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There’s good reason why Patchogue—its name translating from Algonquian to mean “where two streams separate”—has long been a bit of a bustling hub. With the mile-long Patchogue River emptying out into the Great South Bay and the fresh water Patchogue Lake jumping with perch, largemouth bass and brown bullhead, this former mill town was always a popular spot to ease on into via land or water. With its abundance of things to do, spending a day in Patchogue can be overwhelming in the best kind of way. Main Street and the surrounding village are filled to the brim with food, drink, shopping and fun. Northforker recently spent some time in Patchogue and came away with recommendations to make the most of your time on the South Shore.

Photos courtesy Benny Migliorino


Start with brunch at Toast Coffeehouse (46 East Main St., 631-654-7091), ever packed—and for good reason. Be sure to order a seasonal mimosa or one of their fanciful lattes to accompany stand-out dishes like the Splendid Benedict—poached eggs on an English muffin with grilled ham, roasted red pepper, green onions and hollandaise sauce—and the “krispy” Nutella French toast coated in Rice Krispies cereal. 

The Cheese Patch (20 East Main St., 631-438-0393), from the proprietor of Cutchogue’s The French Picnic, sells an assortment of domestic and international cheeses, as well as wine by the bottle. You can even have a seat and enjoy a wine and cheese flight respite.

For a cool twist on Asian-style bao buns, try Bird & Bao (58b South Ocean Ave., 631-447-2200). Like the store restaurant itself, the bao on offer are small but mighty, with options like a burger bao (American cheese, kimchi, house special sauce and black vinegar pickles), the “Nutty Professor” (crispy tofu, peanut sauce and bean sprouts) and the Blackbird (fried chicken, vinegar glaze, black sesame, pickled red onion and chili mayo).

Stop for drinks and a bite at Standard Rec (49 East Main St., 631-730-8100), a bar and restaurant with a flair for fun. In addition to craft cocktails, Standard Rec has a large food menu including flatbreads, burgers, tacos and Asian-inspired bowls. But what really sets this grown-up game hub apart is the geek chic atmosphere. While you wait for your food, check out the full arcade, which is filled with classics like Ms. Pac-Man and foosball.

Gallo (3 East Main St., 631-475-4667), an authentic Colombian restaurant, spoils seafood lovers with Colombian-style paella with shrimp, calamari, rotisserie chicken, chorizo and mussels. Most entrees are served with rice, beans and plantains, and Gallo bottles their own green sauce that, by some wonderful South American magic, pairs well with literally everything on the menu.

If you have a hankering for pizza, Donatina Neapolitan Pizza Café (18 West Ave., 631-730-7002), with its beautiful red Marra Forni pizza oven, offers Detroit-style pizza: a made-to-order rectangular pan pizza with a blend of cheeses, tomato sauce with a hint of spiciness and a crunchy cheesy crust. 

Just outside the village, The Better Man Distilling Co. (161 River Ave., 631-708-7405) distills craft gin, whiskey, rye and vodka and mixes, shimmies and shakes them into fabulous cocktails in the bright and airy mid-century modern tasting room. Our fave: the Lavender Bees Knees, made from Better Man’s Elysian Fields Lavender Gin, lemon, honey, elderflower liqueur and orange blossom water. Small bites are also available, like flatbreads and dips. Don’t forget to check out the vending machine, which
has nerdy knickknacks like anime- and video game-themed wallets, pins and magnets.

For over 25 years, the popular Blue Point Brewing Company (225 West Main St., 631-627-8292) brewpub has been the hop stop for their huge selection of beer in can and on tap. But just because giant Anheuser-Busch InBev purchased them a decade ago doesn’t mean they’re not still a small-town brewery at heart, hosting events on weekends and debuting new brews regularly.


Guitars line the walls of year-old Pinball Long Island (48 West Main St.), along with entrance-to-exit modern and vintage pinball machines of all shapes and sizes. Play all you like with a day pass—$20 for adults and $10 for mini-pinball wizards.

Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts (71 East Main St., 631-207-1313) offers a diverse lineup of programming, including comedy, live theater, music, children’s shows and movie screenings. Upcoming shows include a screening of “Varsity Blues” with star James Van Der Beek in attendance for a post-show Q&A (May 12); Blippi: The Wonderful World Tour (June 28); and Rufus Wainwright (Aug. 9).

The assortment of bands at 89 North (89 North Ocean Ave., 631-730-8992) rolls from tribute to original on its ever-evolving schedule. There’s also a food truck with pizza, sandwiches and empanadas.

Film buffs should head to Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center (20 Terry St., 631-438-0083), a nonprofit arthouse theater dedicated to showcasing independent, off-beat and acclaimed movies. Plaza Cinema also hosts classes for both filmmakers and writers, film festivals, National Theatre live screenings, and has the in-house Blue Velvet cocktail lounge, where you can debate or defend the talents of your favorite directors, screenwriters and actors over Long Island Spirits canned cocktails.


You know that one cool friend who has quirky tchotchkes you’ve never seen anywhere else? Chances are they got them at Paper Doll Curiosity Shoppe (33 East Main St., 631-730-8383), a whimsical and funky gift shop with cool gifts, vintage clothing, toys and games.

New and vintage vinyl seekers will lose hours at Record Stop (30 Railroad Ave., 631-585-3294). Those looking to get into the vinyl scene—which, judging by the store’s constant foot traffic, is booming—can also buy record players.