Hamptons Guide: Best Bars and Restaurants Slideshow
June 24, 2013
Heading out to the Hamptons? Drink and dine at some of the best bars and restaurants around.
Goldberg’s Famous Deli & Restaurant — East Hampton and Southampton
Goldberg’s offers the perfect breakfast if you appreciate old-fashioned, quality bagels. The lox is fresh and the cream cheese is whipped. In addition to the classic, chewy bagels, Goldberg’s other specialty is a "flagel," or a flattened, square bagel. The line can be long, but it moves quickly. Add a cup of iced coffee to your order and you can’t go wrong.
John’s Drive-In — Montauk
John’s Drive-In is the quintessential burgers-and-fries joint. It’s like stepping back in time with its homemade ice cream and old-fashioned milkshakes, seasoned waffle fries, and, of course, diner cheeseburgers. John’s Drive-In is sure to satisfy any fast-food craving.
Herb’s Market — Montauk
This gourmet grocery is known for many things, but most notably the crispy, tender fried chicken and prime meats. Located in the heart of Montauk Village, Herb’s Market is perfect for picking up sides like macaroni and cheese or potato salad for a barbecue. The staff is friendly and helpful, and although sometimes the deli sandwich line can take a while, it is worth the extra wait.
Pizza Village — Montauk
It’s late, you’ve been drinking for hours, and the bars are about to close. We’ve all been there — when nothing will do except a fresh, hot, cheesy pizza. And that’s exactly what Pizza Village is there for. It is open late-night for takeout only until 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. Not to say it doesn’t satisfy at normal dining hours, but if it’s late and you’re hungry… visit Pizza Village.
Canal Café & Market — Hampton Bays
Canal Café is the ultimate Hamptons secret. Located within a marina, it is a charming spot for a casual lunch on the dock. It serves some of the best food you’ll find served on a paper plate. Try the seafood salad, crabcakes, Thai mussels, and crab fritters.
Joni’s Kitchen — Montauk
Owned by a former Upper East Sider who craved the beauty of Montauk year-round, Joni’s is a casual, organic café located just off Montauk Village. It’s great for takeout, but there are also large picnic tables outside if you want to eat on the spot. The menu offers many varieties of breakfast wraps, smoothies, salads, and burgers. Bring cash — that’s all that is accepted.
Naturally Good Foods and Café — Montauk
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, this is the place for you. But even if you’re not, Naturally Good Foods and Café is worth visiting. Try the fresh juices, burritos, homemade soups, and its signature sandwich, The Bruce, with fresh-caught yellowfin tuna (no canned here). There’s even a private garden with outdoor seating, in addition to room indoors.
Tate’s Bake Shop — Southampton
Even though this small bakeshop delivers around the country, it is worth stopping in the original quaint store for the freshest and best selection. Tate’s Bake Shop sells almost everything — cookies, cakes, pies, brownies, bars, and more. The shop’s claim to fame is its chocolate chip cookie, which is known throughout New York for its crispy, buttery, chocolaty perfection.
668 The GigShack — Montauk
This unique and chic café offers delicious food made with local ingredients, and there is live music on most nights. 668 The GigShack is family-owned by the Gardell family, and there isn’t a night you won’t find one of them around the shack. The signature dish is the Montaco, a fish taco made with the local catch of the day.
Nick & Toni’s — East Hampton
This local gem is reminiscent of a Tuscan farmhouse, complete with a center oven in the dining room decorated with beautiful mosaics. Nick and Toni’s menu changes seasonally, depending on what is locally available, but it always has Mediterranean and Italian influences. This place is a local favorite, and the result is consistently fresh and satisfying.
Swallow East — Montauk
What do you get when you combine a great view, awesome atmosphere, and incredible food? If you’re a Montauk local, you might very well answer with Swallow East. An offshoot of the original Swallow in Huntington, N.Y., this spot offers new American small plates that emulate all of the classic dishes you’d expect from a quaint, seaside town. The lobster roll, Montauk corn chowder, and asparagus fries are among some of the dishes that will steal your heart. Be warned, though: the charming waitstaff and live reggae band that plays every Sunday night might just make you drop everything you’re doing and become a Montauk local, too.
La Fondita — Amagansett
La Fondita serves authentic Mexican street-style food using the fresh ingredients seen in traditional taquerias. Enchiladas, quesadillas, and tostadas are classics, but the must-try is the Burrito de Camarrones — a flour tortilla filled with shrimp, onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, sweet peppers, rice, lettuce, and avocado.
