If you haven’t been to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, or if it’s been a while since you’ve been there, it is one of the greatest locations to go for a laid-back supper where the seafood is the highlight of the experience. The seafood dishes served at Cape Cod restaurants have gained a global reputation throughout the years.
Today, Cape Cod is renowned more for tourism than for its history as a whaling empire or as the first stop of the Pilgrims. It is also noted for having a profound link to the Kennedy family and having some of the greatest clam and lobster shacks in a concentrated region.
Within Barnstable County, Cape Cod is comprised of 15 different tiny towns. In the year 1602, an English adventurer by the name of Bartholomew Gosnold captured a significant quantity of cod from the seas around the continent. He gave the peninsula the name Cape Cod after himself.
The fish is very fresh because the hook-shaped sandy peninsula that reaches out into the Atlantic Ocean creates Cape Cod Bay on one side and forms Cape Cod Bay on the other side. Food that is fried, grilled, or boiled to perfection may be found at a number of the Cape Cod restaurants, which are considered to be among the best on the East Coast. You can’t go wrong with where you go on the Cape since there are so many wonderful sites all along its length. Just a handful of the amazing places you shouldn’t miss are listed here.
Are you curious in more things to do while you’re in Cape Cod? Check out our comprehensive list of the top tours and activities in Cape Cod!
- 1 4 Must-Visit Cape Cod Restaurants
- 2 FAQs
4 Must-Visit Cape Cod Restaurants
Spanky’s Clam Shack
138 Ocean Street, Hyannis, MA // (508) 771-2770
The Kennedy family is practically synonymous with Hyannis. It is considered to be in the middle of the Cape because of its location on Hyannis Harbor. It is known as a popular tourist destination due to its charming downtown and the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. It is the second largest commercial fishing port on Cape Cod. From this location, visitors on their way to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard can board a ferry that will take them to the islands.
Spanky’s is a laid-back clam shack that is located directly on the inner harbor of Cape Cod. Although there is no shortage of great restaurants on Cape Cod, Spanky’s is one of them. They serve seafood that is caught locally and are known for their award-winning clam chowder. They are open every day from April until October. On the menu, you can choose from any preparation, including fish and chips and a complete lobster dinner in the New England style. However, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to try the fried clams.
Both the lobster bisque and the crab cake, which was topped with lobster sauce, were delicious. There are chunks of lobster in the bisque, and there is only sweet crab in the crab cake; there are no other ingredients. It was incredibly tasty in every way. The Caesar salad with grilled shrimp was what my husband ordered. On top of the heaping mound of crunchy romaine lettuce, croutons, and shaved parmesan cheese was a pile of fresh shrimp that had been cooked to perfection.
A number of regional breweries, such as Barnstable Brewing, are featured on the beer list, and the cocktail menu features an array of creative concoctions, among which is a Spanky’s Original. The contents of this cocktail are a closely guarded secret, and guests are only allowed two servings each. This is one of the best restaurants on Cape Cod to visit if you’re looking for a place to enjoy a cocktail and some seafood.
Sesuit Harbor Café
357 Sesuit Neck Road, Dennis MA // (508) 385-6134
The Northside Marina and Cape Cod Bay may be seen from the windows of the Sesuit Harbor Café, which has been called the most beautiful dining room in the world. The waterside restaurant’s five-star lobster roll is only one of the reasons why loyal customers return again and again. Oysters, shrimp, and clams are all served raw and fresh at the bar. The chef loads the fried platters to the brim with the freshest fish that was caught in the immediate area.
Before you go in line to acquire your food, you are required to familiarize yourself with the shack’s regulations if you are a newcomer. The Café does not accept credit cards and is a bring your own beverage establishment. If there are more than two of you in your group, just one of you should wait in line and place your order. In the meanwhile, one of the others should go and scope out one of the most desirable picnic tables that are located near the lake. You may be able to steal a seat while other customers leave their tables.
The majority of the patrons at the restaurant bring plastic wine glasses, metal silverware, and tablecloths to adorn the table, although doing so is in no way required.
In the event that you forget to bring your own picnic supplies from home, the Sesuit Harbor Café stocks each picnic table with a roll of paper towels and baskets of plastic flatware.
As soon as you have placed your order, feel free to find a seat and enjoy watching the boats enter and exit the port.
If you are fortunate enough to be there on a night when the sky is clear, you may watch the sunset over the water as you slurp on some Wellfleet Oysters, chew on some fried fish, or take a bite out of one of the most delicious lobster rolls you have ever had.
Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar
3580 Route 6 Eastham, MA // (508) 255-2575
Arnold’s has been known as the restaurant on Cape Cod to go to for fried fish for the last four decades, earning it the title of “the place to go.” You may enjoy a late lunch, get a cone with quality gourmet ice cream, and complete your meal with 18 holes of mini-golf if you come during off-peak hours, despite the fact that the wait is lengthy. If you arrive during off-peak hours, you can also avoid the crowds. It is a great place for parents and children to hang out together.
