Waterfront or Bust

Cape Cod Life  /  August 2020 /

Writer: Allyson Plessner

Waterfront or Bust


Cape Cod Life  /  August 2020 /

Writer: Allyson Plessner

When dining on the Cape & Islands, waterview restaurants are the way to go!

The Cape & Islands have a number of incredible features—a large number—but far and away the most sought after is the vast array of waterfront views that the area is known for. And, what better way to savor those views than with a delicious meal in front of you—perhaps a lobster roll or bowl of clam chowder? 

Waterfront dining is a luxury that the region has in spades, and visitors and locals are often lucky enough to enjoy delicious cuisine alongside unencumbered views of classic Cape sunsets or sunny summer beach days. From The Pilot House in Sandwich, where diners can watch fishing boats bring in the day’s catch, to The Canteen in Provincetown, where visitors dig their feet in the sand under their picnic table as they look out upon Provincetown Harbor, there is no shortage of restaurants with a view to enjoy. Then, of course, there are the region’s two islands with miles upon miles of ocean views to take in. Head to the Sandbar at Jetties Beach on Nantucket for a classic beachside getaway or Nancy’s Restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard for a must-have mudslide. If you’re looking out across the region’s spectacular coastline, you really can’t go wrong. 

In these final sweet months of summer, waterview dining is surely the way to go—especially in a year that has demonstrated the incredible importance of finding little moments of escape and relaxation. We’ve compiled a list of a few stellar spots with equally stellar views to help you do just that. We hope that you will join us in supporting these local businesses and in celebrating the intrinsic, indescribable beauty that is the Cape & Islands.

Here is some more information about a few of our favorite waterview restaurants:

Upper Cape: The Pilot House

Waterfront views on the Cape don’t get much more scenic than at The Pilot House in Sandwich. Looking out over a dock full of classic fishing trawlers bringing home the day’s catch, The Pilot House offers fresh seafood, a relaxing atmosphere and an outstanding view of the picturesque Cape Cod Canal (insider tip: check out our Photo Portfolio on page 58 to see more spectacular views of the Canal). For more, visit pilothousecapecod.com.

Mid Cape: Raw Bar at the Bluewater Grill

Watch the ferries depart and return while savoring a delicious lobster roll at the Raw Bar at the Bluewater Grill in Hyannis. Located on Ocean Street, the Raw Bar is cooking up their signature lobster rolls (trust us, they are stuffed full of delectable, fresh lobster), refreshing cocktails and an ever-entertaining views of boat traffic in Hyannis Harbor. It’s the perfect recipe for a classic Cape Cod day! For more, visit therawbaroceanstreet.com.

Lower Cape: Brax Landing Restaurant

A Cape Cod staple for decades, Brax Landing Restaurant sits along Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Port. Enjoy Cape Cod classics like a delightful lobster bisque for lunch or dayboat Chatham scrod for dinner. Also open on Sundays with a special, flavorsome brunch menu, Brax Landing is the ideal spot to enjoy a mouthwatering meal on the spacious deck with a unique view of the harbor. For more, visit braxrestaurant.com.

Outer Cape: The Canteen

The Canteen in Provincetown has a unique backyard: Cape Cod Bay. Housed in a 200-year-old building, the Canteen has the vibes of a traditional beach shack with the flavors of great American cuisine. The communal dining space looks out upon the excitement of Commercial Street while the “backyard” opens out to the ocean with tables in the sand and a gorgeous view of Provincetown Harbor and Cape Cod Bay. Casual dining and a welcoming atmosphere makes The Canteen the perfect place to enjoy a meal and friendly company.  For more, visit thecanteenptown.com.

Martha’s Vineyard: Nancy’s Restaurant and Snack Bar

A trip to the Vineyard isn’t complete without a stop at Nancy’s. Family owned and operated since 1960, Nancy’s Restaurant offers prime seating—right over Oak Bluffs Harbor. A Middle Eastern inspired menu, sushi bar, and, of course, their famous mudslides—among other delectible food and drink items—makes Nancy’s the place to be! The Snack Bar offers casual walk-up service and takeout at umbrella-shaded picnic tables, and upstairs, a full dining room is available for lunch and dinner service also overlooking the water. For more, visit nancysrestaurant.com.

Nantucket: Sandbar at Jetties Beach

For the ideal Nantucket beachfront experience, Sandbar at Jetties Beach is a fantastic choice. An open air restaurant and bar overlooking Jetties Beach and the ocean combines with additional seating right on the sand, making it both easy and enjoyable to take in the surrounding sight. And, what a sight it is! The majestic waves of Nantucket Sound sparkle beyond the shore and crash along the warm, sandy beach as guests enjoy everything from an expansive raw bar and fresh seafood dishes to tasty sandwiches and burgers. For more, visit jettiessandbar.com.

For more and to view a complete list of waterfront restaurants on the Cape & Islands, visit our waterview dining guide at HERE

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Allyson Plessner

Allyson Plessner is a former editorial intern for Cape Cod Life and now works for the publication as a staff writer and digital media coordinator. Born in Florida, Allyson has been a lifelong summer resident of the Cape. She is a recent alumna of the College of Charleston, located in Charleston, South Carolina, where she completed bachelor’s degrees in both English and Spanish. In her free time, Allyson is an avid sailor, beach-goer, and—like her fellow Cape Cod Life colleagues—a dog-lover.