Long Island’s Most Instagram-Ready Restaurants

With over-the-top props, custom latte art, and bright neon signs, many Long Island restaurants go out of their way to make sure your camera eats before you do. Here are some notable places to update your Instagram feed:

Glazed donuts (377 New York Ave., Huntington): The donuts, ice cream creations, milkshakes and edible cookie dough at this sweet spot aren’t the only things making waves on Instagram. “It’s a big party” inside, owner Michelle Tadross said. Huntington is Tadross’ newest venue and largest to date, but all share a common aesthetic: a fun and dynamic vibe. The overall design of the store lends itself to Instagram, from its walls adorned with glittering decals, rainbows and dripping ice cream to the counter adorned with sprinkles. The Instagram-obsessed could easily lose track of time: pose for photos in front of his donut props cascading from the ceiling, or by the oversized upside-down ice cream cone. During the day, it’s “super bright,” Tadross said, but once the sun goes down, the disco lights come on “for a more club vibe.” The space is also lit by a neon “Donut grow up” sign. (Other locations in Massapequa, Montauk and Syosset). More information: 631-470-7755, sundaedonuts.com

Bakuto (121 N. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst): The bowls of ramen are so enticing here, you might lose yourself and your phone in their crystalline depths. But look up and you’ll see a restaurant filled with photo-worthy elements. The food is, for one dish, ready for its close-up, but so are the drinks, elegant Japanese-inspired cocktails with playful “jasmine”, a mix of gin, brandy, jasmine, lemon, salted plum and of bubbles served in a smiling ceramic kitty. Bakuto’s walls are filled with images based on the elaborate tattoos of ancient Japanese players, the so-called bakuto. On the ceiling, the white acoustic tiles have been replaced by metal chain-link panels, which in the back hallway have been decorated with (artificial) cherry blossoms. More information: 631-225-1760, bakutobar.com

At Bakuto in Lindenhurst, Japanese-inspired cocktails include the playful “jasmine,” served in a smiling ceramic cat. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Rock City Dogs (3 E. Main St., Bay Shore): This rock-and-roll themed Bay Shore frankie is the answer to the question, “How picture-worthy can hot dogs be?” ?” Feast your eyes on the inevitable Chicago Dog, for example, served exactly as it would be in the Windy City, with “imported” neon relish and sporting chilies on a poppyseed bun. The Deep Purple is topped, of course, with beetroot-tinged pickled cabbage, as well as whipped goat cheese and pink peppercorns. And the eponymous Rock City Dog, the menu’s VIP, is topped with lobster, whipped horseradish, champagne mignonette and caviar and comes with RCD potato “star tots”, which are shaped like stars to five branches. Owner Stevie Reno has transformed the former dentist’s office into a rock and roll sanctuary, with guitar frets framing the bar and album covers accenting the sleek space. Even the menus are designed to look like album covers. More information: 631-876-2530, rockcitydogs.com

Sugar Bae Dessert Cafe (259 W. Old Country Rd., Hicksville): Drink to your selfie: Latte art has entered the digital age. Here, visitors can personalize their caffeinated drinks with messages, doodles – even selfies – which baristas imprint on the coffee using espresso-based ink. “We’ll print any image you want on your cappuccino or latte,” said owner Veena Prithani, who opened the new dessert corner with her husband Shahzeb Khan. Also on the menu? Instagram-worthy bubble waffles and pancakes. More info: 516-470-9598, sugarbaecafe.com

Sugar Bae Cafe in Hicksville.

Sugar Bae Cafe in Hicksville. 1 credit

The ugly Duckling (906 W. Beech St., Long Beach): This restaurant, which opened in 2020, quickly rose to fame on social media due to its quirky duck theme. Many of its cocktails and dishes are adorned with a little rubber ducky, but that’s not the only standout attribute here. Where big TVs don’t take up wall space, everything about ducks does, including an illuminated “Shake Your Tail Feather” sign; wall art consisting of over 500 rubber duckies; and an oversized, “cheeky” panel that features the back of a duck, making it look like it’s hit a wall. (Alternate location in Rockville Centre). More info: 516-208-3383, theuglyducklinglb.com

PYO Chai (100 Secret Avenue in the Stewart Mansion): The aesthetic of this place is just as nice as its bubble teas. The shop’s artwork reflects South Asian culture, including a mural painted by local Bengali artist, Mohuya Khan (who goes by Labyrinth Ave) and canvases created by Pakistani artist Haf and Haf. An entire back wall is covered in faux green shrubbery with the focal point being a bright pink sign that reads “Take life one sip at a time.” “Light, friendly colors” run the gamut here, like peaches and pinks, while greens and browns add an “earthy undertone.” The decor is “very intentional,” said owner Shaheer Khan, adding that the wood and faux greenery “make us feel more grounded in terms of being close to nature and our roots.” Head here to take photos while sipping the place’s signature drink, which is brown sugar boba and South Asian ice cream known as kulfi. More info: 516-460-8600, pyochai.com

An assortment of bubble and fruit teas at PYO Chai...

An assortment of bubble and fruit teas at PYO Chai at Stewart Manor. 1 credit

Regular recording (49 E. Main St., Patchogue): Stepping into Standard Rec feels like a sweet time warp to a more carefree time when shades of ocher and aqua blue ruled interiors, Malm fireplaces were all the rage, and you give your kids a handful of quarters to play Ms. Pac-Man while you sip the last of a Rusty Nail. At the start of the pandemic, co-owner Brad Wilson scoured the area for ’70s and ’80s memorabilia to adorn this retro-themed spot. From vibrating walls to video games to a bar whose cubbyholes are filled with old audiovisual equipment, a radio cassette player and pretty bottles, every angle is Instagrammable (in the back, between the bathroom doors, is a neon sign that says “eat your heart out.”) Chef Michael Meehan’s menu is inspired by street food and small plates from around the world – empanadas, tacos, birria ramen, Cuban-style Wagyu hot dogs, poke with tuna and mac and cheese with chili cheese sauce among them. The cocktails cover a whimsical but refined range. More information: 631-730-8100, stndrec.com

Teddy’s Bully Bar (46 Audrey Ave., Oyster Bay): The original plan was for Teddy’s large representation of Roosevelt’s face in neon — 6 feet or more — to be turned off at night. That way people could tell from a distance if the new pub-style spot was open. But Instagram had other ideas, and so the neon TR (visible from the front window and glowing beautifully in the wee hours) is illuminated 24/7. Home to Canterbury for decades until the pandemic, Teddy’s owners have added a cozy fireplace that’s also camera-ready, and a few yards away, a makeshift stage, which hosts musicians most of the time. nights. More info: 516-408-5339, teddysbullybar.com

The Hangover burger served with fries at Teddy's Bully Bar...

The Hangover burger served with fries at Teddy’s Bully Bar in Oyster Bay. Credit: Raychel Brightman

East Rock Cafe (100 Long Beach Rd., Island Park): This espresso coffee shop looks almost like a living room in Wonderland, ready for any Instagram photo you might throw at it. Floral wallpaper, sculptural lighting, and velvet chairs, ottomans, and a sofa combine to create alluring visual vibes. Shades of pink are a theme, even in coffee and tea ($3.50 to $5.75), from a hot East Rock Pink cortado to an icy pink island to a fuchsia Dragonwell tea latte. On the pastry front are croissants, coconut and chocolate chip scones, pumpkin brownies and vegan donuts streaked with chocolate and pink frosting. Charcuterie boards, prosciutto-pressed pear sandwiches, pizzas and salads serve as savory bites. If you want to replace the caffeine buzz with a cooler frequency, CBD sodas, mimosas, beer, and wine are also at your fingertips. More info: 516-442-7208

SLSHology (at Roosevelt Field Mall; located just outside Macy’s near Rolex and Williams-Sonoma): There’s more to satisfy a sweet tooth than your typical brownies and cupcakes at Long Island’s first SLSHology, a elevated spot that debuted in 2021. Strawberry, Mango and Blue Raspberry granitas are available daily, with at least two other flavors rotating every two weeks. Order a small pouch (10 ounces; $7) or a large “yard” (24 ounces; $13) and fill it with unlimited flavors. Add an abundance of fruit or candy toppings for an extra $5. Slushies also come in shareable sizes, like a fishbowl for two, which costs $18, and a three-foot-tall option that holds 100 ounces and serves up to 10 people; $40. Inside the ‘wacky and goofy’ display case you’ll also find graffiti from nostalgic icons like Biggie, Bart Simpson, Betty and Veronica from Archie Comics and Bugs Bunny. There’s also Connect 4 and a giant Jenga to play while you sip. More info: 516-234-8514, simon.com

A slushy from SLSHology, new to Roosevelt Field.

A slushy from SLSHology, new to Roosevelt Field. 1 credit

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