Beach eats: The best food spots in Coney Island

Frankly fantastic: Nathan’s Famous Frankfurters has served its delicious hot dogs on Coney Island for 103 years.
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Call it the Snack-bar by the Sea!

No trip to Coney Island is complete without a little nosh. Whether you want a quick bite before hopping on the Cyclone, or you are looking for a quiet dinner date, the People’s Playground has it all, from your classic corn dog to prosciutto-watermelon appetizers. Here are a couple of spots you should be sure to stop by on your next visit!

Al Cavallino

This pizza shop by the B&B carousel opened just two months ago, and it is already drawing praise from locals. The restaurant serves high-end personal pizzas as well as “panni-pizzas,” sandwiches made from oven-baked pizza dough stuffed with cheese, veggies, and more. The shop is dedicated to keeping all the details just right, said the restaurant’s manager and ‘za rockstar.

“We use top notch mozzarella cheese,” said Jimmy Hendricks. “Our oven is straight from Italy.”

Al Cavallino (on the Boardwalk at 16th Street,].

Kitchen 21

Kitchen 21 is the restaurant equivalent of a triple treat: it’s authentic, delicious, and ’gram-worthy. The spot opened in 2017 after a painstaking restoration of the former Childs Restaurant, a castle-like structure from 1923 that was covered with nautical mosaics. Like any classic Coney Island joint, Kitchen 21 serves burgers and seafood, but it all comes with a modern twist — its lobster roll, for example, includes vanilla aioli and black caviar. And do not miss the rooftop wine bar, which has amazing views and cooling breezes.

Kitchen 21 [3052 W. 21st St. at the Boardwalk, (718) 996–0502,]. Open Wed–Fri, 2–8 p.m.; Sat, noon–10 p.m.; Sun, noon–7 p.m.

Nathan’s Famous

Nathan’s Famous is famous for a reason: it’s the home of the finest hot dog in the land. The frankfurter stand started in 1916, and Nathan’s popularity has remained constant, even as it expanded its menu to include chicken and shrimp. Stop by anytime for a walking-around snack, or gather with the crowds outside for Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4 — last year’s champion wolfed down 74 hotdogs in 10 minutes!

Nathan’s Famous [1310 Surf Ave. between Stillwell Avenue and Schweikerts Walk, (718) 333–2202,]. Open Mon–Thu; 10 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri, Sat; 10 a.m.–midnight

Ruby’s Bar and Grill

Ruby’s is your beer-and-a-snack go-to while on the beach. Since 1972, the spot has been churning out hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, and waffle fries like nobody’s business. Its central location and full bar (named “one of the top 21 sexiest beach bars,” its poster alleges) also make it a popular destination, as do the reasonable prices.

Ruby’s Bar and Grill [1213 Riegelmann Boardwalk between W. 12 and the Coney Island Boardwalk Garden, (718) 975–7829,]. Open daily, 10 a.m.–2 a.m.

William’s Candy Shop

This old-fashioned candy store is a treat. One peek in the window reveals rows of marshmallows and candy apples, as well as cotton candy dangling from a clothes line. If you crave a little sweetness at the end of the day, pop by for a cone, candy, or a shake.

William’s Candy Shop [1318 Surf Ave. between W. 15th Street and Stillwell Avenue, (718) 372-0302,]. Open Mon–Thu, 9 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri, Sat, 9 a.m.–midnight.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at or by calling (718) 260–8306.
Posted 12:00 am, June 22, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Although Nathan's is known for their frankfurters now Nathan's Frank's could now be purchased in any supermarket. But their French Fries is another story altogether. Their french fries' quality and technique could only be found in Coney Island and for that there are no equals.
June 22, 2019, 11:58 am
Alex from Coney says:
This should say best fast food spots, all of these spots are trash food. Yes to try once is fun and fat, sweets obviously taste good. How about some great food options, some cool hipster young chefs. We need a Williamsburg trend in coney. WE NEED TO GENTRIFY Coney.
June 22, 2019, 5:53 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Alex, nobody is forcing you to eat at those places. If you want something else, then go to them. Most of these places are mentioned because they are right by the boardwalk. Also, some of would like to go to places that we can easily afford on our income and be within a budget.
June 22, 2019, 6:31 pm
Alex from Coney says:
Tal, nothing wrong with these need them for the attraction area. But Coney Island is missing quality restaurants and good food spots as a whole. There are plenty of spots for those with low incomes, time for spots with those who have middle/high incomes. Area is changing and wealthier young families are moving from the west Brighton area more towards coney. I bet coney brewery will offer fast food but quality fast food options to accommodate the hipster vibe. We need more of that. A little gentrification never hurt nobody :)
June 23, 2019, 9:31 am
SCR from Realityville says:
Trek to Coney Island's,Original Nathan's Famous. Especially for the Seafood. And,I don't mean,the rather unoriginal;Fish-Fillet. Even the Frankfurters there,usually taste considerably better,than other Nathan's outlets. Or even,their food-trucks.
June 23, 2019, 9:48 pm
Michael Roberts from Flatbush says:
Hi! Love these popular restaurants in Coney Island. Can I add just one more? Its the Caribbean gem in Coney Island! Its FOOTPRINTSCAFE CONEY ISLAND at 1524 Surf Avenue. Try its signature dish - RASTA PASTA! Its penne pasta with an exotic Caribbean twist!
June 24, 2019, 8:16 pm
Alex from Coney says:
@Michael....its 2.5 stars cafe on yelp. Businesses like this won't survive as soon as the new luxury buildings are built and new spots open that actually focus on customer service and quality cuisine.
June 24, 2019, 9:09 pm

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