For brunch, John’s Pancake House (Main St. in the village center, 631/668-2383) serves a solid breakfast value, featuring pancakes, waffles, and crepes that bring in a crowd. Be prepared for a line.
The Naturally Good Foods & Cafe (S. Etna and S. Essex Sts., 631/668-9030) is a small natural-foods store that also serves breakfast and lunch.
Moving on from brunch, Shagwong (774 Main St., 631/668-3050, $18), in business for over 30 years, caters to Montauk ’s large Irish population—and anyone else looking for local flavor. On the menu is plenty of good seafood, but the place is equally well known for its lively nightlife.
Sitting high above the ocean, offering great views from its porch and patio, is the Surfside Inn (685 Montauk Hwy., 631/668-5958, $22). Known for its friendly bar, complete with a fireplace, the Surfside specializes in seafood and continental fare.
Now over 50 years old is bustling Gosman’s Dock (500 West Lake Dr. at the Harbor, 631/668-5330). A Montauk institution, this enormous dockside restaurant serves consistently fresh fare and has three dining rooms, all of which overlook the harbor and range in price from the cheap clam bar where you can grab a sandwich and a seat at the outside tables, to the Topside restaurant (average entrée $24).
Dave’s Grill (468 Flamingo Rd., 631/668-9190, $30) is a classy, intimate diner specializing in grilled fish. During the summer, there’s often a long wait, but it’s worth it.
The Restaurant at the Surf Lodge (183 Edgemere St., 631/668 1562), helmed by Sam Talbot, a face Top Chef fans will instantly recognize, follows the local, seasonal Hamptons culinary trend. Note: the restaurant does not accept reservations on the weekend.