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Boston to Cape

On a Tuesday afternoon, a few days from now, I will be driving from Newton to Provincetown. I have been to Boston twice, but never Cape Cod. I am interested in hearing some suggestions/feedback on where to stop on the way.

Right now I am thinking pizza at either Sweet Tomatoes, Barbone or Joey's and then a stop at Truro Vineyards.

Everything I do revolves around food, but do want to make stops at a worthwhile locale - whether for a lovely view, unique NE street scene, or just a memorable experience. Once we get to P-town, we probably will not drive much so thought the drive to and from would give us a chance to see more of the area. (The drive "from" will go all the way to Western Mass.)

My husband and I are not looking to turn the drive into a whole day, but a bit out of the way & a mile or two of walking would be a nice way to break up the trip & see a little more of the area. We like ALL types of food, but am thinking quick counter types of meals.

I have been reading a lot before asking & do plan to ask on the Boston board too. Thanks for what i have read so far & any replies to this!.

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  1. Very confused about your request. Western Mass is no where near the trip from Boston to the Cape. More like a two hour detour each way. Personally, although both Sweet Tomatoes and Barbone do a nice job on pizza, I wouldn't go out of my way for either. Others will argue otherwise I'm sure.

    2 Replies
    1. re: CapeCodGuy

      He wrote that when he leaves Ptown, he is going all the way to Amherst.

      1. re: Madrid

        Yes, I saw what was written in the subsequent post.

      1. Maybe I gave too much info....

        I am driving from Boston to Provincetown. Then, a few days later, Provincetown to Amherst.

        Would like to round out my first trip to Cape Cod with a snapshot of various spots along the way. Though the food we eat in those spots is important, the spot is the leading factor.

        3 Replies
        1. re: foster

          On your way to Amherst, take rt 2 and stop at the Wagon Wheel in Gill for lunch.

          1. re: magiesmom

            What do you like to get at the Wagon Wheel? I tend to like any place that serves local meat. Kitschy art & al fresco dining also appeal on this (any?) road trip!

            1. re: foster

              The Wagon Wheel is a roadside ice-cream-burgers-and-fries place. While it has rather more offerings than is typically found in such a place, and while it does offer a local beef burger, it's not quite what most people are looking for when they ask for "local meat" (i.e., upscale locavore-chic) and "al fresco dining" (hey, they got picnic tables).

              Perhaps more to the point, it is not really near the route you would take from Provincetown to Amherst. Typically you'd take Route 6 to 495 to the Mass Pike to I-91 to Route 9. Route 2 parallels Route 9 but is farther north, beyond where you will be going. The Mass Pike is awful in summer if you ask me, though, and a crime against humanity on a busy weekend (hint: it's a lonnnng time between exits and you won't be moving, so plan your rest stops accordingly and pack a lunch), so who knows, maybe Route 2 makes sense.

              If you want something that's more on your way, stop at Local Burger in Northampton. They serve truly exceptional burgers, fries and shakes. No alfresco and no kitsch, sorry.

        2. Since you have never been to the Cape, I'd recommend Pizza Barbone. It is on Main Street in Hyannis, which can be an interesting place to walk around. Sweet Tomatoes is a chain with numerous locations. You should not have any trouble finding good places to eat in P-Town.

          1. Do you really want to come to Cape Cod and have pizza? Personally, I'd skip Hyannis altogether unless you're into mostly mediocre food and cheap T shirts and other tourist junk. Yes, Barbone is good personal sized Neopolitan style pizza, but why fight the crowds of Hyannis for pizza? There's a few quality merchants, but many aren't worth a gander. If it were me, I'd take the scenic route to PTown by getting off the first exit over the Sagamore Bridge and take The King's Highway (Rte 6A) though many of the Cape's most scenic villages and make little stops along the way. Maybe hit Beth's for baked goods and the Brown Jug for specialty foods in Sandwich Village just off 6A. Walk the small village over to Dunbar Tea Room for a cup. Back on 6A, almost to the Barnstable Line, stop at Momo's for a sandwich or cup of chowder on the back deck overlooking the marsh. Don't miss a walk through the wonderful zen garden at Giving Tree Gallery nearby. Keep going down 6A and look for Grey's Beach in Yamouthport with it's long boardwalk out into the marsh overlooking Sandy Neck. Keep going down 6A and you'll pass Dennis Village, Brewster, and eventually Orleans, where 6A will become Rte 6 to Ptown. If you've a sweet tooth, try Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans. Veer off in Welfleet and have a fried whole clam or lobster roll at Mac's at the end of the road by the harbor. Stop in at PB Boulangerie in Welfleet for a cafe au lait and some French Pastry that will blow you away and make you think your in Paris. Then continue the rest of the way to Ptown and enjoy the sites and tastes and eclectic scene while you're there. (Be sure to explore the Provincelands outside the downtown area with it's miles of unspoiled dunes roads and bike paths.) Do a whalewatch if you've never been.

            Or, you can skip all this and buy a $10 T-shirt made in China and a $14 personal pizza on Main St. in Hyannis. Your call.

            12 Replies
            1. re: CapeCodGuy

              I appreciate all of the input from everybody. As I said, on the ride to Provincetown I hope to stop in some scenic, unique spots. My original question is not for p-town, but instead, "the drive."

              While I am not interested in bad, touristy, or even mediocre food, the restaurants along the way are not going to determine where we stop. Does that make sense?

              Sandwich has previously been recommended to me, so those spots sound worthwhile and I really like the idea of chowder overlooking the marsh!

              ....Plan to eat as many fried clams and as many lobster rolls as possible over my week in your state. So recommendations for those, especially in neat little towns along the Cape, are what I was hoping to garner.

              While I make great pizza at home, I am always looking for good pie no matter where I go – which is why I mentioned Barbones. Interesting viewpoints about whether or not Hyannis is worth my time, keep them coming!

              I understand Joeys in Dennisport has good pizza. And oysters, is Dennisport a nice place to wander ? Where I'm from, we don't eat oysters in the summer. Do you?

              Mac's is already on the itinerary- that part of the trip is good to go.

              1. re: foster

                Dennisport is one of the more depressed villages in all of the Cape. Second maybe to West Yarmouth. Most of that south side of the Cape is overbuilt and aging, in serious need of redevelopment. Joey's is a decent pie in the NY style but hardly worth a special trip. You certainly wouldn't want to wander around the area. If you're really hot for pizza then try Barbone's. It's a small Neapolitan style cooked in a wood burning oven in mere minutes. If you like that charred style with a chewy crust and sparse, but quality toppings, go for it. I myself, prefer the pies at Columbo's or Palio's down the street, but I wouldn't make a special trip for those either. There's a small museum dedicated to the Kennedy's that's worth a 30 minute visit. There's a walk way to the harbor. Main Street itself is loaded with Tshirt shops, candy, ice cream, cheap souvenir shops and the like. It's also home to our growing homeless community, gangs, and drug addicts.

                And yes, we eat oysters in months without an "R" in them! Welfleets are world reknown, and there are other areas with their own tasty oysters, Dennis and Cotuit, to name two.

                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                  would you recommend Pain D'Avignon?

                  1. re: gracenote

                    I think the food there is excellent, but for the OP's criteria where the spot and locale is of primary importance, absolutely not. It's housed in a steel warehouse building in an industrial area by the airport. About as "Un-Cape Coddy" as it gets.

                  2. re: CapeCodGuy

                    Gee, Cape Cod Guy, I am wary about all of your advice now that you are giving me the thumbs up for eating summah oysters HERE when I just came across your post here --> http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8516...

                    saying you personally would not...

                    Has something changed?

                    1. re: foster

                      After thinking about it and reading all the comments, I would strongly recommend the following for a leisurely, but pleasant day trip from Newton to P-Town. As you descend the Sagamore Bridge, take exit 1 and follow Rte. 6A east thru Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth Port, Dennis & Brewster. In Brewster Center, take Rte. 137 to Chatham Center. Take Rte. 28 and continue onto Main Street in Chatham. Here you can have a nice lunch at a number of places. After lunch, stroll around one of the nicest villages on the Cape. Make sure you drive along the beach and harbor. Leave Chatham on Rte. 28 towards Orleans, where you can get on Rte. 6 for the ride to P-Town. As you are traveling on a Tuesday, traffic should not be a factor.

