Cape Cod is known for its foodie scene, and one of the best towns for waterfront dining and fresh seafood is Dennis. Comprising the five villages of Dennis, Dennis Port, West Dennis, East Dennis, and South Dennis, this mid-Cape town has some of my favorite Cape Cod restaurants.
Like the best restaurants in Yarmouth MA that we’ve already reviewed, these restaurants in Dennis can be very busy in the summer season. While some of them accept reservations, others are first-come, first-served. It’s best to visit the most popular restaurants mid-week since the weekends are typically the most crowded.
Check restaurant hours before making plans. Most of these restaurants are not open year round, andclose for the winter or offer limited hours. You’ll want to be prepared if visiting in the off-season. In addition, several of these locations do not accept credit cards.
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The Best Restaurants in Dennis MA (Cape Cod)
Looking for lots of dinner options in addition to seafood? Scargo Cafe, located on Main Street in Dennis, offers lunch and dinner. We first ate here when staying at Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster, and loved the large selection of food.
The menu includes appetizers and salads as well as entrees and sandwiches. In addition to lobster, calamari, fish, and oysters, Scargo Cafe also offers steak, ribs, pork, chicken, and more.
There’s also a great bar menu, including a large selection of wines, craft beers, and cocktails. Don’t skip dessert – Scargo is known for their world-famous Grapenut custard, but there are lots of other great options as well.
They do accept reservations, so that is probably your best option during peak season. They do save many tables in the dining room for walk-ins, however, so that is an option if you didn’t make an advance reservation.
Waterfront dining isn’t as ubiquitous as you’d expect on Cape Cod, but Dennis does have a few great spots. The Summer Shanty is located on the Bass River Marina waterfront and is open for lunch and dinner seasonally. They have a regular live entertainment schedule on Fridays and Saturdays, and it’s such a fun place to dine and hang out.
The Summer Shanty is a casual restaurant, and they seem to always be busy. As you wait for your table, you can get a drink from the bar and sit in one of the chairs by the river as you enjoy the beautiful views. You’ll get a phone call when your table is ready.
Visit when the weather is nice, and you can sit outside on the patio overlooking the marina. The food and drinks are great, although the atmosphere is why it’s a great place to visit. I really enjoyed my chowder and quahogs, and there are hot dogs and burgers on the menu as well.
This is a seasonal restaurant, so be sure to check hours before you visit. Much of the seating is outdoors so you’ll want to make sure you visit on a nice day.
Do you prefer to eat at a casual, kid-friendly restaurant for lunch or dinner? We love the Doghouse, a hot dog shack located in Dennis Port (there’s also a second, newer location at West Dennis Beach). Order at the counter, and then you’ll be called when your order is ready.
While the Doghouse is known for its hot dogs, these aren’t just any hot dogs. You can get some delicious combinations like the Mayflower Beach Dog, which comes with skin-on fries, melted cheddar, and bacon bits, and the hot ‘n spicy dog, with queso cheese, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, jalapeños, sriracha, and red pepper.
There are also several types of delicious loaded fries. At the recommendation of the staff, I initially tried the Dennisport Fries and they are so good. They include bacon, cheddar, garlic aioli, and herbs, and are definitely meant to be shared.
If you don’t want a hot dog, there are plenty of other options on the menu. These include chicken, lobster rolls, tacos, burgers, veggie dogs, and more.
The Doghouse also has some great drinks, including frose, nitro coffee, craft beer, and wine. Note that if you go to the West Dennis location, the menu is different from the main location menu.
This is a casual, counter-service restaurant, and no reservations are accepted. There are picnic tables where you can sit and eat. Hours vary, so check before you head out. When we were there, they were closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The Oyster Company Raw Bar and Grille
If you love Oysters, you’ll want to visit the Oyster Company Raw Bar and Grille. Every day, before 6:30pm, you can get their signature Quivet Neck Oysters for half-price. Even if visiting after that time, these delicious oysters are still worth trying.
Most of the menu at this popular Dennis Port establishment is seafood-based, with inventive dishes like Portuguese Paella and Cioppino among more common dishes like yellowfin tuna, lazy-man lobster, and roasted cod. There’s also a bar menu with some smaller plates and flatbreads.
The Oyster Company Raw Bar and Grille is open for dinner during the week and lunch and dinner on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Indoor and outdoor seating is available. Reservations are accepted, although they do accept walk-ins based upon availability. It is a family-friendly restaurant, although not specifically a kid restaurant.
