Best alfresco dining: Prime
For a village that's just a few paces from the bay, there are markedly few spots to sit outside or near the water. But Prime has its own dock that sits on Huntington Bay, which means it comes alive (primarily with divorced moms) in the summertime. The food is perfectly fine, if a little overpriced, but the scene and the spectacular water view are definitely worth it.
Best Thai: Sri Thai
Don't be frightened off by how few people are dining-in, as this is one of the best takeout spots in town. Pan-fried dumplings, drunken noodles, chicken massaman -- everything's fantastic here.
Best place to see everyone you hate from high school: Finnegan's
On the one hand, this townie bar is an excellent place to run into and catch-up with old buddies who went to either Huntington, Harborfields, or Cold Spring Harbor High School, but on the other hand, this is an excellent place to run into and catch-up with old buddies who went to either Huntington, Harborfields, or Cold Spring Harbor High School. Pretty decent burgers during the daylight hours, though!
Best beer: Sapsuckers
Reservations will not be had here, so come early if you want to eat well-above average veal stroganoff or a classic Cubano at one of the two- or four-tops in the cozy back space. You'll have to yell a little bit as the bar area gets loud and crowded, but you won't care after downing two boozy local beers from the 16 daily changing draft lines.
Best Italian: Piccolo Restaurant
The classic dishes here -- like the prosciutto- and mozzarella-stuffed veal chop or homemade penne alla vodka -- are nuanced and complex, and a welcome deviation from the heavy, over-salted monstrosities too often served at Italian-American eateries. Throw in A+ service, a cozy vibe, and a massive wine list, and you'll have no problem understanding why my best friend from high school Lauren Sweeney calls it "really solid."
Best burger: Vauxhall
Rookie Vauxhall fills Huntington's specialty burger void with combos like the 1/2lb Blue Velvet (tomato jam, pickled red onion, gorgonzola, brioche bun) and alternative vegetarian options like black bean sweet potato and chickpea and edamame burgers. It's pretty hip, but that's mostly just because of the complimentary popcorn.
Best French: Bistro Cassis
The classic French fare at this lil' cafe -- like magret de canard and sole meunière -- is as delicious as the acoustics are terrible. As in, the space is authentically crammed, which may work well in Paris where people mumble politely, but is not particularly conducive to the boisterous articulation of Long Islanders. That escargot, tho!
Best dive: JT Carrington's
Though it claims to be a bar & grill, you won't find food here. What you will find, though, is Marty, the silver fox behind the DJ booth who's been calling "last call" since presumably 1978, college kids home on break stumbling around to Billy Joel in inappropriate footwear, townies, and possibly your cab driver.
Best Japanese: Kura Barn
Some will argue that Kashi over on Elm St is the best sushi place, which is true -- if you want glitzy club-like lighting, creative rolls, and 18 sake bombs. But for quiet, comfort, and consistently excellent fish, look to standby Kura Barn. Start with the beef negimaki and wasabi shumai, then go for the classic sushi combo. Or don't; that's just what I do.
Best Greek: Skorpios
Skorpios sits about four doors down from Mediterranean Snack Bar, but somehow, someway, these two tiny Greek spots have peacefully co-existed for as long as I can remember. Personally, I'm a Skorpios gal because of my allegiance to its Health Special (basically just a salad with grilled chicken, but that protein is on point), though my research indicates that the town is actually split into two equal camps. Which may explain why both establishments are still in business.
Best margs: Besito
The enchiladas, platos fuertes, and table-side guac are overpriced, but the mezcal margaritas and expansive tequila options are why you're really here -- particularly if the weather is warm, and you can sip them at the outside tables. Inside, sepia-toned prints of charging horses ornament the walls in a way that manages to be 40% sophisticated and 60% campy.
Best diner: Munday's
A year ago I would've picked the delightfully dingy and kitschy Golden Dolphin, with its phonebook-thick menu and excessive dolphin paraphernalia, but in light of a recent renovation and expansion that's given it a fluorescent hospital vibe, I've gotta go with the old-timey soda fountain at Munday's. Enjoy crazy comforting grilled cheeses, club sandwiches, egg creams, and brunch-type things as a slideshow of past patrons' smiling pictures flicker on the flatscreens in the back -- or sit in the front and avoid that last part altogether (recommended).
