Approximately 100 miles east of Midtown Manhattan, The Hamptons are a string of seaside communities on Long Island’s South Fork. The 18th-century shingled houses and hidden estates behind boxwood hedges have long been a summer destination for NYC residents, but commuting several hours back and forth is a hassle, especially in summer traffic.
Here are our favorite ways to get the Hamptons experience without ever leaving New York City.
It’s easy to dine like you’re in the Hamptons on Manhattan, with a thriving culinary community that migrates back and forth. Two favorites on the Upper West Side:
Nick and Toni’s Cafe brought wood-grilled Italian food to the Lincoln Center crowd in 1994, and has remained a neighborhood mainstay. Hand-painted frescoes decorate the walls of the Upper West Side offshoot of East Hampton favorite.
Connie McDonald and Pam Weekes left their banking and fashion careers aside when they opened Levain Bakery in the mid 90s. Their quest to create the world’s best chocolate chip cookie spread to the Hamptons, too, and now beach-goers in Wainscott can enjoy the bakers’ massive cookies. In the city, head to Levain’s original Upper West Side location for the famous six-ounce chocolate chip walnut cookie.
Nick and Toni’s Cafe: 100 W. 67th St., 212-496-4000
Levain Bakery: 167 W. 74th St., 212-874-6080
Montauk is home to the state’s largest commercial fishing fleet, but there’s no need to head there for seafood. Grand Banks in Tribeca brings a chic, laid-back beach vibe to Pier 25, serving oysters and cocktails aboard a historic wooden schooner on the Hudson River. It’s a subtle reminder of the oyster barges that used to line Manhattan’s waterfront in the 1700s and 1800s.
Grand Banks: Pier 25, Hudson River Park
On the far western edge of Long Island, rapidly-changing Red Hook is developing undertones of points east, like Sag Harbor, historical home to sailors, whalers and fishermen. To get the Sag Harbor experience in Brooklyn, take the water taxi from Wall Street/Pier 11 (free on weekends) to Brooklyn Crab. Built on two decks overlooking the New York Harbor, the multi-story bar, restaurant and mini-golf course serves the freshest seafood from all the way up the Atlantic Coast and down to the Gulf of Mexico. Around the corner from Brooklyn Crab, Sunny’s has been around since the 1890s, and looks like the type of bar salty fishermen would frequent.
Brooklyn Crab: 24 Reed St., Brooklyn, 718-643-2722
Sunny’s: 253 Conover St., Brooklyn, 718-625-8211
Multiple stores on Southampton’s breezy Main Street in Southampton have flagships on Madison Avenue. Two of the big players are Brooks Brothers and J. Crew’s upmarket Women’s Collection. The men’s clothier’s Madison Avenue store features a full-scale indoor PGA Tour simulator. We also love the Women’s Collection for its more luxurious take on J. Crew’s classic styles.
Brooks Brothers: 346 Madison Avenue, 212-309-7765
J.Crew Women’s Collection: 1035 Madison Ave., 212-249-3869