Sam Diego’s

For as long as I can remember, my family and I have been going to Sam Diego’s. Whether it was a birthday or catching up with friends, we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed with a meal from the 30-year-old restaurant on Route 132. Whether you’re in the mood for an authentic Mexican meal, something out of the ordinary, or a frosty margarita, Sam Diego’s offers a little taste of Mexico in Hyannis, and it’s one of my favorite restaurants.

Cape Cod Dining Guide

The dining rooms provide a mix of wide-open space and cozy corners, and the walls are covered with southwestern colors and décor. In 2000, the restaurant added new dining rooms, a new bar, and an outdoor patio—perfect for enjoying those margaritas on warm summer nights. They have also mastered the art of landscaping—when you sit on the patio, you are transported to a relaxing paradise.

After deciding where to take a seat, you have another decision to make: which one of those perfectly crafted margaritas and cocktails are you going to choose? On my most recent trip I tried their newest creation, the Lime-in-the-Coconut Margarita ($8.85). It came garnished with a fresh pineapple slice and toasted coconut on the rim on the glass. It was the perfect blend of coconut and citrus and made me feel like I was sitting on the beach, not underneath a roof on a rainy Saturday.

When you go to Sam Diego’s, you can always find a familiar face. Whether it’s a friend dining or one of their staff who has been with them since day one, it’s a friendly place to eat, drink, relax, and strike up a conversation. While speaking with one of the owners, I learned that the voice you hear on the Sam Diego’s radio jingle belongs to Jimi Jamison, former front man for the band Survivor, the authors of the arena anthem and Rocky III theme “Eye of the Tiger.” Remember that piece of trivia next time you turn the dial!

Cape Cod Dining Guide

To start our meal, my guest, who is as much of a fan of Sam Diego’s as I am, shared the Hollerin’ Jalapeno pretzel ($4.65), a jumbo jalapeno dough pretzel stuffed with pepper jack cheese. We also tried the roasted Habanero Chicken Wings ($8.95). For a crispier texture, we asked the bartender to have them fried rather than roasted (a great suggestion from a friend who has been ordering them this way for years).

When I was younger, my mom always ordered the same entrée at Sam Diego’s. (My dad still does: even though they no longer have the Sloppy José on the menu, they still make it for him in the kitchen.) I guess I really am my mother’s daughter—I get the same bean burrito covered in melted cheese ($8). My guest, on the other hand, likes to try something new on the menu every time we visit. He ordered a pulled pork burrito ($12), filled with sweet, tangy barbecued pulled pork and topped with chile con queso. Of course, I had to steal some off of his plate.

If we weren’t as full as we were, we would have capped our meal with Sam Diego’s famous deep-fried ice cream ($6.50): vanilla ice cream rolled in a crunchy coating deep fried, served in a tortilla bowl with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and toasted coconut.

They say you can’t have too much of a good thing, and that saying rings true with Sam Diego’s.

––Jennifer Dow

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