The Best Restaurants In The North Fork

Seafood in Southold, pizza in Greenport, and more things to eat on Long Island’s North Fork.
The Best Restaurants In The North Fork image

photo credit: Madison Fender

While the popularity of Long Island’s North Fork has been booming for years now, it’s still far less crowded and expensive than the Hamptons, its glitzy sibling to the south. This region has the perfect combination of fewer people and still a lot of high-quality restaurants and seafood, all stretched along the Long Island Sound’s calmer waters and beaches.

The North Fork, which is part of Long Island's East End, is a 35-mile region that's made up of roughly a dozen towns. Most of the vineyards, restaurants, beaches, and farms are between Aquebogue on the western end and Orient at the eastern tip. And while the Long Island Railroad connects NYC as far east as Greenport, you'll need a car to get around these parts, as ride-share services are hard to come by.

In this guide, you’ll find all the best spots on the North Fork, organized by town, from small, casual clam shacks and taco joints to white tablecloth restaurants for important dinners. Businesses here still rely on the summer swell to keep the doors open, so reservations are still a good idea.


photo credit: Madison Fender



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Modern serves large portions of comfort food, all with a mid-century neon sign in front of the restaurant to welcome you in. They’ve been doing classic diner dishes since 1950—think chicken pot pie, pot roast, and mashed turnips, with plenty of seafood options and interesting Long Island beer. This is not the place to share small plates, so come for a reuben at lunch, or a half-roasted chicken at dinner. For dessert, get a slice of the towering, house-baked lemon meringue.




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A walk around this 1863 Italianate house is reason enough to arrive 30 minutes before your reservation and snap a few selfies under the wisteria pergola. After you significantly fill up your camera roll, kill some more time at the speakeasy-style bar inside with a glass of local wine or a rickey. Reserve a table inside if you're heading here for a date or celebrating a special occasion. Otherwise, we prefer the patio outside.


If you’re the type that would rather suffer than ask your waiter for a refill, you’ll love the self-serve coffee bar at Love Lane Kitchen. It's open all day, but breakfast and lunch are where this place shines. There are plenty of hot carbs like french toast and pancakes coming off the griddle, as well as things like goat cheese paninis and housemade pastrami sandwiches. The salads are pretty solid, too—they do a great Mediterranean with a healthy dose of capers and olives. 

Despite the Love Lane address, handwritten menu board, and knotty pine ceiling, at its core, Ammirati’s is a hard-working deli where you should get a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on your way to Peconic Bay. It’s the sort of place that comes up with funny names for heroes, like the Moose Is Loose for a chicken cutlet sandwich. But don’t worry—the sandwiches also have numbers in case you’re not ready to say “moose” out loud at a deli. If you’re double-parked, the grab-and-go case has premade sandwiches, but it’s worth dealing with some honking cars for the roast beef hero with parm, lemon, and arugula.


As one of the biggest seafood providers on Long Island, Braun is your spot for local fish, oysters, shrimp, tuna, and calamari starters. If the weather’s cooperating, snag a table outside under the tent, as indoor seating is limited. If you’ve been there and done that with vineyard tours, spend the afternoon with a few beers, some soft shell crab, a seafood paella loaded with clams and mussels, or fried flounder sandwiches. The star of the sides is the cornbread with honey butter, which makes a fine stand-in for dessert at 1pm.


This colorful seafood shack sits on a quiet stretch of sand that most people drive by without noticing, and it’s an excellent option for either lunch or dinner. They do a pared-down midday menu that includes plates of rice, microgreens, beets, and charred pineapple, along with hefty grilled chicken croissantwiches.

This is generally just a fun place to eat and hang out—the foyer features fuzzy chairs and a quote from Jaws in neon signage, and outside, there’s plenty of seating and enough cedar shake to have you feeling like you’re on the Cape. If you’re there for dinner, order a rum and prosecco cocktail and pair it with a few small plates of smokey eggplant and local clams, plus the whole grilled fish to split.

Maroni isn't your average Long Island Italian spot. Their a la carte menu includes a bunch of things you wouldn't expect, like Korean-style ribs and chicken and ginger dumplings, and it all just sort of works. Skip their tasting menu, which they offer most nights, and instead, share a few small plates of gagootz parmesan and a penne alla vodka with a sauce so smooth, you wouldn’t mind it as a savory milkshake. If you can, claim a spot in the front window that overlooks Main Street.

North Fork Table & Inn is a mainstay on the East End, and the chef also runs a couple of hotel restaurants in NYC. Brunch is the best time to come here, when they serve olive oil pancakes and lobster scrambled eggs until 3pm. They also operate a food truck on the weekends that serves chips and guac, a cold lobster roll, and old-fashioned griddle burgers. Hang out at one of the picnic tables on their back gravel patio while the kids run around. 

You don’t have to schlep a whole fish home from Southold Fish Market just to get some fresh seafood—the kitchen does a great spread of apps like shrimp cocktail and Long Island clams and oysters, along with fried seafood baskets and cod sandwiches. They close at 6:30pm most nights, so it’s great for lunch or an early dinner where you can bring a round of beers outside to picnic tables that are lined with crushed clam shells. They also have cornhole, lots of parking, and it’s only a short ride from Greenport.


If you’ve come to the East End for fish, this is the place to order some herb breadcrumb-encrusted fluke at a window seat around 7:30pm when the sun starts to dip. The seafood-heavy menu is a mix of a raw bar with classic hefty burgers and swordfish sandwiches. Order some small plates, like meatballs with ricotta and a spicy arrabbiata sauce, or just share some fish and chips.

Claudio’s was originally opened by a sailor in 1870, and it’s easy to tell how much history the place has when you sit at the Victorian-era bar. Today, the Claudio’s empire encompasses a couple of covered outside docks and a pizza location, all steps away from the main restaurant. The Tavern & Grill’s dining room is perfect for watching foot and boat traffic buzzing around Shelter Island, and the covered patio is great if you’re here with a dog. 

Think of Noah’s as the Greenport king of small plates—they serve delicious things like roasted garlic spread on toasted bread, grilled sardines, and Korean short ribs. The white tablecloth dining room is intimate, especially in the back away from the street-facing windows, which is the ideal place to bring a date you haven’t quite soft-launched on social yet. If you’re looking for something a little more casual, grab a spot at the bar or outside overlooking the famous Greenport carousel for tuna tartare, local oysters, and crab tacos to pair with a few beers.

While there are only two tables on Bruce & Son’s covered front patio, these are the best seats in Greenport for people-watching, especially during brunch. There, on Main Street, you’ll see couples fresh off their boat, families pushing strollers, folks coming up from the Hamptons by way of Shelter Island, and lots of dogs.

The all-day brunch menu leans hard on breakfast, with excellent hotcakes with fresh berries and a couple of heavier sandwiches like a BLT. The dining room has a clean, country look, with a few tables that you’ll need to reserve. Dinner is another solid time to stop by, when they do things like a burger on brioche with a punch of fresh mint and dill and a grilled cheese that’s beefed up with asparagus, fontina cheese, and peppery horseradish mayo.

If you want to sit outside for lunch and eat things on the half-shell, it doesn’t get much better than Little Creek. And while they have a full menu of cooked stuff, you’re really coming here for trays of clams and oysters and buckets of beer. The best seats are outside on the gravel patio where you can watch yachts pull in from the Caribbean or Florida, as well as the fishermen who drop off those oysters and clams. If the kids get a little antsy, you can walk to the nearby green lawn space or the carousel and count how many times the ferry comes and goes from Shelter Island in the distance.

This minty green Victorian-era house has a couple of patios, a covered porch space, and plenty of indoor seating, so it’s as flexible as you need it to be and easy enough to visit with kids or a stroller. This is the spot if someone has a hankering for a creamy chowder, big burgers, and skin-on, hand-cut fries, with a friendly staff that keeps things moving, even when the place packs out. They do a great brunch on Sundays that’s worth it for the homemade pop-tart alone.

The Frisky Oyster is an elegant spot on quiet Front Street. This isn’t the best place to show up for a big birthday without a reservation, but it’s a great option for a date or a small group—think three or four friends. There’s plenty here beyond just an excellent raw bar, like cauliflower quinoa cakes and duck, and even some local wine. On summer nights, try to snag a banquet seat up front where the open window positions you close enough to have a conversation with all the people walking by, most of whom will be carrying Italian ice from Ralph’s next door.

Long Island sets the bar high for a good bagel. And Goldberg’s, a family-run shop with a dozen or so East End locations, is where you should come the next time you’re craving morning carbs. They do a great bacon, egg, and cheese on a flagel, which is as close as a bagel can get to a Kaiser roll, plus a handful of wraps and deli sandwiches. Take your order to go, then get on the nearby ferry to Shelter Island for the afternoon.

This Mexican spot a few doors away from Claudio’s has crispy tacos filled with duck, hefty burritos, and a great elote starter. Seating outside is limited, so plan on arriving early. This place is full of color—we’re talking about walls full of artwork highlighting Mexican wrestlers, salt-rimmed colorful margaritas, and a rum-based Lucha Punch that’s the perfect thing to sip on as you look out on Main Street. If it's too packed and you can't find a table, opt for plan B: get your tacos to go, and walk around town while nursing a Jarritos.

The thin, Neapolitan-style, 14-inch wood-fired pies coming from the domed oven at 1943 are great all on their own, but even more so on the East End, which is a dead zone for pizza. The menu covers the classics like margarita with fresh mozzarella, but the red pie with ‘nduja that’s packed with Calabrian chilies is the best option. Go with a group and sit at a table in the courtyard where you can keep busy with plenty of wine, beer, and snacks like marinated olives and meatballs.


You’re not going to mistake Hellenic for Athens, but grilled halloumi, pita with tzatziki, and hummus will hold you over until that Greek vacation. Definitely plan to stop in for breakfast—they do great frittatas with haloumi, a corned beef hash with poached eggs, and pancakes with quality maple syrup. The wine list here leans heavily on North Fork vineyards and the menu is seafood heavy, though you can still have lamb just about any way you want. Bring a group, grab a seat outside, and walk to the beach near Spring Pond after you eat.


It’s basically impossible to walk past the impulse-buy area near the register at Orient Country Store without spending more than $20. But instead of Snickers or Twix, you’ll find house-baked brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and, maybe, a coconut snack cake that you’ll eat half of before you reach the door to leave. Stop by before hitting the beach to pick up breakfast sandwiches and a few to-go lunches. They do the classics like cranberry chicken salad on seven-grain bread and hot caramelized mushrooms, gruyère, and salad greens on ciabatta.

The entirety of the menu at this casual, tiny spot fits on a good size chalkboard, yet it seems to cover all of life’s essentials, like flaky croissants, cold sesame noodles, and a large life raft outside that serves as their signage. A long refrigerator case holds two dozen gelato and sorbet flavors, which they scoop until 9pm, a few bakery selections, and Chinese dumplings that come from the small kitchen. You should also try the coffee and crepes and grab pot stickers to take to the small front patio or on a stroll through the neighborhood’s mix of shingle-style and Victorian-era houses.

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