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Jan 21, 2012 12:47 PM

Can't stop thinking about Cape Cod!! Need suggestions for summer seafood near Brewster.

Hello! I know this is really advance planning, but we are about to book a week at Nickerson State Park for some awesome summer camping and I need some help. We normally stay in North Truro, so I am totally unfamiliar with food options for Brewster/Orleans etc. We will probably eat at the campsite for at least 3-4 nights, but I know that we will want to head out for lobster, clams, fried seafood, chowder, whatever. Definitely not looking for fancy. Just good, casual, trusted faves. Will drive 20-30 minutes.
Also, are there any good bakeries or cafes in Brewster for some special treats to start off the day?
Again, I know this is early, but as winter is not my favorite season, it is helping me get through it by planning my summer vacation!!!!

Thank you so much.

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  1. I'd go to Hopkins House for baked goods in Brewster, or Cottage Street Bakery in Orleans. Also west in Dennis is the Mercantile and Underground for baked treats. The only place in Brewster I know that I personally can recommend is El Guapos on Underpass Road for excellent tacos and Mexican. Eat on the picnic tables or bring back to the camp. I have not eaten in Orleans in awhile so will defer to others for personal recommendations.

    3 Replies
    1. re: phelana

      Had lunch at El Guapos yesterday. We had some fish tacos, the girls split a carne asada taco (which I can't comment on, because there was nothing left for me to try) and some chips and salsa. The fish tacos were very tasty. Close to the campground, good seating outside.....and margaritas!! We will be back this summer. Thanks!

      1. re: saintp

        Guapos is slated to open a new spot near Staples in Orleans. Also, Jomama's opens their Brewster shop tomorrow near JT's on 6A. So many great choices near Nickerson....I was at Sesuit Sunday and had a lovely lunch. The clam plate was amazing. My friend ordered the lobster roll no mayo, hot butter on the side. Sadly, I found the lobster meat spongy and soggy, no flavor. The entire dining area is open now with plenty of room.

        1. re: phelana

          I want to be back there right now. We live 3 hours away, but if we were closer I would be on the Cape at every opportunity. Is Jomama's a bagel place?

    2. For two decent clam shacks there is Cobie's, on 6A just outside Nickerson. Also, Kate's on 6A on the way to Dennis. Neither is the best, but both are convenient and decent. For a really good rec, go father down 6A to Sesuit harbor in Dennis and go to Sesuit Cafe on the jetty. Eat seafood in the raw on picnic tables overlooking the harbor and jetty. Excellent lobster rolls, good fried food, and a nice ,albeit expensive raw bar. BYOB. Great food and setting.

      Cafe Alfresco does a nice job with creative lunch and b'fast options with outdoor seating. They are located in the Lemon Tree Village in Brewster on 6A (again, on the way to Dennis)

      Hole in One in Orleans has great homemade donuts and full breakfasts. Chocolate Sparrow for wonderful coffe and chocolate, of course, is also in Orleans. Some folks also like Grumpy's for b'fast father down 6A in Dennis. Not a big fan myself and the lines are usually out the door.

      Two places that are MUST avoids are JT's in Brewster and The Marshside in Dennis. Skip both unless you crave awful food.

      Sir Crickets (mostly takeout) is the best fried food in Orleans. Skip Cooke's. For a nice and reasonable sitdown lunch on a nice day, try the Orleans Inn on 6A. Food is good and the setting, downstairs on a covered deck has a terrific view of the harbor. Seating is very spread out which is also nice.

      Enjoy your vacation!

      14 Replies
      1. re: CapeCodGuy

        Right next to Brewster is Orleans where we live and absolutely swear by Cooke's. The food is always fresh, amazing fried clams, the place is immaculate and the chowder is better than Sir Crickets. Only nice thing about Orleans Inn is the view. I've had terrible food there. Much rather brave the crowds at the LAND HO or Joes (Barley Neck Inn) The food at Liams on Nauset Beach (same owners as Kates I believe) is yummy and you can get in for dinner without paying beach fees after 5:00. Great for an evening dinner on the beach. On Monday night there are free concerts. Here's a best kept secret........ Head over to Rock Harbor in Orleans and get a Lobster Roll @ Hatch's seafood market. No place to sit there but the lobster roll is great, cheap by comparison to others and you can walk to the other end of the lot and enjoy the harbor view. There are some benches. Sometimes we order fries from Captain Cass next door and have them with the Lobster Rolls. Don't bother with Captain Cass otherwise. It's touristy and expensive. On Rock Harbor you will also see the charters coming in with some big catches which is fun for kids.

        1. re: holldoll

          We'll agree to disagree. I've had horrible food at the Orleans Cooke's (Mashpee and Hyannis Cooke's is terrific)We ate at the Orleans Inn three times last summer, and the food was terrific, yet pretty basic, each time and fairly priced and the view can't be beat for the price.

          Land Ho isn't worth the hassle. Not only is the food nothing special, the service is rude, the tables are cramped and the place is crowded.

          Great recs on Hatch's and Liams, agree on both.

