Rockaway Beach: Labor Day Weekend


If you feel like the summer has just flown by and you haven’t had your fair share of beach time yet, head on over to Rockaway this weekend.  Depending on where you decide to settle, there’s tons of stuff to do (other than sunbathe).  This is by no means a comprehensive guide to Rockaway–just a few of our favorites (links to more Rockaway guides at the end, including a bar guide by Rockawayist)!

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If you’re going to…

116th Street


  • Do some shopping along 116th Street at stores like The Gift is Love (accessories & home goods), Blue Bungalow (jewelry & beachy home goods), and Rockaway Beach Surf Shop (surf & beach gear).
  • Grab coffee, breakfast, and a beach snack at Cuisine by Claudette’s.  They have great coffee and daily homemade specials using local ingredients (local as close as Edgemere farm in Rockaway!) for breakfast and lunch.  Rockaway Bagel on 113th and Beach Channel Drive has bagels and……. bacon + onion cream cheese!
  • Pay your respects at the Rockaway Tribute Park, a stunning 9/11 memorial overlooking the bay and the Manhattan skyline, and the Flight 587 Memorial back towards the beach, which pays tribute to the fatal plane crash in Belle Harbor in November of 2001.
  • Forgot some of your beach essentials? Roggoff’s Card and Gifts on 116th has towels, boogie boards, sunscreen, beach toys.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have friends/family in Rockaway and will be heading to a BBQ, pick up some quality meats at Curran’s  Superior on 116th for some burgers to grill up.
  • If you’re up for a little bit of a walk, head down to 129th Street to PICO and feast on brisket tacos (the burger is also spectacular, according to some) and sip a Rockaway Beach Girl cocktail.  Jameson’s is also on the same block, giving you some great pub food (get the mac and cheese or burger).

106th-108th Street

  • Take some iced coffee and a sandwich out to the beach from Boardwalk Bagels on 108th.
  • Wait in line & then eat a delicious arepa at Caracas Arepa Bar at 106th Street (we’re partial to the pernil).  They also have a bunch of Labor Day festivities going on including a Caribbean tunes kick-off tonight (8/29) and live band Bad Sign (classic rock & blues) on Saturday 8/30 6-9pm.
  • Take a walk down to 108th and have a drink at Healy’s or Dalton’s.

The 90s


  • Take a quick break from the sun and walk less than a block down 92nd to devour a gourmet ice cream sandwich at Holland Helado.  OR if you’re not really feeling the whole “leaving the beach” part, they will deliver right to the beach if you text Chris at 347-554-1477.  See their write-up here and check them out on Unique Sweets soon! Photo above courtesy of Holland Helado.
  • If you don’t mind waiting in a ridiculous lineRockaway Taco’s fish tacos are absolutely delicious.
  • Shop at Rockaway’s very own mobile boutique End of the A! The pink trunk will be parked on Shorefront Parkway b/w 96th & 98th on Sat 8/30 & Sun 8/31.
  • Drink beer at Low Tide Bar and eat salteñas at Bolivian Llama Party (one of the Vendy Award finalists!)  Shore Decor will be having a pop-up shop at Low Tide Bar on Sat 8/30  There’s also a DJ dance party tonight 8/29 from 6-10pm.
  • Shake the sand off and go have a sit-down dinner (or lunch) at Uma’s for some Uzbeki home cooking (read more about Uma’s) or Sayra’s Wine Bar for some yummy pulled pork sandwiches.  Sayra’s will also have live bands and $18 buckets of Budweiser and Bud Light all weekend!
  • Get lost in the beautiful bay view of the Manhattan skyline at Bungalow Bar - order a frozen drink and order the pretzel sticks!
  • Get your Thai fix at Thai Rock (right next to Bungalow Bar) where you can also go during the day to JetSki (get the Groupon here).
  • Shop for some surf gear (you’re so close to the surfer’s beach on 90th) at Boarders on 92nd.
  • Drink a frozen out of a Styrofoam cup and have an overall great time at Connolly’s last weekend of the season.  Twitter star @MATTisWHITE will be tending bar tonight 8/29.  They also have some homemade (by Wanda) empanadas that are killer on the late night.
  • Get your hip on at the Playland Motel on 97th & Rockaway Beach Blvd- great vibes and some yummy food (Bolivian Llama is there too evenings Fri-Sun!)

86th Street

  • Everyone says to get the fries at Ripper’s (also some great burgers) on 86th and the Boardwalk.
  • Take a walk down 87th (towards the bay) and hit an enclave of cool at Rockaway Beach Surf Club.  Really cool bar and outdoor space with a food truck (takes awhile to get your food but have a beer and you won’t even notice!)

Some great Rockaway Resources:


Thanks to my good friend + colleague + Rockaway native Bridget for her wonderful additions to this list (follow her on Twitter) and of course my sister, Liz!