Long Beach restaurant is the place for you. In addition to Swingbelly's famous pickle chips and house-cured bacon, the menu also includes irresistible cuisine such as bacon-wrapped drumsticks, smokehouse cheesesteak, shrimp and avocado BLTs, and much more.
Outdoor Restaurants in Suffolk County
5. The Lake House — Bay Shore
The Lake House is an upscale seaside restaurant located right on Great South Bay. Like many of the best dining establishments on Long Island, it specializes in seafood, though kid-friendly options such as eggs and burgers are available for little ones.
6. Mill Pond House Restaurant — Centerport
Mill Pond House plans to reopen to outdoor dining on Monday, June 24, and offering lunch and dinner service daily. From delicious sushi to the Monday night lobster bake, Mill Pond's food is as exciting as the views. A heated outdoor patio is open year-round.
7. Nantuckets — Port Jefferson
Formerly known as Crazy Fish Bar & Grill, Nantuckets has an extensive menu that includes kid-friendly options such as French toast sticks (which come in different flavors, based on the day), grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken fingers, and sliders. This family restaurant books reservations by phone, online, or in person.
Enjoy the rooftop bar and grand views of Great South Bay from Nicky's on the Bay.
8. Nicky's on the Bay — Bay Shore
Open-air dining at Nicky's comes at the rooftop deck or on the dock. There are additional restrooms on the upper level—a godsend when you have little kids. The menu is seafood-focused, but salads and burgers are available for pickier eaters.
Outdoor Restaurants on the East End
9. A Lure — Southold
A Lure boasts a delightful atmosphere overlooking Port of Egypt Marina and Peconic Bay, and a fun menu that literally offers "chow-dah." For pickier eaters, steak and burgers are available. A Lure, a North Fork institution, features dock-and-dine services, too.
It's seafood and gorgeous sea views at Gosman's Dock in Montauk.
10. Gosman's Dock — Montauk
If you're in Montauk, you must stop by Gosman's Dock, which is situated at the entrance of Montauk Harbor. Walk-ins are welcome; takeout is available, and, weather permitting, you have the option of topside dining. Additionally, Gosman's features a sushi bar, clam bar, and even a gourmet fish market, where you can purchase and bring home locally caught fish. With kid-approved dishes such as burgers and chicken tenders, this place is sure to please parents and kids alike.
11. Hellenic Snack Bar — East Marion
This North Fork favorite sits on the Main Road east of Greenport and features a pretty outdoor patio and ample space for kids to play after sampling its Greek specialties. Enjoy traditional Mediterranean dishes, as well as local fish, served in Greek fashion. Afterward, enjoy homemade gelato.
La Fondita offers traditional Mexican food in a picnic-like atmosphere in Amagansett. Photo by Andrew Steinthal via Instagram
12. La Fondita — Amagansett
La Fondita is an appreciated joint whose Mexican "street food" stands out. Kid favorites, such as tacos and tostadas, are made with the freshest ingredients. La Fondita gives you the option to take your food to go or eat while relaxing with the family on one of the eatery's picnic tables or Adirondack chairs that overlook the pond in downtown Amagansett.
13. Oakland's and Sunday's on the Bay — Hampton Bays
These related waterfront restaurants offer great food and the gorgeous backdrop of Oakland's Marina. Both establishments offer a kids' menu with a free drink; choices range from fried flounder to kids' burgers. Kids delight in the passing boats at Shinnecock Inlet and the flurry of marina activity at these fun spots.
Unless noted, photos are courtesy of the restaurants.
A version of this article was first published in 2017. Additional reporting by Lisa Mancuso, Felissa Allard, and James Smith.