Eating in the Hamptons is all about how you do it: you can find yourself in mediocre, overpriced restaurants that you’ll regret stepping foot into, or, you can do it our way and head to the selection of actually-good places that are worth your time. On the list below, you’ll find everything from taco stands and clam shacks to sit-down restaurants that, while pricey, actually serve great food in nice environments.
Headed out to Montauk? For our separate guide to the best restaurants there, click here.
Rosie’s is a breakfast and lunch spot right in the middle of town (they also serve dinner Friday and Saturday), making it the perfect spot for people-watching with an iced coffee (or glass of rosé). The first-come, first-served restaurant has a “blunch” menu with everything from granola and avocado toast to a smash burger, but we’re especially big fans of the crispy chicken BLT.
This Mexican restaurant is the best culinary addition to Amagansett for as long as we can remember. Located in an old diner space, there’s also plenty of outdoor seating. Our picks: the ceviche, and the chicken or duck, both of which come with homemade tortillas.
Lunch AKA The Lobster Roll
There aren’t a lot of things in life that make us happier than a huge lobster roll from Lunch. Not only is this the best lobster roll in the Hamptons, but it’s also one of the best lobster rolls in the world.
The Clam Bar
Just a bit down the road from Lunch, you’ll find Clam Bar. The menu is similar, and while Lunch has the better lobster roll (the one here’s pretty good too, though), we like to come here for everything else - oysters, fried clams, and even whole lobsters. The all-outdoor setting is the ideal place to eat pre- or post-beach.
Carissa’s makes some of the best baked goods and bread in the Hamptons, which makes it a great spot to pick up lunch. The large Pantigo Road (a.k.a. Montauk Highway a.k.a. “27”) location looks like a cool person’s home in Oslo, and also has a more extensive menu that includes a bunch of salads and bowls. The original space, in a parking lot behind Newtown Lane, is a convenient spot to pick up a sandwich in town. It’s also the best place to get a coffee to go in East Hampton’s town.
We love Happy Hour just as much as you do. But if there’s one place in the Hamptons that might’ve found something even better, it’s Sí Sí - which pairs stunning views of the Three Mile Harbor River with a special Sunset Hour menu. This place uses local, seasonal ingredients in things like paella and bucatini verde. And best of all, EHP Resort (where Sí Sí is located) has an impressive marina, which means you can get here by boat. You know, if you happen to own one or know someone that does.
If you want to sit down right in town in East Hampton, Babette’s is the move. Everything here is on the healthy side, with a lot of vegetarian options. Prices are predictably high given the prime real estate, and as a result, the crowd is more polo shirts than surf shorts. But for a nice sit-down lunch in town, it’s the best option and the food is always good.
East Hampton Grill
Located just past town, East Hampton Grill is one of the more high-end options in East Hampton. It’s owned by the Hillstone Group, so if you’ve been to a Hillstone or Houston’s, you have some idea of what to expect. The ribs and tuna tartare are go-tos.
Sandwiches are a necessary beach accessory - almost as essential as flip flops and a 12-pack of Montauk Summer Ale. And for the former, you can’t do better than Breadzilla. The menu changes daily and they always post it online. Also, they open late and close early, so you really have to be efficient and effective when you’re planning Breadzilla runs. Their shrimp salad may be the best shrimp salad in existence.
Highway Restaurant & Bar
As the name indicates, Highway is indeed right on the highway - though the Hamptons version of a highway is a two-way road, so that’s not something to worry about. The menu at this restaurant between East Hampton and Wainscott kind of jumps all over the place - from crab and papaya salad to seafood pastas to eggplant parm - but they pull it all off.
While it doesn’t look like much from the outside, The Maidstone is a boutique hotel with lots of character. In past years, the restaurant space was a Scandinavian place called The Living Room, but it’s been renovated and is now simply called The Maidstone. The menu is made up of local, seasonal American options like seared Montauk fluke and big fresh salads. So while you won’t find Swedish meatballs or smoked trout here anymore, the food is still very good.
Goldberg's Famous Bagels & Deli
Goldberg’s are in almost every town here now, and definitely the best bagel option out East. You want lox. You want cream cheese. You want lots and lots of bagels - particularly a sunflower seed flagel.
Bostwick's Chowder House
It’s not our favorite restaurant out East, but it’s the one that we wind up going to the most. Bostwick’s is the perfect spot to visit when you can’t decide where else to go, or just don’t have the energy to cook yourself. It’s quick, it’s casual, and the food is pretty good. The menu is seafood-heavy, but there’s something fried, grilled, or on a bun for everyone. Our top picks: the hot lobster roll, the seared tuna, and the burrito-sized fish tacos. There’s also a second location in Three Mile Harbor (north of East Hampton town) called Bostwick’s On The Harbor with great views, though the menu is different.
Cove Hollow Tavern
Vine Street Cafe is one of the East End’s best restaurants, but getting to Shelter Island is a pain in the ass. Fortunately, the Vine Street team now has a way more central restaurant called Cove Hollow Tavern, in the location formerly occupied by Cafe Max in East Hampton. The food’s a little pricey, but all very good, and unlike most Hamptons restaurants, they actually pride themselves on great service and hospitality.