Vine Street Café — Shelter Island
All the ingredients used at Vine Street Café are sourced from local farmers, fishermen, and vineyards. Chef Terry Harwood creates everything on the seasonal menu in-house. A small market just opened behind the restaurant where you can pick up takeout or purchase items to stock your pantry.
The Coast — Montauk
Enjoy innovative cuisine prepared by chef George Anthony Berkhofer in the relaxing seaside atmosphere of The Coast. It is the perfect causal escape to withdraw from the real world for a bit. The shellfish are fresh from Montauk’s waters and never disappoint.
Rumba — Hampton Bays
Find your favorite seafood, chicken, and steak recipes at Rumba — but with an island twist. Every dish is filled with color, reminiscent of an island in the Caribbean. But you can’t be on island time without a rum-filled cocktail or margarita in hand, which Rumba has plenty of.
South Edison — Montauk
A classic seafood restaurant in the Hamptons, South Edison is always striving to incorporate new menu items along with the local favorites. There is an extensive raw bar, but the must-try is the signature Pickle Martini, garnished with house-made local vegetables.
Bay Burger — Sag Harbor
"Our menu may be understated, but is thoughtfully created with the care of an upscale restaurant" — that’s an understatement. Bay Burger’s buns are hand-crafted, homemade every day, the Joe & Liza’s ice cream is hand-churned, and the meat is ground in-house. The prices are extremely reasonable, especially for the Hamptons, and there is live jazz every Thursday night. What more do you need to know?
Dave’s Grill — Montauk
If you can get a reservation, Dave’s Grill is a must-try. Reservations are only allowed to be made the day of over the phone, beginning at 4:15 p.m. So if you take that risk and get in, enjoy what The New York Times described as the best place in Montauk to find seafood "fresh off the docks." For dessert, try the "Chocolate Bag"— a Belgian chocolate bag with scoops of Tahitian vanilla ice cream, strawberry compote, fresh whipped cream, and raspberry and mango sauces.
Topping Rose House Restaurant — Bridgehampton
Housed in the Topping Rose House hotel, Tom Colicchio’s Topping Rose House Restaurant is the epitome of elegance and fine dining in the Hamptons. The American menu utilizes produce from the Topping Rose Farm and other ingredients from local farms and fishermen. The staff is phenomenal — friendly, helpful, attentive — everything you would expect at a restaurant as nice as this, without the stuffiness sometimes seen at fine dining establishments. If you’re looking to splurge, this is well worth the cost.
The Beacon — Sag Harbor
Located right on the water, The Beacon serves new American food in a small, intimate setting. The menu features various options, but don’t miss out on the fresh seafood, or the sunset, which is said to be one of the most beautiful on Long Island.
Ruschmeyer’s — Montauk
This deliberately no-frills Montauk hotel is only steps away from Fort Pond, and a short drive from the beach. Ruschmeyer’s restaurant has a new chef team with executive chef Brian Loiacono and The Smile’s (Manhattan) Matt Kliegman, Carlos Quirarte, and Melia Marden. Together they built a new menu that pairs organic wines with the freshest Montauk ingredients. At night, Ruschmeyer’s is a low-key spot to grab drinks with your friends.
Delmonico’s — Southampton
The Delmonico group has already taken over Manhattan, with a variety of classic, New York dishes. Now, their year-round Hampton location, Delmonico’s, is open. The restaurant serves classic dishes as well as some lighter meals, which makes it the perfect spot for both New Yorkers in search of the food they know and love, and Hampton vacationers who want to fit into their bikinis.
BLT Steak — Southampton
New to the Hamptons this year is BLT Steak at The Capri. It has a casual, bistro feel with signature dishes such as popovers, tuna tartare, sautéed Dover sole, classic dry-aged steaks, and peanut butter chocolate mousse.
Rowdy Hall — East Hampton
Aside from its on-point food selection (notably the burgers and mussels), Rowdy Hall always has a nice selection of beers on tap. Check out the "E.S.R. Tap," or Extra Special Rowdy Tap, which features beers that the staff believes are "both of interest and delicious."
South Pointe — Southampton
With the exclusivity of any Manhattan nightclub, South Pointe attracts anyone from celebrities to those just craving a night of dancing. The in-house pushes beats out all night long, but you can also escape to the cabanas on the outdoor deck. Reserve bottle service ahead of time or prepare to wait in line outside.
The Crow’s Nest Inn & Restaurant — Montauk
In the casual Crow’s Nest Inn & Restaurant, lounge at the cozy bar and try some of its interesting cocktails, such as the Montauk Mule with Hangar 1 spiced pear vodka, green chartreuse, lime, and ginger beer. There is even an outdoor fire pit to enjoy when the nights get a little nippy.
Murph’s Backstreet Tavern — Sag Harbor
One of the self-proclaimed last "local taverns" in the area, Murph’s Backstreet Tavern offers a casual night of fun with friends. With a dart board, pirate ring toss, jukebox, and reasonable drink prices, this is a classic dive bar that locals continue to return to for an informal spot to hang out, and share-housers stumble into toward the end of the night.
Dockside Bar & Grill — Sag Harbor
If you're seeking a bar that isn’t filled with young 20-somethings, Dockside is a calm, inviting option that is located within an American Legion post. Bartenders will stay as long as needed, even after dinner service is completed, so relax and admire the view of the water with one of the beers on tap.
Navy Beach — Montauk
Once occupied by the U.S. Navy, Navy Beach is tucked away on a 200-foot private beach. Enjoy the view of a gorgeous sunset while sipping the Share cocktail with Alibi American Whiskey, lime, and agave. The laid-back vibe is a nice getaway from the bustle of the town.
The Stephen Talkhouse — Amagansett
If you’ve traveled far enough East to the quaint town of Amagansett, then you have to stop in at The Stephen Talkhouse (dubbed just "The Talkhouse" by loyal frequenters). A long line and cover charge precede a live band and three bars — two indoors and one outdoors. It’s always a fun, sweaty night at The Stephen Talkhouse, and it’s well worth it.
Memory Motel — Montauk
Like a set in a 1970s horror film, The Memory Motel sits abandoned on the main drag of Montauk during the day, but at nightfall, in turns into a rowdy, house-music-blasting, dance party for the young and the restless. Picnic tables and an outdoor bar populate the parking lot in front of the motel, and the inside is filled with a stage for live performances, two different bars, and a photo booth for memory-making opportunities.
Pink Elephant — East Hampton
After closing its original location in the historic Capri hotel a few years ago, Pink Elephant is back. Now it shares a building with SL East, another club in East Hampton. A world-renowned brand, the Pink Elephant nightclub provides a high-energy entertainment experience. A favorite of celebrities, socialites, and trendsetters, this club is the perfect place for those wishing to have an indulgent experience in the Hamptons. And yes, you can actually find a pink elephant in the room.
Ruschmeyer’s — Montauk
This deliberately no-frills Montauk hotel is only steps away from Fort Pond, and a short drive from the beach. Ruschmeyer’s restaurant has a new team in the kitchen, with executive chef Brian Loiacono and New York City’s The Smile’s Matt Kliegman, Carlos Quirarte, and Melia Marden. Together they built a new menu that pairs organic wines with the freshest Montauk ingredients. At night, Ruschmeyer's is a low-key spot to grab drinks with your friends.
The Sloppy Tuna — Montauk
As the name implies, things can get sloppy this summer at The Sloppy Tuna. And with frozen drinks and mudslides supplied by friendly bartenders, it’s no wonder. The place serves food as well, but with new chef Reed Lucas last summer, it is not as impressive as it has been in seasons past, according to an editor at The Daily Meal. So come for the drinks.
Boardy Barn — Hampton Bays
Boardy Barn is an ideal place for young college students or recent grads who are seeking less expensive food and drinks. However, be prepared to wait in line outside for a while and to get a little dirty once you’re in.
Moby Dick’s — Montauk
Tucked away on the east side is Moby Dick’s, a relaxed waterfront bar with a fun beach vibe and great views of Lake Montauk. The drinks are strong and easy to take up on the tall lifeguard towers to watch the sun set.
Liar’s Saloon — Montauk
Located only seconds from the beach, Liar’s Saloon is most notorious for their $1 draft beers all day every day, but make sure you don’t skip out on karaoke every Friday night. Outdoor seating is available, and they’re open late.
Solé East — Montauk
Surfers aren’t the only ones who can enjoy a drink at Solé East. The bar and lounge looks out over a sprawling pool and at night the scene transforms into a bar with DJs from New York City.
The Surf Lodge — Montauk
Between The Surf Lodge’s deck, den, and extensive bar, this place gets packed with young beach-goers looking for the casualness of a surf bar. But it isn’t just about the drinks and the seafood. Most recently, 80-year-old Willie Nelson performed at The Surf Lodge, with a surprise appearance by Jimmy Buffet.