The Absolute Best Restaurants In the Hamptons

Escape the city streets of NYC for these eateries Out East.

Si Si
Si Si | Photo courtesy of EHP Resort & Marina
Si Si | Photo courtesy of EHP Resort & Marina

It’s that time of year again: when a mass exodus of New Yorkers ditch their loafers for flip-flops and drive out to Long Island’s East End, better known as The Hamptons. A breezy, seaside escape, over the last three decades the Hamptons has transformed from a collection of cozy fisherman towns into a playground for the rich and famous. And today, the area attracts visitors from around the world.

As the Hamptons’ clientele has changed over the years, so too has the dining scene. While a handful of original dining fixtures remain, like East Hampton’s Fierro’s Pizza and Bridgehampton’s Candy Kitchen—most of the old mom and pop enterprises have shuttered to make way for eateries from local chainlets, like Serafina, or to be reshuffled into concepts from respected New York City chefs.

In terms of standout ingredients to seek out, considering the Hamptons’ proximity to the ocean, the region is home to excellent local seafood—think lobster, snapper, fluke, and more—meanwhile, during the summer, local farm stands along Route 27 and beyond offer fantastic seasonal produce.

Despite a tough year and a half all around the world, businesses in the Hamptons are thriving (thanks to many New Yorkers relocating there during the pandemic) and ready for the summer season. Below, a collection of our favorite Hamptons restaurants, both new and classic.

il Buco al Mare

Amagansett

Owner Donna Lennard and chef Justin Smillie are bringing NoHo’s beloved rustic Italian number, il Buco Alimentari, to Amagansett with a beachy spin named il Buco al Mare. After a pop-up in Montauk last summer, the team snagged 231 Main St. as a more permanent space to offer seafood-focused plates prepped over a wood-fueled hearth. In addition to some imported, tinned ocean animals, Smillie will focus on all that’s local—from produce to seafood, like citrusy tuna cheek sashimi; and bacon-laced little neck clams with grilled bread. And soon, il Buco Vita will pop-up next door at 225 Main St. as a coffee bar with breads, pastries, panini, in addition to some larger provisions.

Available for Reservations
Carissa's
Photo courtesy of Carissa’s Bakery

Carissa’s Bakery

East Hampton

Offering some of the Hampton’s highest quality eats made from hyper locally-sourced ingredients, Carissa’s is the bakery (plus café) from namesake cake whiz Carissa Waechter and business partner Lori Chemla. The duo has nailed the winning combo of a stunning (James Beard Award winning!) white-washed aesthetic upon which elegant, flower adorned cakes pop, alongside a swath of cultishly beloved baked goods like Waechter’s famous pickle bread. While the cozy, adjacent café recently re-opened for indoor lunch service, it’s a good idea to order online and grab food to-go due to the tremendous volume, and perpetually jam-packed nature of this place. Think, seasonally-accented, accessible lunch and breakfast-leaning fare currently under watch of former Untitled chef Evan Tessler, like a vegetarian beet Reuben sandwich and a classic lobster roll. Note: Carissa’s operates two East Hampton locations; the 221 Pantigo Rd. outlet functions as the larger, main location while 68 Newtown Ln. is more poised for grab and go.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Kissaki Water Mill
Photo courtesy of Kissaki

Kissaki

Water Mill

NYC-based sushi outfit Kissaki has been on a tear, launching six locations in the last year alone. So don’t be surprised to hear that owner Garry Kanfer has a whole spate of them lined up for the Hamptons. Last season, Kanfer debuted a sushi counter in Water Mill, and since then he has revamped the place, and will reopen it later this month. Further, he has orchestrated a Montauk pop-up with NYC Thai darling, Fish Cheeks; and the duo has taken over Montauk Angler’s Club through October 31. Think Southern Thai eats plus Kissaki’s full sushi lineup. In addition, Kanfer will open yet another location later this summer at 47 Montauk Highway in East Hampton titled O by Kissaki that highlights robata grilled dishes, in addition to sushi.
How to book: 
Tock

Rita Cantina
Rita Cantina | Photo by Eric Striffler

Rita Cantina

East Hampton

New for the 2021 season in The Springs is Rita Cantina, a colorful, coastal Mexican concept that is, for now, focusing on dinner service. Here, chef Eric Miller (Bay Kitchen Bar) has built a mariscos-focused menu with ocean animals procured from nearby Gardiner’s Bay. Choose from a raw bar section, in addition to hot dishes like wagyu short rib birria tacos, and a whole market fish roasted on cedar. Naturally, the bar program focuses on agave spirits, with margaritas served frozen or on the rocks, flavored or classic. FYI: From 4 pm to 7 pm, drop in for $1 oysters and $10 margaritas or glasses of wine.

