The Best Cape Cod Food To Try in 2023

Last Updated on February 23, 2024 | 0 Comments
lobster roll

As Cape Cod food continues to evolve, food enthusiasts enjoy exploring the array of coastal cuisine and innovative global flavors. Known for unique landscapes and coastal charm, Cape Cod is a food destination for those seeking traditional New England fare blended with modern culinary trends. 

While you can still visit a renowned clam shack, the Cape Cod food features seafood delicacies loved by locals and visitors alike. Restaurants feature a variety of sought-after dishes like classic lobster rolls or the freshest catch from the Atlantic. Of course, it wouldn’t be Cape Cod food without homegrown cranberries from a local cranberry bog. 

As you plan your next trip to New England, prepare to spend some time in Massachusetts and dive into the elevated flavors Cape Cod food can offer. 


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21 Best Cape Cod Foods

1. Fried Clams at Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar

Many travelers ask the question, “What food is Cape Cod known for?” The most common answer is easily fried clams. There is no better place to try them than Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar.

The Vibe

Imagine a casual county fair with fried, fresh-caught seafood. 

Why It's Good

A staple for over 45 years in Cape Cod, food at Arnold’s is fast, fresh and reliable. You can’t go wrong with the fried clams or a lobster roll. 

Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar | 3580 State Highway, Eastham, MA 02642 | $$

deep fried clams
via Canva

2. Ice Cream at Somerset Creamery

Ice cream at Somerset Creamery, specifically the cranberry bog flavor, is the perfect Cape Cod food on a hot day. It’s the perfect way to taste the local cranberries.

The Vibe

A family-friendly ice cream shop ready with the perfect scoop after a day in the sun. 

Why It's Good

Many locals claim this Cape Cod food is the best ice cream in Massachusetts. While all ice cream flavors are worth a taste, the cranberry bog holds a special place in the hearts of many. 

Somerset Creamery | 1268 Rte. 28A, Cataumet, MA 02534 | $$

3. Clam Chowder at Skipper Chowder House

It’s not a complete trip to New England without a hearty bowl of clam chowder. Skipper Chowder House is famous for this award-winning Cape Cod food.

The Vibe

An old Cape Cod restaurant with outdoor seating facing the Nantucket Sound.

Why It's Good

The clam chowder is creamy, rich and packed with the perfect amount of fresh clams. It’s a beautiful bite of Cape Cod food while gazing out into the Atlantic.

Skipper Chowder House | 152 S. Shore Dr., South Yarmouth, MA 02664 | $$

cape cod food
via Skipper Chowder House

4. Joon Margarita at Joon Bar and Kitchen

Enjoy a refreshing cocktail at Joon Bar and Kitchen while perusing their extravagant menu with the best Cape Cod food. 

The Vibe

Classy and hip — like you’re dining in a coastal New York City.

Why It's Good

The hand-crafted cocktails offer an elegant change of pace. Instead of a casual seafood shack, enjoy a fancy night out with friends or an intimate dinner for two. 

American Social Bar & Kitchen | 133 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA 02657 | $$$

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5. Fresh Caught Clams at The Clam Man

Bring the fresh flavors of Cape Cod food to your own kitchen with fresh clams from The Clam Man. This fish market boasts high-quality seafood for customers to enjoy at home. They also sell fresh fish daily to more than 80 Cape Cod restaurants. 

The Vibe

A bright, airy seafood market with freshly caught fish displayed behind the counter.

Why It's Good

The Clam Man offers the largest seafood selection in Cape Cod. Their catches are sought after by locals and restaurants alike. 

The Clam Man | 15 Boxwood Cir., Falmouth, MA 02540 | $$

fresh seafood cape cod food
via The Clam Man


6. Stuffed Quahog at Spanky’s Clam Shack and Seaside Saloon

If you’re searching for authentic Cape Cod food, try a quahog (pronounced “ko-hog”). This variety of clam is best served stuffed at Spanky’s Clam Shack with a squeeze of lemon.

The Vibe

A classic seafood shack with outdoor seating, umbrellas and the feel of “Old Cape Cod.” 

Why It's Good

Fresh-caught seafood is deep-fried until golden brown and crispy. Served in a clamshell with lemon slices, this iconic Cape Cod food will make you want to order seconds. 

Spanky’s Clam Shack and Seaside Saloon | 138 Ocean St., Hyannis, MA 02601 | $$

7. Cape Codder Special at Palio Pizzeria

Sometimes, a slice of pizza is needed for a comforting, easy meal. Kick it up a notch with Cape Cod food like shrimp and clams at Palio Pizzeria

The Vibe

A warm, inviting brick-oven pizza shop serving fresh pizza pies and a refreshing brew from the bar.

