It happens every single summer. New York City gets too hot and people come flocking in from every which way to make their way to the beach. Luckily, the last stop on the LIRR brings you right there—beautiful Long Beach, New York, City by the Sea. By the end of a busy day spent frolicking in the water or laying out in the hot sun, you are bound to be starving. Whether you're local, or just visiting for the weekend and looking to try something new, refer to this list for what to eat in Long Beach according to me, a local.

1. Gino's

This is hands down the best pizza in Long Beach. Whether you are looking for just a quick slice, or a heartier meal, Gino's will satisfy any Italian food craving you have. My personal favorite is the Buffalo Chicken Slice, which consists of crispy breaded chicken layered with mozzarella cheese, buffalo sauce, and herbs. Put a drizzle of blue cheese on top and you have the ultimate piece of pizza. Located right across the street from the Long Beach train station, make sure to grab a slice for the train ride.

2. Lost&Found

New to Long Beach, Lost&Found brings a new culinary experience to our tiny beach town. Be sure to make a reservation, because this place is the ultimate hole-in-the-wall, and with seating for only 20-30 customers at once it's sure to fill up fast. The menu changes often, and with dishes featuring proteins like pork belly and seared octopus, this is where to eat in Long Beach for an artisanal restaurant experience.

3. The Bungalow

steak, tacos
Lena Moriarty

This place is a beach staple. With one in the West End and one in the East End of Long Beach, you can get it wherever you are in town. The ambiance is diner meets beach town, and the food reflects that style. They take classics and revamp them, such as their Mexican Caesar Wrap with crunchy tortilla strips and spicy dressing, or their Buffalo Tacos with crispy breaded chicken and blue cheese. My personal favorite is the Thai Chicken Wrap. Whatever you get, plan on licking the plate clean.

4. Diner by the Sea

All the locals reading this are currently cringing, but honestly their milkshakes are perfection. What used to be a low-key, run-of-the-mill diner completely blew up once their milkshakes became Instagram famous. Basically, they had freakshakes before freakshakes were a thing. My personal favorites are Cap-N-Crunch or Cake Batter. The glasses are always lined with unicorn-colored syrups and topped with whipped cream, glittery sprinkles, and an array of toys and trinkets. Oh, and their food is pretty good too.

5. Corazon de Cuba

An often overlooked spot, Corazon de Cuba is the spot for Cuban food in Long Beach. Preparing authentic dishes such as Ropa Vieja, which is shredded skirt steak served with onions and peppers, and Mofunguito, which is mashed plantain served with avocado and crab salad, this spot highlights the fresh and herbaceous flavors of Cuban food. Don't forget to try the classic Cuban sandwich, and of course get a side of Yuca Frita.

6. Dough Hut

Everyone loves Fruity Pebbles. Everyone loves doughnuts. Dough Hut does us all a favor and combines the two with their Fruity Pebbles Doughnut. Not wacky enough for you? Try the Maple Bacon, or the Peanut Butter and Jelly. While a usual doughnut tends to weigh me down, Dough Hut uses a cake doughnut which holds less oil than the typical yeast doughnut. These sweet treats are for sure a must-have dessert staple to eat in Long Beach.

7. Nagahama

Otherwise known as the best sushi on the beach, Nagahama is located in the middle of town. They have over 50 speciality rolls to indulge in, as well as typical Japanese dishes such as Nabeyaki Udon and Katsu. Whatever you get, I promise that the fish always tastes fresh and melts in your mouth. My personal favorite is the Rainbow Roll, which never disappoints.

8. Ay! Caramba!

Right across the street from the Long Beach train station, Ay! Caramba! is serving up the best Tex-Mex to eat in Long Beach. With quesadillas, tacos, and wraps, you have plenty to choose from. Their Chicken Caesar Wrap is the best variation of a Caesar salad I've ever tasted, and their chips are lightly sprinkled with cinnamon, giving a unique twist to the classic tortilla chips I'm used to. Whatever you get, make sure to get a side of homemade salsa to go with it.

9. Waffle Cabin

Hidden in the West End of Long Beach, Waffle Cabin is a small spot dishing out fresh homemade Belgian waffles hot from the waffle iron. Choose from toppings like hot fudge, sprinkles, strawberry sauce, and more. While on the pricey side, there aren't many places that you can walk up to a window and leave with a toasty hot waffle in hand and then go to eat it on the beach. 

10. NY Açaí

To me, the most frustrating thing is paying loads of money for an açaí bowl only to be handed a tiny little portion that is more like a snack than a meal. NY Açaí is my favorite place for a bowl because they don't skimp on the smoothie or the toppings. I mean, c'mon, look at that glob of peanut butter. Visit them at Shoregasboard on Riverside Boulevard, which is an area right off the boardwalk designated for food trucks. They offer a massive amount of toppings for your bowl, so there is something for everyone.

11. Sorrento's 

Many butt heads over who has the better pizza—Gino's or Sorrento's? With handmade dough fresh tossed in the back of the joint and then loaded up with authentic Italian ingredients, it is a tough match. It is definitely not your typical pizza joint, so I'd say Sorrento's wins on authenticity. Order a salad to start, bring your own bottle of vino, and relax. Go early, because it's hard to get a seat at this family-owned restaurant, especially on a Sunday.

12. Ralph's

Okay this isn't exactly a Long Beach exclusive, but no day spent in the sun is complete without a Ralph's Italian Ice. To me, Ralph's is incomparable to any other dessert I've tasted. They are lighter than an ice cream cone, but still satisfy that sweet tooth craving. With both water and cream ices, there is something for every palate. My personal favorite is the Graham Cracker cream ice, which tastes like you're eating the cookie itself. On a hot day, a Rainbow ice is sure to cool you down. You truly can't beat it.

So now you know what a local eats in Long Beach for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and of course, dessert. No matter what you're in the mood for, this list has got you covered. From doughnuts, to pizza, to waffles, to Cuban food, Long Beach has a little bit of everything. Our melting pot of a town will forever hold a place in my heart, and in my stomach. And always remember, stay out of the bike lane.