Holiday dining, Island style: Where to eat, what to buy


If cold days and long nights put you in the mood for treating yourself to meal out, you can get a taste of holiday cheer without boarding a ferry.

Serving pizza and other Italian specialties, Bella Vita — (631) 749-5463 — on North Ferry Road at Smith Street is open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays. Closed Sundays and Mondays, it won’t be serving on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

Amanda at Commander Cody’s — (631) 749-1851 — on Smith Street at Midway Road, says the lobster tank is up and running again! The market is open 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 am. to 8 p.m.; and the restaurant, for dinners nightly from 4:30 p.m. and for lunch on Fridays to Sundays from noon to 2:30 p.m. Still taking orders for custom holiday platters, pies and cakes which can be picked up Christmas Day between 9 a.m. and noon.

Greg Milian at Dandy Liquors — (631) 749-3302 — on North Ferry Road in the Center says in addition to its featured Italian and Spanish wines, the shop has a wide variety of liquors to choose from. Generally open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, the shop closes at 7 p.m. on Sundays and Thursdays. It will be open on Christmas Eve until 9 p.m.

The Dory — (631) 749 4300 — on Bridge Street, has a daily happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m., with the bar open until about 8 p.m. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the kitchen is open from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. But owner Jack Kiffer says The Dory will be closed Christmas Day.

The Eagle Deli — (631) 749-5363 — on West Neck Road is open daily 6 a.m to 5 p.m., but will be closed Christmas Day, and is closing at 1 p.m. on New Year’s Day.
18 Bay on North Ferry Road — (631) 749-0053 — will be closed Christmas weekend, but is taking reservations for dinners on Friday, December 29 through New Year’s Eve, opening at 5:30 p.m.

Elli’s Country Store — (631) 749-2844 — on South Ferry Road is generally open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. It will be open Christmas Eve from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., on New Year’s Eve from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on New Year’s Day from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shop is closed Christmas Day.

The IGA — (631) 749-0382 — on North Ferry Road is well-stocked with sprial hams, fresh turkeys and other traditional holiday fare, and has cookie trays and other holiday treats ready to grab and go. Manager Jim Speedling says the IGA will be open as usual, 7 a.m to 7 p.m. daily (closing 6 p.m. on Sundays) but will be closed on Christmas Day.

The Islander — (631) 749-1998 — on North Ferry Road opens daily at 7 a.m. and keeps cooking until 8:30 p.m. on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, and until 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sunday, but will be closed on Christmas Day.

Enticing holiday scents waft from the woodstove at Isola — (631) 749-9036 — on Grand Avenue where chef Seth Nathan simmers a different daily stove-top potpourri in addition to creating specials focused on local farms and fisheries. The restaurant is open 5 p.m to 10 p.m. daily through Christmas Eve. It will be closed Christmas Day and re-open with a bar menu for December 27 and 28. Details are still in the works for New Year’s Eve and will be posted at

Maria’s Kitchen — (631) 749-5450 — on Jaspa Road is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and Sundays 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Maria can cater Mexican specialties, too, but will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Stop in for breakfast or lunch at Marie Eiffel Market — (631) 749-0003 — on Bridge Street. Open daily 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. before it closes for the season January 1, the market offers freshly-baked pastries, main courses and sides, and has a special menu for holiday catering featuring traditional bûche de noël in three flavors: chocolate, vanilla or praline. Open Christmas Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mr. Crook’s Pub at the Chequit — (631) 749-0018 —  will be open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, featuring trivia and singer-songwriter performances, respectively. The pub will also be open for dinner on Thursday, December 28, and on New Year’s Day to serve brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Shelter Island Craft Brewery — (631) 749-5977 — posts winter hours as Fridays to Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.

The soda fountain at the Shelter Island Heights Pharmacy — (631) 749-0445 — is open daily at 8:30 a.m. and closes at 2:30 p.m., except for Sundays when it closes at 1:30 p.m. The menu includes delicious seasonal specials. The pharmacy will be closed Christmas day.

Shelter Island Wines & Spirits — (631) 749-0305 — on Bridge Street will “make your Christmas cheerier by getting you into the spirits (and wines) of the season,” says Towny Montant, whose shop carries an extensive selection of wines and spirits, also stocks cigars. It will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily except Christmas Day.

Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa or some delicious home made soup at STARs Café — (631) 749 5345 — open daily 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. with baked goods, gift baskets and holiday catering available. The shop will close at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and will be closed Christmas Day.

You’ll find a cozy fire burning in the dining room at The Tavern at Shelter Island House — (631) 749-5659 — on Stearns Point Road. The restaurant is open Wednesdays through Sundays, with light bar fare from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (10 p.m on weekends).Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Make reservations now for the New Year’s Eve party with a special holiday menu, a DJ and dancing.

Vine Street Café — (631) 749-3210 — home of luscious lobster pot pie, is open Thursdays through Mondays starting at 5 p.m. with daily specials and prix fixe menu (not available on holiday weekends). It will be closed Christmas Day and is taking reservations for Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.