Available for Reservations

Si Si

East Hampton

Those looking for a killer sunset will want to consider newbie Si Si, a coastal Mediterranean spot overlooking Three Mile Harbor in The Springs, open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Grab a seat outside overlooking the marina for plates of fattoush and chilled lobster salad, or heartier dishes like a lamb burger or bone-in strip steak. Chef Dane Sayles (Scarpetta) heads up the bill of fare here, which pairs perfectly with a glass of rosé.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
La Fin
Photo courtesy of La Fin Kitchen & Lounge

New this season is La Fin, an all-day, coastal French-leaning eatery claiming a sun-drenched prime plot overlooking Montauk Harbor. With its beachy-feeling teal and raw wood space (and adjacent patio), former Le Cirque chef James Tchinnis helms the eats, which range from oysters to local fluke crudo to simply grilled fish. Request an outdoor table to watch the boats come in and don’t forget a glass of rosé—La Fin offers one of the deeper rosé lists out east with 20 options.

Available for Reservations
Manna at Lobster Inn
Manna at Lobster Inn | Photo by Laurie Barone Schaefer

Southampton’s iconic waterfront dining haunt, Lobster Inn, comes to life this season as Manna at Lobster Inn, a new sustainable seafood concept from Sag Harbor restaurateur Ryunosuke Jesse Matsuoka (Sen, K Pasa) and Donna Lanzetta, who owns a new onsite fish farm that will service the restaurant. They’ve brought on chef Thomas Bogia (LT Burger, Sen) to helm fish-focused dishes from sushi to lobster rolls.

Available for Reservations

The Clam Bar

Amagansett

As a relic of the past, the Clam Bar is a diminutive red and white-hued roadside shack—decked out with plastic outdoor furniture—serving local steamers and all preparations of lobster for forty years, solidifying itself as a fixture along the stretch between Amagansett and Montauk. While the summer season draws tremendous crowds, note that happy hour tends to be the busiest time of day.  
How to book: No reservations

Coche Comedor

East Hampton

Riding on the success of La Fondita (also on this list), Coche Comedor is the second, and far newer Mexican effort from Honest Man Restaurants (Nick & Toni’s), having debuted two seasons back. Located directly next door to La Fondita, Coche Comedor claims an old diner and focuses on an elevated approach to classic Mexican fare, which includes house-made tortillas. There’s fluke and scallop ceviche, crispy tuna tacos, and large format dishes of pork rib carnitas and grilled tuna with fava beans and pickled jalapenos. 
How to book: No reservations

With its beachy bohemian setting and prime perch overlooking Montauk Lake, The Crow’s Nest channels a chic Tulum-y vibe via its guest rooms and restaurant/bar. Guests kick back cocktails spiked with Thai basil and sorrel, either outside on the patio, at the beach, or within the African textile-bedecked bar, which sits adjacent to the dining room. Dinner leans toward a seaside Mediterranean/Middle Eastern menu of local seafood like lobster fettuccine and halibut with harissa and chickpeas, plus an abundance of veggie plates like a yogurt and mint beet salad. Definitely reserve in advance as this is a see-and-be-seen destination.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Elaia Estiatorio
Photo courtesy of Elaia Estiatorio

Elaia Estiatorio

Bridgehampton

Simple, local ingredient-focused Greek addition, Elaia Estiatorio, hit the Hamptons four years back, and unlike many other restaurants in town, it’s run by two Hamptons residents, husband-and-wife duo Sofia Crokos and Chris Boudouris. Their bright and sunny, white-washed eatery pays tribute to Greek home cooking, which feels totally in sync with the restaurant’s beachy locale. Grab a seat indoors or out for a spate of pita-ready spreads (fava beans, whipped feta, tzatziki), and an abundance of grilled options, from octopus to chicken to lamb.