Best plain pizza: Little Vincent's
Get the cold cheese -- the regular slice topped with a handful of fresh, cold mozz -- and settle in at the window counter for a show, because there will undoubtedly be 15 local jabronis fighting over either a babe or a slice (or both!). Some say the pizza's only good erm... after a night at the bars, but trust that this thin New York slice is delicious at any hour. Never get toppings.
Best speciality slice: Rosa's
This might get me in trouble with my boss who prefers DiRaimo on the edge of town, but if you want more on your pizza than a bucket of grated cheese, Rosa's is the move. The crust is sturdy enough to support even the densest of barbecue chicken, but you also can't go wrong with a simple margherita.
Best small plates: True North
The only thing about this place that lets you know you're in the suburbs and not in the middle of Manhattan is the ample amount of space between the tables. Start with a simple and lovely cocktail like The Last Word (Death's Door gin, cucumber, ginger, lemon), then move onto the extensive draft list. You'll be perfectly warmed up for endless small plates of grilled octopus, house-made wild mushroom gnocchi, and sautéed chicken livers, or whatever local somethings are influencing the menu that month.
Best Tex-Mex: Faz's
If Ortega had a gloriously inexpensive and efficient brick-and-mortar, this would be it. If you don't like hardshell tacos with cheddar cheese, get off my lawn.
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Carrie Dennis is a food and drink editor for Thrillist. Her youth was spent walking between AMC Loews Shore 8 and Starbucks. Follow her on Twitter: @carrriedennnis.
1. Prime Restaurant117 New York Ave, Huntington
2. Sir Thai14 New St, Huntington
3. Finnegan's5 Wall St, Huntington
4. Sapsuckers287 Main St, Huntington
5. Piccolo Restaurant215 Wall St, Huntington
6. Vauxhall26 Clinton Ave, Huntington
7. Bistro Cassis55 Wall St, Huntington
8. JT Carrington's10 Elm St, Huntington
9. Kura Barn479 New York Ave, Huntington
10. Skorpio's340 New York Ave, Huntington
11. Besito402 New York Ave, Huntington
12. Munday's259 Main St, Huntington
13. Little Vincent's Pizza329 New York Ave, Huntington
14. Rosa's313 Main St, Huntington
15. True North54 New St, Huntington
16. Faz's28 Wall St, Huntington
Prime brings elevated dining and wide variety to Huntington Village, offering not just steaks but seafood, sushi and vegetable dishes. For a village that's just a few paces from the bay, there are markedly few spots to sit outside or near the water. But Prime has its own dock that sits on Huntington Bay, which means it comes alive in the summertime. In the winter, you can view the bay through the large windows or cozy up near the fireplace. Regardless of season, don't skip dessert: they're all made from scratch in house.
One of the best takeout spots in town, Sir Thai in Huntington delivers a familiar roster of rice and noodle dishes in addition to some seriously delicious dumplings. The space is small and cozy with Thai accents and friendly service, and you can pair your meal with your beer and wine. The portions run a tad small, but that just means you get to order a greater variety of eats!
This casual, American restaurant and bar in Huntington has been around since 1912, making it the oldest operating restaurant in the town. The interior maintains the old school vibe with checkered tablecloths and old photos flanking the walls. They serve reliable pub food, from burgers and wings to nachos and chicken fingers. It's definitely a locals bar, so if you're native to the area you'll be running into everyone you knew in high school.
This popular Huntington favorite has a gastropub vibe and delivers on both the booze and food fronts. The rotating draft lineup features 16 local, small-production craft beers at any given time, and there are 40 bottles to choose from as well, outlined in their Beer Field Guide. Farm raised meats, artisanal breads and local produce make up the ingredients for their menu offerings from burgers to pierogies. The interior is warm and vintage, with a copper tin ceiling and audobon lithographs and antique mirrors lining the walls. They don't take reservations, so get there early if you want to snack one of the two or four-tops in the cozy back room.
Piccolo Restaurant in Huntington is a reliable Italian restaurant with a faithful following. The classic dishes here are nuanced and complex, and a welcome deviation from the heavy, over-salted monstrosities too often served at Italian-American eateries. Throw in A+ service, a cozy vibe, and a massive wine list, and you've got a quality evening out.