Sesuit Harbor Cafe
One of the most iconic restaurants in all of Cape Cod is the Sesuit Harbor Cafe, overlooking the Northside Marina in Dennis. This seasonal restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is a must-visit during your Cape Cod vacation. It’s regularly rated one of the best seafood restaurants on the Cape.
As you drive into the marina, you’ll want to carefully follow the signs to the cafe. It can be tricky to find. If it’s busy at the marina and cafe, parking attendants will help guide you to available parking spots.
Once you exit your car, you’ll head over to the long line leading to the entrance of the waterfront restaurant. Reservations aren’t accepted, and picnic tables are first-come, first-served. After you place your order, you can find an available seat and wait until your order number is called.
If you want raw bar items like oysters, tuna sashimi, lobster, and shrimp, there’s a separate counter outside, but attached to the main building. The line is generally shorter and sometimes seemingly overlooked by the crowds. Oyster lovers should definitely try the sushi oysters (add the tuna for the extra fee) which is one of my all-time favorite dishes.
Sesuit Harbor Cafe does not sell alcohol, and is instead BYOB. The views are absolutely beautiful, and the food is great. It’s extremely casual, and you’ll often see many families dining at the picnic tables. It’s important to note that Sesuit Harbor Cafe does not accept credit cards, so bring along plenty of cash for your meal. Despite the line, it’s one of my favorite restaurants on the Cape.
Kream ‘n Kone
Fried seafood and ice cream are a Cape Cod staple, and Kream ‘n Kone, located in West Dennis, is the place to go to satisfy your craving. Kream ‘n Kone is a casual counter-service restaurant offering golden fried clams, broiled dinners, fresh fish, lobster rolls, and much more along with soft-serve ice cream.
I love fried clams but definitely can’t eat a whole order. So I enjoyed sharing them as an appetizer and getting the more healthy broiled flounder as my entree. There are lots of options for kids here as well, so it’s a great spot for the whole family. The lobster roll is great as well.
Kream ‘n Kone doesn’t take reservations and seating is first-come, first-served. I’ve driven by on a busy summer night when there was a line to get into the parking lot. So arrive early if possible.
Captain Baker Donuts
Creative, gourmet donuts are becoming more popular, and they are definitely a fun treat to get on vacation. Captain Baker Donuts, located in a historic carriage house, offers design-your-own decorated donuts with a variety of different toppings.
As you head through the line at Captain Baker, you’ll see some pre-designed offerings to help inspire you. Choose one of those, or select your own toppings. Even the pre-designed ones are decorated while you wait, so everything is very fresh. They also offer breakfast sandwiches and coffee to complete your Cape Cod breakfast.
There are a few tables in the building, but most people have their donuts packed up to go back to their home or hotel. Don’t miss the cute gift shop in the back offering gifts made by local designers.
For some of the best sundaes and hand-packed ice cream around, visit Sundae School, with locations in Harwichport and Dennis Port. Sundae School doesn’t take credit cards, although there is an ATM on site. I prefer to visit my own bank first, however, so I don’t have to pay ATM fees.
You can get your ice cream to go, or eat it outside or in the old-fashioned ice cream parlor. There are lots of flavor options, including some in an allergy-aware freezer. The sundaes are especially delicious, with homemade whipped cream.
Three Fins Coffee Roasters
Good coffee is essential for me, even when I’m on vacation. Nothing I make at home or in my hotel room even comes close to the great coffee flavors I can get at a coffee shop. I was thrilled to find Three Fins Coffee Roasters and Mercantile, located on Route 28 in West Dennis.
Three Fins has a large selection of coffee and tea as well as bakery items and snacks. There are also takeaway options if you like to brew your coffee at home. The coffee house itself has ample seating, although I usually take my coffee back home.
La Tacodilla is located in a food truck in the parking lot of the now closed Clean Slate Eatery on Route 28 in West Dennis. Created during the pandemic as a replacement for the Clean Slate Eatery, this innovative restaurant is worth visiting.
The large menu includes tacos, Mexican grilled cheese, and chips and dip, but my favorite is the namesake Tacodillas. There are so many to choose from, so you may consider sharing a few so you can try several. You can add on a optional dip to your purchase, and I would recommend trying those as well.
La Tacodilla is closed Sunday, Monday, and Thursday, with varying hours during the other days. You can call in your order in advance to save time.
Where to Stay in Dennis
Dennis is one of my favorite places on the Cape, because it’s pretty centrally located. Popular hotels right in Dennis include the following: