Where to Eat in the Hamptons This Summer
From fresh local seafood and Mexican fare, to big-time chefs or the return of beloved seasonal pop-ups, these are the best spots to dine at while Out East.
It’s that time of year again: when a mass exodus of New Yorkers in need of a weekend getaway head out to Long Island’s East End, better known as The Hamptons, for beach house rentals and 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 NYC chefs.
In terms of standout ingredients to seek, 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 (don’t miss Balsam Farms in Amagansett).
Year upon year, the Hamptons continues to become a less seasonal escape (back in the day most spots would only open from around Memorial Day to Labor Day). And today, businesses out east are thriving and ready for the summer season. Below, a collection of our favorite Hamptons restaurants, both classic and new.
O by Kissaki
Former All’onda chef Chris Jaeckle has overhauled the menu at O by Kissaki, the cozy Japanese robata spot on Route 27 that, back in the day, housed Bamboo. This season, his revamped dishes focus on a blend of Japanese-Italian eats known as itameshi, and include plates like a Summer Tomato Salad with whipped tofu; Uni with Lardo on crispy rice; and a Wild Mushroom and Truffle Donabe. There’s also nigiri and maki options via chef Mark Garcia who oversees Kissaki (also on this list).
Little Ruby’s Montauk at Ruschmeyer's
Big news from the Ruschmeyer’s camp. Aussie Nick Mathers who operates a handful of hip, well-dressed eateries in Los Angeles––like the iconic Eveleigh and newer Elephante––is taking over food and drinks at this expansive Montauk property to launch an extension of his popular, seasonally-driven NYC café, Ruby’s. His longtime friend and culinary director Thomas Lim will take charge of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with day-to-day operations overseen by chef Jon Meraviglia. Expect wood-fired pizzas and local seafood preps, plus signatures like the popular Classic Cheeseburger and Crispy Rice Bowl salad. As a refresher, Ruschmeyer’s operates as a boutique hotel composed of free-standing cabins that date back to the 1950s. Hospitality pro Ben Pundole put the place on the map a decade ago when he revamped it, but over the years Ruschmeyer’s has become more of a booze-soaked, bottle service summer party joint catering to a 20-something clientele.
Opening: May 26
Chef PJ Calapa––one of New York’s most talented pasta-makers, and former Ai Fiore chef who now operates Scampi and The Spaniard, is taking over eats at Amagansett’s iconic and long-established Astro’s Pizza. Expect round pies laced with clams, and square pies dotted with pepperoni and sausage. And definitely don’t miss his pastas, like Pork Ravioli with spicy pomodoro and guanciale.
Opening: May 27
From the team behind East Hampton’s coastal Mediterranean spot, Si Si, comes Enchanté (‘nice to meet you’ in French), claiming Southampton’s longtime Red Bar Brasserie space on Route 27. Expect an indoor/outdoor, French-inspired bistro fare with dishes like a seafood plateau, Niçoise Salad, and Lobster Frites.
Mavericks is a new, seasonally minded surf-and-turf spot fated for Montauk this June from partner/sommelier Vanessa Price and chef Jeremy Blutstein (Crow's Nest, Surf Lodge). The 200-seat indoor/outdoor space overlooks Fort Pond and features seasonal American eats with all ingredients sourced between Montauk and Upstate, New York. Expect the lengthy menu to span from Parker House Rolls and raw bar selections, to a comprehensive steak section ranging from A5 Hokkaido Wagyu to a House Dry-Aged Adirondack Ribeye, plus seasonal veggie-forward sides. By way of booze, expect a focus on rosés from around the world plus New York State wines.
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 Salted Soured Pickled Rye bread. Expect seasonally accented, accessible lunch and breakfast-leaning fare, like a Spicy Kimchi Cheddar Croissant and Seasonal Market Salad with shallot mustard dressing. 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. A third Sag Harbor outlet is in the works.
