9 Fantastic Waterfront Restaurants on Cape Cod

A waterfront restaurant on Cape Cod, known simply as “The Cape” to locals, is synonymous with excellent seafood. A bowl of thick New England clam chowder, a perfectly prepared lobster roll, or delicately fried seafood menus adorn menus from white linen dining establishments to clam shacks with picnic tables.

First Beach at Tree House Brewing, Sandwich

First Beach at Tree House Brewing, Sandwich

Photo credit: Sandi Barrett

Whether you’re looking for a basket of fried clams or a shimmering raw bass tower, you’ll enjoy this list of the best waterfront restaurants on Cape Cod. I love them all and they are listed in no particular order.

1. The Beachcomber

Wellfleet

With a view of Cahoon Hollow Beach, The Beachcomber has been a staple for generations of beachgoers. The seasonal cabin opens the Thursday before Memorial Day part-time until Cape Town’s summer season is in full swing until Labor Day. From 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., you can enjoy the trendy atmosphere of the Combers, with your feet in the sand.

What to order at Beachcomber

If you want to stay local, try Drink The Pink, made with South Hollow Spirits’ Dry Line Rose Gin in Truro, blended with another local favourite: cranberries.

Seafood is perfection on a plate. I order the plate of fried clam strips or the plate of fried oysters and a cold draft. It’s the essence of summer at the beach.

Pro tip: Beachcomber parking is $30 (9am-6pm). You will receive a voucher which can be exchanged for food and/or merchandise.

Pleasant Bay, Wequassett resort

Pleasant Bay, Wequassett resort

Photo credit: Jenny Quinn

2. Outdoor bar and grill

Harwich

The Outer Bay & Grill at Wequassett Resort And Golf Club offers views of peaceful Pleasant Bay. Open for lunch, this bayside restaurant is a charming place to enjoy Wequassett’s upscale yet laid-back atmosphere.

What to order at the Outer Bar & Grill

If you want high end lunch go for the Platinum Caviar with house fries, yes please. A local and more economical option is small steamed clams with chorizo. Add a draft of Handline Kölsch brewed at Devil’s Purse Brewing Company in nearby Dennis for lunch on Cape Cod to complete this local feast.

Pro tip: Wequassett is a popular weekend wedding destination, midweek meals tend to be less crowded.

3. The veranda

Chatham

One of the best waterfront views with a sumptuous menu is on the porch of The Veranda, a dining option at Chatham Bars Inn. This seasonal restaurant operates on a first-come, first-served basis, making it accessible to everyone. Keep in mind that porch dining is weather dependent.

What to order at the veranda

It’s hard to miss the local lobster with cognac sauce. Add a glass of prosecco and you will live The good life. There’s nothing like amazing cuisine, cool bubbles and a great view to add a little luxury to your getaway.

Pro tip: Go for a light lunch so you can enjoy an early dinner and beat the crowds; dinner service begins at 4 p.m.

4. Baxter Yacht Club

Hyannis

With a view of bustling Hyannis Harbor and the ferry terminal, Baxter’s Boat Club has been the local hangout for decades. Locals and tourists alike flock to Baxter’s for well-prepared classic seafood.

What to Order at Baxter’s Boat Club

The stuffed quahog is one of the best plates in the Cape. I also love their seafood bisque loaded with lobster, scallops and shrimp – a perfect coastal bite. The Whole Clam Platter is waterfront dining perfection for anyone who loves clams. If you’re looking for a huge plate of seafood, order Captain Baxter’s seafood platter; it’s filled with whole clams, scallops, shrimp and haddock.

Pro Tip: Ask for a seat on the outside deck for the best views.

Lobster Rolls, Sesuit Harbor Cafe

Lobster Rolls, Sesuit Harbor Cafe

Photo credit: Sandi Barrett

5. Sesuit Harbor Cafe

Dennis

Open April through October, Sesuit Harbor Cafe is located at Northside Marina and offers views of Sesuit Harbor and Cape Cod Bay. The outdoor patio is an arrangement of picnic tables between the clam shack and the waterfront.

This is a no frills restaurant at its best. Stand in line to place your order, grab a table, and wait for the runner to deliver your delicious dinner fresh from the kitchen.

What to order at Sesuit Harbor Cafe

Everything you order at Sesuit Harbor Cafe is amazing. We pack a cooler with a few beers and chilled white wine—the coffee is BYOB—and plan our seafood extravaganza while we wait in line to order. This is one of our favorite places to order a lobster roll. The lobster is perfectly cooked and piled into a classic hot dog roll.

