Where to find the best eats this autumn By Hannah Selinger
Once those bathing suits are packed up and stored for good, you can fully embrace fall. I like to call it the Season of Eating. On the North Fork, there are several festivals to get excited about. These are festivals that are fun, family-friendly, and more than a little delicious. Here’s where to go to get the most delicious fall fare. Because eating for fun is something we all can agree on.
Fall kicks off on the North Fork with the Harbes Orchard’s Annual Apple Festival, on Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition to magic shows, live music, and rides to the orchards, the historic family farm will have apple-picking, a corn maze, pumpkin-picking, wine tastings, and incredible snacks, including their own soft-serve ice creams and apple cider donuts (which you should definitely sample, if you haven’t already).
Every September, I make sure to make my way over to Greenport during the penultimate weekend of the month for the Greenport Maritime Festival (September 21-23), which incorporates everything from arts and crafts to parades to kayak races. All along Front and Main Streets, local restaurants set up booth for food and drink — snag a bloody Mary in a can and you’re good to go.
The following weekend, the Harbes Family Farm celebrates pumpkin season in Mattituck with their annual Pumpkin Festival, two days (September 28-29) of pumpkin madness, which includes everything from bounce houses to singing hayrides. But the most important part of this event is a donut-eating contest, free for everyone under age 12. This year marks the farm’s 30th anniversary, and you can bet on extra events and concession stands to celebrate the anniversary. The farm also sells a full line of bakery items, as well as wine, other sweets, and fresh produce grown on premise. In short: You can bring those cider donuts home with you, for enjoyment lasting well after the festival has officially ended.
On October 4, First Fridays on Love Lane ends. Now in its fifth season, First Fridays is an opportunity for North Forkers to enjoy one of the loveliest streets in Mattituck. This quaint street closes the first Friday night every May through October, allowing for pedestrians to sample craft foods and beverages al fresco. Enjoy the last First Friday until spring. All food is local to the North Fork. Past vendors have included The Village Cheese Shop, Love Lane Kitchen, the North Fork Brewing Company, Lombardi’s Love Lane, Vintage Mattituck, Braun Seafood, and the North Fork Doughnut Company.
Finally, on October 26 (the rain date in October 27), the Hallockville Museum Farm will host the North Fork Food Truck Fair. You’ll find an assortment of food trucks, craft beer vendors, and local wines, which is pretty much all a person can ask for in a food festival. Is there a better way to sample the fine foods and drinks that the North Fork has to offer?