7 Long Island Bars With Great Food

Bar food once took a back seat to cocktails, wine and beers. But as the small plates trend has grown larger and the line between white-tablecloth and casual restaurants smaller, food has become more of a co-pilot. And it’s a good thing—happy hour and any hour are best spent with good grub. Seven spots rank high on the Long Island bar food chain.   

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Spiro’s Restaurant & Lounge, Rocky Point

Spiros Winter

The colorful scene at this unpretentiously upscale joint is heightened by bright artwork and brighter cocktails. But that doesn’t mean any of the above outshine the food. The chicken wings come with a side of mango habanero sauce that’s sugar and spice and everything nice and the sautéed strip steak tid bits are a bite-sized indulgence. If the night calls for a table and full meal, the rack of lamb is a favorite of owner Spiro Karachopan and made with his special blend of oregano, rosemary and a little garlic. Phone: 631-744-4100 | Address: 4 Patchogue Dr. Click to taste

Cooperage Inn, Baiting Hollow

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This country-style eatery is known for its quaint look and generously portioned brunch, but there’s also a bar with friendly bartenders and food to write home about. The oven roasted tomato bruschetta feels as fresh as an afternoon on the North Fork. The crab cakes are glazed with tri-pepper remoulade, roasted corn grilled beefsteak and tomato relish for an appetizer that ignites multiple tastebuds. Phone: 631-727-8994 | Address: 2218 Sound Ave. Click to taste

PeraBell Food Bar, Patchogue and Riverhead

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Multiple TVs, brews and burgers to write home about make PeraBell a favorite for Friday night happy hour and Monday Night Football. The chophouse burger is made for big hands and empty stomachs—it’s a 10oz hand-formed certified angus beef patty with lettuce, tomato and onion. The crispy shrimp po’ boy brings a little southern comfort to the South Shore and North Fork. Patchogue: Phone: 631-447-7766 | Address: 69 E. Main St. | Riverhead: Phone: 631-740-9494 | Address: 65 E. Main St. Click to taste

Finnegan’s, Huntington

Irish Pub

More than 100 years of Irish tradition in Huntington. image: www.facebook.com/FinnegansNY

The oldest continuously operating bar in Huntington is famous for longtime bartender Tommy Forte (the mayor of Huntington) and consistently good pub grub. The loaded pub fries are a huge stack of fries, bacon, sour cream, scallion and melted cheese and taste like the Super Bowl on a plate. The New England style crispy calamari put a sweet and tangy twist on the classic app by adding banana peppers, artichokes and lemon aioli. Phone: 631-423-9696 | Address: 5 Wall St. Click to taste

Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall

This spacious spot boasts three bars, an outdoor patio and a lively dance floor made for dancing off the gooey-crispy fried mac & cheese. The popular pizza bread is another late-night favorite and the avocado egg rolls are as delicious as they are creative. Phone: 516-783-7500 | Address: 3232 Railroad Ave. Click to taste

VauxHall, Huntington

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The scene is so lively as this tiny-but-hopping gastropub the music often gets drowned out. What isn’t an afterthought, however, are the burgers which pair perfectly with the three handfuls of beers on tap at any given time. The breakfast binge (bacon, cheddar and a sunnyside up egg) blurs the line between meals in savory-salty fashion and the kitchen sink (bacon, pepper jack, short ribs, mac & cheese, crumbled BBQ chips) lives up to its name. Phone: 631-425-0222 | Address: 26 Clinton Ave. Click to taste

Liberty Burger & Beer Co., St. James

The DeNicola Concept Restaurant Group, the people behind uber-popular restaurants Del Fuego, La Tyvola and Ruvo, unveiled this meat-lovers’ haven in January. People can pile anything from roasted onions to fried eggs and pulled pork on top of their burgers. There are also about 12 beers and six wines on tap but the adult milkshakes have achieved instant fame. Choose between chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, coffee or slated ice cream, then let the staff mix it with spirits. Phone: 631-250-9600 | Address: 429 N. Country Rd. Click to taste

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.