The Places to Eat & Shop in Provincetown and Cape Cod
- jmdhsmiami May 13, 2008 08:25 AM
Spending the month of August in Provincetown.
What are the "must dine" places in Cape Cod. We will have a car so we can drive outside of Provincetown. Looking for places that will have your eyes rolling into the back of your head!
Bakeries, butcher shops, seafood shops, vegetable stands/shops?
We want to have a list of all the places to get our grocery needs that will truly give us memorable meals cooked at home.
One of my "must haves" would be the Frozen Mudslides on the outside patio at the Euro. Food there is also pretty good but I couldn't visit P-Town without having a few of those killer mudslides.
I grew up in P'town and visit often. Some of these might not be the best food you've ever had, but a food experience you'll never forget.
- Front Street is just plain fantastic
- Sal's Place isn't what it used to be, but what it is is still a better dining experience than most. There are 3 dining areas, the front is like sitting in a painting, the back has an amazing view, and the wharf/deck is outside—and heaven.
- Spiritus' pizza is unique and perfect, best eaten at 'bar rush' 1-2 am. You might not want to try their espresso shake at that hour, but you should try it. Bocce in the back yard.
- Breakfast at Cafe Heaven or...
- Cafe Edwige have been reliably great
- The Penny Patch has better Fudge and candy than the place across the street
- The Governor Bradford Bar has Backgammon and Chess tables in the window on Commercial Street. The perfect place to blow rainy afternoons (sunny ones too for that matter)
If you get kicked out of the Bradford, stumble over to the...
- Old Colony Tap across the street, you'll be welcomed with open arms
- The Atlantic House is a gay bar with a century+ of amazing history. Your bartender can probably tell you all about it. Check it out late afternoon before it gets loud.
- Clem and Ursie's is a great seafood market and 'Seafood Shack' style restaurant. They have the old Fried standby's and lots of new twists (Jamaican and the best Sushi in town).
- Lemba's Health foods is very well stocked
- Farmer's market at Town Hall Saturday 11-4
+1 on Mac's in Wellfleet. Eat ON the beach! (Great Fish tacos)
- Hatch's, a beautiful ($$) vegetable stand and Fish market in the parking lot in the center of Wellfleet
- Babe's in North Truro has a nice simple breakfast for a change of place
I'll try to remember more, and I'll report back after my 20 yr class reunion in July!
don't forget about the drag karaoke at Gov Bradfords. the above list is great and complete, add Fanizzi's by the Sea and never sit in the back room. Paul, owner, a great guy. the Mews can be great but can be packed and the Red Inn is up and coming. I am hearing great things about the Crown and Anchor as well....Devons, in the gallery section of town has great breakfast.
Mac's in Wellfleet Harbor is fabulous, the menu is huge and varied and everything is wonderful. The grilled shrimp wrap is a standout. Arturo's in Eastham is also great, they are the third generation and make really good bread and pizza, have the best red sauce, sandwiches and everything else, eat in or take out. There is also a very good Thai restaurant in Eastham but I've forgotten the name.
Tera Luna in Truro is fabulous. Get the Malasadas (fried Portuguese pastry) at the bakery on Commercial St. I have eaten at Ross's Grill, The Mews, Red Inn and Fanazini's and enjoyed them all very much. Mews has a staggering vodka bar if I recall correctly. Friendly Fisherman in Eastham has the best lobster rolls, IMHO. YOU MUST go to the Beachcomber for music, drinks and views..the food is ok too. A real Cape Cod institution on Cahoon Hollow Beach in nearby Welfleet.
You crack me up!
Going to the cape again in September of 09..staying at Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster..stayed last year and wondered should we do the Brewster Fish House or do you have any other recommendations?
PTown is awesome and have a great time for the whole month of August JM and do try the masaladas!
In Provincetown, try The Commons for lunch, especially on the upstairs deck. Front Street has excellent food, but no view, the tea-smoked duck is impossible to pass up, but many other great selections.
Provincetown Portuguese Bakery, rabenadas (like a crispy cinnamon french toast) and malasadas (get it fresh).
Friendly Fisherman or Arnolds in Eastham for excellent seafood shack rolls and fried seafood.
Macs at the Wellfleet pier as others have noted, and Bookstore is not bad also in Wellfleet.
Venture to Orleans and snack at the Chocolate Sparrow: baked goods, great hot chocolate, teas and coffee. Abba has interesting and well-prepared cuisine, Israeli and Thai influences.
If you make it to Brewster, the tiny Brewster Fish House has perhaps the best, most consistent fish cooking on the Cape. They don't take reservations, so expect a wait during August, even if you arrive at 5:00pm opening.
There is a wonderful, if tiny, market at the east end of Commercial St. Great produce, bread, fish...Really nice atmosphere. If you have time, My Provincetown, a book by Amy Whorf chronicles spending summers there and the accompanying food. It seems the specialty of the local Dairy Queen was the kale soup made by the Portuguese employees. Lucky you-the month of August!!! Have a great time.
You have to try Terra Luna just outside of P-town in Truro. They have something called a summer chowder that is amazing (especially if you like clam chowder). It's an eclectic mix of food and atmosphere. In the warmer weather, most of the greens in the salads and the spices they use are grown right there in the gardens surrounding the place.
Interestingly people seem to only recommend places that have been around forever, regardless of how things developed over time.
Both L'uva and Chesters, as great as they were, are not around any longer.
On the other hand some of the old standbys have seriously deterioriated. I think it is about time to suggest some newer establishments, that have been doing a really nice job. I suggest:
1) Jimmy's for drinks
2) Devon's for breakfast
3) Patio for cocktails and seafood
4) Edwige for elegant food
5) Purple feather for ice cream
All these establishments are great.
I too would have mentioned Edwige for food, but will never go back there again after a couple of bad experiences with snooty, rude service, and we were as easygoing and undemanding as anyone I know. They have used a terrible answering machine reservation system, diners call and leave a message and your phone number. Then show up and find out they have no intention of honoring your requested reservation time, and could not be bothered to call to say the time was unavailable. That was the first time; the second time, they decided not to open one evening in high season. When I stopped by during the next day's brunch hour to ask what had happened (thinking an emergency had arisen or some such), they just said they took a night off, and laughed at my suggestion that it might have been appropriate to have called those who had left a message for a reservation that night. Their food can be pretty decent, but not worth putting up with those kinds of antics.
Ending day 2 of our month in Provincetown and wondering if anyone else has any input as to recent dining experiences etc. Any update on the level of service at Victor's? Also, before a show, where would one recommend going for pre-theatre dinner?
Any additional insights are appreciated!
I had my HS reunion earlier this month and had an absolutely fantastic time. I'm now in daily contact with people I haven't seen for decades. My wife was so jealous of my trip that we went back out two days later.
but the food.
I'm sad to report that Sal's Place is a very, very dim shadow of it's former self. I cannot recommend. The view is still wonderful, and it has rustic charm, but the experience was just plain bad.
Edwige for elegant food
This place has been there since the 70's, so, while no newcomer, it is great food. I had breakfast and can't comment on the service as it was a friend's mom, so I was treated well. The food was excellent, the portion a little skimpy.
Clem & Ursie's has changed. There's a hostess, it's more expensive, and it's not as homey as it once was. Takeout is still available, but it doesn't seem they have sushi anymore. Due to immigration restrictions, there are MANY fewer Jamaicans working in town, so C&U's Jamaican dishes seem to be gone too (unless I just couldn't read their crazy menu). We sat down, got up and had Chowder to go. It was awesome.
The Health Food store had a new name, but it's the same.
Babe's in Truro didn't really look open, but still give it a shot.
The whole town seems to be WiFi-ed. You can pretty much crack open a computer anywher and get a signal (from someone). The library, is in a new building, and I'd be amazed if there's a library with a better view anywhere. The architects and builders did a great job.
I'll second (or third or whatever) all of these:
Terra Luna is indeed fantastic.
The Brewster Fish House is a treat. It's pretty far from PTown if you're trying to stay local.
Wellfleet is as far as you need to stray from town (folks that vacation other places just don't understand) and Mac's is great. Fish Burritos!
Enjoying P-Town and have hit a few places. So far, the restaurant at the Crown & Anchor has been impressive. Small menu, but some good entrees. We went two nights in a row and look forward to going back before our departure after Labor Day.