You have the option of ordering a fresh salad, grilled chicken, Angus burgers, or foot-long hot dogs if you are not a fan of fried items. Bear in mind, however, that the delicate fried clams were awarded the title of “the greatest in the world” by Food & Wine Magazine. On the menu, there is baked cod, scallops, and salmon, all of which are great options for seafood lovers. In addition to that, they are experts in the preparation of lobster rolls, crab cakes, steamed lobsters, mussels, and steamers. Next to the bar is where you’ll find the raw bar. If you enjoy fried fish, the fried platters are big, particularly the dish of fried shoestring onion rings wrapped with a light and crispy batter. If you don’t like fried fish, the other options are available.
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We had the fried shrimp plate, and each shrimp was about the size of a golf ball. The batter is fluffy yet retains its crunch. Because we had heard such wonderful things about the onion rings, we decided to get them. They did not fail to meet expectations. The onions are sliced very thinly by the chef, who then fried them until they are so golden and crisp that they resemble onion straws. The whole dinner was just the right size for the two of us to split and enjoy together. Because they were just the right size for passing around, these plates should definitely be ordered with that in mind.
Miniature golf is both entertaining and difficult to play. You may enjoy playing 18 holes next to a pirate ship while also taking use of the water elements that are sprinkled around the course. The mist that is produced by the waterfalls is a delightful experience, and the rich landscape makes spending the day here a pleasurable pastime. If you want to get the classic experience of dining in Cape Cod eateries, this shack is ideal. The sole accepted form of payment is cash, however there are two ATMs on the site.
Bookstore & Restaurant
50 Kendrick Ave. Wellfleet, MA // (508) 349-3154
The Bookstore and Restaurant offers a breathtaking view of the tranquil Wellfleet Bay. It is located close to the hook of Billingsgate, which was formerly home to a whaling village that was destroyed by the ocean and subsequently buried. Since 1964, a member of the same family has owned and operated this restaurant. It is open for business on a 24-hour basis, serving lunch and supper each day in addition to brunch on the weekends.
The scenery is lovely, and the sunsets are breathtaking, but the fresh seafood from the surrounding area that is cooked using the proprietor’s own family traditions is what really sets this establishment apart from others. The Parlante family enjoys paying homage to both the Portuguese ancestry of the Cape and their own Italian heritage by combining the two cultures in their culinary creations.
The meals may be prepared with butter, wine, or marinara sauce, depending on the customer’s preference. You will have everything you need for a memorable evening if you order some of the restaurant’s signature dishes, such as Oyster Stew, Fruits of the Sea, and Portuguese Hot Pot, and pair them with hand-crafted cocktails, locally crafted beers, and an extensive wine selection. The seafood is freshly caught in the bay, and many customers make it a practice to stop in for a glass of wine, a freshly prepared dish of oysters or clams, and to watch the sun go down over Wellfleet as they do so.
We made the decision to do as the natives do and ordered a “six and six,” which is a platter consisting of six oysters and six clams and is accompanied with spicy cocktail sauce and fresh lemon slices. The Wellfleet oysters were shucked right in front of us by the helpful crew. Early on the morning, both the oysters and the clams were removed from the sea and prepared for consumption. After enjoying a glass of Sauvignon Blanc with my meal, I felt like I had died and gone to paradise.
A secondhand bookshop may be found in close proximity to the eatery. You will discover an extensive collection of vintage, antiquarian, and one-of-a-kind books, periodicals, and comic books at this location. The shelves are packed with obscure types and well-known works, all of which are excellent choices for a good read at the beach.
There are several restaurants up and down the Cape that are particularly proud of their cuisine. The wealth of the beach makes it possible to enjoy delectable, freshly prepared meals regardless of where you are. There is no need for complicated preparation; all that is required is a lobster that has been cooked and is accompanied by lemon and drawn butter
What seafood is Cape Cod known for?
Oysters, clams, lobsters, and fresh fish are just some of the delicacies that can be found on Cape Cod, which is famous for its seafood. Fresh seafood consumed while looking out over the water is, in our opinion, one of the most memorable experiences that can be had during a trip to Cape Cod.
What food is famous in Cape Cod?
Since Cape Cod has a long-standing reputation for the quality of its seafood, you won’t be able to find a single restaurant anywhere in the region that doesn’t offer seafood. Fried fish, and especially fried clams, is widely regarded as the pinnacle of culinary achievement on Cape Cod. Lobster that has been grilled and served with butter sauce is another popular dish.
What seafood is local Cape Cod?
There are several harbors across the Cape that are facilitating fishermen to legally sell their catch, a permitted program through National Marine Fisheries that was not utilized very frequently in the past. Some of the seafood varieties that fish lovers can buy fresh off the boat include scallops, lobster, haddock, and cod.
What seafood is Nantucket known for?
In spite of the fact that Nantucket is best known for its clams and scallops, there are many restaurants on the island that serve lobster just like our neighbors to the north in Maine. You can get it fresh from the fish market if that’s what you want, or you can look for something with a little more class if that’s what you’re after. There are plenty of options out there.
What is the very tip of Cape Cod called?
Long Point is a peninsula that may be found in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It is situated at the very end of Cape Cod, where the landform that makes up Cape Cod turns in on itself to form Provincetown Harbor. In the year 1827, the Long Point Lighthouse was constructed here on this point.