About 20 miles away from Manhattan, wedged between prestigious "Gold Coast" towns Garden City and Great Neck, lies the village of Williston Park in Long Island, New York. Lined with sturdy Dutch colonials at reasonable prices in family-centered neighborhoods, Williston Park has been an alluring and very much sought-after place to live since its inception in 1926.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Williston Park is bursting with a vast assortment of cuisines served in spots all conveniently located within the commercial district on Hillside Avenue. From creperies to Portuguese food, your palette is guaranteed to be pleased while dining here.
If you've never had a crepe, the best place to try this thin, delectable pancake is at Fresco Crepere and Cafe. Serving both sweet and savory crepes, you can set yourself up for both dinner and dessert at this favorite local hot spot. Diners recommend its country-style crepe for a savory option, featuring crumbled sausage, seasoned potatoes, caramelized onions and cheddar. Thinking something sweet? The hedgehog crepe is filled with Belgian chocolate and sprinkled with sliced almonds, shredded coconut and powdered sugar, and it's said to be phenomenal. If you're heading for the door, don't forget your cash Fresco Crepere and Cafe is cash only.
In the mood for trying something different? Churrasqueira Bairrada is Long Island's only briquette-style restaurant serving unforgettable Portuguese cuisine complemented by reputable service. Said to be the best barbecue the area has to offer, diners recommend splurging for the rodizo, the all-you-can-eat menu that features Portuguese classics such as frango de churrasco (barbecue chicken), costela de vaca (prime rib) and febras de porco (pork loin). The restaurant has a bring-your-own-wine option, which is popular for weekend groups. It is to be noted that the wine you bring can't be anything that they serve. And don't forget that corkscrew If you forget, the restaurant will charge you extra to open it for you.
If you're thirsty for a drink after all of that Portuguese food, Williston Park has several neighborhood bars that welcome you to imbibe. Molly Down's is a casual pub that serves reasonably priced beer, drink specials and tasty grub. A burger and fries runs you only $5, and drink specials include $9 pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon, so a little bit of cash goes a long way at this local waterhole.
If you want a little music with your drink, Memories Bar and Grill is another Williston Park staple that features live music every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights. Bar fare is known to be very good at this place, so make room for their pulled pork quesadillas and potato skins. It has karaoke on Thursdays, and even showcases psychic readings every Wednesday night, so if you're interested in hearing about your future and the next drink you'll be ordering, Memories is your best bet.
History & Culture
By 1926, two decades before William J. Levitt even began building his uniform Cape Codders in one of the first suburbs of Long Island, Levittown, William F. Chatlos had already constructed over 1,000 homes in manicured lots, forming the incorporated village of Williston Park. Marketed as "Happiness Homes," these solidly constructed and tasteful Dutch Colonials attracted city-dwellers by the droves with their reasonable prices and proximity to the Long Island Railroad.
The village of Williston Park houses no museums of itsa own, but a short drive will take you to the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, showcasing an impressive collection of aerospace relics and interactive exhibits. Annual events include the Air & Space Gala, honoring innovators in aviation, education, and community service, as well as the Festival of Trees, showcasing designer-decorated trees to help support the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, Inc.
Being near major roadways such as the Northern State Parkway and Jericho Turnpike, getting around Williston Park is a breeze. The Long Island Railroad has a stop at East Williston, the village just to the east of Williston Park, and the Nassau Inter-County Express, Nassau County's public bus service, has several stops in the village. Williston Park has several taxicab and car services nearby that are only a phone call away, and walking through the commercial district on Hillside Avenue is not a problem. There are six municipal parking lots scattered around the village that are free to park in but have various timing restrictions. The residential neighborhoods are safe to walk and bike around, but be careful on the major roadways. Traffic can get heavy at times, so if you're walking, always keep on the sidewalks and be sure to look where you're crossing.
The cost of living in Williston Park is 42.4 percent higher than the New York State average, and 73.7 percent higher than the national average.
A train ride from the East Williston train station to Penn Station costs you on average, off-peak, about $22 round-trip, and it's a little under an hour's ride to get there.
The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment within the village is, on average, $1,350.00 per month. Compared to average rates of one-bedroom apartments in nearby Garden City and Manhassat, renting in Williston Park is a more reasonable option.
A typical price of a beer at a local pub is just about $5.50, but it is to be noted that many bars in the areas feature various specials.
If you're looking to gas up, you might want to go outside of town. Williston Park's average gas prices are about $2.71 per gallon, which is about 2 percent above the national average.
The cost of living in Williston Park is certainly not the lowest on Long Island or in the State of New York, but considering its convenient location to major roadways, the Long Island Railroad, upscale neighboring towns and affordable housing, you get your money's worth living in this village.
Shopping in Williston Park is fun and convenient. Most stores are situated on either Willis Avenue or Hillside Avenue, so walking is a recommended option. Leave your cars in one of the free municipal lots, and hit the town
If you're planning a special occasion, or seeking a gift for that special someone, nothing says "celebration" quite like a fine arrangement of flowers. At Vogue Flowers in Williston Park, they specialize in striking arrays of floral arrangements personalized to suit any occasion or affair. They offer monthly specials, daily deals and same-day deliveries on most flowers. Its customer service is said to be friendly and impeccable, the flowers, always fresh.
Twenty5A is a popular clothing boutique in town showcasing trendy clothing for the modern girl. Set in a chic, minimalist-style setting, you will feel like you stepped into a shop on Hollywood Boulevard rather than one on Willis Avenue. Customers say it's the perfect spot to find trendy clothing at a fair price. They're even building an online shop, so get out your credit card, and let's go shopping
Most supermarkets are located in nearby New Hyde Park, but Williston Park is proudly home to a unique and frequented Asian grocery store called H-Mart in the heart of the commercial district on Hillside Avenue. Presenting homemade noodles, an extensive fish selection and popular Asian food items such as kimchi and miso paste, whether you're preparing an authentic Asian meal or just looking to browse, H-Mart is an interesting experience that is hard to find elsewhere on Long Island. The Garden City Farmer's Market, open in Tuesdays in the summer and early fall, is the closest farmer's market.
There is only one park within the village of Williston Park, Herricks Park, but it flourishes as such with its reputation for offering visitors tranquility and repose. Surrounded by lush foliage, a duck pond, and pleasantly positioned park benches, Herricks Park is the perfect place to bring a book, meditate and reflect. Unfortunately, there are no playgrounds here, but if you're looking for a more kid-friendly environment, Kelleher Field is just across town and holds a beautifully maintained baseball field. Little League Games are a common sight here, so sign your kid up, and batter up.