Where to Eat in Staten Island

Eating in Staten follows the same rule as real estate business: location, location, location. As a surprisingly homogeneous community, comprised mostly of white people from different places of the world, they don't have neighborhoods dominated by a single nationality found nowhere else in New York. Which means you will find find undeviating variations of Italian, Russian, Arab and Polish dishes pretty much everywhere you go.

So, instead of searching for what might not be there, search instead for quality meals in places that only Staten Island can offer.

Breakfast: Rossville

It is something to start the day at the end of New York City. Rossville is at the South West end of New York. In front of you, there's the vast, grandiose United States. Behind you, the intricate tapestry of ideas, stories and cultures that is New York City.


That twilight zone between two worlds gives us the chance to go back and forth between one and the other. For instance -- enjoy a traditional American breakfast. With bacon. And eggs. And coffee. Black coffee, of course. "Like the midnight in a moonless night." Let your day start off like a Norman Rockwell painting. And then, immerse yourself in New York's insolent quirkiness -- check the largest marine scrap yard on East Coast.

It's called the Witte marine Scrap yard and you can find it at 2453 Arthur Kill Road. This is where boats go to die. It's basically a chilling vessel cemetery with remains of dozens of boats either in complete form or rotting in segments, scattered al over a beach (be mindful of its sand -- when wet it can act as quicksand). It's chilling. It's also a result of the man responsible for the site, Arnold Witte Sr, not being able to break the vessels as fast as they were being dumped in his scrap yard, so he just gave up, abandoned the idea.

Lunch: Great Kills

Marina Café

Little did the Dutch know the amount of bad puns and bad jokes they were one day going to encourage when they came up for the word for "Creek" -- "Kill". It explains why this cute, mainly Italian neighborhood has been a toponymic punchline for decades now. It has been many other things, too: a seafood haven (until the middle of the 20th century when pollution drove all the restaurants out of business), a hotel emporium (until the lack of visitors because the seafood restaurants had closed drove all the hotels out of business), end of the S54 bus line (until the absence of hotel guests drove the line out of business) and the site of a beautiful National Park (still in business).

So treat yourself to some local goodies. It doesn't have to be Italian only because it is one of the predominant cultures in it. In fact, you can probably still go to the Marina Café (alongside Mansion Avenue), which is one of the most reputed restaurants in the borough. They'll probably still be in business.

And then, what better way to walk a hearty meal off than to walk in the nature? Great Kills Park is right around the corner. And it's not called "great" for nothing.

Dinner: South Beach

Russian restaurant in South Beach

So South Beach may not be the most interesting neighborhood you will see in your travels through New York. But it is the best culinary option Staten Island can offer you. With a population that fluctuates between the Russian and the Italian and Mexican, you can find a great array of restaurants here to charge your batteries before you go back to Manhattan.

It is always nice to have dinner near a beach and South Beach offers just that -- the sound of miles and miles of waves rolling over the sand, seagulls and general tranquility. Once you done savoring both the food and the landscape, you can take a ferry directly back to Manhattan.