Cotton candy, giant pretzels and fried dough in all its glorious iterations — summer carnivals and food festivals may be on pause this season, but junk food lovers can still find their favorite guilty pleasures at Long Island food trucks and eateries almost any day of the week.
Classic summer corn dogs are stilled served on sticks at Jennie’s at Drossos, the Greenport snack bar attached to a throwback miniature golf course and motel ($5; 631-477-1334, jenniesatdrossos.com). If you’re hankering for a specialty hot dog, Duke’s in Patchogue has a chili-cheese version as well as others topped with bacon, pulled pork or served Chicago-style. The pork-and-beef blend dogs come from neighbor Karl Ehmer Quality Meats and the buns from Blue Duck Bakery ($6-$7; 631-730-3626, dukeshotdogs.com).
Meanwhile, Chilean-style hot dogs at Juanito’s in Valley Stream are served with tender, homemade rolls and piled with toppings such as avocado, diced tomato, mayo and sauerkraut (516-812-0935).
Nobody does giant pretzels better than German beer gardens — and Long Island has plenty. For starters: Das Biergarten in East Atlantic Beach serves an Oktoberfest-style pretzel with house mustard and beer cheese ($9, 516-897-2437, dasbiergarten.com). In East Meadow, Garden Social‘s crowd-feeding pretzel is served with stout mustard and ale cheese dips ($13, 516-750-5338, gardensocialli.com).
Further east in Calverton, Riverhead Cider House‘s popular giant pretzel pairs well with its myriad hard ciders that can be sampled in the tasting room or expansive outdoor patio ($10.95, 631-591-0217, riverheadcider.com).
Fresh, fluffy cotton candy crowns the eye-catching “carnival cones” at Shock Ice Cream in Westhampton Beach. The shop has vegan, sugar-free and frozen yogurt varieties that are loaded with toppings, edible glitter and a cloud of pink or blue cotton candy. The real dilemma is whether to eat it before or after posting your photos on Instagram ($10, 631-553-0155).
It’s a (greasy) staple of every street fair on Long Island, be it zeppoles dusted with powdered sugar and shaken in paper bags or giant doughy pancakes sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. You can satisfy your craving at Saverio’s in Massapequa, a pizza spot connected to a pork store whose sole dessert offering is lightly fried dough strips drizzled with Nutella and, if you like, marshmallow ($5-$10; 516-799-0091, saveriospizza.com).
While you might luck into hot zeppoles at any number of pizzerias, they’re always on the menu at Satelite Pizza in Bayport (90 cents each; 631-472-3800, satelitepizza.com).
Then there’s churros, done particularly well at the cleverly named I Am Nacho Mama in Hicksville ($6; 516-226-0228, iamnachomama.com). Or head to NoaMar in Babylon, a market and Spanish tapas spot where they won’t look at you strangely if this is all you order ($8 for three, served with chocolate dip; 631-482-1667, noamarkkets.com).
SAUSAGE, PEPPERS AND ONIONS
Italian sausage and pepper heros are big draws at summer festivals. It’s the house specialty at GNG Italian Sausage Hut, a food truck parked in Island Park 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. You can choose hot or sweet sausage ($10, 516-670-2916, 3915 Austin Blvd.). In Suffolk, Ralph Imbriano grills up Italian sausage heros at his food truck, Ralphie’s Crossroads Cafe, parked near P.C. Richards on the LIE South Service Road in Plainview ($8.95; 516-459-8673).
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