Outdoor seating just off the extremely family-friendly bike path makes L&B Spumoni Gardens the perfect post-ride place to stop. And if you're hungry, you're in luck—the portions at this family-style Italian eatery are massive!
“We bought an extra spumoni, and you look like you need it,” a smiling gentleman says to me. While I’m a bit nonplussed about looking like I need ice cream, it does look delicious, and I did just finish a really long, exhausting bike ride.
“You just made my day,” I say gratefully, taking the small cup, sweat still rolling down my back. I fumble with the bike and the ice cream until the woman next to me becomes my ice cream savior, catching it before it falls to the ground.
The two younger girls with their parents giggle and I find myself sitting down at their table and regaling them with stories of my rides in the city in the past few days.
This is a community that you just don’t find in Manhattan, where you’re surrounded by people all too engrossed in themselves to bother with you. Even when you’re riding or running next to someone in Central Park, a cursory nod is likely the only acknowledgement you’ll receive.
Here, it’s a family affair. The savory smell of pizza blends with the sweet smell of the ice cream; before I’m done, I’m contemplating grabbing a pizza of my own.
Whether you’re riding the Ocean Parkway Bike Path with the family or just looking for a meal after a run, L&B Spumoni Gardens has you covered. From spumoni—Italian ice cream—to seriously deep dish pizza served outside (and fancier seating inside), this is a stop you don’t want to miss.
If you’re looking for that Jersey Shore-esque Italian accent, just chat up some of the teens behind the counter, though don’t expect them to be terribly helpful if you ask where bike paths are. And do expect funny looks if you’re in spandex.
The spumoni is not to be missed, even if it means forgoing that fourth slice of pizza. Cool, creamy and a bit icier than normal ice cream, they blend the flavors together and the result is pure dreaminess. If you've been out riding in the heat, this treat is the perfect thing.
Seating is outside and ultra-simple, just wooden picnic tables and umbrellas. It’s the perfect spot to stop along the bike path for the ease of leaning your bikes against the fence and ordering outside—fast and your bikes don’t even need a lock!
For a fancier selection, head inside to the dining area and you forget that outside is a relaxed walk-up. Inside is a date-worthy (hint, hint) Italian restaurant with some amazing dishes—if you’re not gluten-free, the pasta is a must-try, but if you are, the seafood is equally delicious.