It’s no wonder legendary chefs call the East End home. Nestled between the ocean and miles of farmland, the Hamptons have all the ingredients for blockbuster eats and there’s no shortage of places to dine out, whether you’re looking for a roadside taco stand or a fancy, buy-a-new-LBD type of restaurant. But it often seems like a select few restaurants get all the attention (and have the wait times to prove it), when there are plenty of under-the-radar local spots that routinely dish up incredible food and drink. Here, your super-insider guide to where to eat in the Hamptons.
The Best Under-the-Radar Restaurants in the Hamptons
Estia's Little Kitchen
Snag a seat at this tiny roadside cafe for breakfast and you’ll likely find yourself making excuses to stay through lunch. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Estia’s is known for its always-yummy Mexican-inspired dishes. Dining alone? Take a book with you and relax in the magical outdoor garden.
1615 Sag Harbor Bridgehampton Tpke., Sag Harbor; 631-725-1045 or estias.com
Brooklyn Chop House
Hey, we know we should eat less red meat…but sometimes you just want a really, really good steak. Brooklyn Chop House is popping up at the Capri Hotel for the month of August before opening up its permanent location in FiDi this September. Go ahead and treat yourself to a 50-to 60-day dry-aged prime steak or double thick cut chops.
281 County Rd. 39a, Southampton; 631-500-9055
This laid-back Montauk eatery is the neighborhood spot you’ve always wanted. There are gorgeous views, the staff is friendly, there’s always great music playing and there are some of the best shrimp tacos on the East End. Grab a few of your best friends for a low-key lunch or night out.
474 West Lake Dr., Montauk; 631-668-8344 or swalloweastrestaurant.com
Almond is one of those restaurants that you’ve heard about, have probably always meant to try but haven’t actually made it. And then one day you go and you understand why this casual French bistro has been a local favorite for more than ten years. The food takes full advantage of the bounty of the East End, the staff always seems like they’re having a good time and the vintage-inspired decor makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into a chic French country home.
1 Ocean Rd., Bridgehampton; 631-537-5665 or almondrestaurant.com
Round Swamp Farm
Warning: You’ll dream about Round Swamp Farm’s food long after summer is over. With its original location in East Hampton and a market in Bridgehampton, this is technically not a restaurant: It’s first and foremost a farm and farmstand that just happens to carry delicious prepared food that’s perfect for taking to the beach or for those nights you don’t want to cook but also don’t want to go out. We’re talking fruit pie that haunts our dreams, crab cakes loaded with fresh crab meat and more.
184 Three Mile Harbor Rd., East Hampton; 631-324-4438 or roundswampfarm.com
There’s a good chance you’d never stumble across Bistro Ete if you weren’t looking for it—it’s slightly hidden in the Mill Center in Water Mill—and yet the French restaurant is almost always packed. While you should make a reservation, this is the place for when you want something fancy but not fussy.
760 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill; 631-500-9085 or bistroete.com