Outside of residents from the Bronx, not many people know about this small island adjacent to the borough, affectionately titled City Island. A quaint but bustling neighborhood full of delicious seafood restaurants with waterfront views of the Long Island Sound, here is what you should do on the special occasion that you find yourself on City Island.
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1. Seafood City
An unpretentious and family-friendly spot, Seafood City caters to both adults and kids alike with its onslaught of classic seafood options and arcade games. On their seaside outdoor seating, munch on some clams and shrimp. If you’re the right height, try out one of their mini rides!
📍 459 City Island Avenue
Vistamar is a restaurant and lounge offering a Latin take on seafood. With surf & turf, picadera de mariscos, and sushi at your helm, this waterfront eatery is a multicultural blend of delicious bites straight from the sea.
📍 565 City Island Avenue
3. Scavello’s on the Island
Scavello’s is a one-size fits all style restaurant with their large-scale menu serving pizza, pasta, meats, and of course, seafood. Eat your fish boiled, fried, grilled or cajun style alongside plates of steaming stuffed lobster.
📍 101 City Island Avenue
4. The Black Whale
The Black Whale is a homey restaurant that aims to make you feel like you’re at your kitchen table with cozy dishes and atmosphere. Settle down with a bacon wrapped meatloaf, grilled chicken on a croissant, or their Black Whale burger.
In true City Island fashion, they also serve delectable seafood dishes such as lobster tail oreganata, grilled salmon with mango salsa, and seared sesame crusted tuna with ginger orange sauce.
Leave some room for their many dessert options, such as a classic warm apple crisp with ice cream, a peach melba shake, or a green tea gelato.
📍279 City Island Avenue
5. City Island Diner
No matter your location, a diner is always the reliable spot to go when unsure of what to eat. City Island Diner offers a great combination of your typical diner food and stand out dishes that are reflective of the island setting. Apart from having one of the best plates of breakfast around (shout-out to The Schooner omelette!), try one of their specialty fried shrimp tacos, Aunt Frannie’s meatball parmigiana hero, or “Da Bronx” burger.
📍 304 City Island Avenue
6. City Island Lobster House
If it’s lobster you’re looking for, where other to try than City Island Lobster House? At this speciality lobster place, lobster is served with a variety of delicacies, such as a seafood boil, clam bake, and their world famous lobster roll. Topping off the meal with martinis or a “City Island mojito” is the perfect way to finish off this buttery and succulent seafood meal.
📍691 Bridge Street
7. Little Fridas Eatery
Stepping away from the seafood theme, Little Fridas Eatery stands out as a cozy Mexican restaurant with affordable bites and decor honoring the iconic late artist Frida Kahlo. As their menu suggests, try out their birria ramen and tacos, or satisfy your sweet tooth with churros and agua frescas.
📍 415 City Island Avenue
8. Ohana Japanese Hibachi Seafood & Steakhouse
Not to state the obvious, but for a unique Japanese immersion, Ohana triples as a hibachi, seafood, and steak restaurant. They offer a multicultural experience with their extensive menu showcasing a variety of Spanish and Italian cuisine alongside the Japanese delicacies of sushi, sashimi, gyoza and hibachi. The drink selection is equally substantial. From lychee martinis to sake, sip on all the mai tais or cosmopolitans to your hearts desire!
📍500 City Island Avenue
9. Arties Steak & Seafood
Restauranteur Spiros Chagres has owned Arties for over 25 years. An Italian and Mediterranean spin on seafood, the New York Times wrote in a 2014 article that customers should “Expect big-hearted Bronx style Italian food,” alongside a heavy praise of the chargrilled calamari salad. Amongst their old-school style dishes is their creamy New England Clam Chowder soup, which won first place in a local contest in 2014. Supported by accolades and delicious food, it doesn’t hurt to give this steak and seafood place a try.
📍394 City Island Avenue
10. The Original Crab Shanty
As the title suggests, the Crab Shanty is where to go for a menu full of crab options. The list goes on with warm buttery delights such as Mediterranean crabs Baltimore style, Maryland style homemade crab cakes, and even hardshell garlic crab.
📍361 City Island Avenue
11. Tony’s Pier
At the end of City Island, known as Belden Point, Tony’s has been serving the community for years with their selection of fried, crispy seafood delicacies. With BBQ, wings and burgers also on the menu, and a bar that serves pina coladas, Tony’s is the joint you go to on the island for feel-good food and a laid back atmosphere.
