By Oliver Peterson
High-profile Hamptons restaurants are legion on the South Fork. They’re the kinds of places featured on television and in magazines, and shouted about from the rooftops by all who visit these shores. But a scant handful of culinary treasures remain off the beaten path, hidden in unexpected places, and they’re serving really good meals—if you know where to find them.
Ditch Plains Beach (second parking lot, end of Otis Road), Montauk
The End’s most famous food truck isn’t much of a secret to Montauk locals, but Hamptons day-trippers, or even residents who rarely travel so far east, will be delightfully surprised with what they find. A family owned and operated restaurant on wheels since 1994, Ditch Witch is not your average beachside, hamburgers-and-hotdogs snack bar.
Their food is fresh, delicious and creative: Think chia bowl with fresh blueberries, Medjool dates, shredded coconut, gluten-free granola and honey (with almond or peanut butter add-on) for breakfast; poke bowls (ahi tuna, vegan and more), wraps (hummus, Thai, etc.), burritos or chili for lunch; and a fully stocked coffee selection and fresh pastries for any time of day. And that’s before getting into the daily specials! You can also pick up a hoodie, hat or T-shirt to impress your friends back home.
Find the full menu and more at ditchwitchmtk.com.
Multi Aquaculture Systems, Inc. (The Fish Farm)
429 Cranberry Hole Road, Amagansett
Could anyone imagine a less enticing name for a restaurant than Multi Aquaculture Systems, Inc? But don’t let the scientific appellation fool you, Marie and Bob Valenti’s takeout stand at the “Fish Farm,” as everyone calls it, is among the quirkiest and coolest hidden dining gems in the Hamptons. And their food is really good. Out of view down a rustic road in Napeague’s Promised Land, right on Gardiners Bay, this purveyor is part of a real working fish farm that has provided hundreds of thousands of tons of live fish to markets all over the world over the past three decades.
In addition to their gourmet takeout stand—with lobster rolls, crab cakes, po’ boys, sushi, fresh oysters and clams on the half-shell, and more—this wonderfully rough-around-the-edges operation also runs a seafood market and catering.
Visit multiaquaculturesystems.com or call 631-267-3341.
V-Café at Hampton Racquet Club
172 Buckskill Road, East Hampton (entrance at 50 Green Hollow Road)
Most wouldn’t expect to discover fabulous ethnic food as part of your local tennis club, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at Lan Cao’s V-Café, serving authentic, healthy Vietnamese cuisine in an attractively appointed outdoor setting. Dishes are crafted with an abundance of fresh herbs and vegetables for texture and color, while meats are marinated in scrumptious spices instead of unhealthy oils.
French and Chinese influences can be found in the range of offerings, such as chicken satay, shrimp or lemongrass beef skewers, crispy spring and summer rolls, banh mi sandwiches, noodle bowls, curries, salads and more. Flavorful and refreshing drinks include traditional Vietnamese hot or iced coffee, coconut juice, organic ginger beer and organic sparkling soda (lemon/orange/pomegranate/grapefruit/cola).
Fairway Restaurant at Poxabogue Golf Course
3556 Montauk Highway, Sagaponack
Another dining experience rolled into a sports venue, Poxabogue’s Fairway Restaurant, “Cafe on the Green,” makes good, diner-style, all-day breakfast and lunch right next to one of the East End’s favorite public driving ranges. This is the place to go for hot coffee in those amazing “Stolen from Fairway Restaurant” mugs, and everything people love for breakfast—eggs Benedict, hash browns, lots of omelet options packed with fixins, fluffy pancakes, waffles, croissants and more—or lunch.
It’s all on the golf-themed menu, which names items for different holes, starting with Hole #1 (thick-sliced French toast topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream served with butter and syrup) and concluding with the popular Hole #18 (grilled cheese club with Swiss, American, mozzarella and cheddar cheese on three slices of rye topped with bacon and tomatoes). See if you can “play” through all of the menu’s 18 holes by Labor Day, or at least hit the back nine. And then play some real golf just steps away.
Take a gander at poxgolf.com or call 631-521-7100.
P&G Pizza & Deli
20 County Road 39, Southampton
Tucked away inside the Southampton Dunkin’ Donuts, this small local spot with limited seating makes surprisingly good NYC-style pizza with eat-in, takeout and delivery service. While it’s not the most romantic atmosphere, offering a gorgeous view of Montauk Highway and two gas stations, P&G’s owner Rich Saba and his crew are always cheerful and kind, they’re about to renovate, and the pizza is some of the best in town. After all, Saba has been making it for nearly three decades. So grab a slice or pie for a much-needed break on your way out east, or returning west, or just bring it home and eat while taking in that ocean view you paid so much to enjoy.
If pizza’s not your thing, the lengthy menu includes wraps, apps, sandwiches, baked heroes, burgers, stromboli, chicken and pepperoni rolls, Philly cheese steaks and even entrees, such as lasagna, fish & chips and eggplant rollatini. Try the calzones or, if you’re feeling especially decadent, the Roast Beef Supreme (grilled roast beef, bacon, mozzarella on toasted garlic hero). You can also conveniently pick up a Dunkin’ doughnut and coffee at the next counter over.
Give them a call at 631-377-3909 or visit pgpizzadeli.com for a menu and more info.
Tiki Joe’s at Meschutt Beach
90 Dunes Road, Hampton Bays
At the last beach east of the Shinnecock Canal, Tiki Joe’s Beach Club is not the place to find gourmet vegan quinoa and gluten-free kale juice, but they have all the classic summer comfort food a family could want. Enjoy live music Friday–Sunday and Wednesday nights while you dig in to juicy hamburgers, hot dogs, Buffalo chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks and fried fish sandwiches. Hit the beach early and devour bacon and/or sausage, egg and cheese on a roll for breakfast, then stick around for fried shrimp, tater kegs, baked clams and Tiki Joe’s Million Dollar Cobb Salad (grilled chicken, mixed greens, avocado, tomatoes, chopped egg, bacon, bleu cheese, craisins, Monterey jack and cheddar cheese, with balsamic dressing).
As you can probably tell from that salad, this menu is full of indulgent goodies families love. And, if you’re so inclined, they actually do offer plant-based impossible burgers, poke bowls and even lobster rolls.
Check out tikijoesbeachclub.com/tiki-joes-meschutt-beach or call 631-333-1538.
Silly Eats Food Truck at Silly Lily Fishing Station
99 Adelaide Avenue, East Moriches
A bit farther afield, this special spot is among the region’s most scenic and welcoming locales. Open for sunset hours on Fridays (5–7:30 p.m.) and noon–7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, the Silly Eats Food Truck serves an array of tasty bites and cold beer to drink and devour under cotton candy-pink and fiery orange skies. Made in a partnership with Stone Creek Inn, menu items change but often include large Kobe beef hot dogs, terrific lobster rolls, mac and cheese, crabby fries, guac and chips and various tacos (like fish, chicken, and cauliflower with cashew cream), as well as shrimp ceviche tostadas and yellowfin tuna sandwiches. Then munch on a warm doughnut for dessert.
The waterside atmosphere can’t be beat, unless of course you actually get out on the water. Rent an outboard-powered fishing dory from the Silly Lily Fishing Station and Marina, which has been in business since 1932, and take your meal to-go for a cruise around Moriches Bay. Visit the bait and tackle shop to buy or rent some gear, then ask the staff for tips about where to go for great clamming, crabbing or fishing, and eat your catch the next day.
Take a peek at sillylily.com for more details, including boat reservations and menu, or call 631-878-0247.
This story first appeared on DansPapers.com.
For more food and drink coverage, visit longislandpress.com/category/food-drink.