Long Island's most Instagram-ready restaurants

Long Island's most Instagram-ready restaurants

With over-the-top props, personalized latte art and glowing neon signs, lots of Long Island restaurants are going out of their way to make sure your camera eats before you do. Here are some standout spots to update your Instagram feed:

Sundae Donuts (377 New York Ave., Huntington): This sweet spot's doughnuts, ice cream creations, milkshakes and edible cookie dough aren’t the only thing making waves on Instagram. "It’s a big party" inside, said owner Michelle Tadross. Huntington is Tadross’ newest location and biggest yet, but all share a common aesthetic: A fun, vibrant one. The store’s overall design lends itself to Instagram, from its walls that are decked out with glitzy decals, rainbows and dripping ice cream to the sprinkle-embellished counter. The Instagram-obsessed could easily lose track of time: Pose for photos in front of its doughnut props that cascade 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 go on "for more of a club kind of feel." Lighting up the space is also a neon "Donut grow up" sign. (Other locations in Massapequa, Montauk and Syosset). More info: 631-470-7755, sundaedonuts.com

Bakuto (121 N. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst): So alluring are the bowls of ramen here, you’re apt to lose yourself — and your phone — in their crystalline depths. But look up and you’ll see a restaurant chock full of photo-worthy elements. The food is, to a dish, ready for its close-up, but so are the drinks, from elegant, Japanese-inspired cocktails to the playful "jasmine," a blend of gin, brandy, jasmine, lemon, salted plum and bubbles served in a smiling ceramic kitty. Bakuto’s walls are aswirl with images based on the elaborate tattoos of bygone Japanese gamblers, the so-called bakuto. On the ceiling, white acoustical tile has been swapped out for metal chain-link panels which, in the back hallway, have been garlanded with (artificial) cherry blossoms. More info: 631-225-1760, bakutobar.com

Rock City Dogs (3 E. Main St., Bay Shore): This rock-and-roll-themed Bay Shore frankerie is the answer to the question: "How photo-worthy can hot dogs be?" Feast your eyes upon the inevitable Chicago dog, for example, served exactly as it would be in the Windy City, complete with "imported" neon relish and sport peppers on a poppy-seed bun. The Deep Purple is topped, of course, with red-beet-tinted pickled cabbage, as well as whipped goat cheese and pink peppercorns. And the eponymous Rock City Dog, the VIP of the menu, is topped with lobster, whipped horseradish, Champagne mignonette and caviar and comes with RCD potato "star tots," which are shaped like five-pointed stars. Owner Stevie Reno transformed the former dentist’s office into a shrine to rock and roll, with guitar frets framing the bar, and album art accenting the sleek space. Even the menus are designed to look like album covers. More info: 631-876-2530, rockcitydogs.com

Sugar Bae Dessert Café (259 W. Old Country Rd., Hicksville): Drink to your selfie: Latte art has entered the digital age. Visitors here can customize their caffeinated beverages with messages, doodles — even selfies — which baristas print onto 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 spot with her husband Shahzeb Khan. Also on the menu? Insta-worthy bubble waffles and crepes. More info: 516-470-9598, sugarbaecafe.com

Long Island's most Instagram-ready restaurants

The Ugly Duckling (906 W. Beech St., Long Beach): This eatery, opened in 2020, quickly built a social media following due to its quirky duck theme. Many of its cocktails and grub come adorned with a small rubber duck, but that’s not the only noteworthy attribute here. Where large TVs aren’t taking up wall space, all things duck-related are, including an illuminated "Shake your tail feather" sign; wall art comprised of more than 500 rubber duckies; and an oversized, "cheeky" panel that features the backside of a duck, giving the impression it’s hit a wall. (Other location in Rockville Centre). More info: 516-208-3383, theuglyducklinglb.com

PYO Chai (100 Covert Ave. in Stewart Manor): Equally as pleasing as its bubble teas is this spot’s aesthetic. Artwork throughout the shop reflects South Asian culture, including a wall-length mural painted by local Bengali artist, Mohuya Khan (who goes by the name 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 hot pink sign that says "Take life one sip at a time." "Light and friendly colors" run the gamut here, like peaches and pinks, while greens and browns add an "earthy undertone." The décor is "very intentional," said owner Shaheer Khan, adding that the wood and faux greenery "makes us feel more grounded in terms of being close to nature and our roots." Head here to snap some pics while sipping the spot's signature drink featuring brown sugar boba and the South Asian ice cream known as kulfi. More info: 516-460-8600, pyochai.com

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Standard Rec (49 E. Main St., Patchogue): Stepping inside Standard Rec feels like a gentle time warp to a more carefree time when shades of ochre and aqua blue ruled interiors, Malm fireplaces were all the rage and you’d give your kids a fistful of quarters to play Ms. Pac-Man while you sipped the last of a Rusty Nail. During the early days of the pandemic, co-owner Brad Wilson scoured the area for '70s and '80s memorabilia to adorn this retro-themed spot. From pulsating walls to video games and a bar whose cubbyholes are filled with old A/V equipment, a boom box and pretty bottles, every angle is an Instagrammable one (in the back, between the bathroom doors, is a neon sign that reads "eat your heart out.") Chef Michael Meehan's menu draws from street food and small plates across the world — empanadas, tacos, birria ramen, Cubano-style Wagyu hot dogs, tuna poke and mac-and-cheese with pimento cheese sauce among them. Cocktails run a whimsical but polished gamut. More info: 631-730-8100, stndrec.com

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

East Rock Coffee (100 Long Beach Rd., Island Park): This espresso bar and cafe feels almost like a living room out of Wonderland, ready-made for any Instagram shot you might toss its way. Floral wallpaper, sculptural lighting, and velvet chairs, ottomans and a sofa combine for seductive 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 iced Pink Island to a fuchsia Dragonwell tea latte. On the pastry front are croissants, coconut-chocolate chip scones, pumpkin brownies and vegan doughnuts striped with chocolate and pink frosting. Charcuterie boards, a prosciutto-pear pressed sandwich, pizzas and salads serve as savory bites. If you want to replace the caffeine buzz with a more chill frequency, CBD seltzers, mimosas, beer and wine are also on hand. More info: 516-442-7208

SLSHology (at Roosevelt Field mall; located just outside of Macy’s, by Rolex and Williams-Sonoma): There’s more to satisfy a sweet tooth craving than your typical brownies and cupcakes at Long Island's first SLSHology, an elevated slushy spot that debuted in 2021. Strawberry, mango and blue raspberry slushies are available daily, with at least two other flavors rotating on a biweekly basis. Order a small pouch (10 ounces; $7) or a large "yard" (24 ounces; $13) and fill it with unlimited flavors. Add a bounty of fruit or candy toppings for an additional $5. The slushies come in shareable sizes, too, like a fish bowl for two, which costs $18, and a three-foot-tall option that holds 100 ounces and serves up to 10 people; $40. Inside the "zany and wacky" storefront, you'll also find graffiti-like art of nostalgic icons like Biggie, Bart Simpson, Betty and Veronica of 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