Welcome to the Hamptons: home to beautiful beaches, incredible real estate and renowned traffic (especially during prime summer season). In the many villages and hamlets of the towns of Southampton and East Hampton, restaurants can cycle through as quickly as summer tourists. But an abundance of local produce and access to both the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean for fresh seafood mean you’re guaranteed to get a great meal at any time of the year. Plentiful weekly farmers markets, along with roadside stands like Little Dog Farm (pictured above), The Green Thumb farm stand (one of Katie Lee’s favorites, where she buys local Mecox cheese) and North Sea Farms, mean you can also make a mean meal at home. To help craft this tour we reached out to a few experts, including Food Network stars Katie Lee and Geoffrey Zakarian; Dan Rattiner, the publisher of the local iconic weekly Dan’s Papers and host of Dan’s Taste of Summer (where you can try almost all of these spots in one place); and Kathleen King, founder and owner of Tate’s Bake Shop. And we added a few of our personal favorites.
It’s interesting to hear what people collect during their travels. From postcards to original artwork, the choice of what to carry home reveals an intimate peek into the traveler’s life. As a food professional, it’s not surprising I hanker for edible souvenirs. Unfortunately, they don’t last any longer than the time it takes to eat a sausage sandwich on the cobbled streets of a German village, or lick the buttery crumbs off my fingers from an unbelievably good French croissant. A bottle of Italian olive oil might make it out of the country, but its lifespan is only as long as the number of home-cooked dinners it lasts for. Although the foods may be long gone, the memory lives on.