restaurants to try shelter island

10 Shelter Island Restaurants To Try During Your Stay

There is no shortage of wonderful Shelter Island restaurants. From lowkey eateries to upscale establishments offering the freshest local fare found on the East End, Shelter Island’s culinary offerings are diverse and always delicious, but which ones to try totally depends on your mood, palette and cravings. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast, a light, beach-friendly lunch or an opulent, decadent dinner, Shelter Island has something for everyone.

18 Bay

Nestled between the North and South Forks of Long Island, Shelter Island is surrounded on three sides by the Shelter Island Sound and on the fourth side by Gardiner’s Bay – meaning that it’s in proximity to some of the best farms for local produce as well as fishermen serving up the freshest catch of the day. The restaurants embody the spirit of Shelter Island. There’s no velvet rope, over-the-top Hamptons scene or elaborate, black-tie dress code. It’s come as you are and prepared to be dazzled.

So if you make the trip out to Shelter Island, you’ll likely want to enjoy some of the best food and culinary experiences the restaurant has to offer. In this story, we’re rounding out the top 10 restaurants on Shelter Island so that you know exactly where you want to go once you arrive. 

Shelter Island’s most popular restaurants are the ones that are locally-owned and operated so that the relaxed, laidback feeling of Shelter Island is maintained throughout the experience. Some people might enjoy fresh fish best enjoyed by a marina, or a Parisian-style croissant in town. There’s everything from high end specialties down to cozy cafes, and it’s all delicious. 

*All photography in this article is by Doug Young.

Here are the 10 Shelter Island Restaurants to Try During Your Stay 

Sunset Beach Restaurant | Outdoor Seating


  1. Marie Eiffel Market & Cafe 
  2. Stars Café 
  3. The Shelter Island Pharmacy


  1. Salt Restaurant Bar & Grill 
  2. Sunset Beach
  3. The Flying Goat 


  1. Vine Street Cafe 
  2. 18 Bay 
  3. Isola 
  4. Commander Cody’s 


1. Marie Eiffel Market & Cafe: For top tier French-inspired breakfasts and baked goods, look no further than this must-stop cafe in the middle of town. You’ll find everyone from locals tourists to weekenders clamoring for warm baguettes, pain au chocolat or tart tatin. The care also makes wonderful sandwiches and fresh market fare for your beach picnic. We love its freshly roasted vegetables and salads.

184 North Ferry Road

Marie Eiffel Market & Cafe | Iced Latte & Croissant

Shelter Island, NY 11965

For special orders text: 212-945-8492

2. Stars Café: Each morning you can walk into town and pop in for breakfast  at this 15-year old local favorite, family-owned cafe by Pepe and Lydia Martinez. It hails one of the most filling selections in our list of Shelter Island restaurants with stellar coffee, to boot. Our choice? A fresh omelet filled with our favorite ingredients. But if lunch is more your thing, enjoy homemade soups, salads and smoothies made at its very own smoothie bar.

17 Grand Avenue

Shelter Island Heights, NY 110965


3. The Shelter Island Pharmacy: Want old school service offering up gigantic breakfasts? You sure do. Hit up this local haunt for the freshest pancakes, eggs, home fries and bacon. You’ll be glad you did. Lunch and takeaway dinner before 4pm is also a great option. Seeing as it’s an actual pharmacy, the town center spot also boasts a selection of personal care items and services so you can get your shopping done and enjoy a meal, too.

19 Grand Avenue

 Shelter Island Heights, NY 11965



1. Salt Restaurant Bar & Grill: We love this Shelter Island standby at the boatyard marina. It’s got great outdoor seating right on the water with views of the comings and goings of larger and smaller boats. The lobster roll is great, and the burger is out of this world. It also makes the perfect pit stop when you’re exploring the island on bike. Stop in early in the evening and catch some live music across the boatyard at the Shipwreck bar.

63 South Menantic Rd

Shelter Island, NY 11964


restaurants to try ny poke bowl in shelter island
Salt Restaurant Bar & Grill | Poke Bowl

2. Sunset Beach: Located directly on Crescent Beach, this is the scene-and-be seen Shelter Island restaurant on the island where the rosé is popping from lunch through dinner and beyond. Based at the Sunset Beach hote, the restaurant sports a trendy clientele but the food – specifically the salads and entrees – are great, too. Rock your best caftans and linen shirts and join the party. As its name suggests, it’s the perfect sunset drink spot, where you can watch all the yachts come in to catch a glimpse of the Shelter Island sun. And, if you’re a fan of the eclectic Italian label, Marni, you might find a similar collaboration like last summer, where the brand took over the hotspot with multicolored chaises and floral print sofas. 

35 Shore Road

Shelter Island Heights, NY 11965


flying goat entrance shelter island restaurant
The Flying Goat | Entrance

3. The Flying Goat: This epic 120 year old casual restaurant is perched atop the highest point on Shelter Island, located at historic Shelter Island Country Club. It offers delicious, hearty dining options and a lively bar area that’s perfect for watching the game. We love sipping on a cool drink while taking in the panoramic views from this perfect point on Shelter Island.

26 Sunnyside Avenue

Shelter Island Heights, NY 11965



1. Vine Street Cafe: Arguably one of the top restaurants in all of the Hamptons, this high quality, super local Shelter Island restaurant is always packed and for good reason. It’s serving up some of the most delicious fare, from steaks to fish, to pasta, to the to-die-for french fries. Vine Street Cafe never disappoints. You might even spot a few celebrities and famous chefs in the dining room. 

41 South Ferry Road

Shelter Island, NY 11964


the vine street cafe best restaurant to try ny
The Vine Street Cafe | Mezzi Rigatoni alla Bolognese

2. 18 Bay: This farm-to-table restaurant is a husband and wife operation by Chefs Elizabeth Ronzetti and Adam Kopels that earned them a James Beard nomination. The highly sought-after eatery features a revolving menu that changes weekly, so check the websites for updates and make a reservation in advance. Pro-tip – if you can order off the ala carte menu if you’re lucky enough to score a seat at the bar. 

11 Stearns Point Road

Shelter Island Heights, NY 11965


18 Bay | Chef Adam Kopels

3. Isola: Opened in June, 2017, this upbeat, lively Italian-by-way-of-American restaurant is serving up delicious fare like fresh pizzas, pastas and chicken. Come for the yummy dinner, stay for the live music. Score a seat on the outdoor perch and you’ll have the perfect lookout point in the historic Shelter Island Heights district.

15 Grand Avenue

Shelter Island Heights, NY 11965


4. Commander Cody’s: Blink and you just might miss this locals-favorite haunt, where you’ll find the best Southern style fried chicken north of Mississippi, and certainly as a Shelter Island restaurant. Commander Cody’s has been owned and operated by the same family for years, so it’s got major Shelter Island street credit. Other must-haves include fresh peel-at-eat shrimp, oysters shucked to order, and the freshest white fish you can find. Our move is to pack it all up and head to the beach at sunset for a delicious, lowky dinner.   

41 Smith Street

Shelter Island, NY 11964


If you travel to Shelter Island, you’ll want to soak up the sun, the surf and the most beautiful expanses of nature on the East End, but the good news is you won’t have to sacrifice on food. Unlike other spots in the Hamptons, Shelter Island’s incredible restaurants are low-key and delicious minus the velvet rope, who’s-who scene and dress code. Come as you are to Shelter Island and you won’t be disappointed. We hope you try some of the restaurants outlined in our list of top Shelter Island restaurants to try.