Eat to live or live to eat? Ahh, the perennial question. Rich and I consider ourselves “professional eaters” and feel that we have a personal obligation to our guests to sample as many Cape Cod dining options as we can so that we can make the appropriate restaurant recommendation for our guests according to their preferences. Whether you are looking for a local seafood place, a restaurant with a view of the water, a fine dining establishment, or a place with casual atmosphere and an eclectic menu, the sheer variety of restaurant choices on Cape Cod is endless. Many of these restaurants are located within a 5 to 15 minute drive of our bed and breakfast inn, but a few are a bit further afield.
Here for your reference is a brief summary of some of our personal favorite restaurants, along with some our guests have tried and recommended to us. We hope this will help you choose the perfect setting for your Cape Cod dining adventures.
The restaurants are grouped according to style (casual to elegant) with notes regarding whether reservations are required, recommended, or unavailable, along with location, phone number, and hours of operation. A few restaurants on the list are only open seasonally and we have noted them as such.
CASUAL DINING, RESERVATIONS NOT REQUIRED, BUT RECOMMENDED
Amari Ristorante 674 Route 6A East Sandwich (508) 375-0011
Italian restaurant offering contemporary Italian fare including steaks, seafood, poultry, and brick-oven pizzas, an amazing wine list and a cosmopolitan bar. Reservations accepted. Music on weekends in the bar.
The Beehive Tavern 406 Route 6A Sandwich (508) 833-1184 (Lunch & Dinner)
Styled on a classic English pub, the interior is warm, cozy, and authentic. The menu is diverse, with a great selection of salads or sandwiches for a light meal, plus a full menu of entrees as well. Fresh fish, prime rib, and interesting specials, with an emphasis on local produce and fish.
Pilot House 14 Gallo Road Sandwich, MA (508) 888-8889 (Lunch & Dinner)
The restaurant offers quality dining with a global flair at moderate prices in a casual atmosphere. Aqua Grille is located at the Sandwich Marina and Cape Cod Canal on Gallo Road adjacent to the Coast Guard station. The menu features Cape Cod favorites such as native fish and lobster, as well as a wide variety of other fares. Call for reservations and ask for a table on the enclosed porch for a spectacular view of the sunset.
Island Merchant 302 Main Street Hyannis (508) 771-1337
The Island Merchant is an East End restaurant & lounge serving regional cuisine with an island flair. Featuring entertainment nightly with no cover charge. Menu items include pulled pork on savory bread pudding, fish tacos, macaroni and cheese and imaginative salads. Reservations accepted.
The Dolphin 3250 6A Barnstable (508) 362-6610 (Lunch & dinner)
New American cuisine. Amid the more typical fried fish you’ll find such delicacies as Chilean sea bass with roasted corn salsa and lime vinaigrette, roast duck with mango glaze and toasted coconut, or arctic char with caramelized onions and citrus butter. Lots of local color in the bar and fun, friendly service. Call 45 minutes ahead to be placed on their preferred waiting list.
CASUALLY ELEGANT DINING, MOST WILL REQUIRE RESERVATIONS
Brewster Fish House 2208 Main Street, Brewster (508) 896-7867 (Lunch & Dinner) This is a personal favorite, especially for a leisurely lunch. A unique, eclectic menu with an emphasis on local seafood that changes seasonally. Preparations are simple, elegant and always fresh. Open most of the year. No reservations accepted. During the busy summer months the wait can be up to 2 hours. You may want to have a late lunch or early dinner to avoid the crowds.
Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse 4 Depot Road, Harwich 508-432-6900
Authentic Tuscan cuisine makes this a must for connoisseurs of Italian food and wine. Two veal dishes, one cooked in red wine, balsamic butter and sun dried cherries and roasted tomatoes, the other in white wine with lemon, capers and parsley, top the mouth-watering offerings. The Cicciucco, the establishment’s signature seafood stew, features a sumptuous blend of cherrystones, mussels, scallops, calamari, shrimp and the day’s fresh catch in a rich tomato sauce. The wine list, recognized by Wine Spectator, includes some 30 wines by the glass and includes offerings from many small Italian vineyards.
The Roadhouse 488 South Street Hyannis (508) 775-2386
The menu offers native seafood, including cioppino and Cajun blackened poached salmon steak, choice beef, pasta dinners and Italian specialties. For those looking for lighter fare, the Bistro offers both the regular dinner menu and the bistro menu, which consists of salads, sandwiches and authentic Italian thin crust pizza. Piano bar with music on weekends and jazz on Monday nights. Reservations accepted.
Ocean House 421 Old Wharf Road (end of Depot Street) Dennisport (508) 394-0700
“New American Bistro & Bar”. Get there early for a prized window table. They have a seasonal menu of contemporary fusion cuisine with local influence. The wine list is extensive with 20 wines by the glass. Enjoy innovative martinis, specialty cocktails and a unique culinary experience at this stylish oceanfront restaurant.
Naked Oyster 20 Independence Drive Hyannis (508) 778-6500
Specializing in fresh seafood, the Naked Oyster Bistro & Raw Bar brings a chic, urban, but casual vibe to Hyannis. The owner has an oyster grant in Barnstable Harbor, so oysters are as fresh as possible. The chef incorporates local produce and fresh seafood into the restaurant’s offerings and adjusts his specials menu weekly to reflect seasonal changes not only in produce and fish, but also in meats and fowl.
ELEGANT DINING, RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
Belfry Bistro 8 Jarves Street Sandwich (508) 888-8550
Dinners at the Belfry are consistently reviewed by our guests as “the best meal they ever had. Featuring contemporary American cuisine, the menus change with the seasons, and incorporate the freshest local and regional ingredients. The setting is unique, created from an old church and restored with respect to its original purpose. Extensive wine list, patio seating, piano bar.
Chillingsworth 2449 Main Street Route 6A, Brewster (508) 896-3640
Creative modern French cuisine. Multi course, table d’Hote dinners, very formal atmosphere with old fashion attention to detail. Bistro café open for lunch for a more casual American a la carte meals. Incredible pastries! Open from May- November. Business casual dress with reservations recommended.
Red Pheasant 905 Route 6A, Dennis 508-385-2133.
Creative classic American food with an emphasis on native seafood, lamb and game. Romantic, cozy atmosphere. The food is absolutely first class, not only in flavor but in presentation as well. Open year round for dinner with reservations recommended. Dress code casual to formal.
ETHNIC & UNIQUE DINING
Inaho 157 Main St., (Rte. 6A) Yarmouth Port (508) 362-5522
Yuji Watanabe, the chef-owner of the Cape’s best Japanese restaurant, makes early morning journeys to Boston’s fish markets to shop for the freshest local catch. His selection of sushi and sashimi is vast and artful, and vegetable and seafood tempura comes out of the kitchen fluffy and light. One remarkable element of the restaurant is its artful lighting: small pinpoint lights on the food accentuate the presentation in a dramatic way. The serene and simple Japanese garden out back has a traditional goldfish pond. Closed Mon. No lunch.
Misaki 379 West Main Street Hyannis (508) 771-3771 (Lunch & Dinner)
Operated by Ota Torao, a professional sushi chef with over 28 years experience, Misaki offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with authentic Japanese style. We like to sit at the sushi bar and watch the chef artfully prepare his dishes.
The Optimist Cafe, 134 Route 6A Yarmouthport (508) 362-1024
This is a wonderful new addition to dining choices along 6A serving breakfast, lunch, and high tea in a restored Victorian building with a casual, but tasteful decor. Soups are wonderfully imaginative and portions are plentiful. An extensive selection of teas (hot or cold), generous sandwiches, blue plate specials, plus a traditional ploughman’s lunch, scones with clotted cream, and tea sandwiches. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and high tea.