Beach season is here, and the Rockaway Beach Club, a group of vendors selling food along the boardwalk, is officially open for business. Here's a guide to eating and drinking along the 5.5 mile stretch of the Rockaway Boardwalk.
UPDATE: An earlier version of this post listed some vendors from the 2011 seasons who are no longer at the Rockaway Boardwalk. Here's the updated guide with the new vendors for 2012:
At Beach 86th Street:
Rippers: The guys from the Meat Hook and Roberta's are the brains behind this casual surf shack. The menu features burgers and dogs from the Meat Hook, crispy fries, veggie items (like a quinoa black bean burger), spicy lemonade, and breakfast burritos.
At Beach 96th Street:
La Fruteria: A cafe and juice bar with coffee, smoothies, sandwiches, and baked goods.
At Beach 97th Street:
Rockaway Taco: This extension of Andrew Field and David Selig's taco-centric shack serves up Mexican street food, like chips and guac, flautas, tortas, and elote (corn on the cob smothered in cheese, mayo, and chili powder). Unfortunately, the name is misleading: no tacos here. You'll have to go around the corner (and stand in the epic line) to get a taste of what everybody's been raving about.
The Commodore East: A spinoff of the wildly popular Williamsburg bar and restaurant, serving nachos, salads, burgers, and (brace) pork boats.
Lobster Joint: A New England style seafood shack offering lobster rolls and other seafood sandwiches.
DP Pizza: A pizza joint serving deep dish slices.
Motorboat and the Big Banana: Po’ boys, fried clams, chicken strips, French fries and chocolate-dipped frozen bananas from Jean Adamson of Vinegar Hill House, and Lindsay Robinson, formerly of Diner.
Low Tide Bar: This bar, located just steps form the water, is a solid place to grab a beer, michelada, or glass of kombucha.
DiCosmo's Italian Ices: As the name suggests, this is the place on the Boardwalk to go for anything frozen and fruity. Their menu features Italian ices made with fresh fruits, frozen yogurt, and homemade soft serve ice cream.
At Beach 106th Street:
Caracas Arepa Bar: An outpost of the popular East Village and Williamsburg arepas bar, serving over-stuffed corn cake sandwiches.
Steve's Ice Cream: An outpost of the popular small batch ice cream company, serving cones, milkshakes, coffee, and sandwiches.
At Beach 74th Street:
Dredsurfer: A stand serving burgers, drinks, and snacks.
At 96th Street and Rockaway Boulevard:
Rockaway Taco Shack: This is the original Rockaway Taco location. Here's where they sell their legendary tacos stuffed with things like tofu, chorizo, and crispy fish.
Veggie Island: Come here to get your fruit smoothie fix. The stand also serves cucumber water, iced tea, coffee, breakfast items. Try their mango, banana, and kale smoothie.
NOTE: Soon, you'll be able to take a bus from Williamsburg to Rockaway Beach for $10 one-way, and $18 round trip on the Rockabus.
— Claire Nugent