Whether you live on Cape Cod or are just visiting this summer, everyone runs into the same problem at one point or another. Where to find the best restaurants on the Cape? There are so many choices of restaurants, a lot boasting to have the best lobster roll, clam strips or burgers. Who should you believe? We here at Leighton Realty compiled a list of our favorite eats around the Cape (with a little help from our other local friends) to give you the scoop on where you should eat this summer.
We divided our search into three areas. The first is the Brewster – Wellfleet end of Cape Cod, the second is the Harwich – Chatham section and the third is the Dennis – Centerville section of Cape Cod. This way, no matter where you find yourself, you will find the best restaurants on Cape Cod.
Best Lobster Rolls
Summer officially starts when you have your first lobster roll on the Cape. Where should you go to kick off your summer right? Here are a few of our favorites:
Eastham: Lobster Shanty: One of our staffers (and her family) had a lobster roll off, trying all of the establishments on the outer cape to see who really had the best lobster roll. The decision was the Lobster Shanty had the best roll they had found on the outer cape.
Dennis: Sesuit Harbor: It was unanimous that the Sesuit Harbor had the best lobster roll in all of Dennis. Everyone on our staff that answered for the town of Dennis agreed that their lobster rolls are the best in town.
Hyannis: Baxters: Baxter’s was named the best lobster roll in the Hyannis area, which is not surprising considering its setting. It is a casual family friendly restaurant located right on the beautiful Hyannis Harbor.
Best Clam Strips
Clamming is a big industry on Cape Cod. Out on the clam flats, you can find people of every age and every social economic category digging for clams whether it be to sell or enjoy for themselves. Here are our favorite places to find the best clam strips on the Cape:
Brewster: JT’s: When a vacation tenant comes into our office asking where they should go for the best clam strips, we always recommend JT’s on Route 6A in Brewster. They have recently been named as having the best clam strips on the Lower Cape, and we agree!
Chatham: Kream ‘n Kone: For over 3 decades, this family owned business has been serving up some of the best clam strips in Chatham. Choose from a side, a plate or a platter (which comes with onion rings). You won’t be disappointed!
Dennis: Original Seafood: In 1953, the Original Seafood Restaurant opened its doors and gave residents and tourists alike delicious fresh seafood prepared with their own unique batter recipes. These recipes have kept the people coming back ever since for their delicious clam strips!
Best Fried Fish
This beautiful sandbar is called Cape Cod for a reason. Where can you find the best of what this fishing community has to offer for fresh fried fish? Here are our top picks for the best eats:
Eastham: Arnold’s: Arnold’s on Route 6 is known for having fresh local seafood at an affordable price, and we agree! After dinner finish off your night with a round of mini golf right next door and some ice cream from Richardson’s Farm, which they carry in the restaurant.
Chatham: The Squire: The Chatham Squire is a Chatham institution. Locals and tourists alike know that when you’re in Chatham, you need to make a stop at the Squire. Their locally caught fried fish keeps them coming back all year long.
Dennis: Ocean House: The Ocean House overlooks Nantucket Sound on Depot Street. We are big fans of this fried fish because fish is crusted with a Cape Cod potato chip crust! You can’t get more Cape Cod than that!
Sometimes you just want a really good burger, it’s summer after all! Where can you go to find a nice juicy burger without breaking out the grill? Here are our picks for top burger joints on Cape Cod:
Orleans: The Knack: The Knack opened its doors last year as a seasonal burger joint, and it has already developed a loyal following. Well seasoned juicy burgers with a variety of toppings keep us coming back for more every season.
Dennis: The Red Nun: The new Red Nun location on Route 28 in Dennis has received rave reviews from locals looking for a good burger in town. Their burgers are all served on English muffins with a few different fry options as a side (such as sweet potato, potato and sometimes even zucchini).
Yarmouth: Red Face Jack’s: Red Face Jack’s is known for well stacked burgers you will not find anywhere else on the Cape. They also offer gluten free burger options on their menu.
Best Ice Cream
Summer means ice cream. The weather is hot, and ice cream is so cold and tasty. With an ice cream shop practically on every corner throughout the Cape, which ones stand out as the best? Here are our choices:
Orleans: Local Scoop: The Local Scoop in Orleans is a make your own ice cream / frozen yogurt / dairy free ice cream shop that has something for everybody. Dress your favorite frozen treat with a variety of toppings which include Nutella whipped cream!
Harwich/Dennis: Sundae School: The Sundae School is a favorite for many families (as you could probably tell by their often filled parking lots). Their ice cream has been recognized numerous times as Cape Cod’s Best, and many of their loyal customers would agree.
Centerville: Four Seas: A favorite for locals, tourists and even celebrities who visit the Cape. It is said that Harry Connick Jr. is a huge fan of the ice cream shop and can even be seen ordering there during the summer months.
Brewster: Oki Sushi: Oki Sushi is a great take out sushi restaurant for when you want to enjoy some fast and fresh sushi without having to leave your house!
Chatham: Bluefins Sushi & Saki Bar: The owner of Bluefins owns fish markets throughout the Cape and Islands, so you know the sushi is fresh off the boat! The innovative and tasty rolls keep the recently renovated restaurant hopping year round!
Hyannis: Misaki Sushi: If you ask anyone on our staff, they will tell you that if you’re in the Hyannis area and looking for a place to go for some great sushi, you need to check out Misaki’s.
Best Vegetarian Options
Cape Cod has a number of restaurants for vegetarians to enjoy during their vacation when looking for a night out, but which ones provide the best variety and tastiest options? Here are our favorite restaurants that offer the best vegetarian options:
Brewster: Karma Restaurant: Karma is a new restaurant that just opened up in Brewster on Route 6A. The menu has vegan and gluten free options. This restaurant has generated a lot of buzz and excitement already with our staffers, so check it out!
Dennis: Clean Slate: This restaurant started off as a pop up, but then put down roots in West Dennis. Clean Slate offers two menus that change weekly, a traditional menu and a vegetarian menu. The menu is locally sourced and fresh. It is a one of a kind of experience.
Hyannis: Green Lotus: The Green Lotus is where it all began on Cape Cod for vegetarian and vegan dining, as it was the first on Cape Cod. To this day, it is still a breakfast and lunch favorite, open year round making deliveries during the off season.
Eastham: Laura & Tony’s: Laura & Tony’s has an all you can eat breakfast buffet filled with freshly made home cooked classics. If you stop for a late breakfast, take advantage of their $3 mimosas and bloody Mary’s!
Chatham: Hanger B: Located at the Chatham Airport, this is a one of a kind experience with exceptional food. The menu is a blend of old fashioned favorites along with some new favorites.
Yarmouth: Keltic Kitchen: Looking for a traditional Irish Breakfast? Look no further than the Keltic Kitchen. Their staff, the feeling of the place and of course the food will keep you coming back.
Brewster: Brewster Fish House: Brewster Fish House is a small establishment located on Route 6A Brewster that is a must go for locals, and was named one of the top 50 by Zagat for their unique and flavorful cuisine.
Chatham: Chatham Fish & Lobster: Chatham Fish and Lobster has fresh fish and shellfish directly from local fishermen. Enjoy creamy, fresh clam chowder without having to make it yourself!
Yarmouth: Captain Parker’s: Captain Parker’s is famous for their clam chowder. They have been given numerous awards for their chowder and have been recognized by the Food Network as having America’s best chowder.
The best restaurants on Cape Cod – Mid & Outer Cape
When going out for breakfast, lunch or dinner around Cape Cod, take out the guess work and check out our best eats on the Mid to Outer Cape!