This late night eatery brings a hipster vibe to Huntington with gastropub fare and drinks. Burgers are the menu highlight here and are made with a half pound of custom-blended beef from Farmingdale’s Main Street Meat or with alternative vegetarian options like black bean sweet potato and chickpea and edamame burgers. There's a cold brew nitro coffee tap alongside the craft brews behind the bar to keep the party going well into the night. Brick and wood accents make the space feel rustic and modern, and complimentary popcorns flows freely at both the bar and tables.
This tiny, energetic bistro in Huntington serves classic French fare, from mussels and escargot to duck breast. Dim lighting and marble tabletops set snugly in rows make the place feel cozy and intimate, allowing diners to mingle with their neighbors. Bistro Cassis doesn't take reservations, but the food and atmosphere make it well worth the wait.
Though it claims to be a bar & grill, you won't find food at this Huntington dive. What you will find, though, is Marty, the silver fox behind the DJ booth who's been calling "last call" since presumably 1978, plenty of locals and cheap beer. There's a pool table and dart board in constant use and the atmosphere is exactly what you'd expect from a mainstay neighborhood haunt.
This long-running Japanese standby in Huntington has been serving classic sushi, sashimi and tempura entrees for over 20 years. A meal here feels like eating in a friend's home, with warm wooden accents and a cozy ambiance. The prices are reasonable and the salad dressing is so spectacular that you can take it home in bottles. For a straightforward sushi experience, this is your spot.
Skorpio's Restaurant in Huntington has been serving up authentic Greek food like gyros and falafel since 1979. Despite the fact that it sits about four doors down from Mediterranean Snack Bar, another local Greek favorite, it has managed to coexist peacefully with its rival for decades. This is probably because the food is crafted from old family recipes and has developed its own loyal following. Complimentary yogurt sauce and pita starts out every meal, and the space is casual and relaxed with murals of Greece painted on the walls.
This inventive and award-winning Mexican spot in Huntington does table-side guac and delicious entrees, serving everything up with a side of humanity. The restaurant has built school kitchens for children in San Miguel, offering employment opportunities and 1,500 meals every week of the school year. The restaurant's mission is to bring quality food to both those who can afford a nice meal out and those who cannot. Have a couple mezcal margaritas and you may find yourself getting weepy, which is fine since you can take in some air on the outdoor patio. Inside, sepia-toned prints of charging horses ornament the walls in a way that manages to be both campy and sophisticated.
This old-timey soda fountain in Huntington evokes nostalgia with black and white tiled floors and cozy booths. Enjoy all the classics like crazy comforting grilled cheeses, club sandwiches, egg creams, and brunch-type things as a slideshow of past patrons' smiling pictures flicker on the flatscreens in the back. Both the breakfast and lunch menus are served all day, and while there may be a wait, the service is fast and the staff can flip tables quickly.
Little Vincent's in Huntington serves something spectacular: cold-cheese pizza, and it's exactly what it sounds like. Topped with shredded cold mozzarella, each slice is a wonderful example of how when it comes to pizza, simple is always better. The shop is small and basic, and it's open late to cater to all your alcohol-induced cravings.
This old school Huntington slice joint is straightforward and no-frills, with pies in a display case at the front and available by the slice. You can get some crazy pizza here, like pies topped with pillowy cheese-stuffed ravioli, a local favorite. The crust is sturdy enough to support even the densest of barbecue chicken, but you also can't go wrong with a simple margherita.
The only thing about this place that lets you know you're in the suburbs and not in the middle of Manhattan is the ample amount of space between the tables. This New American restaurant brings a solid dose of city style to Huntington with an industrial gastropub feel. Start with a delicious and potent cocktail or something from the extensive draft list. You'll be perfectly warmed up for endless small plates made from whatever local somethings are influencing the menu that month.
This gloriously inexpensive and efficient Tex Mex spot in Huntington makes all of their food fresh to order with natural ingredients. The pizza parlor-esque interior makes the quality of the food all the more surprising and counter service makes it simple to either eat in or take out. If you're really hungry, go for one of the massive burritos stuffed near to bursting with rice, beans, meat and all the fixings.