With its stunning beaches and quaint little towns ripe with New England charm, Cape Cod is undoubtedly one of the East Coast’s best vacation destinations. Foodies will find plenty to love about the arm-like stretch of land that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, as the Cape’s dining scene offers much more than the typical fried seafood and ice cream (not that there’s anything wrong with either of those delicacies!).
Here are just a few of the many incredible restaurants that call Cape Cod home.
Show up early, put your name in for dinner and head straight to the Glass Onion’s 3-season porch, where you can have a glass of wine while relaxing in a rocking chair as you wait for your table. This elegant Falmouth restaurant uses local ingredients for its New American fare, served up in a comfortable (but classy) setting – complete with an old wood bar, white tablecloths and large bay windows.
Tip: If you’re staying in Falmouth, be sure to also check out Maison Villatte, a delicious French boulangerie.
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Housed in a 19th-century house that was once a nautical shop, Mac’s Shack serves fresh, local seafood and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The menu is a good balance of the classics and innovative, unique preparations. Be sure to take advantage of the raw bar (no trip to Wellfleet is complete without oysters!), and sample some of their fresh sushi.
Tip: For a more casual dining experience, visit Mac Shack’s sister restaurant, Mac’s on the Pier – a clam shack with picnic tables overlooking the water on the Wellfleet Town Pier.
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Visit Abba for a truly unique twist on traditional New England fare. The menu is a divine combination of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Thai and New American cuisine, served in a charming (but definitely cozy) antique house. If possible, definitely opt to sit on their pretty outdoor patio.
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Housed in a small Cape Cod cottage, Brewster Fish House has a stellar reputation for being one of the Cape’s best seafood restaurants. Their contemporary, refined menu features seasonal, local ingredients – all served in their quaint dining room. Just be sure to plan ahead, as they don’t take reservations.
Tip: For another fantastic fine dining experience, visit the Bramble Inn Restaurant – also in Brewster.
For dinner with a beautiful view, book a table at the Ocean House. Located directly on the beach with huge wall-to-wall windows, this upscale restaurant serves New American fare, with a pan-Asian flare.
Tip: In the off-season, the Ocean House has an excellent (and inexpensive) prix-fixe menu. If you can’t get a table, another standout restaurant in Dennisport is the Oyster Company.
This unpretentious clam shack has been family-owned and operated for more than 30 years, and with a great kids menu, it’s a great place to bring the whole family. Order at the counter, settle in at a picnic table, and if you’d like to have a drink with your lobster or plate of fried clams, be sure to bring it with you – Moby Dick's is BYOB.
For a fun, laid-back and casual meal (with a water view), order some food and grab a seat at a picnic table at Sesuit Harbor Café. This seafood shack overlooks its namesake harbor, has a great raw bar and serves some of the best lobster rolls on the Cape – always overflowing with meat, and never drowning in mayonnaise. Just be aware that the café is BYOB and cash only!
For a truly special evening, make a reservation for one of the 2 nightly seatings at Ceraldi, located on the water in Wellfleet. Watch as the chef prepares the 7-course prix-fixe menu in the open kitchen, as you enjoy the expertly-prepared locally-sourced food – all the way down to the sea salt (from the waters of Wellfleet) and honey (from the small neighboring town of Truro).