HOME > Chowhound > All New England Archive >


Provincetown - 10th anniversary trip recs and RI for lunch?

Searched and read all the recent posts (really I did) and very confused - still need help.

We are going to P-town for a long weekend, our 10th anniversary at the end of September. We are well traveled but this is the first time for both of us to go anywhere on The Cape and I am beside myself with excitement and anticipation. Aside from second night there - our anniversary, we are willing to travel 20-30 mins from P'Town and if something amazing is further would strongly consider.

Cuisines we like: Most everything - love New England seafood, down-home style cooking and ethnic/ethnic influenced, fresh and inventive cuisine in pretty much equal measure. Lobster and belly clams ranking higher on the list for me. Absolutely no franchises/chains unless a local place that has a couple outposts and are really good. In no particular order our needs are:

1.Lunch or snack on the way from NYC area (Southern Westchester). The recs on the other NY-Ptown "lunch on the way" thread sounded great but most were almost in P'town. Am wondering if RI is a better midway point to stop? If so, Italian? (being from NY ithas to be amazing) Is there special Providence Style Pizza like there is in New Haven? Is the Upper Cape a better choice for stopping than RI? If so, we'd prefer seafood shack but where and which one? Seems there are so many.

2. Anniversary Night Dinner in Provincetown - we are generally more into the casual dining experience but for this milestone would like something really amazing. Stuffy is not necessary or desirable and it doesn't even have to be "fine dining" but romantic and special, great food, great service, great wine list and/or okay w/corkage as we have some special bottles we want to bring.

3. Our hotel includes breakfast but in case we want to do something different one or two options would be nice.

4. Great spot for pre-dinner drinks/cocktails (with a view)) and for after dinner drinks - cozy.

5. Amazing sweets - ice cream shops, bakeries, candy stores.

6. Other lunches and dinners - great food and great atmosphere. Fun and light is excellent.

Capecodguy, if you see this, you seem to have a lot of recent info so would appreciate your thoughts. Everyone else too.

Thanks all!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I highly recommend Victor's in P-Town. New restaurant that opened this year. Very attractive and small, intimate restaurant. They specialize in small plates, delicious and very creative. They are very popular so make a reservation. I have heard very good things about Black Fish in Truro but I have not tried.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bakerboyz

      Ditto on Victor's. Excellent food; beautiful restaurant.

      1. re: Shooley

        Thanks both, checked out their website and it looks very good but feeling like it's not "the" anniversary night dinner - another evening definitely though.

    2. We are heading down to Provincetown in the morning and will update this thread but we love Devon's in the East End on Commercial Street for both breakfast and dinner. Their blueberry cornmeal pancakes are wonderful.

      We like Ross' Grill at the end of Whaler Wharf for lunches and dinners-- great wine selection.

      We usually hit the bar at the Mews for a meal along the way.

      We plan to try Victor's and have a glass of wine with an appetizer at the Red Inn.

      We'll do lobster and seafood at the apartment. And we do a lot of take out from Angell Foods.

      We really have to try to get out of the East End more but the view from our deck is hard to top.

      I was about to ask for a Provincetown update from the hounds and I'm happy to tag onto yours.

      Oh, for sweets we love Carol's Bakery. It is now out on the way to the Airport across rt 6.

      5 Replies
      1. re: BostonZest

        My parents love Front St in P-town. They have more $$ than I do so I have to guess that it's poricey but worth it. I believe they have a website so google them and check their website! Also Bubala's (sp?) in P-town has tasty eats and outdoor seating for people watching! Happy Anniversary!

        1. re: bwichn

          Ross's Grill was nice enough but for me, it was loud up there..no condusive to a quiet dining experience. We loved the Mews for dinner for our group. Fanzini's has always been great. Red Inn would be nice oceanfront formal / special. I like Spiritus pizza but in May the girl at the counter had HUGE attitude and I would not go back if I saw her face. Candy, phew..the Penny Candy store for fudge and Portuguese Bakery for custard tarts and Malasadas.

