Westchester Snapshots is an on-going series in collaboration with The Westchester Living Team at Compass, where I take an in-depth look at the towns throughout Westchester County: what it’s like to live in these towns, where to go, where to eat, where to take the kids. My hope is to be able to give people a feel for the towns, as well as provide all the go-to information you need. You can read more about it in my first post of the series on Larchmont.
The village of Mamaroneck in Westchester County, NY is one of the oldest towns in the area, sitting alongside a picturesque harbor on the Long Island Sound, and just a 40-minute commute to New York City.
Many people choose to make Mamaroneck their home not just for its proximity to the city, but also for its sense of tight-nit, diverse community. Walk down Mamaroneck Avenue, the center of town, and you will hear Italian being spoken in front of old-school Italian delis and pizzerias, Spanish in front of grocery stores and mercados. In fact, in some ways this lively street feels just like the city.
Mamaroneck Avenue is the heartbeat of the village, and many people refer to it as “restaurant row”, for the mix of restaurants that have popped up over the years. Asian, Mediterranean, Indian, Mexican, American, Italian and more all make up the types of food that can be enjoyed here. Sal’s pizzeria is a Mamaroneck staple, and some say the best slice of pizza in the area. Cosmo and Alex Pisano Bros. is another classic joint, and a must visit for Italian groceries. They are the nicest guys. Our favorite Italian bakery is next door at Boiano’s, with their mouth-watering butter cookies that I get for every special occasion. Across the way is Frankie & Fanucci’s, which has amazing wood-fire pizza.
If you’re not in the mood for Italian, don’t fret. Red Plum has become many peoples’ go-to for hibachi and Asian fare, as well as Haiku, a few storefronts down. Modern and trendy Green Life is all the rage these days, and pretty much the one spot in town where you can make your own salad. Moms can be found here at any point during the day, including me! There are the chains Smashburger and Cherry Tree, and 360 American Grille and Hash O Nash. A popular venue for live music on the Avenue is Bar’lees Whiskey Bar.
Stores and boutiques dot Mamaroneck Avenue as well, and not to be missed is Miller’s Toy Store. Around for almost 100 years, this is the store to go for kids’ gifts and clothes. I’ve purchased everything from new bikes to birthday gifts to ski gloves to back-to-school shoes to even our outdoor playground set! Miller’s maintains a high level of excellent customer service, and I can’t recommend this place enough. They always go out of their way to help me, and every other client of theirs.
Mamaroneck Avenue leads into the Mamaroneck train station, lending a walkability factor to the town, much like in Larchmont. If you walk the other way, Mamaroneck Avenue takes you to the water, to Harbor Island Park. This is the town’s main park, and a scenic one at that. Having a street like Mamaroneck Avenue lead into the town park is what – for many people – makes Mamaroneck feel like a true community. You can go shopping or out for a meal on a Saturday, and wind up in the park in the afternoon, idling the day away.
Harbor Island Park is a 44-acre park on the Long Island Sound full of playing fields, tennis courts, harbor views, benches, walking paths, an impressive nautical-themed playground, and even its own small beach. Families love this park. Come toss the ball with your child, watch a sports game, ride a bike or pack a picnic and take in the sailboats that come in and out of the harbor. Harbor Island Park is a huge draw for its residents and a place to slow down and enjoy the scenery.
As for communal events, the Fireman’s parade is a must-see, where the littles can see all sorts of fire trucks take to town. Everyone is out and about at this parade, and it’s a real tribute to the town. The Halloween Spooktacular is always a huge hit, with a parade, face-painting, games, treats and more. And people come from far and wide to see the annual July 4th fireworks on Harbor Island.
As for additional kids’ activities, there’s a bunch of children’s spaces. Artistree and the Sandbox Theatre are both popular places to take performing arts classes, for toddlers on up. Kids can learn how to play instruments at Bach to Rock, or learn how to be in a band at the very cool School of Rock. The art studio MADE is perfect for budding artists, where they can create art projects such as pottery, mosaics and canvas painting. The Bott Shoppe is another hot spot for creative individuals of all ages. For physical activity head to My Gym, every toddler’s dream space. Then, of course, there is the Mamaroneck Public Library, which has a big children’s library, and Emelin Theatre, which often has kid-friendly productions.
Most of the places mentioned in this article are in and around Mamaroneck Avenue and Boston Post Road. I can’t write this without mentioning perhaps Mamaroneck’s most famous institution – Walter’s Hot Dogs – located on Palmer Avenue. People line up at this pagoda-style shack at all hours of the day to have their delicious hot dogs, curly fries and milkshakes.
Neighborhoods abound in and around downtown Mamaroneck, as well as by the Long Island Sound. Here is where you will find some of Mamaroneck’s most wealthy neighborhoods, such as Orienta and Shore Acres, little enclaves by the sea. This is where the town’s beach and yacht clubs are located, as well as larger houses with larger plots of land. Serving the different Mamaroneck neighborhoods are the Mamaroneck Union Free School District and the Rye Neck Union Free School District.
Mamaroneck is a family-oriented town by the water, with a diversity that not all suburban towns can boast. It is these reasons people come to Mamaroneck to make it their home.