/ City Spotlight / Massapequa, New York; Exploring a Hamlet of Oyster Bay

Massapequa, New York; Exploring a Hamlet of Oyster Bay

Massapequa is a charming seaside town on Long Island with plenty of unique restaurants to enjoy and outdoor beauty to take in.
Brandon Speakman on January 25, 2021 - 8:00 am in City Spotlight, Historical

Things to do in Massapequa, New York

Massapequa is a hamlet located in the southern area of the town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County, New York, on Long Island, east of New York City.

It was first believed that the Massapequa were one of the “13 tribes of Long Island,” but after further research was done, it was discovered that the Massapequa were a band of the Lenape, “the Algonquian-speaking people who occupied the western part of the island at the time of European encounter.” The groups of people who lived on Long Island were identified by the names of the geographic regions they lived on. The people who lived to the east of Massapequa spoke a different Algonquian language and were connected to the Pequot Native Americans of Connecticut and southern New England. The Pequot people were a part of the “large Algonquian language family of tribes in the costal areas along the Atlantic Ocean.” The major groups of the Pequot people in eastern Long Island were the Montaukett and Shinnecock. The Shinnecock Indian Nation has “gained federal recognition and has a reservation on the South Shore of Long Island.”

During World War II, Massapequa was still a small town, with a population of 3,000 people. Most of Massapequa was still farmland at that time, with mainly farmers living in the hamlet. Citizens of Massapequa who weren’t farmers, likely worked at nearby a aircraft plant like Grumman or Republic. Today, Massapequa is a quiet area of Long Island and is home to many beautiful areas including Tobay Beach and the Massapequa Preserve.


A house in the neighborhood of Harbour Green, Massapequa in 1934 Photo Courtesy Wikimedia Commons


Old Grace Church in Massapequa Photo Courtesy DanTD/Wikimedia Commons

Tobay Beach

Tobay Beach is a private beach that is owned and operated by the town of Oyster Bay. The official year Tobay Beach opened to the public is unknown, but it is known that it opened between 1926 and 1949. Tobay Beach was used as the background for one of Marilyn Monroe’s famous photo shoots (which were taken by Andre de Dienes) in June 1949. Tobay Beach was mainly used for its marina at that time. In the 1960s, the population of Oyster Bay grew, as did the popularity of Tobay Beach. Tobay Beach is free to Massapequa residents, while non-residents have to pay $50 to enjoy the area. Tobay Beach is a beautiful area to enjoy the day at and is Trip Advisor’s #1 recommended attraction to visit in Massapequa.

Massapequa Preserve

The Massapequa Preserve is considered to be “one of the most beautiful parks” in Massapequa and Nassau County. The Massapequa Preserve is next to a stream that is enclosed with 432 acres of trees and gardens, making the area a picturesque place to take a bike ride, enjoy a nature walk or a hike. The Massapequa Preserve (also known by its official name, Peter J. Schmitt Massapequa Preserve) also includes an area for fishing.


Massapequa Preserve Photo Credit: falice2781 Photo Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

While the Massapequa Preserve is in the middle of the town of Massapequa, its very well hidden, making you feel like you are off the grid somewhere. The Massapequa Preserve is a beautiful and peaceful area to explore in Massapequa. The Massapequa Preserve is Trip Advisor’s #2 recommended attraction to visit in Massapequa.


Massapequa Preserve Photo Credit: falice2781 Photo Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

All American Hamburger Drive In

All American Hamburger Drive In has been a Massapequa staple since 1963 and today, is the only drive-in hamburger stand on Long Island. All American Hamburger Drive In is known for serving “the best burgers in town.” All American Hamburger Drive In has been using their original family recipes since opening, and still offers exceptionally low prices. The menu at All American Hamburger Drive In includes the Double Cheeseburger, Quarter Pounder, Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Fish Filet, Grilled Cheese, Tuna on a Bun, All Beef Franks, Butterfly Shrimp, French Fries, Onion Rings, and Hot Knish.


All American Hamburger Drive In Photo Courtesy DanTD/Wikimedia Commons

All American Hamburger Drive In also offers fountains drinks and thick vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry milkshakes. All American Hamburger Drive In is an excellent restaurant to grab a tasty burger, French fries, and a milkshake. Marshall’s Ice Cream Bar (All American Hamburger Drive In’s sister store) is located next door and offers tasty cold treats to enjoy after your hamburger.


All American Hamburger Drive In can be seen in the background, while Marshall’s Ice Cream bar is seen in the foreground Photo Courtesy DanTD/Wikimedia Commons


Joseph Bonacore and Thomas Soluri opened Bacaro Italian Tavern, after their first restaurant, Caraways, became a success. Bacaro serves up some fresh and tasty Italian cuisine including Fried Calamari, Lobster Baked Clams, Eggplant Tidbits, Eggplant Meatballs, and Shrimp Oreganata Pizza. Bacaro also serves different combinations of pasta including Sunday Gravy (Fusilli with short rib meatballs, sweet sausage, filetto di pomodoro), Homemade Lasagna (Veal pork and beef), Angel Hair Inferno (Shrimp, scallops, cherry peppers & lite filetto di pomodoro), Chicken Parmesan Ravioli (Chicken parmesan filled ravioli with sundried tomato, basil & a touch of cream), Homemade Ravioli (Seven ravioli, light tomato sauce or vodka sauce), Garganelli Carbonara (Porchetta, caramelized onions, and peas in a truffle cream, with shaved parmesan), Linguini (Broccoli, roman artichokes, roasted peppers, toasted bread crumbs, shaved parmesan, garlic & oil), and much more.

