When Jim Dreeben of Peconic Paddler in Riverhead sent Dan’s Papers a list of his favorite restaurants, we paid attention. He has been in business in Riverhead for more than 50 years, and no one eats as well as a local! Dreeben invites you to call him for further recommendations at 631-727-9895. Of course there are many other great restaurants in the Riverhead area to enjoy, but Dreeben’s picks are an excellent place to start.
Bagel Lovers at 673 Osborn Avenue makes the best bagel sandwiches on the East End—and fast! My favorite: an everything bagel with cream cheese and fresh lox, and a small black coffee.
Carlo’s Casual Italian Eatery, open since 1987, at 435 Osborne Avenue in Polish Town, makes the biggest and best meatball and sausage parmigiana heroes that I have ever eaten. They are big enough for two people. Their pizzas and antipasto are good, too. You can dine in or take out—or they will deliver to your business or home. 631-369-2010.
Farm Country Kitchen serves delicious salads and wraps and other great food at affordable prices. You can sit on the outside deck with a view of the beautiful and bucolic Peconic River and watch swans, canoes and stand up paddleboards gliding by. 513 West Main Street, 631-369-6311.
Jerry and the Mermaid—You gotta taste Jerry’s Mussels Luciano and linguini with scungilli marinara or clam sauce. Jerry’s fried chicken wings are delicious too. Jerry’s is located next to the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center with a view of the pool, the Peconic River and some beautiful boats. 469 East Main Street, 631-727-8489.
Joe’s Garage and Grill opened last year and has been busy since the first day. Joe’s has great burgers and chicken sandwiches and local craft beer on tap (try the Crooked Ladder Porter). Joe’s Garage makes the best hand-cut french fries east of Idaho. The décor is beautiful inside Joe’s. They also sell some very cool T-shirts and a sign says “Mechanic on Duty.” 40 Peconic Avenue, 631-591-3330.
Lolly’s Hut on Route 58 (north side), a half mile west of the hospital traffic circle, is my favorite place for breakfast. I love Lolly’s eggs, bacon, home fries and whole-wheat toast (with strawberry jam). The coffee is pretty good too, and you can catch up on the local gossip. Lolly’s also offers great sandwiches and soup for lunch. 1290 Old Country Road, 631-727-7020.
Maple Tree BBQ for breakfast, lunch and dinner at 820 West Main Street. My favorite, to-die-for sandwich is the Reuben with Thousand Island dressing and a side of baked beans. Maple Tree has very good barbeque chicken and ribs and their baked beans are the best. Eat in or take out. They also do catering. To order, call Kevin at 631-727-2819.
Snow Flake Ice Cream makes the best and biggest sundaes every day. The owner, Stu, will even make you a custom ice cream birthday cake. Snow Flake has soft and hard ice cream in a ton of flavors. 1148 West Main Street, 631-727-4394.
Spicy’s BBQ serves the best fried oysters and chicken wings on Long Island. You can pay $25 for oysters at most seafood restaurants but Spicy’s oysters are bigger, tastier and juicier—and they cost only 10 bucks including french fries and coleslaw! Yummy side orders: collard greens, corn bread, baked beans, mac and cheese. 225 West Main Street, 631-727-2781.
Star Confectionary, aka Poppa Nick’s, is only a three-minute walk from my shop. It is a quaint, old-fashioned (circa 1911) luncheonette that serves wonderful breakfasts and lunches. They have homemade ice cream and, just before Easter, they make their own chocolate Easter bunnies and other homemade chocolates. 4 East Main Street, 631-727-9873.
Tweed’s Restaurant & Buffalo Bar is one of the best restaurants on Long Island. My favorite meal at Tweed’s is seared tuna, but I also like Tweed’s scallops and steaks (either beef or healthful bison) Tweed’s spinach salad is delicious and the deserts are to die for. Tweed’s has great beer on tap. Say hello to owner Ed. 17 East Main Street, 631-237-8120.