          1. re: luci

            Luci's recommendations hit all the great spots. I would eat upstairs at Mews and on the water at Fanizi's. Front St has always been an intimate choice for small parties or just us two....

        2. re: BostonZest

          I was blanking out on the bakery above-- Of course it is Connie's bakery and it is across route 6 from Conwell street on Race Point Road not on the road to the airport. I just had a bit more of the lemon tart we bought this morning. I'll have to walk to Truro and back tomorrow to make up for all this eating.

          1. re: BostonZest

            We did try Victor's and loved it. We haven't posted about it on BostonZest yet but we did a bunch of posts while we were there. A new favorite this year is Blue Light for take out lunches. They make great comfort food-- all take out and we loved everything we tried. Turkey sandwich, coconut cupcake and chili are all great.


            We also tried the Caribbean Kitchen after another hound recommended it on this board and have to post on that too. I loved it and was happy to have one more flavor in P-Town.

            We have a Provincetown, MA category on the site for photos and details.

          2. Has anyone tried the new place -- Cafe 404-- East End- near Devon's -- it's in the old Chester space?

            1. For the trip to P-town, consider stopping for Portuguese food in Fall River or New Bedford, which are easy on/off to I-95 (lots of posts on these) and are where you'll be wanting to stretch your legs anyway. But If you're jonesing for fried clams, wait till you get to Arnolds on Route 6 in Eastham--I never feel like I've truly arrived at Cape Cod until I bite into my first Arnold's fried clam.

              As for candy, I'm a big fan of the salt water taffy sold at the big corner fudge store on Commercial Street in P-town (you can't miss it). Not at all like the crud you find in Atlantic City--a wide variety of flavors sold in bulk so can pick exactly what you want. The fudge is very good, too. The Portuguese bakery on the other side of the street is worth a stop, too, especially for the sweet bread.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MommaJ

                Momma's got that right. Malasadas or the sweets at the Portuguese Bakery are amazing...

              2. Okay - made reservations at Red Inn for anniversary night as most research and the pics seemed to indicate I should. They have a no corkage policy so that was a bummer. Now am planning the rest of meals and debating between Edwidge and Victor's, Black Fish and any others for the two remaining dinners. Maybe a picnic from Angels one day for lunch.

                If I may impose some more - we need to pick our belly clam and lobster places and would appreciate thoughts from all of you on best place(s) for steamed lobster, lobster rolls, fried belly clams, scallops. Steamed Lobsters and belly clams not necessarily at the same restaurant. I see mixed stuff about several places so: Arnolds yes or no? Should Lobster Box be an option? Friendly Fisherman in Eastham? Place in Sesuit Harbor?

                Definitely getting malasadas from the Portuguese bakery and sheesh - we don't have enough meals to fit in everything we want to try but will do our best.

                And while we're on the recs - best whale-watching, boating, beaches : ) Oh yes and bike rentals - we will need to do a lot of exercise in between meals.

                1 Reply
                1. re: laylag

                  My 1st post to Chowhound....

                  Yes on Arnold's- raw bar, the usual roadside offerings(good cold lobster rolls), and awesome onion rings- Friendly Fisherman isn't as good as it used to be, IMO.

                  If in Eastham for Arnold's the bike rental shop is close by, and you'll be between Coast Guard Beach and First Encounter beach- watch the waves at Coast Guard, eat at Arnold's then go to First Encounter for a gorgeous sunset- sounds like a day!

                  In P'town, the Surf Club right on the edge of the dock (on the left if you're going down the dock) is very old school (and truth be told, we see lots of seniors when we go) and maybe lacking in ambiance, but the fried calamari is out of this world, with a ginger dipping sauce so good I want to bathe in it, the rest of the food is solid and the view from the outside deck can't be beat. (Dolphin Fleet for whale watching is just a few steps away).

                  For a touristy treat, the Old Jail in Orleans has a dish called "Crab Nelson" that is so rich and delicious it should illegal!

                  Is it just me, or is it really hard to find a hot lobster roll on the Cape??