Pro tip: Sesuit Harbor Cafe is cash only; no credit cards are accepted.

First Beach at Tree House Brewing, Sandwich

First Beach at Tree House Brewing, Sandwich

Photo credit: Sandi Barrett

6. Tree House Brewery

Sandwich

Although not technically a restaurant, Tree House Brewing Company offers views of First Beach in Sandwich. With the same great ales offered at their original location in Charlton, Tree House’s signature style and exemplary customer service are clearly evident.

You must reserve your time slot online. Additionally, beer pickups require online booking. During the weekends, a food truck service is usually available. However, you can bring your own food to enjoy with a cold beer or two.

What to order at Tree House Brewing Company

The Double IPA King Julius is one of their signature beers along with the Double IPA Haze. My personal favorite is the dark and rich Tree Of Life Vanilla Bean. The best way to sample a few options is to book a bar seat and share a few tastes, then place your order for pickup.

Pro Tip: Parking is a problem. They have a few spots for guests and a few for pickup, otherwise you have to pay and park in the parking lot at First Beach. There is free parking at the Sandcatcher Recreation Area near the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center. It’s about a half mile walk to First Beach and Tree House.

View from Popponesset Inn, Mashpee

View from Popponesset Inn, Mashpee

Photo credit: Sandi Barrett

7. Popponesset Inn Restaurant

mashpee

The Popponesset Inn at New Seabury offers views of Nantucket Sound and Martha’s Vineyard. The casual dining experience at Popponesset is a wonderful way to end a wonderful day at the beach. The private community of New Seabury offers a timeless view of exclusive Cape Town summer homes.

What to order at the Popponesset Inn Restaurant

Open for lunch and dinner, Popponesset offers expertly crafted coastal cuisine. Classic clam chowder and a loaded lobster roll share the menu with surprises like their prosciutto flatbread with goat cheese and crispy Baja shrimp tacos.

Pro Tip: Reservations are required at this popular spot.

Cape Cod Reuben, Mattakeese Wharf Restaurant

Cape Cod Reuben, Mattakeese Wharf Restaurant

Photo credit: Sandi Barrett

8. Mattakeese Wharf Restaurant

barn cowshed

There’s nothing more classic on Cape Cod than dining on the dockside catch of the day. The Mattakeese Wharf Restaurant offers quayside views and delicious seafood in a casual Cape Town style.

What to order at Mattakeese Wharf Restaurant

The fried fish has a light, crispy batter enveloping a delicacy of perfectly cooked seafood. I love the Cape Cod Reuben – expertly breaded and fried cod on rye bread with all the traditional Reuben toppings. Add potato salad or pickled cukes to round out this great lunch. The clam chowder is outstanding and always a winner. If you are a fan of fish and chips, you will be a very satisfied customer – you will undoubtedly clean your plate.

Pro tip: Mattakeese is adjacent to Hyannis Whale Watcher cruises, making it the perfect stop after a day on the high seas in search of whale sightings.

9. Restaurant Pepe’s Wharf

Provincetown

Pepe’s Wharf restaurant on Commercial Street in Provincetown (P-town in Cape Codders) is just far enough from the main drag to provide a peaceful meal. Walk to the end of a charming lane and you will find the hostess station – just follow the signs.

With a lovely view of Provincetown Harbor from the various porches, Pepe’s is a wonderful place for lunch and dinner. To get good seating, eat outside of main meal times and arrive before the crowds.

What to order at Pepe’s Wharf Restaurant

The Super Lump Crab Cake served with a tangy remoulade is a wonderful starter. For lunch, it’s hard to beat their Crispy Fishwich; the breaded cod is some of the best in Cape Cod Bay. Add a Sam Adams Seasonal Summer Ale for the best waterside meal combo – fried fish and a beer.

Pro tip: Pepe’s porches are dog friendly which can be an important consideration. One note: they only allow one dog per table.

Dinner by the water

Waterfront restaurants on Cape Cod are the perfect way to manage your vacation meals. Cooking perfect seafood is hard in a vacation home; you’ll enjoy your seafood feast more if it’s expertly prepared and delivered to your table. When you add the bonus of a waterfront view, it’s vacation dining nirvana.

Whether you’re visiting Cape Town for a few days or a full week, you’ll want to explore one of Cape Town’s best beaches or a few Cape Town experiences in between your culinary adventures. If you need a place to stay, explore one of these 16 charming Cape Cod vacation rentals, from Provincetown to Falmouth.

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