We are spending the entire month of August in our bathing suits (even under our fussy work clothes) because summer is fleeting. You don’t have to watch "Game of Thrones" to know winter is coming.
If you’re like us and you plan several lazy-hazy-crazy beach days, we’ve rounded up what we’re calling the “shacks of summer.” Joints you can pretty much walk into wearing your swimsuit cover-up and flip flops to grab something cheap to eat.
We’re listing them in geographic location to nearby beaches. Some are cash only, but we spotted ATMs, so it’s all good. Also, we didn’t list the obvious, like Cabana Sam’s at Sunset Bay. We like places that are down and dirty, just like you should be after a day in the sand and surf.
*Indicates beer and drinks available.
Sunset Bay Deli (1014 Newton Road, Irving)
Old folks like us will fondly remember the location as the site of the old Diamond Deli next door to Sunset Bay Beach Club (and the once Calico Jacks). The deli is shined up and offers burgers, fryer fare, tacos, pizza, hot and cold subs, ice cream. Picnic table seating. Prices $3 to $9. Opens at 8 a.m.
Sportsman Restaurant (12872 Allegany Road, Irving)*
If you need to get out of the sun, around the corner from Sunset Bay Beach Club is this quirky bar that’s been around for years. Chicken wings, fingers, fries, etc., but also roast beef sandwiches, deep-fried seafood and fried chicken. Average prices are $8.50 to $20 for broiled fisherman’s platter. Opens daily at 1 p.m.
Sunset Grill (1023 Routes 5 & 20, Irving)
Find the trifecta of summer here. Hot dogs, burgers and a whopping 101 flavors of ice cream. Seating indoors and outside. Prices: $1.99 to $9. Opens daily at 11:30 a.m.
Evangola Beach Park | Lake Erie Beach Park
Stroh’s Tavern (9566 Lake Shore Road, Angola)*
Stroh’s has been around since the last glacial ice sheet melted. Burgers, beef on weck, Italian sausage, salads and even some soups, like chowder. Seating indoor and out. Average prices: $2.75 to $7. Opens daily at 9 a.m.
Pat’s Pizzeria (9542 Lake Shore Road, Angola)
Full pizzeria serving regular and specialty pies, subs, sandwiches, wings, tacos, subs, dinners, ice cream, Seating indoors or out. Average prices: $1.90 to $34 for 50 wings. Opens daily at 10 a.m.
Mickey Rats/Turtle Joe’s/Evans Town Park
Connors (8905 Lake Shore Road)
A long-time favorite serving burgers, dogs and ice cream. Covered outdoor seating. Average prices: $3 to $5. Opens daily at 11 a.m.
[Read more: Connors recalls time gone by with great summer food]
Beachside Bar & Grill at Grandview Bay Golf Course (444 Central Ave., Angola)*
Watch golfers while you chow down. Fryer foods, tacos, salads, beef on weck, subs, wraps, daily specials and a Friday fish fry. Outdoor and indoor seating. Prices: $4.50 to $12. Opens daily at 9 a.m.
Bennett Beach/Wendt Beach
Hit up these places on the way home in Derby.
Sturgeon Point Marina (618 Sturgeon Point Road, Derby)
At the Sturgeon Point Marina there’s a second, almost secret Connors stand. The view of downtown Buffalo is spectacular. Eat at one of the many picnic tables, some under shade. Average prices: $3 to $5. Open daily at 11 a.m.
Super Freeze Drive-In (6865 Route 5, Derby)
We love the retro quirkiness of the Super Freeze, especially the working jukebox with Elvis tunes. Burgers (including a Fonzie burger), hot dogs, sandwiches, fried seafood, ice cream. Prices: $2.69 to $12 fish fry. Open daily at 11 a.m.
Hamburg Beach (valid beach sticker required)/Woodlawn Beach
Tacos & More (4473 Lake Shore Road, Hamburg)
Tacos, taco salads, fryer foods, subs, pizza, ice cream. Limited indoor seating, picnic tables. Prices: $2.19 to $10; more for full pizzas and wings. Open daily at 11 a.m.
Tony’s Bayview Drive In (3804 Lake Shore Road, Blasdell)
Hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, subs, tacos, fingers, ice cream. Prices $2.59 to $9. Open daily at 11 a.m.
[Read more: How to grill the perfect hot dog, with Tony's Bayview]
Red Top Hot Dogs (3360 Big Tree Road, Hamburg)
Another classic hot dog stand, around since 1946. Covered seating outdoors. Prices $2.75 to $7. Open daily at 10 a.m.