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All-American Hamburger Drive-In

Where to Eat Along Long Island’s Southern Route Heading East

An iconic burger stop, salumi, and more

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Along the Southern route, there are a handful of Long Island iconic restaurants worth a stop for character alone. Speaking of characters, you could also stop in Freeport for a bite at Nawlins Seafood Company, or frozen cocktails at Bracco’s Nautical Mile and a crowd that gets more drunk as the night wears on. But this is a list of places for a shorter stay. Read on.

Note: restaurants are listed based on geography, west to east

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bigelow's Seafood

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79 N Long Beach Rd
Rockville Centre, NY
(516) 678-3878
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Here’s a clam bar worth a detour, especially for those who get excited about a stack of fried clams served in a paper boat. Open since 1939 and named for the first owner Russ Bigelow, this a family spot for meals like clam chowder, whole-belly Ipswich clams, fish and chips, and more. Take note that it’s cash only.

2. Pastrami Express

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3882 Merrick Rd
Hempstead, NY

Abe Ahmed, originally from Egypt, and Annie Ahmed, from Romania, moved to Long Island nearly a decade ago with a dream of opening their own deli and found this place where they’re serving some fantastic corned beef and pastrami, all thin-cut. Also on the menu: roast turkey, chopped liver, and beef tongue, fresh-baked knishes, potato pancakes, and stuffed cabbage.

Photo: Pastrami Express

3. All American Hamburger Drive-In

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4286 Merrick Rd
Massapequa, NY
(516) 798-9574
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An old-school burger and fries stand stuck the 1960s in the best way, All-American Hamburger Drive-In offers the throwback burger — squishy bun, thin meat patty, ketchup, pickles. It might not be as hearty as a steakhouse burger, or as rich or exotic as a chef's creation, but it stands the test of time. Get the double-double or the double-header, and hit the ice cream stand next door for dessert.

4. Salumi Tapas and Wine Bar

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5600 Merrick Rd
Massapequa, NY
(516) 620-0057
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This is a stylish and casual stop where the small plates are quite good, between Spanish, French, and Italian cheeses, octopus with yellow potatoes and pickled red onion; almost black blood sausage, or lamb neck with yogurt and tomato molasses. It also has an ambitious wine list, and the service is attentive at a spot that could easily become a go-to heading east.

5. Off The Block Kitchen & Meats

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501 Montauk Hwy
Sayville, NY 11782
(631) 573-6655
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Steven Rizzo went to culinary school, and when he returned to his roots, he found this former Domino’s tucked into a Sayville neighborhood. He, his father, and future staff did a build-out and turned it into a butcher shop restaurant that’s a great spot for orders like brisket sandwich, pastrami reubens, and burgers. Diners can also choose USDA Prime, dry-aged beef or Berkshire pork with the butcher, and have it cooked to order. This time of year, produce is likely to come from its nearby farm.

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1. Bigelow's Seafood

79 N Long Beach Rd, Rockville Centre, NY

Here’s a clam bar worth a detour, especially for those who get excited about a stack of fried clams served in a paper boat. Open since 1939 and named for the first owner Russ Bigelow, this a family spot for meals like clam chowder, whole-belly Ipswich clams, fish and chips, and more. Take note that it’s cash only.

79 N Long Beach Rd
Rockville Centre, NY

2. Pastrami Express

3882 Merrick Rd, Hempstead, NY
Photo: Pastrami Express

Abe Ahmed, originally from Egypt, and Annie Ahmed, from Romania, moved to Long Island nearly a decade ago with a dream of opening their own deli and found this place where they’re serving some fantastic corned beef and pastrami, all thin-cut. Also on the menu: roast turkey, chopped liver, and beef tongue, fresh-baked knishes, potato pancakes, and stuffed cabbage.

3882 Merrick Rd
Hempstead, NY

3. All American Hamburger Drive-In

4286 Merrick Rd, Massapequa, NY

An old-school burger and fries stand stuck the 1960s in the best way, All-American Hamburger Drive-In offers the throwback burger — squishy bun, thin meat patty, ketchup, pickles. It might not be as hearty as a steakhouse burger, or as rich or exotic as a chef's creation, but it stands the test of time. Get the double-double or the double-header, and hit the ice cream stand next door for dessert.

4286 Merrick Rd
Massapequa, NY

4. Salumi Tapas and Wine Bar

5600 Merrick Rd, Massapequa, NY

This is a stylish and casual stop where the small plates are quite good, between Spanish, French, and Italian cheeses, octopus with yellow potatoes and pickled red onion; almost black blood sausage, or lamb neck with yogurt and tomato molasses. It also has an ambitious wine list, and the service is attentive at a spot that could easily become a go-to heading east.

5600 Merrick Rd
Massapequa, NY

5. Off The Block Kitchen & Meats

501 Montauk Hwy, Sayville, NY 11782

Steven Rizzo went to culinary school, and when he returned to his roots, he found this former Domino’s tucked into a Sayville neighborhood. He, his father, and future staff did a build-out and turned it into a butcher shop restaurant that’s a great spot for orders like brisket sandwich, pastrami reubens, and burgers. Diners can also choose USDA Prime, dry-aged beef or Berkshire pork with the butcher, and have it cooked to order. This time of year, produce is likely to come from its nearby farm.

501 Montauk Hwy
Sayville, NY 11782

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