Looking to escape the city for a day or even a weekend? Look no further than North Fork, Long Island.
Lauded as the “Brooklyn of Long Island” by Eater, The North Fork (known affectionately as NoFo) has grown considerably in popularity the past few years. What has always been the home of many wineries, beaches and farm stands has grown into a more cosmopolitan (but more laid back than the South Fork) version of itself that city dwellers can escape to by train or car. It takes around 2 hours to get there, depending on where you are heading, making it a perfect option for a day trip or a weekend adventure.
Here are some LBC approved things to eat, drink and do that you shouldn’t miss if you check out NoFo this summer:
Shinn Farmhouse - We haven’t been since it recently came under new ownership, but, if they have kept any of the original charm, it is a wonderful place for a relaxing getaway situated on a beautiful vineyard.
Jedediah Hawkins - A beautiful old boutique hotel sitting on 22 acres of farmland, it also boasts a great restaurant and speakeasy bar.
North Fork Inn - This beautiful old inn has a wonderful and acclaimed restaurant on the property and a fantastic (and NoFo-famous) food truck parked on-premise.
When is comes to vineyards, NoFo isn’t Napa, but you can get some great wine if you’re savvy and know where to go. Much like Napa, some of the wines (to be totally honest) really suck, so be careful where you go. Some of our favorite places are:
Matebella - Our favorite place to enjoy reds, everything from the well prices Famiglia red “table” wine to some of their amazing old vintages. Do a tasting and make sure to order some of their delicious crostini.
Lieb- A great spot to enjoy not only delicious wines (we recommend the meritage or a tasting which is always a great option) Lieb has a beautiful tasting room inside and a big patio outside. There’s often live music and they have great meats and cheeses on their snack menu.
Bedell - One of the fancier vineyards in the North Fork, Bedell has a beautiful tasting room and outdoor patio where you can enjoy their award winning wines. First Crush red is always a good bet to drink at Bedell and, as a fun bonus, the bottle’s artwork is beautiful as well.
Croteaux - This vineyard embodies the “rose all day” concept by producing exclusively rose wines. They have a beautiful, french farm style back yard and ‘barn’ where you can taste their still or sparkling roses. We highly recommend the Chloe Sparkle but you might want to try their tastings to appreciate their great variety of rose. If you happen to be in a rush, their “rose on the go” truck (a 1977 restored van imported from France, nonetheless) is parked outside the vineyard for quick bottle pickup.
Sparkling Pointe - This sparkling wines only vineyard has an incredible tasting room with fireplaces and big windows as well as a gorgeous outdoor terrace overlooking the vineyard. The wines are highly regarded (served in restaurants like Eleven Madison Park) and the carnivale rose is a must try.
Greenport is the most “famous” town in NoFo, but there are plenty of other little gems around. Here’s a guide to the best of the best including the best dive diner and the best fancy restaurants in NoFo:
Claudio’s or Crabby Jerry’s - For an authentic NoFo experience, hit up one of these restaurant/bars on the pier. Enjoy seafood, local wine and beer and cover bands that tend to lean in the Jimmy Buffet direction (it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, right?).
Bruce & Sons - A great brunch and lunch spot in Greenport that also features pop-up dinners.
PORT - This waterfront eatery features fantastic food and views. Get the lobster guacamole, lobster roll and burrata BLT.
Barba Bianca- Farm to table Italian by the people behind Peasant in Manhattan, this spot has quickly become a local favorite
Cutchogue Diner - One word: homefries. Maybe that’s two words, but that’s not the point. This tiny little diner is worth a visit for those alone.
Case’s Place - For seafood and a gorgeous view, this spot has you covered.
Little Creek Oyster - A unique spot where you can shuck your own oysters right on the water in Greenport while enjoying local wine, beer and snacks.
North Fork Roasting Company - Also known as NoFoRoCo, they not only brew delicious coffee but also offer amazing menu options from local purveyors. A must try.
Noah’s Food Truck - Food trucks are pretty popular in NoFo, and Noah’s is one of the best. There are a ton of options to choose from, but we really love the tacos.
Frisky Oyster - Hands down our favorite “fancy” spot in Greenport, the food is definitely worth the pricetag. Any place that throws a hunk of (delicious, fresh) bread in the middle of the table for us we think is a winner.
Jedediah Hawkins - A really beautiful setting with delicious food, Jedediah is a good place to go for a celebration or romantic dinner. There’s also a speakeasy-esque bar downstairs to enjoy.
Love Lane Kitchen - A cult classic in NoFo, Love Lane Kitchen uses many local purveyors serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is always packed. Plus they make their iced coffee using coffee iced cubes. Warning: There can be a wait on the weekends, but the line moves quickly and there are enough shops to explore while you wait for a table.
Even once you’ve hit up all the wineries, there’s plenty to do in North Fork for adults and kids alike. Check out some of our favorite spots and things to do:
Ferry Rides - Take the Ferry from Greenport to Shelter Island and check out Sunset Beach. The vibe there is more South Fork and swanky but it’s always a fun day trip
Pick-Your-Own-Fruit - Berry or Apple Picking depending on the season. There are tons of places to choose from! We really like Patty’s Berries & Bunches.
The Long Island Aquarium is a great option for kids (and kids at heart). Filled with animals of all types, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor exhibits and even, our favorite, a Penguin Encounter.
Finally, if shopping is your thing the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead are a great option. With stores ranging from Rag & Bone, Saks off 5th to Restoration Hardware and West Elm you can find anything you want at great prices.
Let us know if you check out NoFo this summer!