If one of the joys of city life is getting dolled up to go out, one of the beach’s best appeals is precisely the opposite—living in beachwear day-in and day-out is completely acceptable if you plan with that goal in mind. Here are four beachy drinking spots where sunny days ease into breezy summer nights with no change of clothes required.
Lynn’s Hula Hut (426 West Lake Dr., Montauk)
Bringing a tropical vibe to the Northeast, Lynn’s Hula Hut looks straight from an old South Paci c travel poster. Inspired by Polynesian tiki bars, it’s made of bamboo, hung with colorful bulb lights, and set up with umbrellas stuck in the sand, right on the edge of Montauk Marine Basin. The food menu is limited; this is primarily a drinking spot, open all day every day of the week. The owner, Lynn Calvo, wanted it to be a place for people to come take a break from the bustle of the Hamptons, and the Hula Hut accomplishes that by o ering hammock- lounging by day and live music by night. The drinks here have become quite famous for their bases made of puréed fresh fruit, which Lynn chooses herself from Montauk’s farmers’ market. Additionally, spirits like tequila and rum are aged for nearly two weeks with fruits, vegetables, and herbs, giving cocktails a uniquely aromatic avor. The signature rum punch is a favorite, as is the weekend Bloody Mary bar, where you can make your own red concoction with as much horseradish, pickles, and fresh shrimp cocktail as you wish—fuel for games of horseshoes or hook-and-ring set up in the sand.
668 The Gig Shack (782 Main St., Montauk)
For a place that is beach-themed without being cheesy and low-key while still delivering fantastic food and drinks, 668 The Gig Shack strikes the perfect chord. In fact, it’s a surprisingly normal spot for the Hamptons. It’s neither too stylized nor too carefree, but a simple, well-executed family-owned restaurant and bar that draws a laid-back crowd of locals and vacationers alike. Think of it as the Hamptons version of your neighborhood go-to spot that never lets you down. Depending on the vibe you’re after, there are picnic tables outside, indoor banquettes, and comfortable stools out at the tented bar, where one of the owners’ three sons mixes up summery cocktails like dark and stormies and margaritas. Aside from its sh tacos and spicy Thai mussels that many claim as the best in the Hamptons (not to mention the homemade desserts), another one of the main draws here is the live music in the evenings—hence its name. The place begins to ll up in the late afternoon, so stake out a spot early, order a glass of champagne, and soak in the chill summer vibes.
Every beach town has its favorite Mexican dive bar, and in East Hampton, this award goes to Blue Parrot. Tucked away behind Main Street, it’s unpretentious in every way, despite its clientele that often includes celebrities and public figures attempting to blend in as everyday vacationers. The delightfully distressed interior hung with surf boards and old guitars makes Blue Parrot the kind of place where tank tops and short shorts feel like the proper uniform in which to tuck into some lobster fajitas and shrimp tacos after a long day at the beach. On weekdays from 4–6 p.m., sun- kissed guests ll up the metal stools at the decidedly cluttered bar for happy hour prices on the margaritas: the signature Dirty Bird (which also comes in a skinny version), the Spicey Marg with habanero simple syrup, or the potent Greeteria, a frozen margarita blended with red sangria. As the night atmosphere begins to shift into one of mingling and casual partying, grab a seat on the bamboo-walled outdoor patio, where lights strung under a sunshine- colored awning cast everyone in a flattering glow. Or is it just the impressive tequila selection working its magic?
La Brisa (752 Montauk Hwy., Montauk)
When Manhattan’s fashionable set dons their straw hats and heads east on the Jitney, they may leave SoHo behind, but they can still get their favorite tacos thanks to the Montauk outpost of Nolita’s beloved Tacombi restaurant, La Brisa. Think of it as the J. Crew version of Blue Parrot, an industrial- style space brightened with white-tiled accent walls, menu-stating murals designed like tropical vintage posters, and a color scheme of white and teal that continues outside to a long row of aquamarine picnic tables shaded by leafy trees. Beginning in the early morning with surfers stopping in for some banana pancakes and breakfast tacos in homemade tortillas before hitting the waves, the round, glass-windowed taco shop is filled throughout the day with chic beachgoers dining on Yucatan fare made with local seafood and sipping on agua frescas, fresh-made juices, and a tight menu of Mexican cocktails: margaritas made with Mandarine Napoléon liquor, palomas with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, gingery mescal mules, and frozen piña coladas. For a relaxed evening with a buzz, there’s no better place.