The Clam Bar
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 soups, salads, and all the seafood classics from Local Steamers and Clam Strips to multiple preparations of lobster like the Lobster BLT, Lobster Salad Roll, or Two-Pound Montauk Lobster served with corn. With 41 years under its belt, the spot has solidified itself as a culinary fixture along the stretch between Amagansett and Montauk. And while the summer season draws tremendous crowds, note that happy hour tends to be the busiest time of day.
Riding on the success of La Fondita (also on this list), Coche Comedor is the second Mexican effort from Honest Man Restaurants (Nick & Toni’s), now rolling into their fourth season. Located directly next door to La Fondita, this eatery inside an old diner focuses on an elevated approach to classic Mexican fare, which includes house-made tortillas. There’s Fluke Ceviche, Mini Crispy Tuna Tacos, and large format dishes of Pork Rib Carnitas and Grilled Tuna with fava beans and pickled vegetables.
The Crow's Nest
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. Customers kick back cocktails spiked with Thai basil and fennel, 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 Local Lobster Fettuccine; and East Coast Halibut with harissa and chickpeas; plus an abundance of veggie plates like Grilled Asparagus with lemon and za’atar. Definitely reserve in advance as this is a super popular, see-and-be-seen destination.
Reopening: May 20
Simple, local ingredient-focused Greek addition, Elaia Estiatorio, hit the Hamptons five years back, and unlike many other restaurants in town, it’s run by two Hamptons residents, husband-and-wife duo Chris Boudouris and Sofia Crokos. 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 outside to enjoy new chef Robert Santoro’s pita-ready spreads (Fava, Htipti of whipped Feta, Tzatziki), alongside an abundance of grilled options like the Oktopodi Skaras (octopus) from small plates, to the Paidaki (lamb) from mains.
Hampton Chutney Co.
After more than 20 years in Amagansett Square, one of the Hamptons’ oldest and most iconic eateries, dosa-maker Hampton Chutney Co., has relocated to East Hampton Village by the train station, claiming the old Mary’s Marvelous space on Newtown Lane. Just like its previous Amagansett location, this space is geared at take-out orders, and the team has positioned a bunch of picnic tables out front so customers can dine outside. Come summer, expect this essential Hamptons haunt to be jam-packed; with longtime fans flocking for its Indian eats that include the Thali Platter served with the daily vegetable, basmati rice, soup, naan, yogurt, and chutney; dosas/uttapams with options like Curry Chutney Chicken or Smoked Turkey; and specials like Coconut Chicken. And don’t forget to try the brand’s signature drink: Iced Cardamom Coffee.
il Buco al Mare
Last year, owner Donna Lennard and chef Justin Smillie launched NoHo’s beloved rustic Italian number, il Buco Alimentari, in Amagansett with a beachy spin named il Buco al Mare. Since then, they’ve been serving seafood-focused plates prepped over a wood-fueled hearth, which include some imported, tinned ocean animals. Of course, Smillie is focusing on all that’s local—from produce to seafood, like Razor Clams with green strawberries; and Whole Roasted Montauk Fluke with charred lemon. Also, just next-door, the team debuted a homewares shop and café called il Buco Vita that’s equipped with a La Marzocco and some killer house-made Bombolini, which one has the option to fill with raspberry jam.
Owned by the same group behind East Hampton stalwart Nick & Toni’s, La Fondita has been serving casual Mexican fare for the last 21 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 items like the Deshebrada Tacos or Torta Milanese served on a Portuguese roll.
La Fin Kitchen & Lounge
Rolling into its second season, coastal French-leaning La Fin claims a sun-drenched prime plot overlooking Montauk Harbor. With its beachy-feeling teal and raw wood space (and adjacent patio), new culinary director Chris Brandt (The Greenbriar, WV) and executive chef Joe Liebowitz lead the coastal French cuisine here, including raw bar plateaus; the Crab & Watermelon with jumbo lump blue crab served on watermelon; and large format dishes like the Whole Spatchcock Organic Chicken with black truffle jus. Request an outdoor table to watch the boats come in and don’t forget a glass of rosé.
