Sorry, but you know it’s true. Save for the most native of East Enders, the majority of us flock back to the city come Labor Day. Gone are the bonfire nights and the twinkling lights of the Crow’s Nest. Tans are traded for #HEATTECH jackets, waves for winter. It sucks. But, then again, isn’t summer just a state of mind? At these NYC spots, even the most hardcore city-slickers can slip back into a Montauk daydream. Why not keep the chill beach vibes going all (off)season long?
1. Mary’s Fish Camp
Nothing beats fresh seafood in the sun on Duryea’s Lobster Deck, but Mary’s Fish Camp comes pretty close. Opened in 2001, the airy West Village eatery has stood the test of time – and for good reason. The space might be quaint but the food is straight up seaside shack. Oyster Po Boys, grilled shrimp tacos, and some of the best lobster rolls this side of the island await.
2. Brooklyn Surf Bar
Sand on the floor, boards on the wall, and fishnets on the ceiling. It’s Williamsburg, what do you expect? But really, seasoned surfer Maya Pizzati managed to turn a rundown garage into a pre-hipster local favorite over 10 years ago, and despite, you know, gentrification, this place ain’t going nowhere. Clam chowder and tiki drinks abound, but the authenticity overrides any sense of kitsch.
3. Tijuana Picnic
We imagine a picnic in Tijuana would be more illicit than enticing (though we don’t really judge), but Jon Neidich’s take on the concept is as “hot spot” as they come. With Mexican-Asian fare, swanky interior, and Tico’s Tequila Bar downstairs, the restaurant can bring that Southwest sunshine to even the deadest of winters. What’s more summertime #TBT than tacos and tequila?
Save the fish bowl cocktails for weird nights out with your college buddies and maybe dive into (albeit a classier) one instead. With windows as walls and potted palm trees dotting the scene, Santina takes you to a coast indeed – a Mediterranean one. Gloriously Italian while staying true to its city roots, the spot is an oasis in the heart of the Meatpacking District. Three words: Spaghetti Blue Crab. Check please?
5. Lazy Point
Yes, summer Fridays are long gone, but that doesn’t mean those long sunsets and lazy days have to be. Lazy Point is a fashion world favorite, soft launching with a Proenza Schouler after-party and hosting a slew of stylish events since then. The SoHo spot is reminiscent of those Surf Lodge nights, inspired by Montauk and filled with whitewashed beach chairs and driftwood light fixtures. An urban beach house if we ever saw one.
6. Rockaway Beach Surf Club
When we’re out East in the summer, but not THAT out East, Rockaway Beach Surf Club is the place to be. True, it’s a legit surf bar, and you can find cool kids like May Kwok drying off with some tacos and fresh coconuts there all season, but there’s still something distinctly city about it. It’s Queens, you know. During the winter, the surf shack is only open on weekends, but trust us, it’s worth the trek.