Available for Reservations

Located in the Amagansett Square cluster of shops, Hampton Chutney Co.which also counts a Manhattan outlet—has been serving its Indian menu of dosas and uttapam since 1997. This essential Hamptons haunt is jam-packed during summer months; clean eats fans queue up for curry chicken and smoked turkey plus spinach dosas with a side of coconut or cilantro chutney. And don’t forget to try the brand’s signature drink: iced cardamom coffee. Order inside then snag an outdoor picnic table. Come early because this place packs up fast. 
How to book: No Reservations

La Fondita
La Fondita | Photo by Eric Striffler

La Fondita

East Hampton

Owned by the same group behind East Hampton stalwart Nick & Toni’s, La Fondita has been serving casual Mexican fare for the last 20 years from a small, colorfully adorned shack on Montauk Highway. Outdoor picnic tables are prime real estate, especially during summer months, and locals eagerly line up for al pastor tacos and carnitas-stuffed gorditas served on paper plates. 
How to book: No Reservations

The Lobster Roll Restaurant
Photo courtesy The Lobster Roll

Exactly what anybody would want from a classic beachside seafood shack, look for the huge sign that reads “LUNCH” off Montauk Highway, which presides over this little red-white-and-blue striped bungalow that has been serving Hamptons denizens since the 1960s. Though the place has undergone several management changes, the idyllic seaside aesthetically remains intact, as do its requisite plates of fried clam strips and its namesake hot lobster rolls.
How to book: No reservations

Newer to the Montauk dining circuit—rolling into its second season this year—is boutique waterfront hotel Marram and its casual café, Mostrador Marram. Inspired by Latin American “mostradores” or counter-service eateries, this is a more beachy take helmed by Argentinian chef Fernando Trocca (La Huella, Jose Ignacio, Uruguay) focused on simple protein preps and a heavy attention to locally farmed vegetables. The menu is simple enough: pick a protein (catch of the day, grilled pork shoulder, roasted brisket) and pair that with one’s choice of salads (carrot and red cabbage; broccolini and asparagus with sumac). 
How to book: No reservations

Moby’s
Moby’s | Photo by Michelle Giang

Moby’s

East Hampton

It’s only in the last decade or so that more indie dining concepts have hit the Hamptons—and Moby’s was one of the very first. Launched by Aussies Nick Hatsatouris and Lincoln Pilcher, Moby’s has reappeared every season for the last nine years in various locations, and for 2021, catch those excellent wood-fired pizzas and seasonal veggie-forward plates back again at the eatery’s original stomping ground: that big white house at 341 Pantigo Rd. This season, beyond those pies, expect plates like a pea shoot salad with stracciatella, and a ramp pesto pasta with pistachios and fava beans. And new this year, the team is launching an onsite market that will sell beach essentials, and serve breakfast and lunch.

Available for Reservations
Nick & Toni's
Nick & Toni’s | Photo by Eric Striffler

Nick and Toni’s

East Hampton

Nick & Toni’s has served as the Hamptons fine dining fixture for over 30 years, back when the area was still the sleepy fisherman town it once was. Operated by local hospitality outfit Honest Man Restaurants (Rowdy Hall, La Fondita, Coche Comedor, among others), the busy indoor/outdoor boîte is best-known for its simple, well-executed American-Mediterranean fare prepped in a wood fueled hearth, and its ample use of local produce and fish plucked from the surrounding water. Think seared ahi tuna with shaved fennel, and asparagus risotto with preserved lemon. Fun Fact: Behind the restaurant sits a one-acre farm that supplies the restaurant with a portion of its produce.

Available for Reservations

Claiming a foliage filled expanse in Montauk, technically, Ruschmeyer’s operates as a boutique hotel composed of free-standing cabins that date back to the 1950s. Hospitality pro Ben Pundole revamped the place just over a decade ago, which is when Ruschmeyer’s earned street cred for its seasonal, veggie-forward dining program. But, since then the energy (and management) has shifted, and today, while Ruschmeyer’s offers a coastal Mediterranean meets American menu, a younger clientele has stepped in, and Ruschmeyer’s has become better known for its fresh fruit cocktails and raucous party vibe. Set to open on June 25 for the season, let’s put it this way: there’s now bottle service.

Available for Reservations

Sag Pizza

Sag Harbor

Sag Harbor neighborhood staple Sag Pizza fires some of the Hamptons best pies—think chewy crusted Neapolitan pizzas flecked with the requisite leopard spotting, helmed by chef Laurent Tourondel. Expect pizzas topped with stracciatella and summer squash, or clams plus guanciale, in addition to appetizers from veal meatballs to a Tuscan kale and pine nut salad. 
How to book: No reservations

Topping Rose House

Bridgehampton

Prolific chef Jean-George Vongerichten helms the signature modern American restaurant attached to Topping Rose House, a five-star boutique hotel in Bridgehampton. Open from breakfast through dinner, Topping Rose is especially popular amongst the Hamptons’ well-heeled denizens and is reputed as one of the Hamptons’ top options for a fine dining meal. Expect seasonally driven plates that incorporate local ingredients, like lobster salad and Parmesan-crusted chicken.

Available for Reservations
Kat Odell is a contributor for Thrillist.