Every summer for the week of July 4th, I look forward to camping on Cape Cod with my boyfriend and his family – a tradition of theirs that spans ~15 years back. With miles of surf, sand and unspoiled natural landscapes, it is a magical place to visit in the summer. Having been there for the past four years, I’ve gotten to sample a wide variety of restaurants on Cape Cod and take tabs on which ones are worth the while. (Most of these are located between Wellfleet and Provincetown since we camp on the outer Cape). So whether you’re camping in the woods like us, or lounging in a seaside cabin, here are the best places to eat.
View from the Pilgrim Monument
After lazing the day away in the sun, you’re gonna want an ice cold lemonade and a juicy lobster roll. I recommend heading to Mac’s Seafood, located on Wellfleet harbor. Mac’s is a casual spot serving the freshest local catch in the form of sandwiches, salads, tacos, etc. You order at the counter, then get to enjoy lunch at one of the ocean-view picnic tables.
Fried oyster po’ boy with spicy mayo
If you’re eating with a crowd and don’t want to be asked to “keep it down”, check out PJ’s or Moby Dick’s. Both offer casual seafood-heavy menus and are sure to have something for everyone. The plates are made of paper and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight, so you are free to let your ravenous, beach air-induced hunger run wild. Bonus: Moby Dick’s is BYOB!
If at any point during your stay you feel like getting out of your denim cut-offs and into real clothes, head over to Victor’s for a more upscale dinner experience. Located in a beautiful cottage home, Victor’s is known for generously-portioned tapas and strong cocktails, so be sure to bring a handful of friends so you can sample more of the menu. (Google may recommend The Mews for this purpose but it’s lying to you. While the service there is great, the menu is outdated and the cocktails unimpressive).
If you’re looking for an eggy brunch with jazz, cocktails, bottomless coffee and an oceanside view, The Red Inn is your spot. Located in an old sea captain’s home, this place is classy without being stuffy and the food is made with care. This year we came here on a gray rainy day – let me tell you, there is no better way to enjoy poopy weather on the Cape than with a warm croissant breakfast sandwich and a cocktail.
The Patio may be right in the middle of Commercial Street – P-town’s busiest street – but that doesn’t take away from it being a sleek, relaxing place to enjoy a midday glass of rosé and some upscale snacks. It’s a nice destination for a date, or to hang out solo and people-watch.
The Portuguese Bakery in Provincetown is not to be missed. My fellow carb-lovers will love the freshly baked breads and pastries, warm sugar doughnuts, as well as the store’s specialty, malasadas – crispy deep-fried dough coated in powdered sugar (these are displayed in the window so you can’t miss ’em). More inland, you can satisfy your bready cravings at PB Boulangerie in Wellfleet.
Should you happen to desire a cold-pressed juice or vegan cookie, or have a spirulina emergency (hey, it could happen), 141 Market on Bradford Street is there for you. They’ve got everything from imported olive oils and French cheeses, to whole grain breads and prepared foods.
What are your favorite addresses on Cape Cod?