Bacaro also has a full dessert menu featuring Salted Carmel Cheesecake, Toasted Almond Tiramisu, Warm Apple Crust Pie, Holy Cannolli, Brownie Bites with a Kiss, and Gelato. Bacaro Italian Tavern is a scrumptious restaurant to visit and is Trip Advisor’s #1 recommended restaurant to dine at in Massapequa.

Big Daddy’s

Big Daddy’s is a New Orleans style restaurant in Massapequa that features live music and events every week. Big Daddy’s also stays true to serving authentic New Orleans cuisine including Gumbo (Andouille Sausage, Smoked Pork, Pulled Chicken), Jefferson Parish Blackened Gator (Spicy Blackened Gator Tail Meat, with a Pineapple Habanero Sauce), Lucifer’s Mussels (P.E.I. Mussels, Louisiana Hot Sauce, Crumbled Bleu Cheese), Asian Cajun Ribs (Smoked & Flash Fried St. Louis Style Ribs, Thai Chile BBQ Sauce, Vinegar Slaw), and Charred Oysters (Smoked Bacon Herb Butter, Romano Cheese.)

Entrees at Big Daddy’s include Pasta Jambalaya (Andouille Sausage, Crawfish, Smoked Turkey, Tasso Ham, Cajun Parmesan Cream Sauce), Blackened Ribeye From Hell (24 oz. Bone-in Black Angus Ribeye, Garlic Cheddar Mashed Potato, Collard Greens, and Red Pepper Molasses Sauce), Pork & Waffles (Slow Smoked Pulled Pork, House Smoked Bacon, Cheddar, Bourbon Maple Sauce. Served with Cajun Fries), BBQ Brisket Po’Boy (Slow Smoked Beef Brisket, Texas-Style BBQ Sauce & Vinegar Slaw on Toasted French Bread), and much more. Big Daddy’s a tasty restaurant to indulge in some unique New Orleans style Cajun food and is Trip Advisor’s #2 recommended restaurant to dine at in Massapequa.

Salumi Tapas and Wine Bar

Salumi Tapas and Wine Bar in Massapequa is a tasty restaurant to grab brunch, lunch, or dinner at. The menu at Salumi includes many delicious Tapas items including Marcona Almonds, Roasted Beets, Spanish Anchovies, Garlic Shrimp, Polenta, Empanada, Pork Belly Bocadillo, and a Bread Basket. Small Plates at Salumi include the Winter Salad, Fried Cauliflower, Marrow Bone, Octopus, Scallops, Stuffed Calamari, Iberico Pork Schnitzel, and the Hudson Valley Duck Breast. Brunch is served everyday at Salumi until 3 pm and includes Smoked Anchovies Toast, Smoked Salmon Toast, Buckwheat Waffle, Monte Cristo, Large Salads, and much more.

The dessert menu at Salumi features Bread Pudding A La Mode, a Dessert Board (Sea Salt Caramel, Amarena Cherries with Fruit Jam served with three cheeses), ice cream cups, and much more. Salumi Tapas and Wine Bar also carries a hard to beat selection of red, white, rosé, and dessert wines (including champagne) from all over the globe. Salumi Tapas and Wine Bar is the perfect restaurant to grab a drink and share some small plates or enjoy a tasty brunch. Salumi Tapas and Wine Bar is Trip Advisor’s #3 recommended restaurant to dine at in Massapequa.

Krisch’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor

Krisch’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor has been a Massapequa staple since 1955. Krisch’s is proud to have maintained the same old-fashioned style they have had since they first opened. Krisch’s Ice Cream Parlor is equipped with old fashioned soda fountains, a 10-stool counter, and an endless amount of ice cream flavors including banana, black raspberry, burgundy cherry, cotton candy, creamy coconut, fluffernutter, maple walnut, nutella, orange sherbet, peach, peanut butter cup, pistachio nut, rice krispie treat, strawberry, s’mores, and much more. There are also 20 different variations of ice cream sundaes you can order including Oreo Madness (Two scoops of Cookies N’ Cream ice cream, hot fudge & crushed Oreos), Peanut Butter Blowout (Two scoops of ice cream, peanut butter topping & Reeses Pieces), Massapequa Special (Two scoops of ice cream covered in hot fudge and marshmallow), and the Wet Walnut Delight (Two scoops of ice cream topped with Wet Walnuts (in Maple Syrup).

You can also take on Krisch’s “Kitchen Sink” ice cream challenge that consists of 10 scoops of ice cream, your choice of any three toppings, two bananas, waffle wedges, whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherries. If you can finish the “Kitchen Sink” in less than 1 hour or less, not only will you not be charged for your “Kitchen Sink” order, you’ll also win a free t-shirt and get your picture on the “Wall of Fame.”

Massapequa is a cute town on Long Island to visit, with plenty of seaside beauty to enjoy. For more information on Massapequa, check out Trip Advisor’s official travel guide of the area.


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