📍1 City Island Avenue
Portofinos is an event hall and restaurant serving Italian-style seafood. Lobster ravioli, Chilean sea bass, risotto and filet mignon are amongst the succulent dishes served at this pristine establishment. Their unique drinks play onto the sea themes of the island, with your choice of a mermaid mimosa, tropical punch, and even Corona sunrise. Paired with a view of the Manhattan skyline on their waterfronts, Portofinos provides a dining experience like no other.
📍555 City Island Avenue
13. Sammy’s Shrimp Box
The menu at Sammy’s is never-ending. One of the multiple City Island establishments owned by Sammy Chernin, Sammys honors its namesake with an almost exhaustive menu full of Cajun, Italian, and Spanish seafood cuisine. Sammy’s is one of the only spots on the island where you can eat paella with a side of cornbread, or Native American style wood-roasted fish. With a Bahama Breeze or San Juan tropical martini in hand, the food at Sammy’s is symbolic of the islands diverse seafood galore.
📍64 City Island
14. Clipper Coffee
Clipper Coffee is the spot to go on the island when you want a fantastic cup of tea or coffee, but this cafe is also popular for their avocado toast and selection of delicious pastries and sandwiches. Not to mention, Clipper also doubles as a used bookstore! Settle down in a nook with a book and refreshments, and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to lose track of time.
📍247 City Island Avenue
15. The Artist
The Artist, also known as “Starving Artist,” is a music venue and cafe providing the ultimate hangout space for artists and music lovers. Grab a ticket to a show and enjoy a cup of coffee and desserts baked by culinary artist Jennifer Glick.
📍249 City Island Avenue
16. The Snug
Next door to the City Island Diner, get cozy with a drink at The Snug. This Irish pub frequently hosts trivia nights, taco nights and other fun events, so make sure to keep up with their Instagram for updates, and to see adorable photos of Kermit the Frog lounging around the bar.
📍302 City Island Avenue
17. Archies Tap & Table
Archies is a tavern with dishes as good as their drinks. On Sundays, this bar is the place to be for brunch, where you can enjoy mimosas while dining on mushroom omelettes, banana rum french toast, or even huevos rancheros.
📍536 City Island Avenue
18. Fella’s Bar & Grill
Fella’s is a dive bar serving both traditional American bites and Mexican food. With a pool table, great cocktails and tasty food, you can’t go wrong with Fella’s.
📍522 City Island Avenue
19. Man Overboard Bar
Man Overboard is an underwater-themed bar that has a spectacular happy hour. From 12-6:30 PM everyday, customers can sip on $4 beers, $8 frozen drinks, or $5 well drinks. With such hilarious on-the-nose decor and reasonably priced drinks, it’s worth a try. Just make sure you don’t go overboard.
📍247 City Island Avenue
20. Lickety Split
After spending a warm summer day in the neighborhood, cool down with a scoop of ice cream, gelato, or a sundae from the local ice cream shop Lickety Split. Operating from a refurbished cottage, this quaint cash-only ice cream shop offers an assortment of flavors and toppings for a great price. Be sure to enjoy your delicacy while sitting on their outdoor patio.
📍295 City Island Avenue
21. Jacks Bait & Tackle
Since 1945, Jacks has been supplying City Island with all their fishing needs. Beyond fishing gear, this family-owned business is also a great spot if you’re looking for boat rentals or chartered trips through the waters of the Long Island Sound.
📍551 City Island Avenue
22. 239 Play
239 Play is a time capsule of toys spanning across multiple generations. At this vintage toy store, you can find old school trading cards, comics, figurines, and even Lego sets. Let your nostalgia guide you through this unique shop, and perhaps you can find something worth taking home, no matter your age.
📍239 City Island Avenue
23. Kaleidoscope Gallery
Kaleidoscope Gallery is a shop selling handcrafted jewelry, souvenirs, kids toys, and artwork. Much of the jewelry sold is inspired by the seashore aesthetics of City Island, but this shop also makes custom designed pieces! Owned by expert jeweler Paul Klein, find or customize jewelry that is one of a kind.
📍280 City Island Avenue
Want more seafood recommendations? Check out the 15 Best Seafood Restaurants In NYC To Feast At Right Now