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Cape Ann? Gloucester?

  • b

Anything terrrrrific north towards Cape Ann/Gloucester a first time visitor absolutely should not miss? (I got recs for Ipswich...)

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  1. n

    The Franklin Cafe in Gloucester...they have a slightly different menu than the South End location, and a different vibe...just as fantastic. It's on Main Street (I think). Prices are 20 and under for everything

    2 Replies
    1. re: NickCambridge

      I just saw the summer menu and if memory serves there were a few entree items $23/24.

      1. re: SEH

        interesting....I haven't been there in about a year, and I don't remember that. So, they're chaniging their tune it seems... I wonder if they are going to start that creep down here, too. Too bad...that was one of their great selling points for so long...excellent food at affordable prices.

    2. 1/2 way to Gloucester in Essex - The Village Restaurant is a long-time standby.

      6 Replies
      1. re: applehome

        The Village serves stodgy 'standard' New England food (the baked stuffed haddock was decent, but the overcooked asparagus and Uncle Ben's-type rice pilaf wasn't). I wouldn't waste my time and $ here; much better to eat at Essex Seafood (also on this stretch of Rt 133 but closer to Gloucester), Farnhams or even Woodman's. They're seafood shacks but you'll get good fried clams, onion rings, and clam chowder as well as lobster. Plus the latter two have pretty marsh views.

        I second the rec fo Franklin Cape Ann on Main St, Gloucester - never disappoints, and always reasonably priced.

        Duckworth's Bistro in East Gloucester is another treasure, but will cost more than FCA.

        Here are some recent posts on Gloucester dining:




        As a bonus, I've included a thread on some of the best ice cream stands on the North Shore :

        1. re: ju

          Besides all these, my boss just ate at Alchemy off Main St. Glouc. and can't stop raving about it. Says it's less cramped than Duckworth and he loved the lobster risotto.

          1. re: Joanie

            I'm very fond of Alchemy. Can get v.g. brick oven pizza &/or lots of entree selections too. We've been several times, w/ several different visitors and everyone is always really happy with it.

          2. re: ju

            I highly recommend either Farnham's or Essex Seafood for clams. Essex clams are a bit better and Farnham's tartar sauce has the edge but both are great and you'd be missing a real New England experience if you pass them by.

            BUT definitely take bug spray if you want to sit outside. The mosquitos can be brutal in the evening by the marsh. This makes it sound like an unappealing experience but it's not. Just fair warning.

            1. re: ju

              IMHO, The Village Restaurant does not serve "stodgy standard New England food", unless by that you mean delicious, fresh seafood. I have had fried fish and seafood at Woodmans, Essex Seafood, Farnhams and The Clam Box, and I prefer the Village Restaurant. I do agree, however, that the atmosphere is a bit "stodgy" but not the food.

              1. re: ju

                I second Farnhams if you are coming when it's open. I really enjoy their lobster rolls and fried clams. It's also more affordable and less touristy than Woodman's. I personally enjoy the seafood shack feel.

            2. The Lobster Pool in Rockport (near Halibut Point) is an excellent clam shack overlooking Ipswich Bay. I like it better than Woodman's, and it's a lot less crowded.

              1. Franklin Cafe - excellent
                As is Essex Seafood

                I have gotten rather fond of Lobsta Land on the way out of Gloucester. Go Slow after the bridge over the Annisquam or you will miss it on your right.

                Large menu, excellent food across the board.

                Lobsta Land
                (978) 281-0415 10 Causeway St
                Gloucester, MA 01930

                Course there is always O'fado in Peabody which I posted about yesterday. Really worth the trip.

                1. I love Boulevard Oceanview in Gloucester. Great Portugese style seafood - paella easily serves 3 and has a whole lobster on top. A bargain at about $25. Also love the baby clams, pork and fried potatoes in madeira sauce.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FoonFan

                    Have to throw in a dissenting opinion here - have previously posted about my bad experience there (see link below).

                    Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                  2. I agree with the rec. for the LobsterShack(is that the right name?) way up 127 near halibut point. I can't even remember what we eat, but if you eat outside you will never find a better sunset view. It feels like you are in the middle of the ocean in a far off place. Last couple time I was in Gloucester, I couldnt get past The Causeway, next to the movie theater on 133. Its small, very casual, usually a wait, no atmoshphere, but really really good, extremely fresh and extremely abundant portions of italian and seafood for cheap eat prices. Tried haddock, shrimp scampi, swordfish, and saw the fried fishermans platter which looked fantastic and the people eating it loved it. Its so smalll and busy I hate to even send more people there! Also, we got married at the Ocean View on Bass Rocks and the food was really good and creative and fresh, in an elegant, charming atmosphere with a great coastal view, but i dont know how the restaurant is at this point(that was five years ago) I think its very pricey now. Anyone eat there recently?We used to like to sit out on the harbor at Capt Carlos when it was casual, but havent been back since it got fancier (i think whoopie goldberg is connected somehow now) They have jazz and reggae by the water i think. Anyone been there?

                    1. Just got back from several days in the Gloucester & Rocky Neck area. I found most of the fancy places pretentious with quite ordinary food. Here are the two recommendations I can make: in Rocky Neck I did like The Studio. It's not quite as fancy as The Rudder or Madfish, but it has a simpler menu with "bar items" and salads that make respectable summer fare. The other place I can highly recommend is SMOKIN' JIM'S BAR-B-Q. It's take-out food but it is first class BBQ. Pulled pork, two kinds of ribs, slaw, etc. Give it a try. It's the least expensive meal you'll get by Rocky Neck, but probably the best!

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Cueball

                        Village Restaurant??? Ewwwwwww, no way. Sister restaurant of Alchemy just opened in Glosta, called Latitude 43, WOW what a place, if you want to taste the best sushi you ever had give this place a visit, on the pricey side but I don't mind paying the extra for stuff like this.

                        1. re: Sicilian Kooseen

                          In Gloucester, there is Passports, Halibut Point are OK, for cheap eats that are great The Causway is awesome. For higher end try the Franklin Cafe or Duckworth. Avoid Woodman's and Smokin Jim's at all costs, both are terrible.

                          1. re: treb

                            Oceanview Blvd is NOT the Portuguese place anymore unfortunately.

                            My local faves: Ithaki in Ipswich, Calas in Manchester, The Village in Essex, Franklin, Gloucester & Lat 43 is quite a hit but still has some kinks to work out. Alchemy is resting on its laurels but has done nothing for me lately. Essex Seafood is better than Woodmans by far and Farhnams will reopen in early March. Eddy's in Ipswich has been good but I have not been lately

                            1. re: ipsofatso

                              "Lat 43 is quite a hit but still has some kinks to work out. "

                              Agreed 100%, every restaurant that opens has some things they need to work on, Lat 43 is an eye opening place, the decor is absolutley stunning, they do need to work on food presentation and work the kinks out of some of the dishes, by this summer it should be a huge hit in G-town.

                              1. re: Sicilian Kooseen

                                I'm very excited to hear this place has finally opened.

                                Gloucester Times said that Alchemy would close for a bit after Lat 43 opened for some renovations.

                              2. re: ipsofatso

                                I think Alchemy is closed for the month for renovations to the kitchen. I was there on 1/30/07 and they were closing the next day, reportedly for a month, but what with the usual construction delays, maybe more. I would definitely call. The food choices are broad, and usually range from good to extraordinary.

                                1. re: BillieJean

                                  there is an ownership group on Cape Ann that owns Calas, Lobstaland, Alchemy, Latitude 43 and maybe one other...but they generally run a tight ship with good menu options and generally high standards across the board.