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Jun 30, 2008 11:40 AM

Dining on the Cape

I'm taking my husband on his first trip to Cape Cod. I haven't been there since I was a teenager and can't think of a single place to take him out for lunch or dinner. We don't have much of a budget so reasonably priced is best. Any ideas/recommendations?

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  1. You need to tell us when, where & what you're looking for first.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Taralli

      We have no real schedule. I thought of taking him to Provincetown for a bit. On the way back home we were going to stop in Brewster to see some relatives. We love seafood and good beer or wine.

      1. re: swconnor

        If you want casual and good fried food (clams, onoin rings, etc), Arnold's in Eastham is an institution but be advised there will long lines starting around 11 AM and continuing all day; In Brewster, the Brewster Fish House is supposed to be excellent; and people rave about Abba in Orleans for more upscale dining.

        1. re: bakerboyz

          Locals consider Arnold's a tourist rip. Try Sir Crickets in Orleans or Sesuit Cafe in East Dennis.

        2. re: swconnor

          I highly recommend stopping at PJs on Route 6 at Cahoon Hollow Road (near the turn off for Wellfleet Center). The food is much better than Arnold's though it is BYO. There is a good liquor store just up 6 if you want to bring wine or beer. Try the lobster rolls, homemade onion rings, clam chowder, any of the fried fish/seafood, and ice cream. You won't be sorry.

          1. re: swconnor

            ps I also love Mac's Shack on Commercial Street in Wellfleet center. They do have a liquor license and some of the best seafood around.

            1. re: LJW

              We saw the posts on this place and decided to go to Mac's Shack. We were very underwhelmed with the ok fried clams and haddock, not to mention being out over $50.

              1. re: Shooley

                You ordered badly; focus on the sushi there.

        3. Could I politely piggyback, and ask for thoughts a bit closer in to Boston - Dennis,Yarmouth, possibly Barnstable and Hyannis (maybe even closer in to Boston...)? We'll be a large group - 7 adults and 2 pre-teens, so "comfortable" is important, but so is quality, and preferably interesting food. (At one end, Italian would be preferable to steak, and at the other - we love food from around the world! Good seafood - obviously more likely on the Cape then good Cambodian ;) - is also fine). Thanks!

          2 Replies
          1. re: fredid

            I have not been yet but for the best Italian on the upper cape many recommend Siena at the Mashpee Commons.

            1. re: bakerboyz

              Fredid -- you won't find ethnic food on the Cape like you would in the city.
              For Cambodian there's Sitr Crazy, on Rte 28, about 3 miles south of the Bourne Bridge -- way too far from you to be a practical choice.
              In Hyannis you might try Hannah for Asian / fusion -- Binh, the chef owner, is the real thing, not just some guy following recipes. Nothing on the menu is too too exotic, though -- this is the Cape!

              I second the previous writer regarding Siena -- especially for a big group with a range of ages. Siena is our top pick for taking out visitors. Menu does have the dishes that the locals insist on, but also plenty of real Italian surprises. Excellent seafood stew. Excellent scallops on top of a bacon risotto -- yum. Make a reservation.

          2. Reasonably priced, and seafood oriented, try Mac's Seafood at the Wellfleet harbor, or the Bookstore just past the harbor. In Provincetown, most of the better choices are not necessarily value priced, though Napis and Lobster Pot are touristy places with some lower priced items. Post Office or The Commons are okay for lunch. In Eastham, Arnolds is a great deal, fried seafood and exceptional onion rings, as well as a raw bar and some steamed choices.

            In the Brewster area, you are best off going into Orleans, try Land Ho, Mahoney's Atlantic Grill, or Cooke's Seafood at routes 28 and 6A. Some people like Joe's Beach Road Bar & Grille, it's more like chain food from a local establishment, not too overpriced.

            Brewster Fish House is expensive but excellent, it has few seats and may require a wait, it's about the only local place my Brewster friends frequent.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Dan D

              I suggest Moby Dick's on route 6 in Wellfleet for seafood, especially the lobster rolls. I prefer it over Arnolds, except for the onion rings. It is byob, so pack your cooler with your favorite beverage and enjoy!
              btw, has anything gone into the old restaurant next to the Bookstore, on the harbor in Wellfleet, that has been empty for a few years now?

              1. re: mom2

                We go to Eastham every year in June for a week. Touristy or not, I love Arnold's, and haven't liked anything else better for the whole package- lobster roll, fries, onion rings, chowder. Some people on this board prefer Friendly Fisherman, but the chowder was just awful, and Arnold's had better onion rings. You'll do best at off-peak times, but they do a good job of keeping the line moving when there is one. My husband and I were in Provincetown for an afternoon after a schooner cruise and had a hard time finding a lunch place- a lot of places didn't open til dinner. We ended up at The Patio, and were really impressed with the food and service. I had a chopped salad, and he had a greek salad and gazpacho. In Orleans, we always go to Land Ho, but in addition, we tried the Yardarm this year, and really enjoyed the food. Atmosphere was very old-fashioned, and seemed to be full of local people. Prices reasonable, and portions generous.

                1. re: mom2

                  i strongly second moby dick's on route 6 for fried clams, etc. it is packed there for a reason. the owners are there all the time, the food is amazingly fresh, and as mom 2 noted, it's byob so you can bring a bottle of wine as we do. i had an oyster po' boy last week that was every bit as good as acme oyster house in new orleans.

                  1. re: burny carbo

                    thems high praise, sounds like a winner!!!!!!!!!!!!

              2. sw, I would try Fanizzi's on the sea in P Town. Good food, not too pricey and a view of the water to die for. They have some old fashioned things like mom's meatloaf but also some creative dishes and a good steak and specials. Great service too. We also like Devon's for breakfast. Both of these places are in the Gallery district side of Commercial St. Good luck!

                1. We just spent a couple of days in P-Town and ate some of the best food at a new place in the west end called Victor's; see my post about it a couple of weeks ago on this site.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Shooley

                    Loved the look of the menu, definitely a try next time we're in town.....