Where to Eat on Cape Cod
It's all about the Lobster. And Oysters. And Clams.
And for a homesick expat a fish taco or two. Here is my list of where we ate on a recent, much too short, trip to Cape Cod.
We left Boston for Cape Cod on the (steamy) day after labor day. So while this meant summer temperatures and empty beaches it also meant that the Cape's fabled clam and lobster shacks were closed for a much deserved break. After a few stops at shuttered shacks we just headed for a town in the middle and tried our luck.
We ended up in Hyannis (which I discovered locals can be somewhat disparaging of, but is not without it's charm)
Spanky's is a casual spot on the harbor that served an excellent (and large) lobster roll and cold Cape Cod IPA, which is exactly what we wanted. We walked off lunch with a stroll along Main Street, had an American sized ice cream at Kate's Ice Cream and then napped away the afternoon among the horseshoe crabs at Kalmus Beach.
570 Main Street
There is little an American in Italy dreams of more than bowls of chips and salsa, salt rimmed margaritas, tacos, quesadillas. Sigh, just typing these words is making me homesick and hungry all over again. Guapo's has two locations. One which is open seasonally in Brewster and the casual place in a strip mall that we visited in the quirky town of Orleans. We pondered a menu filled with all of our favorites and were wisely counseled to make sure to order the house special of fresh shucked corn mixed with spices and cheese. Everything we ate was fresh with clean, bright flavors more Cali/Tex than mex and just the thing to cure a year long craving.
5 Old Colony Way
Every person I told that I was going to visit Cape Cod told me I had to stop at Hot Chocolate Sparrow. I get what all the fuss is about. On the day we stopped by Marjorie Sparrow was holding court at the candy register welcoming us with tales of generations raised on the Cape and wonderful trips to France and Italy. Her cheery staff helped us navigate the encyclopedic menu and then we sat, read the paper, chatted with some regulars and slowly slipped under the spell of the sparrow. No trip here is complete without a stop to the candy counter for resort treats like fudge, sea salted caramels and pastel mints, a nostalgic favorite of mine that I have not seen since I was a little girl and Millers was still a department store.
We raced to Woods Hole Harbor to catch the sunset and strolled through the sleepy town. We decided to have dinner on the "barge" with a view of moored boats, ducks and ethereal jellyfish. To go with my gin martini I had a plate of mixed ice cold local oysters and clams that tasted of the sea and a creamy bowl of seafood chowder.
16 Jarves Street
Our flight back to Rome didn't leave until almost midnight. That meant we had time for a stroll along the famous Sandwich Boardwalk and one last lobster roll before we headed back towards Boston. Martha at Woods Hole Passage recommended stopping at Beth's before we crossed the bridge. In a part of the country rich in history Sandwich, founded in 1639 is just a little bit richer, being the oldest town on Cape Cod. Beth's is housed in what was once a Purtitan church. The lobster was rich and plentiful, the Cop Cod Chips crispy and the iced tea cold and it was all enjoyed on a breezy, shaded porch. A perfect end to a perfect trip.
We were guests of Guapos and Hot Chocolate Sparrow but all opinions are my own.