The revival of Riverhead is successfully making this town a day trip destination for locavores, craft beer enthusiasts and shopaholics. Home to three breweries, several eclectic shops and numerous charming restaurants, it’s the best town to stop at while you’re out east before heading back home. Grab a pint, have a meal and relax at any one of these affordably priced eateries.
Digger’s Ales ‘N Eats
Expect an “eclectic selection” of high quality brews and fries “that can’t be beat.” At this Irish Gastropub, diners can sit at the bar and watch the game, or be seated in one of the three dining areas for a quieter meal. Live bands play on the weekends, which means it can get pretty busy during prime time. Recommended plates: Stout Mussels, Pulled Pork Nachos, Marinated Steak Sandwich and Corned Beef Reuben. Eat here.
The Birchwood of Polish Town
Touted as having the “best polish food outside of Greenpoint, Brooklyn,” regulars come here for the huge portions, amazing service and consistent dining. Serving authentic Polish cuisine alongside Italian and American favorites, this restaurant has something for everyone. Reviewers love the “kielbasa and pierogies” and can’t stop talking about the antique airplanes hanging from the ceiling. Recommended plates: Polish Pu Pu Platter, Extreme Angus Burger, Golomki Dinner and Signature Penne Ala Vodka. Eat here.
Joe’s Garage and Grill
Located on the beautiful Peconic Riverfront in Downtown Riverhead, this low-key eatery is always busy for lunch and dinner. Anticipate enormous burgers, hand smoked wings and local craft beer on tap that can easily please any crowd. The homey décor pays homage to the community’s history and garage doors open up to a heated patio. Local musicians play several nights a week suspended in the air on a custom-built car lift stage for everyone to see and hear. Recommend plates: The Model T Burger, The Mustang Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Lager Braised Short Ribs and Joe’s Meatloaf. Eat here.
Polish Wisla Delicacy
When you’re in a rush and just want something to take on the road, stop into the “best kept secret” in Riverhead. This authentic Polish deli serves delicious “belly warming” dishes like stuffed cabbage and potato pancakes. The friendly counter service is always happy to help customers unfamiliar with Polish cuisine place an order. You may not be able to dine in, but you can surely dine out! Recommended plates: Kielbasa, Pierogies, Cheese Blintzes and Chrusciki. Eat here.
Jerry and the Mermaid
This seaside clam bar and grill is a favorite spot to grab fresh, locally caught seafood. Located right next to the Hyatt East End Hotel, it’s a convenient place to grab a bite to eat after visiting Atlantis Marine World. There’s a laid-back nautical vibe, an outdoor seating area that has views of the aquarium and the Peconic River overlooking the numerous boats and kayakers going by. Recommended plates: Fried Calamari, Jerry’s Famous Wings, Scungilli Marinara and Pignoli Nut Crusted Grouper. Eat here.