                      1. re: kevinricci

                        That sounds like a lovely route. Not taking into consideration a stop, how long do you think we should plan that drive to take start to finish?

                        1. re: foster

                          Driving at the speed limit, it should be about 2:20 to Chatham and another hour from Chatham to Provincetown. This route will give you a good look at what I like best about Cape Cod.

                        2. re: foster

                          Wary ? Read the article. It tells you what's changed. A little self help here does wonders rather than questioning those who take time and effort to help in your quest. Or just skip our oysters and clams. Your choice.

                          1. re: CapeCodGuy

                            the OP may be geographically challenged, and not understand the difference between "bay" shellfish and non bay shellfish. Also, the names of the oysters and the origin probably don't mean much to the OP. I agree, self help is in order!

                          2. re: foster

                            Vibrio is a fairly new phenomenon. The bacterium itself of course is not new but large outbreaks are. Many more oyster farmers and eaters have added to the potential for larger outbreaks. The outbreaks tend to happen at the middle to end of summer when the conditions are more favorable (stretches of warm water/weather). The farmers are well aware of the possible hazards and are taking measures to ensure the safety of their product (i.e.. ice, refrigeration).

                    2. Cafe Edwige in P-town can be a delightful spot for breakfast on a sunny day. Pieces of the poppy seed danish used to be sold before it even came out of the oven.

                      The restaurant has been up and down over the years, but it looks like it may be back on track now.

                      1. Our favorite clam shack is P.J.'s in Wellfleet. We often stop there on the way "in". There is a rear dining room where you order from the same kitchen that serves the lines in front but instead of inhaling gas fumes from the highway there are open windows looking over the back 40 and more tables than in front.

                        1. Hello, Cape Cod Guy,

                          I wonder if you've been in Dennisport recenly. It has been re-invented and back to it's old glory days. Not an open store front, very charming with flowers everywhere, really lovely. Come and take a look.

                          Taddybelle

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: taddybelle

                            I have Taddybelle, and although it has some new life starting with Buckie's relocation and several new storefronts and three renovated and rebranded restaurants, it's far from the vibrant village that existed before the Patriot Square mall wiped out most of the long standing businesses.and it fell into it's long neglect and decay. Unfortunately, it can't hold a candle to the likes of other walkable villages on Cape. But I do agree it's much improved from even just a couple of years ago. That said, I now think the OP should see for himself. Skip the clams and oysters and concentrate on our world famous pizza.

                            1. re: Niblet

                              Friendly Fisherman lobster roll in N. Eastham....fresh, stuffed and usually in the ~$17 range. You get your money's worth. PJs in Wellfleet as well....great clams, scallops and lobster rolls.

                              1. re: Science Chick

                                Definitely one of the best around. Couldn't agree more science chick! If you really want a fried food orgy, order the $32 fisherman's platter at Friendly Fisherman. Easily feeds 3, and maybe 4. A huge pile of whole clams, jumbo shrimp, clam strips, calamari, haddock, scallops, fries and onion rings. The thing is a monster.

                                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                  Yeah, it is truly amazing! They do about the best fry job on the Outer Cape, IMHO. Never greasy, clean oil, impeccably fresh seafood. The market is a gem too!

                          2. i'd love to hear CCG's opinion on my frequent haunts...and perhaps suggestions based on them. none is too hoity toity.

                            i live in boston, but we have a place on a seasonal campground in sandwich from april to october and spend every spare second there. i have a 4 year old who is great in restaurants.
                            the clam box in falmouth, seafood sam's. mostly because of the playground and the shipwreck ice cream. if i could move the marshland too to my street, i would. recently found the seaside pub on main in, of all places, hyannis, and was so crazy pleasantly surprised. canturbury cafe is ok. not a fan of Tomatoes italian resto. i like the raw bar in new seabury because it's fun with the kids. and the lobster rolls are gargantuan. and i saw brian dennehy there last summer.

                            i get that none of these is a destination place for the OP and i'm sorta hijacking the thread. apologies....