Coney Island is known for sun, sand, fun…and food. Birthplace of the American staple – the hot dog, Coney Island’s food and sweet treats are as much a part of the fun as the boardwalk and amusements. What visit to “the People’s Playground” would be complete without indulging in a hot dog, fried clams, candy apples or cold beer?
Here’s our rundown of Coney Island’s best dining and must-try treats.
Coney Island Classics
Nathan’s Famous – often referred to as “the original,” Nathan’s has been serving up their Coney Island Hot Dogs since 1916 – and they’ve been much-loved by New Yorkers and celebrities ever since. The original stand at 1310 Surf Avenue is legendary for their clam bar, corn dogs, crinkle-cut fries and onion rings. There is also a Nathan’s outpost on the boardwalk. Open year round, 8am – 1am.
Ruby’s Bar & Grill – the oldest bar and grill on the boardwalk, Ruby’s is an authentic dive with a jukebox and vintage photos…it’s even made of old boardwalk wood planks. They serve seafood, hot dogs, burgers and fries, and plenty of cocktails and beer. Open daily April – October, weekends November – January 1.
Paul’s Daughter – right on the boardwalk, this stand serves traditional favorites like a clam bar, hot dogs, sausage & peppers, soft-serve ice cream, and cold beer.
Place to Beach – their outdoor patio on the boardwalk is a popular, lively spot for drinks and Mexican food. They also offer entertainment, happy hour specials, and events. 1524 Neptune Avenue. Open year round, Thursday – Sunday 12pm – 8pm.
Coney Island Pizza & Italian Dining
Grimaldi’s – an outpost of Brooklyn’s famed pizzeria, Grimaldi’s is known for their traditional brick-over pizzas made with superb ingredients like special dough and homemade mozzarella and sauce. 1215 Surf Avenue. Open year round 11am – 10pm (11pm Saturday & Sunday).
Two blocks north is the “Church of Pizza:” Totonno’s. The historic, family-fun pizzeria is acclaimed for its pizza made of fresh, quality ingredients. 1524 Neptune Avenue. Open year round, 12pm – 8pm
Since 1907 Gargiulo’s has been serving home-style Neapolitan cuisine. Their menu offers anitpasti, pasta, grilled meats and seafood. This is a relatively formal restaurant and requires proper attire (no shorts).
Coney Island Sweet Treats
Williams Candy (next to Nathan’s original) is an old-fashioned sweet shop that makes fresh candy. Their specialties are Candy Apples and Marshmallow Treats, and they also offer fudge, lollipops, cotton candy, and ice cream. Open year round, daily 9am – 7pm
Rita’s Italian Ices – serving frozen treats including fresh Italian ice made with real fruit in over sixty-five flavors, old-fashioned frozen custard, sundaes, layered gelati and custard cookie sandwiches. 1327 Surf Avenue (across from Nathan’s and Williams Candy). Open mid April to mid October.
Coney’s Cones – on the boardwalk at the entrance to Luna Park, they serve homemade ice cream in traditional flavors, as well as more exotic tastes like bacon ice cream. They also offer Carmel Apples, Cotton Candy, funnel Cake, and hot and cold beverages. Open June 1st to Halloween.
What are your favorite Coney Island treats? Tell us in the comments below.