Reopening: May 6
The Lobster Roll aka "LUNCH"
It’s important to note that iconic, red-white-and-blue striped beachside seafood shack The Lobster Roll, which many know as “LUNCH” thanks to its massive rooftop signage off Montauk Highway, has, for the first time since 1965, expanded with a second location in Southampton. The Lobster Roll family took over that long-defunct, vintage silver diner on Route 27 just before Duck Walk Vineyard, offering a similar seafood-focused menu as the original. Expect dishes like Fried Clam Strips and its namesake Hot Lobster Rolls.
NYC-based sushi outfit Kissaki has firmly planted its Hamptons flag, ready to celebrate season three. Similar to its Manhattan locations on the Bowery and Upper West Side, fish here is either flown in from Japan, or caught locally. Former Gaijin chef Mark Garcia orchestrates the affordably-priced, 18-seat counter omakase with two menu options that include miso soup and a hand roll: eight pieces of nigiri for $75, or 12 pieces of nigiri for $115. Note: For a la carte ordering, choose a seat in the main dining room or on the patio.
Manna at Lobster Inn
Last year, Southampton’s iconic waterfront dining haunt, Lobster Inn, rebranded itself as Manna at Lobster Inn, a sustainable seafood concept from Sag Harbor restaurateur Ryunosuke Jesse Matsuoka (Sen, K Pasa) and Donna Lanzetta, who owns a new onsite fish farm that services the restaurant. They’ve brought on chef Thomas Bogia (LT Burger, Sen) to helm fish-focused dishes from sushi to lobster rolls.
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, the spot has reappeared every season for the last decade in various locations, and for 2022, 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 coastal Italian plates via chef Gary King like Squash Blossoms with pimento cheese; Bucatini Cacio e Pepe; and Lamb Chops with fava beans and chermoula.
Newer to the Montauk dining circuit—rolling into its third 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).
Nick and Toni’s
Nick & Toni’s has served as the Hamptons fine dining fixture for 34 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 Wood-Oven-Roasted Radishes with whipped lemon ricotta; Penne alla Vecchia Bettola with oven-roasted tomatoes; and a seasonal, oven-roasted whole fish with salsa verde. Note: Behind the restaurant sits a one-acre farm that supplies the restaurant with a portion of its produce.
Rita Cantina hit The Springs last year as a colorful, coastal Mexican eatery focusing on dinner service and the best fresh-ingredient, agave-focused cocktails in all of the Hamptons. In fact, beverage director Adam Millerbrought on Diego Rivera as head bartender; Rivera previously worked at Puerto Rico’s award-winning La Factoria. As for eats, Miller’s father Eric (Bay Kitchen Bar) has built a mariscos-centered menu with ocean animals procured from nearby Gardiner’s Bay. Choose from a raw bar section, in addition to hot dishes like Braised Prime Rib Short Rib Birria tacos, and a whole market fish roasted on cedar. Pair that with a Frozen Margarita, or one on the rocks, flavored or Classic. And those that drop in daily from 4 pm-6 pm can enjoy $10 margaritas (usually $14) and $1 oysters (usually three oysters for $18).
Opening: May 11
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 clams and garlic-scallion butter, and Brussels sprouts and Taleggio, in addition to appetizers from veal-mortadella Meatball Pomodoro with a veal and mortadella combo, to the Cavalo Nero salad with Tuscan kale and pine nuts. Desserts include an array of soft serve in varieties like Caramel Popcorn and Hazelnut Crumbs along with a slice of Tiramisu.
Those looking for a killer sunset will want to consider Si Si, the all-day coastal Mediterranean spot overlooking Three Mile Harbor in The Springs. Grab a seat outside overlooking the marina for plates like Scallop Crudo or a chilled Lobster “Cobb” Salad, and heartier dishes like Spaghetti Vongole, a Lamb Burger, or seafood items like Day Boat Scallops or the Maine Halibut. Chef Dane Sayles (Scarpetta) heads up the bill of fare here, which pairs perfectly with a glass of rosé.
Topping Rose House
Prolific chef Jean-Georges 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 reputed as one of the its top options for a elevated dining experience. Expect seasonally driven plates that incorporate local ingredients, like an Escarole and Strawberry salad, and Seared Black Bass with lemon and turmeric.