Stories / Guides and Tips

JBF Trip Planner: Sag Harbor, NY

Elena North-Kelly

Elena North-Kelly

August 31, 2012


If you’re anything like us, the first thing you do when planning a trip—perhaps even before booking a plane ticket—is figure out where you’re going to eat while you’re there. Museums, sightseeing, and shopping are all well and good, but food is often the main attraction. To make trip planning a little easier, we’re compiling lists of our can’t-miss pit stops in some of our favorite places. JBF Award winners, hole-in-the-wall favorites, America’s Classics, and one-hit wonders—we’ll give you a quick rundown of our absolute must-eats in each featured location.

Heading to the Hamptons for a respite from the city? Don't miss a stop in Sag Harbor, a historic whaling village with a low-key vibe and plenty of good eats. Here are a few of our favorites:

Estia’s Little Kitchen

This cozy, charming spot serves up the best breakfast in town. Don’t let the décor fool you—it may look like little more than a diner inside, but the food is excellent (and celebs like Alec Baldwin and SJP are said to be regulars on summer weekends).

What to Order: The Garden Omelet (roasted local corn, tomatoes, and spinach) or Sophie’s Crab n’ Eggs (with avocado on an English muffin)

LT Burger in the Harbor

An outpost of Laurent Tourondel’s acclaimed NYC restaurants, this popular burger joint is the perfect place for an affordable and satisfying meal. Capitalizing on the many nearby farms and vineyards, the menu features lots of local produce and wines.

What to Order: Local Heirloom Tomato and Bacon Salad (with fresh ricotta and basil); 7 Peppercorn and Mountain Blue Burger (with caramelized onions and madeira mushrooms); and if the Lobster Roll is a special that night, it's a must-order. It’s the best in town, but isn’t always on the menu.

Loaves & Fishes

This gourmet food store in nearby Sagaponack (often frequented by Ina Garten on episodes of The Barefoot Contessa) is the best place to grab a picnic lunch on the way to the beach. The proprietor has published a popular cookbook and teaches cooking classes at the nearby Bridgehampton Inn.

What to Order: Spinach, Fig, and Feta Salad; Lemon–Basil Chicken Salad; Seared Tuna with Wasabi Sauce; Coconut Layer Cake

The Dock House

This teeny shack sits at the tip of the wharf—and while it only has a handful of tables and stools, it’s the perfect takeout spot. The seafood is delivered fresh daily and if you can’t wait to bring the food back home, just cross the street to enjoy your to-go feast at the waterfront picnic tables.  

What to Order: Fried Fisherman’s Net (a mix of flounder, bay scallops, and shrimp, all crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside); Steamers; New England Clam Chowder 

Cavaniola’s Gourmet

This unassuming shop is perfect for stocking up on artisanal cheeses, olives, and cured meats to supplement your post-beach cocktail hour. Don’t miss the wine and cheese tastings at their next-door wine cellar.

What to Order: Anything the cheesemonger recommends! Try the local Mecox Bay Dairy Farmhouse Cheddar or the housemade arancini.

Elena North-Kelly is senior editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.