Not to be outdone by the Rockaways, nearby Riis Beach has significantly upped its food game in recent years. So now, instead of slinging frozen burgers and fries from one or two dingy stands, they’ve lined the boardwalk with 18 notable, highly unique vendors — from Wild Feast Foods and its Atlantic-caught fish dishes, to the shawarma-serving Samesa and Coney Dog-slinging Ed & Bev’s, both courtesy of the infamous Sussman brothers. This Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to check out all of the awesome, new eats at Riis Beach!
Samesa/Ed & Bev’s: Chefs, brothers and cookbook authors, Max and Eli Sussman (whose combined credits include stints at Mile End, The Cleveland and Roberta’s), have descended on Riis in a big way this summer, opening up a branch of the Middle Eastern Samesa — serving beet hummus, lentil pistachio spread, and buttermilk-marinated chicken shawarma — at Bay 9 East, and bringing the Detroit-inspired Ed & Bev’s — offering Coney Dogs, Spinach Pie and Saganaki — to a brick-and-mortar station at Bay 6.
Slice of Whit: Making their beachside debut this summer, this slice-focused offshoot of Whit’s End (a Rockaway-based, whole Neapolitan pizza purveyor, recently ranked by Eater as one of the hottest restaurants in Queens) holds down the fort with a standalone, indoor location at Bay 9 West. Anticipate toppings like mortadella and arugula, zucchini and goat cheese, crispy artichokes and lemon ricotta, and housemade sausage and kale, on pies produced from a wood burning, Stefano Ferrara oven.
Trop Pops: Found on Bay 2 and served from environmentally friendly, handcrafted wooden sailboats, these 100% whole fruit treats (available in banana, kiwi, mango and pineapple, and dipped in intense, dark, high quality couverture chocolate) run rings around your average popsicle.
Paleo Factory: Indulge in dessert (while still maintaining your beach body) at this pop-up vendor by Bay 9 East. Based in the Rockaways, this eco-conscious company serves superfood-laden, paleo-approved MUD; a dairy and gluten-free sweet made with cacao, cashews, coconut, raw dates and vanilla, that’s cold like ice cream and creamy like mousse.
Mighty Edible: An agreeably sunny concept for summer, this Bay 4 pop-up utilizes Jamaican ingredients in all manner of inventive ways; think Ramen with oxtail and tamarind sauce, Grilled Corn rubbed with jerk seasoning and culantro, and coconut milk soaked, plantain chip battered Fried Chicken, served with fresh baked hardo bread and hibiscus jam.
Wild Feast Foods: Specializing in seriously fresh seafood (much of which has actually been caught within 20 miles of Riis Park), this Bay 9 East outpost of Wild Feast Foods serves beachy, crustacean-centric cuisine, like Chilled Baby Octopus Salad, Yellowfin Tuna Tartare and shucked-to-order Bluepoint Oysters.
For more info, visit riisparkbeachbazaar.com
Jacob Riis Beach Bazaar
Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Rockaway Park, NY 11694