2 Best Restaurants in Coney Island, New York City

Nathan's Famous

$ | Coney Island Fodor's choice

Nathan Handwerker, a Polish immigrant with a $300 loan and his wife Ida's secret spice recipe, founded this Coney Island hot dog stand in 1916. Fast forward over a century, and this New York City institution has endured with a cultlike following among celebrities and heads of state, paving the way for international franchises. While Nathan's may be synonymous with hot dogs and fries, they also offer burgers and other sandwiches. At this original location (not to be confused with the one a block away on the boardwalk), you can also get seafood—even fried frog legs.  The biggest day of the year at Nathan's is always July 4, when competitive eaters and fans converge on Surf Avenue to crown that year's hot-dog-eating champion.

Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitana

$$ | Coney Island

Thin-crust pies judiciously topped with fresh mozzarella and tangy, homemade tomato sauce, then baked in a coal oven—at Totonno's you're not just eating pizza, you're biting into a slice of New York history. Anthony (Totonno) Pero first opened the pizzeria almost a century ago in 1924, right after the subways started running to Coney Island—and the restaurant is at the same location and run by the same family, using ingredients and techniques handed down through four generations. While many people may reminisce of its old-school casual dining room that's endured over the decades, Totonno's has recently switched to take-out and delivery service only, but that doesn't stop die hard fans from parking nearby to hang out and eat from pizza boxes on the top of their cars.