Grab some local eats and head to these picnic spots on Long Island. Sure, we love the restaurant scene in suburbia but, when you’re exploring a new town, there’s nothing like getting out—literally. And if you’ve got toddlers, sitting for a full meal might be a tall order anyway… The alternative? Grab a blanket, stop by a local restaurant or gourmet grocer, and grab your food to go—then hit up an outdoor hotspot and have a picnic. Not only will you get a sense of how you could spend weekends or warm-weather nights, but this approach is a great way to sample area eateries and sneak in some people-watching. And if the kids won’t sit? No problem. Many of these spots have playgrounds or, minimally, ample room to run.
Tappen Beach & Sea Cliff, NY
While there’s nothing like taking a dip on a hot summer day, when it comes to picnicking, fall is the perfect time to be on a beach. The crowds are gone, and you’ll avoid hearing the sun and sand is “too hot” to enjoy a bite. Tappen Beach in Glen Head and Sea Cliff Beach in Sea Cliff—about 10 minutes apart—are North Shore go-to’s for beach-side picnics. On the way, grab some food from Grace’s Market in Greenvale (Grace’s also has an NYC location). Plan to browse their fantastic selection of sandwiches, salads, and prepared foods, or call ahead for a ready-made picnic basket. Another place to pick up picnic food is Gemelli’s in Glen Head. Order online or via phone—Gemelli’s (which also has a Babylon shop) has everything from salads and acai bowls to sandwiches, sushi, baked goods, plus a full rotisserie. Alternatively, grab a slice from the pizza window at Tappen or eat on the outdoor patio at Blue Iguana. Blue Iguana has live music on weekends, and an amazing brunch menu available on the patio or to-go.
Port Washington, NY
Feeling more like a lobster roll? Check out Louie’s in Port Washington—their traditional and Connecticut-style lobster rolls and homemade chips are the stuff of picnic dreams. Call ahead or order pick-up online, grab the goods, then walk just steps to the waterfront park (and—bonus—you’re just steps from homemade ice cream at Sweet Treats on the Wharf). For a more “beach” experience, take your food to North Hempstead Beach Park (AKA Bar Beach). There is something for everyone at this beach park, so be sure to build in time to explore the waterfront promenade, picnic areas, shuffleboard, and horseshoe court.
If Huntington is on your list of towns to explore, head to Heckscher Park with food from Marty’s Gourmet Seafood. Want more traditional picnic fare? Check out Iavarone’s for Italian specialties, salads, sandwiches, baked goods, and other prepared foods.
Whether your ideal picnic involves fresh smoothies and salads or a massive cheesesteak, Kitchen Kabaret in Roslyn has you covered. This popular local go-to has it all, from an acai bowl bar to fresh sushi to prepared foods, made-to-order sandwiches, salads, and an amazing bakery. With your meals in hand, head to Christopher Morley Park, just minutes away. With 98 acres of land, you will have no problem finding plenty of room to spread out—or to hike, bike, or stroll post-picnic.
On the South Shore, there are plenty of spots to picnic, especially in Merrick. Cow Meadow Park, a waterfront preserve packed with birds and other local wildlife, is a popular option. Before or after your picnic, hit the family-friendly nature trail and explore the tidal marshes and creeks, seeing how many birds you can spot. And for your picnic? There are endless options. The creative burritos at Fat Boys are must-tries. If you’re in the mood for Mediterranean food, check out Go Greek. Another fave: Street to Table which serves up everything from sliders to hot dogs to sweet treats to—yes—margarita pouches. Picnic like a pro with us and find out all the gems in Long Island. Contact Suburban Jungle now to schedule your Strategy Session. All of our services are 100% free.