Summertime means trips to the beach, and what better place to be during the dog days of summer than Cape Cod. The only other thing I plan more diligently then my beach days, are my dining days. We arrived in the charming town of Chatham, MA and after a morning stroll on the beach, we headed down to Main St for one of my all-time favorite treats, a Ritzie from the Chatham Candy Manor. It is a perfectly salty sweet combination of peanut butter sandwiched between 2 buttery Ritz crackers covered in dark chocolate. So simple, yet so good.
I noticed just above the Ritzies that there was something called Jordon Crackers. It piqued my interest so I asked what they were and uncovered another addiction. They were oyster crackers covered in either dark or milk chocolate and irresistible.
After indulging on chocolate for breakfast, we headed over to Chatham Cookware for something a little more substantial. We started with the Nitro Cold Brew which was the perfect way to fuel up while enjoying their delectable breakfast sandwiches served on toasted Portuguese rolls (sorry no pics, we ate them too fast :). If you are looking for a quick breakfast or lunch, stop in and grab one of their many different sandwich or salad options.
After a day on the beach and some down time, we headed out to dinner. Chatham has a lot of dining options, but one of my favorites is the Wild Goose Tavern located right in the heart of the main strip. We started with the Tahini Hummus and Greek Salsa served with pita bread. For the main course, we ordered the Nicoise salad and the Fish and Chips. The salad consisted of Haricot verts, boiled egg, fingerling potatoes, olives and cherry tomatoes then topped with pepper seared ahi tuna. It was absolutely delicious and the combination of the egg with the potatoes, salty olives and crisp Haricot verts was perfect. The Fish and Chips were also wonderful and fried to perfection (although anything fried usually is). The Goose offers outdoor dining which is nice since a lot of restaurants on Main St don’t. The fun party atmosphere and entertaining bartenders inside make that a great option too. Try one of their house made infused vodkas or gin if you’re looking for a fun cocktail.
Friday turned out to be a little more overcast which means it’s time to dine! You can’t beat the inimitable beauty of Chatham Bars Inn, and we have made it an annual tradition to have lunch at The Beach House.
I swear I am going to try something new every year but the Swordfish Tacos get me every time. They are topped with queso fresco, shredded cabbage, cilantro lime crema and pickled red onion then served in a white corn tortilla. It’s the perfect seaside lunch with a breathtaking backdrop.
Since the weather wasn’t the best for a beach day, we headed up to Rock Harbor to check out the iconic trees that are placed in the water which mark the channel boats can take. After seeing so many pictures of it on Instagram, it was really fun to actually see it in person.
As we headed north, the sun started to shine and it put me in the mood for a sweet treat. PB Boulangerie located in Wellfleet has some of the best croissants, freshly baked bread and desserts on the Cape. This French bistro is a must no matter where you are staying. Although the Chocolate Tarte and Coffee Eclair looked superb, I thought I’d keep it light and get the Pavlova. The fresh tart raspberries on top balanced out the sweet crunchy meringue making it the perfect afternoon pick me up. I can’t recommend their croissants, bread or desserts highly enough. They also serve dinner and offer a prix fixe menu option as well. Bon Appétit!
After some Wellfleet adventures checking out the Bookstore and Mac’s Seafood, it was time to hit up another Cape Cod staple, “the Comah.” The Beachcomber consistently gets rated as one of the top 10 beach bars in the country and if you’ve been, you know why. The views overlooking the endless beach and blue sky are spectacular.
The vibe at the Comah is fun, relaxed and beachy (not to mention crowded ALL THE TIME.) We usually try and grab a seat at the bar (after I hover over people paying their bill;) since the wait to sit at a table is typically pretty long. They have a raw bar where you can order oysters, clams, ahi tuna and a plethora of other freshly caught seafood. After enjoying some freshly shucked Wellfleet oysters, we apparently couldn’t get enough and ordered the fried oysters and tuna tacos. The reggae, fresh seafood and beach vibe will keep you in a summer state of mind making you never want to leave. It’s one of my favorite places to go, EVER!
We started Friday out at The Chatham Cheese Company which offers a wonderful selection of artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, wine and crackers along with bread and other small snacks. This is a great shop to check out if you are looking to bring something to the beach or want some delicious options for a cheese board. The staff is more than helpful and if you are looking for recommendations, they know which direction to point you in. If you go, I highly recommend the Manchego.
A new and extremely cool experience we discovered this year was the Chatham Shellfish Company. It’s a little place near Harding’s Beach where they raise oysters that you can buy right out of the ocean for one of freshest oyster experiences you'll ever have. It was so interesting to see how they cultivated them and to check out the operation. It was a really fun thing to do and if you're an oyster fan, it’s worth the experience if you think you won’t lose a finger trying to pry them open yourself :).
Apparently dessert is always on my mind so we headed to another Cape Cod staple, Sundae School. This was actually our maiden voyage (ummm hello how could this be?) and all the hype is true. The chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream taught me why this will be another annual tradition. The rich creamy ice cream, gobs of cookie dough and bittersweet chocolate chips were a match made in heaven and Sundae School gets an A++ on this one.
Another fun adventure to check out if you’re in Cape Cod is Truro Vineyards. They offer both wine and spirit tastings in a beautiful setting just south of Provincetown. It’s a relaxed scene with plenty of tables to hang out at and enjoy some wine or food from one of the food trucks. If you go and want to grab wine before or after a tasting, I recommend the Rosé and Cabernet Franc. Wine tastings are done every half hour overlooking their beautiful vineyards.
As we journeyed back to Chatham, we stopped at another yearly favorite, The Wequassett Resort. This spectacular hotel has impeccable views and amenities with a giant gas fire pit and pool overlooking Pleasant Bay. In keeping with the Cape Cod theme, I started out with the Devils Purse Kolch which was crisp and refreshing. It went perfectly with the soy and green chili tuna poke. If you want fabulous food in an incredible setting, this is a must.
While we were out and about over the weekend, three separate people mentioned Bluefins Sushi and Sake Bar. We have walked past this place many times but it was never on our radar to stop in. After all the notable mentions, we thought we’d bid farewell to the Cape and have lunch there before leaving to go home. We started with the Asparagus Fries which were tempura battered and came with a truffle aioli dipping sauce. My only complaint is that I had to share. We also had the Lettuce Cups which were filled with grilled pork belly, pickled cucumber, carrot and daikon slaw and miso mustard aioli served on top of bibb lettuce. Along with that we had a couple of sushi rolls which were unique and delicious. If you are in the area, definitely put this one on your list.
A few other notable mentions- Although we didn’t have dinner at Bistro on Main, the menu and atmosphere looked great.
The Chatham Wine Bar is also excellent and we really enjoyed the food there last year (shown below is the tuna tartare with miso sorbet). Plus they have a pretty outdoor dining area with fire pits.
If you’re in Provincetown, check out The Canteen and definitely get the Crispy Brussel Sprouts in fish sauce. Make sure you walk around back and check out the outdoor dining area and views of the ocean.
If you need something sweet, head over to Scott Cakes where you have to “open your mind because there’s only one kind.” They only offer one type of cupcake but the soft velvety vanilla cake topped with their signature pink frosting is really all you need.
Wishing you delicious travels in Cape Cod and beyond!