                2. Sorry laylag, but my recent experiences are really based on where I live in the mid to upper Cape area. Haven't had a chance to make it to PTown since early spring. The Red Inn is my go-to place, however, for a special meal there. Hasn't disappointed in many years. Hope you enjoy it, too. Clams are such a personal taste. I really feel the plate at Cooke's in Hyannis is the gold standard, unless you like really big bellies. The batter is the best at Marathon but the bellies can be very small there. Arnold's is really nothing special in my opinion but many call it their favorite. If it's a nice day, go to Sesuit and eat on the jetty. The setting makes up for any deficiency in the product. And it's not that deficient. Rather tasty actually!
                  A bit further down the road in Dennis Village, behind the post office on 6A, is Buckies Biscotti....order a bunch of biscotti and a few cannolis, as good as you'll find in the North End in Boston. Trust me.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: CapeCodGuy

                    Happy Anniversary, and I cannot imagine a lovelier spot in September than the Red Inn at the West End of Provincetown. The early evening light, as well as lovely food and an amazing location will be so specoal. If you are driving, park as far away as you can stand and walk. It is magical.

                    1. re: rosieg

                      I am sorry. Meant special. It really is.

                  2. Finally leaving on Thursday morning and very excited. Any last min recs not included here please feel free to throw them our way.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: laylag

                      Recently visited P-Town - I'd recommend either the mews (ask for a table upstairs) or Devon's. Excellent meals at both places.

                    2. A quick update.... Bubbela's for lunch day 1 -- very good steamers and a cute little place. Dinner that night at Nape -- interesting and a bit bizarre. Stuck with the Portuguese items and they were decent. Red Inn was excellent and perfect for our anniversary dinner - thank you! Portuguese bakery sweets were yummy - malasadas were good but the custard tarts were addictive. Breakfast at Devon's --- wonderful! Had lunch at the place on the pier - fish market and restaurant - can't remember the name but good fried clams. We then wanted casual the last night and went to Lobster Pot at suggestion of some locals --- won't make that mistake again. We hit Arnold's on the way out and were very pleased. I could see from the crowd there that it's a bit touristy (I guess we were tourists too but you know what I mean) but the food was very good.

                      All in all, despite miserable weather - rained all weekend - loved Provincetown and the Cape in general. Can't wait to go back and eat again at the good places, try the ones we missed (Victor's, The Mews, Angel Foods) and get to spend some dry time outside next visit.

                      Thanks everyone!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: laylag

                        The place on the Pier in Ptown is Townsend's- reliably good, as is Arnold's, which, while touristy, is super close to our place in Eastham, so a regular stop for us when we're craving fried anything! Next time in Ptown, go to Surf Club for an appetizer of fried calamari- its really some of the best I've ever had, and the harbor view from the deck seating helps you forget the interior. It is the restaurant right on the edge of the Macmillan wharf pier- across the parking lot from Townsend's. Just out of curiosity, can you expand on the "bizarre" comment re: Nape above? Glad you enjoyed your trip!

                        1. re: JenJeninCT

                          Sure Jen, the decor was beyond eclectic - the atmosphere felt like an old world staid restaurant - dark, woody, a bit depressing. The stained glass saints and other church items were rather odd for me. Then the menu was all over the place - portuguese, italian, american, sushi... etc. Pan-regional from a culture or country or even continent I get, eclectic with a common inspiration I get, traditional continental I get (although don't care for) but the Nape menu consisted of completely disconnected items like Sushi (which I wouldn't eat anywhere there wasn't a very high turnover of fresh, fresh, fresh fish) and Portuguese Kale Soup (which was great). Hence my "bizarre" comment.

                          1. re: laylag

                            Thanks laylag- sometimes bizarre is intriguing, sometimes its just plain bizarre. I definitely agree about the sushi- some things aren't to be messed about with, and raw fish is one of those things.

                        2. re: laylag

                          thank you for the report. So sorry about the weather, but after ten years what's a rainy weekend. Look forward to hearing about the 20th.

                        3. Some of my best memories are of Ptown in the rain. Glad you had a great experience anyway, sounds like you were with great company.....