Located at the Southern end of Brooklyn, Coney Island is a must-visit for a weekend day trip. The carnival rides, live music, and proximity to the beach are what attract more than five million people to the boardwalk each year, including couples, families, and locals. Along the boardwalk, you’ll find entrances to two major parks: Luna Park and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, which house New York’s most iconic roller coasters – the most well known of which is the Coney Island Cyclone – as well as a Ferris wheel, and rides for kids.
Whether you’re riding the Cyclone or catching a tan at the nearby Brighton Beach, a full day at Coney Island can get exhausting, which is why you’re going to need to grab a bite to eat (and probably a piña colada, too). After all, you’re going to need all the energy you can get to hit every roller coaster park while walking around in the summer sun. At Coney Island, you’ll find classic hotdogs, handmade gelato, lobster rolls, and so many more delicious treats that might have you more interested in eating than playing arcade games. Here are the best places to eat on the Coney Island boardwalk.
Where to eat on the Coney Island boardwalk
Salt & Sizzle
This open-air eatery offers ocean views and an impressive drink menu, featuring frozen cocktails, a good selection of beers, and watermelon mojitos to match the tropical vibes of the beach. Salt & Sizzle also promises good eats. The menu includes BBQ chicken nachos, fish tacos, and Philly cheesesteaks. The atmosphere is casual, and you can enjoy boardwalk seating or live music from the second seating area that’s situated adjacent to the restaurant.
Where: 1301 Riegelmann Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY, 11224
No trip to Coney Island is complete without a trip to Nathan’s Famous, where you’ll experience the quintessential boardwalk snack. Founded in 1916 by Nathan Handwerker, a Polish immigrant, Nathan’s Famous started out as a nickel hot dog stand near the beach. Today, you can expect to find the chain’s boardwalk brick and mortar serving up their classic beef franks (add cheese, chili, or both). The hot dog stand has even expanded their menu to include crispy fries and chicken and fish sandwiches. The lines can get long, so ordering at the self-order station is recommended to get ahead of the crowd.
Where: 1205 Riegelmann Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY, 11224
Ruby’s Bar and Grill
Located right next door to Nathan’s Famous, this casual beachside restaurant serves cheeseburgers, sweet sausage, chicken sandwiches, and corn dogs. If seafood is more of your thing, the half pound of fried clams is especially popular among boardwalk goers. After ordering, head to Ruby’s seating area, where the restaurant offers a few medium outdoor tables on the left and right sides.
Where: 1213 Riegelmann Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY, 11224
Nestled between Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and Coney’s Cones, Famiglia is where you should stop between roller coasters for a quick bite and a breather from the excitement. This Italian chain serves classic pizzas by the slice, including cheese, pepperoni, and sausage. The menu also offers garlic knots, cheese dogs, and bacon cheese fries. While there is no seating, there is almost little to no wait.
Where: 1207 Riegelmann Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY, 11224
Cool off with a homemade scoop of gelato or sorbet from Coney’s Cones. Flavors like custard vanilla, cappuccino, and cookie monster round out the menu. All three of these flavors are customer favorites. This gelateria also offers a wide array of sorbet flavors including mango, strawberry, raspberry, and piña colada. Enjoy an unobstructed view of Brighton Beach while you cool down with your sweet treat.
Where: 1023 Boardwalk West, Brooklyn, NY, 11224
One of the oldest spots on the boardwalk, Paul’s Daughter is beloved by customers, and for good reason: This family-run business offers quality seafood at affordable prices. The lobster roll–which is topped with celery, chive, lemon juice, and mayo–and calamari are the menu items that customers rave about. Don’t forget dessert! It’s not a successful trip to the boardwalk unless you finish the day with funnel cake.
Where: 1001 Riegelmann Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY, 11224
Tom’s Coney Island
This casual eatery is where you can find chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and fried shrimp. Quesadillas are also a hot item on the menu, and Tom’s Coney Island offers four fillings: cheese, chicken, buffalo, and Reuben. Bonus? You can find most things on the menu for under $10, so you don’t have to worry about going broke if you need to feed a bunch of kids. To stay cool, sit in front of the restaurant under one of the many umbrellas, or on the rooftop to catch some sun.
Where: 1229 Riegelmann Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY, 11224
Al Cavallino is an Italian pizzeria serving up personal-sized pies, paninis, and salads. Among the pizzas, the Margherita and four cheeses are the most popular. If you love meat, order the meat lovers pie, which is topped with bacon, sausage, and pepperoni. Enjoy your slices in the slightly shaded seating area outdoors.
Where: 1615 Riegelmann Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY, 11224