Greatness On the Quick

Let’s face it: Long Islanders have places to go, things to do, people to see. A night out in a dining destination like Huntington is a welcome luxury, but on a day-to-day basis, food needs to be snappy yet satisfying. These seven Long Island fast casual restaurants will have you in and out in less time than it takes to finish a Billy Joel song.

Related Content: Find 10 Incredible LI Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwiches 

North Fork Shack, Southold

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This spot, featured in Pulse’s September Drinkology section, puts the casual in fast casual. Rustic, beach-inspired decor like driftwood tables and seaside photographs sets the stage for a place where a man in flip flops won’t feel out of place. The grub is just as unpretentious, as owners Samby Sabil and Ryan Flatley opted to rely more on freshness than frills. The pulled lamb pita is inspired by Sabil’s roots and is dressed in chermoula, one of the country’s traditional condiments. The lamb is soft, tender and indulgent—leave the fork on the table. For lighter fare, the grilled calamari may not be fried but it’s certainly flavorful. The fresh squid shines without the crunch and grease and the caper vinaigrette gives it a smooth, indulgent taste. Phone: 631-876-5566 | Address: 41150 County Rd. 48 Click to eat

Delfiore Pizza & Food Co., Patchogue

It’s hard to stand out as a pizza joint amid a sea of Sunday sauce on Long Island, but the Delfiore family has nearly five decades of success to prove its not some pie-in-the-sky goal. First generation Italian chef Angelo Galeotafiore, aka Angelo Delfiore, has curated a menu of classic and creative options. The buffalo pizza, made with blue cheese dressing, fried chicken and buffalo sauce, is like a slice of the Super Bowl. On Fridays and Saturdays, people flock to the eatery for calamari pizza. Phone: 631-475-3663 | Address 75 East Main St. Click to eat

Roast, Melville

A perfect fit for business-minded Melville, Roast is a popular spot for professionals to take a lunch break. The counter-serve eatery serves up inventive dishes. The angry turkey melt includes an avocado spread and jalapeño bacon for an indulgent, spice-filled take on the classic sandwich. It’s known to momentarily get a patron’s mind off last-minute requests from their bosses. The meatloaf panini epitomizes comfort food—it’s made with mozzarella, truffle onion rings and steak aioli sauce. There’s spinach in it too, which means it’s healthy. Click to eat 

Lido Kosher Deli, Long Beach

Long Islanders know an exceptional Kosher deli when they taste it and they’ve been raving about this one for three generations. The old-fashioned digs include a blue and white striped awning and small wooden booths and chairs made for sitting back and relaxing for a bit. The generously sized pastrami sandwiches are tender, juicy and rival NYC’s legendary Katz’s Delicatessen. Phone: 516-431-4411 | Address: 641 1/2 Park Ave. Click to eat

AJ’s Gourmet Grilled Shop, Bay Shore

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image: susan knappe from susan lee photography

One of a flurry of restaurants to open in Bay Shore last year, AJ’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese Shop transports people back to simpler times and snow days. Nostalgics can opt for the traditional grilled cheese (American cheese melted between sourdough bread) but the adventurous have plenty to choose from. The southern-pork combines the tenderest of slow-cooked pork with cheddar cheese. And the apple bacon sandwich is sweet, savory, gooey and worth taking to go. Phone: 631-647-9292 | Address: 182 West Main St. Click to eat

Blue Moon, Rockville Centre

In the oft-fickle Long Island dining scene, Blue Moon’s pizzas have stood the test of time. The home cooked pizzas, served straight out of the coal oven, and red-checkered tablecloths make this spot feel like home, which in a way it has been for more than five decades. The Blue Moon special pizza is 17 inches of goodness topped with peppers, onions, sausage and mushrooms. Phone: 516-763-4900 | Address: 26 North Park Ave. Click to eat

Louisiana Joe’s, Oceanside

Inspired by his love of the Big Easy, Joe LoSchiavo opened Louisiana Joe’s in late 2015 and people have been flocking there for cajun-inspired fare on the quick ever since. The Southern take on a Long Island deli is serving up instant classics like a grilled chicken po-boy sandwich dressed in bayou sauce and chicken and andouille gumbo. Phone: 516-422-9838 | Address: 488 Merrick Rd. Click to eat

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a social strategist of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email bethann@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.