Don’t be a Slow Poke

Poke bowls are the “It Girls” of the casual food scene. Born in Hawaii, migrating to the West Coast, showing up in Manhattan and finally (only last year!) landing on the Island, poke is Instagram-pretty, healthy and customizable to just about anyone’s palate. The word poke—pronounced poh-kay—translates as “to slice or cut” in Hawaiian. That makes sense, since the heart of this dish is cut, raw fish. Say Aloha to these six Long Island poke places.

Related Content: Try This New Sushi Bowl Place in Huntington

Kai Poké, Huntington

This primarily takeout place usually has a line, but that’s only because locals can’t get enough of it. The very first eatery devoted to poke on Long Island, it’s set up salad-bar style. Diners first pick a raw fish marinated in a proprietary mix of soy sauce, pineapple juice (an appropriate nod to the 50th state), toasted sesame-seed oil and fresh ginger and garlic. Then it’s on to the rices and a selection of 35 toppings. The bigeye tuna comes from South Korea and the salmon from Norway. Vegetarians can substitute tofu for fish, and there are several pre-made bowl options on the menu for those who need a little help with all the decisions. Phone: 631-888-3188 | Address: 328 Main Street Click to taste

Shiny Coffee Healthy Poke, Hicksville



The Wang family owned four poke shops in California before blazing an East Coast trail with this understated and airy venue in a busy shopping center. The poke bowls are assembled to order, starting with white or brown rice or greens, then a choice of tuna, salmon, spicy tuna, spicy salmon, shrimp, scallops or whitefish. Mix-ins include cucumber, edamame, seaweed, tomatoes and avocado. Toppings, such as sesame seeds and scallions, are unlimited. Each creation is finished off with a sauce. “Yami Yami,” the house special sauce, is a customer favorite. Phone: 516-605-1666 | Address: 1040 S Broadway Click to taste

Big Bang Sushi & Poke, West Hempstead

First timers might like to make their selection from Big Bang’s 11 signature bowls. Those who feel like getting creative can build a custom order with a choice of a bowl or salad, a slate of proteins including the standard tuna and salmon and the more unusual blue crab and eel. Mix-ins include caviar and seaweed salad and crispy toppings range from wontons to tempura crunch. Oh, and don’t forget the aromatic eel sauce. The friendly sushi chef behind the counter stands ready to guide customers, if they like. Phone: 516-750-8889 | Address: 342 Hempstead Turnpike Click to taste

Sherry Blossom, Long Beach

Poke bowl aficionados get a truly personalized experience down in the City by the Sea. Start with either rice (sushi or black), mixed greens or both. Diners can get their tuna or salmon “naked” (unmarinated) then topped with tropics-inspired accoutrements such as tobiko, mango and jalapeños, or all-American extras like sweet corn, shredded carrots or cranberries. Side note: this establishment also serves sushi burritos, which are essentially sushi rolls, but bigger, and wrapped in butcher paper for easy eating. Phone: 516-889-1200 | Address: 78 W Park Street Click to taste

Koi KoKoro, Islip



At this modern, sleek Japanese kitchen, poke bowls are called yutari bowls. But it’s still the same filling, fresh, feel-good meal customers come for. For foodie couples who are split on their preferences—one doesn’t like fish while the other could live on nothing else—this is the place to try. It offers cooked meat options, including pork belly in lieu of fish. All are served with sriracha aioli, lemon-infused soy sauce, crab salad, seaweed salad, lettuce, avocado, edamame and rice. Phone: 631-650-0307 | Address: 501 Main Street Click to taste

Noah’s, Greenport 

Those who’ve already fallen in love with poke—but not the Chipolte-esque setup of most establishments—may want to head over to Greenport. Noah’s offers a refined atmosphere to facilitate truly savoring its yellowfin tuna poke. It’s served as a raw bar appetizer. That starter presentation will, happily, leave room to enjoy one of chef Noah Schwartz’s inspired entrees—the Crescent Farm duck cassoulet, perhaps? Phone: 631-477-6720 | Address: 136 Front Street Click to taste

christina vercelletto

christina vercelletto

Christina Vercelletto is a lifelong south-shore Long Islander. She currently resides in Babylon with her husband, three children, and a morbidly obese calico. A media veteran, Christina has held editorial positions at Babytalk, Parenting, Scholastic Parent & Child, Woman's Day, and Davler Media. Her work has appeared in numerous national publications, including Redbook, Rachael Ray, Good Housekeeping, FamilyFun, and The Huffington Post. She's been a frequent guest on Today, The View, and Good Morning America.