With Memorial Day weekend and some beautiful weather coming up, New York's beaches are all gearing up to reopen for the summer season. While there is greatness to be had in old-school seaside dining, there are a lot of awesome new food options across the city's beaches this year. So if you're headed to the seaside this weekend and looking for something different, here's a guide to all your new options.
The Rockaways has seen a lot of changes this year, none of them for the worse. Although the ever-popular Rockaway Taco won't be returning to its Beach 96th Street spot this season, now that co-owners Andrew Field and David Selig have parted ways, Field has opened Tacoway Beach nearby at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, on Beach 87th Street. The new space has more seating, and will serve alcohol to go with those tacos.
Meanwhile, at the former Rockaway Taco space, Selig has partnered with the MP Shift, a design/branding studio, to host a popup called The Summer Shift. It features a rotating roster of Latin American chefs, including Gerardo Gonzalez of El Rey, Camille Becerra of Navy, and more, from this weekend through September 7. Paleta specialist La Newyorkina will also be there all summer, serving Mexican-leaning popsicles.
The restaurant at the Playland Motel has reopened under new management, Dan Cipriani, who vows to make it less of a party place – no more 4 a.m. closing times. Cipriani, who also owns Lodge in Williamsburg and ran the Southern barbecue truck at Rockaway Beach Surf Club last summer, says that the plan is to do more "community based events, art openings, collaborations with skate and surf companies, open mic nights." The menu is a list of summer hits: fish tacos, breakfast tacos, and some jerk chicken and ribs thrown in for good measure. Cocktails also follow the seaside theme, with options like a guava margaritas.
Also look out for new upscale coffee shop/juice bar Rockaway Roasters, as well as Beach Sliders, which will be serving miniature White Castle-style burgers, and Chicks to Go a Peruvian restaurant specializing in roasted chicken and sides like fried cassava.
If you do choose to stick to old favorites, Edgemere Farm, Sugar Bowl, Caracas Arepa Bar, Conchos, and Rippers are all also back in action now for the summer season.
Jacob Riis Park
After being kicked out of its north Brooklyn digs to make way for a BMW dealership, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar has been reborn as the Riis Park Beach Bazaar. That's sad news for Williamsburg, but great news for this beach, where the options have previously been limited to basic concessions like hot dogs and bags of chips. The Bazaar opens this weekend, bringing food vendors like Brooklyn Star, Fletcher's BBQ, Court Street Grocers, La Newyorkina, and Ample Hills to the "People's Beach". Plus the "BarZaar" will serve beer, wine, and frozen cocktails. There will also be beach chair rentals, shuttle service, concerts, nail and tattoo artists, and tarot readers.
Opening hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., seven days a week.
The newest outpost of outdoor food market phenomenon Smorgasburg opens on Coney Island tomorrow. It will host a dozen vendors, including Bon Chovie, Dan & John's Wings, El Super, Excell Kingston Eatery, Home Frite, La Newyorkina, Mile End, Mofongo, Queen Cobra Thai, and Red Hook Lobster Pound in shipping containers along the boardwalk. There will also be two bars, and plenty of street art to peruse on the 20 or so walls installed by Thor Equities (which is developing the lot nearby) and curated by art dealer Jeffrey Deitch. Smorgasburg will open daily from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.
And keep an eye out for an outpost of Wahlburger's, the Massachusetts burger chain run by Mark Wahlberg's brother, which is set to open in June.