Sure, there’s the sand, the surf and the sun, but a person has to eat some time, even when visiting Cape Cod. These five Cape Cod restaurants are worth leaving the beach for! Read on to learn why.
5 Great Family-Friendly Restaurants in Cape Cod, Massachussetts
Heading to Cape Cod with the family? It’s a wonderful place for summer travel (and also lovely in the spring and early fall). Located about an hour south of Boston via Route 28, there’s so much to do and see. Harbor ferry tours, trips to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, rides on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, beaches, delicious food at Cape Cod restaurants and more. And there are the vacation stand-bys too, like miniature golf, shopping and hotel pools.
There’s also a thriving restaurant scene featuring everything from fine dining to waterfront dining to fast casual. When traveling with kids, especially young kids, fine dining probably isn’t what you’re looking for though. These five Cape Cod restaurants are family-friendly. Plus, many of them feature the fresh seafood that the New England shoreline is known for.
1. Sir Cricket Fish ‘n Chips in Cape Cod
Located in a little shopping strip, Sir Cricket Fish ‘n’ Chips is a clam shack that serves some of the best seafood in the area. The fried oysters are big and meaty. For seafood-loving kids, the fish and chips is a great option as is the absolutely amazing clam chowder, which is creamy and packed with clams and potatoes. They do serve hot dogs and other land-faring fare, but you are best off with the seafood selections. And yes, they have lobster rolls. There is some seating here, but it’s best for takeout.
If you go: Try the clam chowder and the oyster platter. But be warned, seating is very limited. (38 Route 6A; Orleans)
2. Cottage Street Bakery
When you leave Sir Cricket Fish ‘n’ Chips, take the short drive to the adorable Cottage Street Bakery. It’s located just off Route 6A in Orleans, and well worth the stop (it’s also worth a special drive there!). Serving breakfast selections, sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch and a wide variety of pastries and confections, this little bakery is a good place to pick up dessert or a quick bite. The brownies, which come in flavors like mint and raspberry, are spread with flavored buttercream that takes them from very good to sublime. Also, Cottage Street makes great cakes. Seating is very limited, so plan on takeout.
If you go: Try the brownies. They are worth every decadent bite. (5 Cottage Street; Orleans)
3. Hearth ‘n Kettle in Cape Cod
If there’s one Cape Cod restaurant that says family-friendly to me, it’s the one that I grew up with. Hearth ‘n Kettle, a small chain of Cape Cod restaurants, is the ultimate in family-friendly. In taking my kids to the cape, I found that this remains one of the best restaurants for enjoying with kids of all ages. Think crayons and a good dining experience for little ones. The Orleans outpost is cozy, with wood details and a menu filled with delicious options. There are also locations in Plymouth, Hyannis, Weymouth and South Yarmouth. It’s a good spot for any meal.
If you go: Be adventurous. The best dishes are the ones that are a step outside the ordinary. (9 West Road; Orleans; see the website for other locations.)
4. Cooke’s Seafood
This counter-service restaurant is where my kids fell in love with Cape Cod and New England cuisine. The fried clams, oysters and broiled fish options are divine. Also nice is the friendly service. But the part that really impressed me was the kids menu, which has several fish options including fried clams on it. Lobster rolls are on the menu too, if that’s what you are seeking. Plus the French fries that come with the fish and chips and other seafood platters are pretty darn good. There’s plenty of seating in the dining room, and it’s a casual, comfortable atmosphere. That’s why we’ve made a point to stop here on every trip to the cape since we discovered it. There are two locations — in Hyannis and Orleans. Either is worth the stop.
If you go: Skip the burgers, have the seafood. (1120 Iyannough Road, Hyannis; 1 South Orleans Road, Orleans)
5. Box Lunch
Since the late 1970s, this Cape Cod restaurant has been serving reliable, unique sandwiches to the masses. Box Lunch specializes in rolled sandwiches and offers selections perfect for breakfast as well as a large lunch menu and several options for kids. Though there are a few seafood options, the majority of the menu falls under the American deli standard. The original location is in Wellfleet, but there are also locations in Provincetown and Truro.
If you go: Don’t plan to eat here. There are only a few tables but as a takeaway spot, this is excellent. Why not get food and go have a picnic? (50 Briar Lane, Wellfleet; 300 Rt. 6, Truro; 353 Commercial Street, Provincetown)
Plus, Ice Cream!
There are dozens of places to get ice cream on Cape Cod. Among the popular spots is Katie’s Homemade Ice Cream, located at 568 Main Street in Hyannis, known for its creative flavors made with local ingredients such as Cape Cod Mud, Rosemary Fig, Lavender Honeycomb and Banoff Pie. They also have a full range of classic flavors too. Also popular is Smitty’s Homemade Ice Cream located at 3261 Main Street in Barnstable. Smitty’s also has locations in Mashpee and East Falmouth. They serve 45 flavors including Banana Oreo, Rocky Road and Shark’s Tooth.
And One More Thing
If you happen to have a free night for just the adults, consider trying Mac’s Shack in Wellfleet, a lovely fine dining restaurant with a clam shack feel. They have a raw bar, an impressive array of seafood options and even a sushi menu. It’s just the thing for an adults-only night out on the cape!
There’s so much good food to enjoy while visiting Cape Cod, and so many great places to stay. While I am partial to the quieter areas of the island (like Orleans), one super fun option for families is The Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis, which features an indoor waterpark. Also, with Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard just a short ferry ride away, there’s even more options for New England fun on your vacation.