          1. re: CapeCodGuy

            Thank you for the suggestions so far! I'm going to make a list and keep all of the pros and cons in mind. We just booked 10 nights at Nickerson. I love cooking, but 10 nights over a Coleman stove is a bit much, so the lobster rolls and chowder will be very much appreciated!!!
            Can I ask one more question? Are there any good markets or grocery stores that stand out? Otherwise, we will have to hit the local Stop and Shop for fresh produce....but I love trying local spots when I can.

            1. re: saintp

              Saintp, head to the Orleans Farmers Market near Chocolate Sparrow in the Staples Plaza, Saturday. Get their early. Another great farmer's market is Tue. 3:30 x from Pisces in Chatham. I know someone who got a great deal on lobsters and my other friends love the produce.

              1. re: phelana

                In addition to the many excellent farmers markets as mentioned. Ferretti's Market is nearby on Underground Road near the park has a terrific butchers counter. Worth the stop. There is also a fish market across the street.

                1. re: phelana

                  Farmer's market Tuesdays at Pisces in Chatham??? I did not know that! Thanks!

                  1. re: ciclista

                    Ciclista, x from Pisces in the parking lot...lobsters, produce..

                2. re: saintp

                  All good suggestions from my point of view. I would add Phoenix Fruit & Produce on Cove Road in Orleans and place it somewhere near the top for fresh produce.

              2. re: holldoll

                I'm curious about the Rock Harbor seafood market you refer to.....does Hatch's have one there as well as in Wellfleet Center? I would LOVE a new place to go around Orleans, but I can't find this one anywhere on the web......more info please?

                1. re: Science Chick

                  Also interested in where this seafood market is. We really enjoy buying a bunch of fresh littlenecks and bringing them to the beach in the evening....anywhere around Brewster that would have great fresh seafood? My husband bought some smoked fish from the fish market next to Guapo's and wasn't that impressed with the offerings, but we could be convinced otherwise....

                  1. re: saintp

                    I stopped by there last Friday and sampled the lobster roll. Pretty decent for $10, although non-toasted/grilled roll is a weakness for sure. Still prefer Friendly Fisherman's version. The market was very nice, with a good selection of fish/shellfish. HUGE lobsters swimming in the pool. THey're open everyday until 6pm, and I'm sure you could call ahead and find out what's available that day. It's on Rock Harbor Road, right at the harbor. Easiest way to get there is to get on Rock Harbor Road as it spokes off the Orleans rotary.

              3. re: CapeCodGuy

                So, we jumped the gun and just returned from a quick 2 night camping trip at Nickerson. It was lovely. What a beautiful (and huge) park. Anyhow, we were able to try out one of your recs: Sesuit Harbor Cafe. Loved it. Never would have found it or happened upon it accidentally...but for Chowhound! We went for lunch this past Saturday. Ordered a plate of fried whole belly clams, one plate of fried scallops, the fish chowder and a lobster roll. Everything was great....the scallops in particular were perfect. But the setting is gorgeous. We will be back this summer, absolutely. Thanks!!!

                1. re: saintp

                  I chuckle when you say you never would have found it but for CH. I remember our first visit, after CH recs. We must have wandered around that darn shipyard for 15 minutes before we figured out where the restaurant was!!!!

                  1. re: Science Chick

                    yeah, I'm not even sure we parked in a legitimate spot....but the car didn't get get towed away and we enjoyed a great meal. now we're prepared for the next visit!

              4. There's also the Satucket Farm Stand on Harwich Road in Brewster. In addition to fresh veggies, they have muffins, pies and other baked goods. Also cheese and jams and jellies. Worth a stop.

                1. I would make a stop at the Beach Comber in Well Fleet a must try

                  1. Like CapeCodGuy, I avoided Cooke's in Orleans for years based on 2 truly mediocre visits (last one around 2003), but I was dragged there last summer and was pleasantly surprised. For one, it is spotless (not that a clam shack need be) and the food (all fried) was very fresh and tasty. Best of all- not a drop of oil left anywhere in the bottom of the plate/container. New owner? They see the light after too many complaints? Who knows, but I think they have improved considerably. That said I still prefer Sir Cricket's

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: thos

                      Good to know! I love Cooke's in Hyannis for many of the same reasons, although I never buy whole clams there as they are ridiculously expensive and they buy the cheapest grade with the smallest bellies. $16.95 for a tiny roll, or $18.95 for a plate is crazy for a "clam shack" with no ambience. The lunch specials on the other hand are a terrific bargain with an excellent fish and chips, fried shrimp, or grilled salmon or cod all for around $8.

                      My opinion on Cooke's Orleans is dated as it's been several years since my last distasteful visit. Thanks for a more up to date, and thus more accurate, review.

                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                        We never really had any bad experiences at Cooke's Orleans. Unlike so many Cape casual restaurants, the owner and the help were always cheerful and friendly, and the place was spotlessly clean. Since we mostly preferred the food at Sir Crickets, we haven't been back to Cooke's as often, though elderly relative loved us to take her there, and she loved the iced coffee and tea. She was just as happy when we could get a seat in Sir Crickets tiny seating area, except for the beverage service from their vending machine which wasn't as appealing.

                        1. re: Dan D

                          Jillian and I cannot wait to try Cape Cod Fresh in Brewster: