3. Johnny’s Reef
A staple of City Island’s seafood scene, Johnny’s Reef, at 2 City Island Avenue, has been serving fresh seafood for over 60 years. Mayor Michael Bloomberg noted, “I used to drive my kids to Johnny’s Reef Restaurant, which is all the way out on the point. We would order baskets of fried clams and eat them outside on the picnic tables overlooking the water. I still go when I can. It’s a great escape without leaving the city.”
The eatery is cafeteria-style dining in which diners order from counters like their fried section, steamed section, clam section, their bar, or their soda and desserts section. Fried options are piled high with seafood like clam strips, scallops, soft shell crab, and sometimes even frogs legs as well as greasy French fries. Little Neck and Cherrystone clams are popular options from their clam bar, while whiting, porgy, and lobster tails are well liked from their steamed section. A handful of Italian-style dishes like linguine with clam sauce, mozzarella sticks, and meatballs are also available.