Montauk Must-Sees

It’s an old story that this summer, just like every summer before it, is the end of Montauk. Despite all the fears, there still remain the classics (and future classics) that every visitor should make a point to visit. Though the 80-year-old mainstay Duryea’s gave Montauk residents and visitors a scare when it was sold in 2014, the lobster restaurant finally re-launched this summer with a new menu and a new look. The focus has shifted to communal dining with banquet tables and shared plates, but still retains the character of the original by sourcing local seafood. If you want to trade up a lobster deck for beachside dining, Navy Beach is still the most appealing option. It isn’t as tenured as Duryea’s, but in the six years since opening, the white picnic tables covered by blue umbrellas have had a magnetic pull on the crowds. Another selection of perfectly prepared seafood makes it onto the menu, and vintage decorations fill out the restaurant interiors, a nice touch for when the winds pick up or dark clouds loom.

Speaking of décor, there’s no need to limit yourself to the endearing but bare-bones restaurants of Montauk. Crow’s Nest has been a favorite for years, bringing the style and sophistication of places like the Waverly Inn to the east. Except that this actually is an inn, with 14 rooms and cottages in addition to the popular restaurant. Surf Lodge skews younger, with their famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) concerts and parties being a major reason why so many flock there every weekend. But with a new interior refresh courtesy of Soho Grand regular Fiona Byrne, we’re more inclined to spend a day in our rooms than hit the party circuit. Open closets with pineapple wallpaper, hammocks and hanging chairs, and Gray Malin photographs all contribute to the relaxed but fun feel. For a full service resort, there’s always Gurney’s, which has found its strongest few seasons in its decades of existence. The flip side of this is the Memory Motel, the small lodge and bar that famously served as inspiration for The Rolling Stones’ song of the same name. This summer, seasonal pop-up FIN opens up in room 4, featuring jewelry including their signature gold shark-teeth necklaces. If shopping is what you’re after, you can’t go wrong with Melet Mercantile, Bob Melet’s popular and public outpost where you can buy an assortment of vintage goods normally only available at the appointment-only Soho boutique. And if all else fails, you can simply end up at the . It’s destined to become an institution in the town, and if you insist on lamenting the Montauk of yesteryear, you might as well wash it all down with a tasty beer.

Words by Gautam Balasundar