Top-notch restaurants, bustling streets and captivating attractions are the perfect recipe for a solid day trip or night out on Long Island. Next up in Pulse’s monthly Town Matchmaker series: Babylon and Rockville Centre. For those who can’t get enough of Babylon’s vibrant dining scene and lakeside views, the cheerful village of Rockville Centre is just as delightful. Here’s why.
From brunch to dinner, Parlay is lauded for its fair share of creative selections. There’s Nutella-stuffed French toast and chicken & waffles served with a spicy honey sriracha sauce for a laid-back morning treat. When dinner rolls around guests can’t get enough of the French onion soup burger or any of the crispy flatbreads, especially the artichoke mushroom made with goat cheese, parmesan and fresh herb. Phone: 516-442-2600 | Address: 210 Merrick Rd. Click to taste.
Satisfy taco cravings at Mesita. The steak tacos have built quite the reputation. They’re made using tender skirt steak, which is known for being of higher quality than the oft-used hanger steak. Other popular variations include chicken, fish, shrimp, pork and vegetable. And no visit would be complete without indulging in the house-made chips and salsa, a favorite guilty pleasure. Phone: 516-282-9900 | Address: 212 Merrick Rd Click to taste.
This is the place to be for anyone who enjoys a wholesome sweet treat and a throwback tea party. The scones are made-to-order, which means they’re still rising when the customer sits down to enjoy them, and each bite is more soft and crumbly than the last. As for the tea, it’s served in antiquated (sometimes floral) teapots that evoke turn-of-last-century, high-society vibes. It’s made using tealeaves and comes in a pot with a strainer and side of honey. Phone: 516-208-8521 | Address: 230 Merrick Rd Click to taste.
The facility features 17 acres of nature trails, scenic ponds and appealing bridges that cross over meandering streams. There’s also a live animal exhibit and educational programs at the nature and science center, making it a family-friendly day trip destination. Phone: 516-764-0045 | Address: 1 Tanglewood Rd Click to visit.
A Babylon landmark, Glen’s Dinette is a cozy spot made for breakfast dates (or better yet brunch!). The neighborhood gem transports visitors back to the 1950s with retro burgundy booths and eclectic décor. Standout dishes include homemade hash and eggs, blueberry banana pancakes and raisin bread French toast. Phone: 631-669-4700 | Address: 23 E Main St Click to taste.
Top-notch Mexican food, surf-themed aesthetics and a casual vibe, Swell Taco knows how to keep customers coming back for more. Guests can’t get over the spicy shrimp tacos, grilled chicken tacos and loaded burritos that taste even better paired with house-made margaritas. Phone: 631-482-1299 | Address: 135 Deer Park Ave Click to taste.
Located in the heart of Babylon, this park is a village magnet. Visitors are known to get lost in the beautiful trees and flowers that circle the lake. There is also a bicycle trail and a waterfall with a small bridge perfect for festive photographs. Phone: 631-669-1500 | Address: NY-27A Click to visit.
A Babylon staple for more than two decades, Sweet Sensations has something for every sweet tooth. From homemade ice cream, soft serve yogurt and non-fat ice cream to all-natural smoothies and protein drinks, it’s a one-stop shop for a delicious day. Phone: 631-893-0350 | Address: 36 E Main St Click to taste.