There have been several high-end sushi pop-ups in the Hamptons over the years, but for a more casual, daily situation, Sen is Sag Harbor’s go-to. We once read that Eric Ripert likes to come here, which is a good sign about the quality of fish. Waits can be long at peak times, but they’ve added a nice garden in the back.
With restaurants coming and going quicker than a Jitney round-trip, there aren’t many spots in the Hamptons that can say they’ve been around for 20-plus years. But The Beacon has been a Sag staple since 1999, thanks to its consistently good food and great views of the Sag Harbor Bay. Plus, this place has a prefix sunset dinner menu that costs $75 for two courses (which is pretty much the best deal you’ll find out East).
Estia's Little Kitchen
A tiny restaurant on Route 114 between Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton, Estia’s is our go-to brunch spot and it should be yours as well. Breakfast burritos, any of the egg platters, and tortilla soup are all good bets. They also regularly have great specials.
A Hamptons landmark, The American Hotel is a classic. Their French food is delicious, but their biggest claim to fame is actually their wine cellar, which has many thousands of bottles. Bring anyone who’s into wine here and they’ll be very impressed. Also, make sure to sit on the porch or in the atrium.
LT Burger in the Harbor
Keep LT Burger in your back pocket for the time you’re craving a burger, but don’t want to cook one on your own. Come with the whole family and sit in a big booth, or just sit at the bar with a beer. The milkshakes are good too.
With an impressive list of wine and cocktails (along with a huge food menu), Elaia (pronounced “alayah”) provides a taste of Greece in the Hamptons without feeling derivative or out of place. But besides all the great dips, spreads, and seafood, we like coming here just to hang out in the lovely space. With floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of candles and flowers, it’s perfect for a chill date night or a low-key dinner with everyone in your house.
Despite being smack in the middle of Bridgehampton on Montauk Highway, Yama-Q somehow feels like a secret. Come for the good quality, straightforward sushi - purists will be relieved to know the nigiri and rolls here aren’t blowtorched, or covered in mayo sauces and tempura flakes.
Almond is another Bridgehampton mainstay. The food is French bistro stuff like roast chicken and escargot, and there’s an extensive raw bar selection. It’s also one of the liveliest dining rooms you’ll find in the immediate area.
This is by no means breaking news, but there’s a reason why this landmark diner in Bridgehampton has been around for decades - it’s f*cking awesome. Not awesome like the food is going to blow you away, awesome like a greasy spoon is awesome. Candy Kitchen isn’t the place you go for poached eggs and mimosas - it’s the place you go for scrambled eggs and toast. Their homemade ice cream is the main attraction, and the chocolate fudge brownie is perfect in every way.
Pierre’s is a French bistro in Bridgehampton designed to appeal to the Hamptons crowd that spends winters in St. Bart’s. The food is actually really good, and Pierre’s can be a great time if you’re in the right mindset. Just slick your hair back and wear your finest white pants. You’ll fit right in.
Most people come to Suki Zuki for two things: the spicy tuna sandwich and the chicken teriyaki salad. The former is basically a spicy tuna roll in the shape of a triangular tea sandwich, while the latter is a finely chopped salad with chicken, wonton strips, and a tangy dressing. Overall, this is an easygoing sushi place with reasonable prices on the one-block strip known as the town of Watermill. Expect a wait on Friday or Saturday nights.
Located in the back of the Watermill Commons, Bistro Ete is run by a husband and wife team that serves a mix of delicious French-inspired Mediterranean food. It’s charming, laid-back, and a bit more hidden away, which is the opposite of all other Hamptons restaurants.
Tutto Il Giorno
Come for the fresh pasta, stay for the private garden that you’ll immediately want to move into. We go to Tutto Il Giorni (which also has locations in Tribeca and Sag Harbor) for one of two reasons: a big meal before a night out, or to drink some wine after checking out the stores in town. Either way, it’s a Southampton staple that we find ourselves coming back to time and time again thanks to its delicious food (the spicy tuna tartare is a must) and casual feel.
Southampton Social Club
Be prepared: Southampton Social is definitely touristy. But it’s also fun, and sometimes, there’s no shame in pretending to be a tourist. This always-crowded spot serves a mix of sushi and appetizers like mini tacos and sliders, has a prix fixe menu for large groups, and hosts some of the best DJs around. No one really comes here for the food (which, to be clear, is still solid), but it’s a great pick for a big Saturday night out with your friends.
Cowfish is a solid choice for lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch in Hampton Bays. But more than anything, this place makes great desserts - the skillet cookie with vanilla ice cream is a must.
Docks Waterside is, in fact, right by the water, and also has lots of outdoor seating to go with the views. They serve all the raw bar and cooked seafood you’d expect, some of it with a twist like “everything bagel-crusted salmon.”
Beth’s is a breakfast and lunch spot, serving pastries and egg dishes as well as salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. Use it for daytime takeout in the area.
John’s Surf Shack
If summer to you sounds like lobster rolls and delicious fried things you can eat with your hands, you’ll be very happy at this super casual spot in Westhampton. There isn’t much else like this between here and Montauk.