Why It's Good

The white-based pizza is served with minced garlic, mozzarella, shrimp and clams. Topped with a squeeze of lemon, it’s the perfect Cape Cod food experience in one bite. 

Palio Pizzeria | 435 Main St., Hyannis, MA 02601 | $$

seafood pizza
via Canva

8. The Mayflower at Hearth N’ Kettle

Enjoy a hearty brunch at Hearth N’ Kettle with one of their signature dishes. The Mayflower includes two cranberry oatmeal pancakes, turkey sausage and eggs cooked to perfection. 

The Vibe

A large yet cozy dining room with comforting breakfast and brunch favorites. 

Why It's Good

Go with classic Cape Cod food like The Mayflower, or mix it up with another brunch-inspired dish like eggs Benedict or an omelette. Hearth N’ Kettle brings local comfort to each dish. 

Hearth N’ Kettle | 1196 Main St., South Yarmouth, MA 02664 | $$

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9. Latté From Great Awakening Coffee House

Grab your favorite style latté from Great Awakening Coffee House to start the day with a boost. Fabulous Cape Cod food like pastries and frittatas are available as well. 

The Vibe

A quaint, modern coffee house with live plants and plenty of tables to enjoy a conversation with friends. 

Why It's Good

Each latté is handcrafted with precision and care. Stick around and order your beverage in a ceramic mug to enjoy Instagram-worthy latté art. 

Great Awakening Coffee House | 20 Independence Dr. Unit B, Hyannis, MA 02601 | $

coffee shop in cape cod
via Great Awakening Coffee House

10. Carne Asada From Anejo Mexican Bistro

Visit Anejo Mexican Bistro for the best Mexican food in Cape Cod. Take on the heat of the carne asada with a refreshing margarita. 

The Vibe

A bright, open space with a coastal theme and Mexican-inspired décor. 

Why It's Good

Experience authentic Mexican cuisine with classic dishes while enjoying the salty air of the Atlantic coast. 

Anejo Mexican Bistro | 599 Main St., Hyannis, MA 02601 | $$

11. Cape Codder at Ocean Terrace

Dine on the bay at the beautiful Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club. Enjoy a refreshing cocktail, like the Cape Codder, at the scenic Ocean Terrace after a day on the golf course. 

The Vibe

A serene outdoor terrace located right on the water. Dive into your favorite cocktail and the best Cape Cod food with a view.

Why It's Good

The Cape Codder is another name for a classic vodka cranberry cocktail. Ocean Terrace is known for well-made cocktails, so there is no better place to enjoy this classic Cape Cod drink. 

Ocean Terrace | 2907 Main St., Ocean Edge Resort And Golf Club, Brewster, MA 02631 | $$$$ 

cape codder cocktail
via Canva

12. Burger at Local 186

There is nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a juicy hamburger and chasing it with salty fries. Local 186 is known for Cape Cod cuisine and the best burger on the coast. 

The Vibe

A casual restaurant inside a redesigned Victorian home with a view of the water. 

Why It's Good

Guests enjoy a casual meal with burgers and beer while admiring the picturesque Provincetown Bay. 

Local 186 | 186 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA 02657| $$

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13. Fish and Chips at Cobie's

Traveling along the coast easily inspires a craving for fresh seafood. Fresh-caught fish fried until crisp at Cobie’s and served with salty fries are the quintessential Cape Cod food everyone should try. 

The Vibe

An authentic, outdoor clam shack with a wholesome feel. 

Why It's Good

Order at the counter, grab a seat under an umbrella and appreciate classic Cape Cod food in a picture-perfect New England environment. Treat yourself to soft-serve ice cream after your meal!

Cobie's | 3260 Main St., Brewster, MA 02631 | $$ 

fish and chips is a cape cod food
via Cobie's

14. Raw Oysters at Mac's Chatham Fish & Lobster

When venturing to Cape Cod, food enthusiasts crave fresh, briny raw oysters. Visit Mac's Chatham Fish & Lobster for delightful oysters on the half-shell. 

The Vibe

A local landmark, this casual seafood restaurant invites guests into an environment proud of its 35 years of serving Cape Cod food. 

Why It's Good

Those who love oysters understand the importance of knowing where they were caught. Mac’s knowledgeable staff will happily share the details with patrons. 

Mac's Chatham Fish & Lobster | 1291 Main St., Rte. 28, Chatham, MA 02633 | $$

15. Seared Scallops at Sesuit Harbor Café

Seared scallops, particularly from Nantucket Bay, are a staple in Cape Cod. Food directly from the ocean is unbeatable, but the scallops at Sesuit Harbor Café take Cape Cod cuisine to a new level. 

The Vibe

Smell the fresh-caught fish in this quaint, cozy seafood shack with driftwood accents and a hand-written chalkboard menu. 

Why It's Good

There is nothing like enjoying fresh scallops from a seafood shack living along the water. Guests can simultaneously taste and smell the sea. 

Sesuit Harbor Café | 357 Sesuit Neck Rd., Dennis, MA 02638 | $$

seared scallops
via Canva

16. Lobster Ice Cream From Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium

Don’t let the idea of lobster ice cream scare you. Ben and Bill’s is famous for this unique flavor. Cape Cod food enthusiasts love the chance to try something different. 

The Vibe

Walk into a whimsical store and be greeted with the sweet smell of homemade chocolate and an array of ice cream choices. 

Why It's Good

The lobster ice cream is sweet, creamy and authentic. Open your mind and give it a whirl — and yes, the ice cream is churned with real lobster!

Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium | 209 Main St., Falmouth, MA 02540 | $$

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17. Italian Sub From Woods Hole Market

Stop inside Woods Hole Market & General Store for a quick Italian sub for lunch. While you’re there, grab some groceries and fresh produce for the perfect one-stop shop. 

The Vibe

A friendly, inviting deli counter inside a local market with all of the everyday essentials you need to take on the weekend. 

Why It's Good

While the Italian sub is a local favorite, choose from an array of sandwiches, wraps, salads and artisanal cheeses for a lovely lunch by the water. 

Woods Hole Market | 87 Water St., Woods Hole, MA 02543 | $$

italian sub
via Canva


18. Lobster Rangoon at The Brewster Fish House

The Brewster Fish House has some of the best Cape Cod food in the state. The house-made lobster rangoon is the perfect appetizer to share with friends and family. 

The Vibe

A contemporary bistro with a rotating menu located inside a humble cottage.

Why It's Good

Guests appreciate a finer dining atmosphere that offers the best Cape Cod food, local produce, caviar and dry-aged meats.

The Brewster Fish House | 2208 Main St., Brewster, MA 02631 | $$$

19. Craft Brew at Cape Cod Beer

Enjoy a refreshingly cold beer after a day in the sand at Cape Cod Beer. They brew their own beer and partner with local food trucks serving the best Cape Cod food. 

The Vibe

A fun-filled atmosphere with rotating food trucks, local brews and live music on the patio. 

Why It's Good

Cape Cod Beer is the original microbrewery in the area, and visitors love their roots in the community. They are also open year-round, a major draw in Cape Cod. 

Cape Cod Beer | 1336 Phinney's Lane, Hyannis, MA 02601 | $

cape cod food and beer
via Cape Cod Beer


20. Lobster Roll at JT’s Seafood Restaurant

Order a traditional lobster roll from JT’s Seafood Restaurant to appreciate this classic Cape Cod food. 

The Vibe

Order food at the welcoming counter in this bright seafood restaurant featuring indoor and outdoor seating. 

Why It's Good

Order succulent lobster rolls served either hot or cold. Enjoy fresh seafood and a scoop of ice cream for a fabulous day along the coast. 

JT’s Seafood Restaurant | 2689 Main St., Brewster, MA 02631 | $$

21. Afternoon Tea at Dunbar House Tea Room & Wine Bar

Treat yourself to afternoon tea with a traditional three-tier at Dunbar House. Enjoy loose-leaf tea, fresh scones and Cape Cod food at this quaint restaurant. 

The Vibe

A classic, English tea room with delicate tea cups and colorful plates. 

Why It's Good

Experience traditional afternoon tea inside a classic, elegant tea room. Guests love to escape from coastal life for a whimsical trip across the Atlantic. 

Dunbar House Tea Room & Wine Bar | 1 Water St., Sandwich, MA 02563 | $$

afternoon tea
via Dunbar House Tea Room & Wine Bar

Get a Taste of Famous Cape Cod Foods

There is no better way to discover Cape Cod foods than by learning to make the classic regional dishes at home. No matter where you live, available cooking classes near you will take you on a Cape Cod coastal journey in your own kitchen. Learn the classic elements of Cape Cod food and understand how to prepare the perfect dish with native ingredients. 

cozymeal cooking classes
via Cozymeal

Whether you are a Cape Cod native or stopping by for a visit, the diverse culture and coastal atmosphere offers sublime food to enjoy. No matter what part of the area you’re in, the Cape Cod food is worth your time.  

For even more ways to explore Cape Cod, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.

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