Atmosphere can add another level to any meal, and few things on Cape Cod in the summer can beat a water view. When it’s hard to pull yourself away from the beach or the boat, but you need to eat, several restaurants in every town offer the chance to dine while still watching and staying close to the ocean.
We asked our social media fans to suggest their favorite places, and they didn’t disappoint. More than 150 readers shared ideas from one end of Cape Cod to the other, with some favorites coming up over and over again.
So with answers from a completely unscientific call-out via Facebook and Instagram, here are 10 — in alphabetical order — of the most frequently suggested spots for a relaxing dinner with the sea in your sightline (with some bonus choices at the end).
And want to know what to order? Readers had some ideas there, too.
177 Pleasant St., Hyannis (http://www.baxterscapecod.com)
The popular, family-owned restaurant that’s overlooked Hyannis harbor for almost 65 years has three outdoor eating areas this year, after experimenting with new areas during COVID-19 restrictions. Readers suggested ordering the fish and chips and mojitos. Calling Baxter’s “the best,” reader Anne Weinstein praised its “great food, awesome staff, beautiful views!”
705 Route 28, Harwich Port (https://www.braxrestaurant.com):
This decades-long staple overlooks Saquatucket Harbor, and readers said they enjoyed eating here inside or out. “Food is delicious! Staff is awesome!” said Amy Fadely Camenga, and Judith Palmer Hoyle recommended the “amazing lobster rolls.”
The Chart Room
1 Shipyard Lane, Cataumet (http://chartroomcataumet.com)
This restaurant near the Cataumet Marina has an ace in the hole for its water view: sunset. Readers praise an evening of watching a sunset here (particularly from the lawn), calling it “breathtaking” and the best view around. This seasonal restaurant also has an interesting history: It first opened in 1966 on board a converted New Jersey Central Railroad barge that was used as a machine shop during the Korean War. Large lathes were once located where the bar is, the restaurant’s website says, and the piano is in what was the diesel engine rebuilding area.
The Flying Bridge Restaurant
220 Scranton Ave., Falmouth (https://flyingbridgerestaurant.com/)
This 35-year-old waterfront restaurant is a popular choice for weddings, and its website suggests its second-floor function room (“the floor-to-ceiling windows practically put you on the decks of the yachts motoring past”) as a “memorable” setting for events. The setting is also popular with the diners who wander the area while they wait for a table at the first-come, first-served restaurant. One reader notes the “beautiful boats and ferry passing by” in Falmouth Harbor as the favorite part of the view. Other readers praise the food, especially seafood and hand-cut onion rings.
9 Luscombe Ave., Woods Hole (https://www.landfallwoodshole.com/)
Remarkably, this is the 76th — yes, 76th — season for this waterfront restaurant, which is now run by the son and granddaughter of the founder. Reader Melissa Bielinski says the spot offers a “relaxing environment, excellent service and great food!” Besides its water view outside, the restaurant’s inside is also pretty interesting: According to its website, Landfall was constructed from boards from shipwrecks and old buildings. A stained-glass window showing a wharf and waterfront scene came from the Prosser mansion of Penzance Point, and there’s a more than 2,000-year-old urn pulled from the Aegean Sea hanging from the rafters.
The Lobster Pot
321 Commercial St., Provincetown (https://www.ptownlobsterpot.com/)
Labeled “a Provincetown tradition” by the McNulty family that has run the restaurant by MacMillan Pier since 1979, the Lobster Pot offers a menu that is a mix of seafood, Portuguese specialties, steaks, poultry, vegetarian and light fare. While the family has branched out to Lobster Pot Express a short way down Commercial Street, and the Lobster & Chowder House on Route 6 in Wellfleet, it’s the original restaurant that has two waterview dining rooms. Sit upstairs, readers recommend, with Jennifer Kain DeFoe emphasizing that location “always” before recommending the restaurant’s “superb view of the harbor” and “fab food with a lot of unexpected dishes.”
425 Old Wharf Road, Dennis Port (https://oceanhouserestaurant.com/home/)
The invitation to “dine overlooking Nantucket Sound” through the restaurant’s walls of windows may be all some patrons need to know, but readers say they also love the atmosphere. Diana Kenney says Ocean House is her favorite Mid-Cape restaurant: “Elegant-casual dining room, expansive ocean views, food is always good and vegetarian/gluten-free people have several options.”
Sesuit Harbor Cafe
357 Sesuit Neck Road, Dennis (https://sesuit-harbor-cafe.com/)
In its 22nd season, the family-owned and -operated restaurant is described on its website as “a classic Cape Cod clam shack … overlooking Northside Marina and Cape Cod Bay.” One reader praises its “delicious food and beautiful view!” and others highly recommend the restaurant’s lobster rolls and onion rings.
Spanky’s Clam Shack and Seaside Saloon
138 Ocean St., Hyannis (https://www.spankysclamshack.com/)
Located right on Hyannis harbor as the boats and ferries come by, Spanky’s boasts multiple awards from travelers’ websites and local magazines. The restaurant also apparently does lobster right: Reader Rose Nesto said it has “the best lobster salad,” and Lucinda Conti recommends “the best lobster bisque in the world!”
1120 Cahoon Hollow Road (https://www.thebeachcomber.com/)
This more than 40-year-old seasonal restaurant and club sits atop the Cahoon Hollow Beach dunes. “With an outdoor bar overlooking the Atlantic and an indoor bar in the heart of a former U.S. Lifesaving Station, it does not get any more authentic than the Wellfleet Beachcomber,” its website notes. One reader calls the ‘comber “an awesome place by the beach” with “good food and great atmosphere.” The spot opened full-time in mid-June, and entertainment is back for the Fourth of July weekend.
Other reader-recommended spots
► Chatham Bars Inn
► Clancy’s Restaurant & Tavern in Dennis Port
► The Dockside in Hyannis
► Fanizzi’s in Provincetown
► Fishermen’s View in Sandwich
► The Lobster Trap in Bourne
► The Marshside in Dennis
► Mattakeese Wharf in Barnstable