The Cook Room in Middle Island, New York
Drive down Route 25 on a chilly Sunday morning and you’ll pass a crowd of cars spilling out of a lot and parking on both sides of the road—they’re all there for The Cook Room. Past the old-school exterior, you’ll find hot coffee, warm waitresses, and fluffy, just-the-right-amount-of-sweet red velvet pancakes drenched in cream cheese frosting and maple syrup. The cozy family-run diner has a loyal following, and once you’re welcomed in by Annie, the owner, and her team, you’ll understand completely. The weathered sign out front reads “Long Island’s Hidden Gem.” We have to agree.