published in the Cape Cod Times…September 17, 2021
When you want to know the best places to eat and drink somewhere, you ask your friends and neighbors, right? Or at least the people who live in the area and know what they’re talking about from experience.
The Times asked hundreds of our neighbors in recent weeks when we sought out some culinary ways to enjoy the best of a Cape Cod summer. Recommendations from Facebook “friends” and our subscribers helped us to get a good view of where to go when we’re hungry for certain foods, particularly those so associated with the Cape.
All conveniently compiled in one place, here are some ideas to put on your list to try in coming months for those restaurants that stay open past Labor Day. Or you can make a list for next summer when you and your visitors will be looking for delectable fried clams, or a lobster roll or some other seasonal favorite.
Be sure to check out current hours — they’re changing often for different reasons — so you won’t be disappointed.
We were pleasantly surprised to see the top vote-getters in our unscientific poll were well distributed, geographically, throughout the Cape. So wherever you may be living, visiting or staying, you can’t be far from a great lobster roll.
Another common factor was that the best lobster rolls seem to be at the old-fashioned family places that have been operating for three decades or more. Here are the top places on Cape Cod to get a lobster roll:
Barbecue brings excitement to any party, with its combination of fire, smoke and time being the perfect recipe. For those who don’t want to do it on their own, though, there are some great takeout options available.
In an unscientific reader poll, in first place by almost one-third of the votes was The Alley Bowling & BBQ in Orleans. That spot offers not only all kinds of barbecue and homestyle sides (fried green tomatoes, buttermilk biscuits and poutine) but also candlepin bowling and a bar with 16 brews on tap.
To smoke out more info on that restaurant and four other recommended spots:
We suspected people would have strong feelings about their favorite burgers and, indeed, they do: 659 Cape Cod Times readers responded to our informal poll.
The five places that came out on top did so by a considerable margin, with the rest of the votes splintering between eight other places.
Want to find a new burger place for yourself and your friends? Here are the top ideas:
Hold the metal fork and white linen napkin. It seems Cape Cod Times readers like their fried clams without fuss, taken away to enjoy at the beach or eaten at a picnic table with friends and family.
Seasonal restaurants Kream ‘N Kone in West Dennis and Captain Frosty’s Fish & Chips in Dennis scored high when we polled readers for their favorite fried clam places.
A warning that prices have been high around the Cape in recent months, but aren’t they worth it? Here are five ideas for where to go:
When readers told us about their favorite ice cream, we were left drooling — can “Death By Chocolate” be a bad thing?
This treat is certainly associated with summer, and a number of shops for this cold dessert shut down during the colder months, but there are many of us who consider ice cream a year-round food.
So find these spots while you can, or keep an eye on when they’ll be reopening for 2022. We know some places that return in the dead of winter!
If you are someone who enjoys calamari with your cocktails, we have some places for you to check out on your next night out with friends.
Although it can be simmered in tomato sauce, calamari — the Italian word for squid — tends to be served deep-fried (calamari fritto) in New England. Those are the favorites we found in our poll results, too.
Some spots to consider for this delicacy:
This list originally focused on summer drinks, but cocktails are hot and many don’t have to be only enjoyed in hot weather.
Tops, by a wide margin in our poll, was The Ocean House Restaurant in Dennis Port. The Ocean House offers inside and outside dining with stunning views of Nantucket Sound and a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes — as well as fresh seafood — to go with your favorite cocktail.
It’s a good idea to book a spot ahead there, and at many other restaurants. Here are some other ideas of where to go for a favorite alcoholic treat: