10 Retro Diners & Ice Cream Shops on Long Island

Eating ice cream is a time-honored tradition, one that starts before we can even see over the counter. It’s a nostalgic practice. Across Long Island, several retro eateries drive this home, mixing throwback decor and music with cold treats for a delicious throwback experience. When the mercury inches towards triple digits, make a sweet escape to one of these 10 Long Island diners and ice cream shops.

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Krisch’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor, Massapequa

One of the most well-known retro establishments on the Island, Krisch’s is committed to treating customers with an old-fashioned experience from the moment they step inside. There is a traditional counter with bar stools, a full diner-style menu including breakfast (omelets, waffles and pancakes) and lunch and dinner options like burgers and wraps. The homemade ice cream is too good to pass up. Choose from pre-made creations like “Coco-Nuts,” (two scoops of coconut ice cream covered in marshmallow topping and coconut shavings) or build your own sundae. Flavors range from unique (rainbow cookie, fluffernutter or s’mores) to traditional favorites. Phone: 516-797-3149 | Address: 11 Central Ave Click to taste.

Hope’s Land of Candy, Island Park

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Waffle cones, banana splits and thick milkshakes, Hope’s has frozen treats covered. But what makes this establishment stand out is the candy. Customers can find everything from Harry Potter’s chocolate frogs to Turkish taffy and candy apples. Candy is served by the pound and displayed in jars on a long shelf behind the counter. Best part is, old episodes of The Little Rascals play in the background to transport visitors back in time. Phone: 516-544-2244 | Address: 3951 Long Beach Rd Click to taste.

Thomas’ Ham ‘N’ Eggery Diner, Carle Place

As one can guess from the name, eggs are the main attraction of Thomas’, but there are also delicious treats like thick milkshakes, milkshake floats, ice cream sodas and even egg creams. Phone: 516-333-3060 | Address: 325 Old Country Rd Click to taste

The Laurel, Long Beach

The Laurel has been serving the public with delicious fare since 1932, long before the 1950s diner craze. Like all traditional diners, the menu features breakfast, lunch and dinner options. But the neighborhood place isn’t afraid to change with the times. It is constantly updating its food choices with tasty options like Oreo pancakes and steak and eggs to keep people coming back. Phone: 516-432-7728 | Address: 300 W Park Ave Click to taste

Henry’s Sweet Shoppe, Glen Cove

First-time guests tend to become regulars at Henry’s Sweet Shoppe. One look at the menu and it is easy to understand why. Breakfast options range from strawberry shortcake pancakes, omelets and homemade muffins to lunch sandwiches and burgers. Homemade ice cream is also part of the package, coming in flavors like banana split and fudge brownie sundae. Phone: 516-671-3222 | Address: 8 Glen St Click to taste

Coyle’s Ice Cream Shop, Bay Shore & Islip

Coyle’s is a 50s-style ice cream shop known for its friendly service. The menu features 60 homemade ice cream flavors, classic fountain drinks like malts and Brooklyn egg creams and the famous Banana Split Cake, which comes with 20 flavors itself. Click to taste

Hildebrandt’s, Williston Park


Featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Hildebrandt’s knows how to attract an audience. Favorites include the Pasta a la Mama, rigatoni tossed with cauliflower, garlic, onions, cheese and bread crumbs, the signature burger featured in the documentary film Hamburger America and homemade ice cream flavors like peach, maple walnut, vanilla fudge and sorbet. Phone: 516-741-0608 | Address: 84 Hillside Avenue Click to taste.

The Ice Cream Cottage, Mastic

This sweet spot in Mastic serves creative ice cream flavors like apple cinnamon and hot habanero chili pepper. Stop in for a cup of coffee, homemade candy or order a custom ice cream cake (perfect for parties). Phone: 631-395-3580 | Address: 1590 Montauk Hwy Click to taste.

Northport Sweet Shop, Northport

Around since 1929, Northport Sweet Shop knows a thing or two about making homemade ice cream and countertop classics like sundaes, sodas and floats. The lemon custard or French ice cream soda topped with fresh whipped cream are often raved about. Phone: 631-261-3748 | Address: 55 Main St Click to taste.

Five Pennies Creamery, Rockville Centre

Five Pennies is the hotspot for Gold Coast frozen treat lovers. Between 100 creative flavors like cotton candy and banana pudding, guests will want to sit back, relax and delight their palates for as long as they can. The small tables are perfect for catching up with best friends. Phone: 516-608-4344 | Address: 11 N Park Ave Click to taste.

esme mazzeo

esme mazzeo

Esme Mazzeo is a freelance writer and TV junkie who enjoys writing arts, culture and lifestyle pieces. Follow her on Twitter @EsmeMazzeo