Beach Eats for Memorial Day Weekend, and the Rest of the Summer

800px-2009_Jones_Beach_AirshowThe Jones Beach Air Show

Memorial Day is all about remembrance, parades, barbecues and here on Long Island, getting back to the beach. As the 2014 beach season commences, so does a seemingly new era of beach eats. Never before has going to the beach been such a foodie happening.

Brooklyn Flea, the team that brought Smorgasburg to Williamsburg, is bringing some of that Brooklyn flavor to Long Island this summer. Beginning on Friday May 23, SmorgasBar will set up shop at Jones Beach’s Central Mall. Initially operating out of revamped shipping containers on the site of the former Boardwalk Restaurant, vendors will include Handsome Hank’s Fish Hut (clams, shrimp, fish and chips), Home Frite (fresh-cut Belgian-style fries, sausage), Rubirosa (pizza, pasta), Summers (fresh juices, iced coffee, tacos) and El Gato Nacho (nachos). There will also be an adjacent beverage bar serving local beer including Southampton Publick House and Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, slushies (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) from Kelvin’s Natural Slush Company and a raw bar from Brooklyn Oyster Party. Large tents are being erected to provide cooling shade for eating and drinking. Partnering with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, this food court initiative will reactivate an area of Jones Beach that was once the jewel of Robert Moses crown. Jones Beach attracts nearly four million visitors each year, and SmorgasBar is opening just in time for the annual Jones Beach Air Show, which is expected to attract 200,000 people each day! If enormous crowds intimidate you, fear not: SmorgasBar will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Labor Day.

The City of Long Beach is repeating its very successful summer food concession program. Shoregasboard was conceived last summer as a way to lure beachgoers back to the boardwalk, which was still deep in the throes of recovering from Sandy. The program was a hit, and this summer the city is offering stationary food carts on the boardwalk and the beach, as well as mobile carts along the beach. Vendors include Sugo Café, Swingbelly’s BBQ & Seafood, Corazon de Cuba, Lido Kosher Deli, Gentle Brew Coffee, Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt and many others along the length of the two-mile boardwalk.

Suffolk County Park’s Beach Hut restaurants at Meschutt Beach, Smith Point, Venetian Shores, Cedar Beach, Cupsogue Beach, Overlook and Tanner Park are kicking seashore chow up a healthy notch. While still serving traditional beach eats (burgers, hot dogs, fries and the like), the seven Beach Huts are upgrading their menus with healthier fare including kale salad, fresh juices and a catch-of-the-day.

Whether you pack your own PB&J or grab some grub from some of these new beachside eateries, please share your beach eats with us on Instagram or Twitter at #elibeacheats.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.