Frappo 66 has a very good lunch/dinner and we have been there twice for lunch and once for dinner. Still many places to explore, I want to give Victor's a try as well. Any other suggestions or comments are welcome!
Just returned from a short vacation in Eastham. First stop was the Friendly Fisherman, where we picked up lobster rolls and an order of onion rings. The lobster rolls were overflowing with lobster and very good, could have filled a sub roll 3x as big as the hot dog roll they were in. We ate about half, bought some bread and lobster bisque cheese spread at the market next door, and enjoyed a great lobster sandwich the next day on the beach. Oh and the onion rings were good too, of the thin variety.
After checking into our cottage, we walked down to Thumpertown Beach for a swim and a look over the bay. Later one of the best sunsets I've ever seen. Dinner was at Mahoney's Atlantic Grill in Orleans, and I can't say enough good things about the place. We arrived about 8:30 and waited 10 minutes for the table. The 50 foot mahogany bar area was lively and the staff and customers were friendly. We ordered a chardonnay from the large wine list, and brought it to our table.
A basket of warm bread and butter started us off, followed by soups (kale and linguica sausage for me, clam chowder for companion) and a spinach and goat cheese salad. For the main course I went with an appetizer, the blackened shrimp and scallops. Companion had dual soft-shelled crabs with green beans and couscous. Everything was delicious and the service was exemplary too. Our waitress noticed when we ran out of butter and brought more without being asked, and was extremely helpful and knowledgable with a variety of questions about the area (it was our first time in Eastham).
Afterward we headed to the Chocolate Sparrow right across the street for fresh-roast coffee. Their organic french roast is very strong and very dark.
For breakfast the next day we wanted to be by the water, so we drove a few miles north to Wellfleet harbor and the Bookstore. This place is a somewhat unusual mix of a large new and used bookstore with the restaurant and a bar called the Bombshelter, all with separate entrances. It sits on a beach road above the famous Wellfleet oyster beds, where it was low tide and the oystermen were already at work with their nets. It would have been nice to sit on the second floor deck for a better view, but it was closed that morning so we ate alfresco on the first floor deck instead.
Coffee was decent and the food was better than decent. I had a spinach and lingica omelet with home fries and companion had blueberry pancakes. Both very satisfying.
Dinner that night was in Provincetown. I'd read some posts from chowhounders about a variety of restaurants there, but we came to the main downtown walking area and it appears most of the restaurants mentioned (Red Inn, Mews, Fanuzzis, etc.) are elsewhere. We wound up at Bubalas, outdoors and right on the strip, hoping to see some jazz later although that turned out to be disappointingly amateurish and short as well. The place was closing by 11PM, which seemed awfully early for a town that's supposed to be a hot spot.
Anyway the food was pretty good. Two baskets of bread with olive oil and a slice from a fresh roasted bulb of garlic, great presentation and although listed at $3.50 per basket we were not ultimately charged for it. Then a spinach salad (yes, again) and the highlight of the meal, a basket of native steamers, which were tender and delicious. Companion had creole shrimp scampi for a main course and I had the chef's scallops presentation which turned out to have the same lemony pasta base as the shrimp scampi. Both were good but unexceptional, and there could have been more shrimp. We finished with some disappointing coffee.
By far the best coffee I had on the Cape was at Frappo66 in Provincetown, also known as the Art House. This is right downtown and only in it's second year. In addition to coffee, they have an intriguing buffet they call "fine food fast" overseen by owner and CIA graduate Steven Frappoli. You can choose one entree and 3 sides and I definitely plan to try this on another visit, since it looked great and had the classic CIA-style serving presentation as well.
Our last day was mostly leftovers and quick snacks but I will make a recommend for the take-out rollwiches at the Box Lunch on Route 6 in Eastham. Basically these are well-stuffed wraps with a wide variety of seafood, meats and other filings. I had the Priscilla Alden with turkey, cranberries and swiss cheese and companion had the Porkey Goes Hawaiian with ham, pineaplle and 3 melted cheeses. Both were delicious and a perfect take-out for biking and the beach.
Looking forward to many return visits to Eastham!