Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs: The famous frank joint’s Surf-and-Stillwell flagship—opened in 1916—grills sizzling hot dogs daily and hosts its iconic, crowd-amassing eating contest every July 4. The original subway tiles and iconic signage are still intact, as are menu staples like crinkle-cut fries and thick-battered corn dogs, but there’s one shiny “new” addition: a curbside clam bar, a revival of the restaurant’s raw bar from the ’50s. East Coast oysters and littlenecks are shucked per order over a mountain of ice, served with chowder crackers, lemon wedges, sinus-clearing horseradish and cocktail sauce.
Brighten Beach: Steps from the carnivalesque atmosphere of Coney Island is another seaside stretch of Brooklyn, which is a world away from the neighboring beach. While Coney Island has a steady influx of tourists, Brighton Beach is a residential community that is often referred to as Little Odessa due to its many residents from Russia and Ukraine. On the main drag, Brighton Beach Avenue, many of the storefronts signs are written in Russian. You’re sure to catch snippets of conversations in various dialects as you explore the main street. There you can find a good, hot bowl of authentic Russian borscht before heading back home on the subway.
Atlantic Board Walk: New York’s most famous boardwalk offers views of Coney Island’s rides and amusement park on one side and the rolling Atlantic Ocean on the other.