Planning to visit Cape Cod this spring or summer? This quintessential summer vacation destination offers everything you need to enjoy a New England summer – including beautiful sandy beaches, mini-golf courses, fun gift shops, and great restaurants offering local seafood and outdoor dining. If you are looking for the best seafood on Cape Cod, you probably won’t have to drive very far to find a place perfect for the whole family
Luckily, there are so many great restaurants offering popular New England seafood dishes, like New England clam chowder, fresh lobster rolls, fresh seafood, and raw oysters. Here are some of our favorite places for the best seafood on Cape Cod including family-friendly destinations. Did we leave your favorite off the list? Leave us a comment.
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The Best Seafood on Cape Cod
Before heading out to a place on this list (or any Cape Cod restaurant), you’ll want to check their current operating hours. Some restaurants are only open seasonally, and others have limited hours.
In addition, if reservations are accepted, you may want to make them. Many Cape Cod restaurants, however, do not accept reservations, and you’ll need to arrive early to avoid crowds. Some of these restaurants do offer take-out but may halt order taking when the restaurant is busy.
The Raw Bar, Mashpee
One of my favorite casual restaurants on Cape Cod is the Raw Bar in Mashpee. It’s located in the Popponesset Marketplace, in the Popponesset village. The Raw Bar is a very casual seafood restaurant with lots of outdoor seating.
The highlight of the menu is the Colossal Lobster Roll – regularly considered one of the best lobster rolls on the Cape. The gigantic lobster rolls aren’t only huge, they are delicious.
Other menu items include raw bar items like oysters, littlenecks, and shrimp. They also have stuffed quahogs, linguica, kielbasa, hot dogs, steamers, stuffed quahogs, and chowder. Their rum punch is excellent too and is such a refreshing cocktail for the summer.
If you aren’t staying near Mashpee, you may also want to combine your visit to the Raw Bar with a trip to Mashpee Commons. This shopping and entertainment complex includes local and chain shops, along with a movie theater.
Sesuit Harbor Café, Dennis
The Sesuit Harbor Cafe is a seasonal outdoor restaurant located along Northside Marina in Dennis. It’s a beautiful spot, and diners can sit at a picnic table watching the boats go by. The Sesuit Harbor Cafe is regularly considered one of the best seafood restaurants on Cape Cod.
This casual spot is first-come, first-served, and you’ll see lines form along the building exterior every evening. You’ll definitely want to arrive early, especially on the weekends, if you plan to have dinner. They also offer breakfast.
Once you park (which can be a feat in itself on a busy day), you’ll enter the line to place your order. They only accept cash, but they do have an ATM on site. After placing your order, you can find a seat at the picnic tables and your order will be brought out to you.
The extensive main dinner menu includes boiled lobster, fish, burgers, fried seafood, and lobster rolls. There is also a raw bar with a separate line/window. My favorite dish at Sesuit Harbor Cafe is the sushi oysters from the raw bar. Keep in mind that they are BYOB, so make a stop at a liquor store if you want to bring along anything.
Skipper Chowder House, South Yarmouth, MA
Located across the street from the beach in South Yarmouth is the Skipper Chowder House. It is also open seasonally. During the peak summer months, the Skipper Chowder House can be very busy, and they do not accept reservations. They serve lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on the weekends.
Most of the seating at Skipper Chowder House is indoors, but there are also some great seats on the 2nd level overlooking the beach. Their menu includes lobster rolls, fried clam chowder, salads, sandwiches, fried clams, and steamers. I love the atmosphere at the Skipper Chowder House – it’s one of my favorite restaurants on the Cape.
Once you are done with your lunch or dinner, there’s an ice cream counter with a window facing the parking lot.
Moby Dick’s, Wellfleet
If you are staying in the Wellfleet/Provincetown area, or are visiting for the day, you’ll want to stop at Moby Dick’s restaurant, in Wellfleet. This clam shack-style restaurant is open seasonally and is a casual, relaxed place to eat.
The menu includes the usual Cape Cod seafood, including lobster bisque, clam chowder, fresh fish, oysters, steamers, fried seafood, grilled fish, seafood platters, sandwiches, and more. There is also a kids’ menu. They are BYOB and have ample seating.
Captain Parker’s Pub, West Yarmouth
In my opinion, the best clam chowder on Cape Cod is from Captain Parker’s Pub. It’s best served there in one of their iconic mugs, but it’s also available in the refrigerated section of many grocery and specialty stores in Massachusetts.
Unlike most of the restaurants on this list, Captain Parker’s Pub is open year-round. It’s very busy in the summer months, but it’s so nice to visit in the off-season when it’s filled with mostly locals and is a local favorite. In the summer, they do have quite a bit of outdoor seating.
While the clam chowder is definitely a must-have, their menu is filled with other great options as well. These include lobster rolls, stuffed quahogs, fried seafood, onion rings, and lazy man’s lobster. My favorite thing to get is the Chowder & Quahog combo, so I can have a little bit of both.
Captain Parker’s Pub is located right in front of the Whydah Pirate Museum, so it’s the perfect place to grab lunch before or after your museum visit.
Mac’s Chatham Fish and Lobster
We discovered Mac’s Chatham Fish and Lobster on our drive back from Chatham one day. It’s adjacent to an affiliated fish market. There are several other Mac’s locations, including Mac’s Shack in Wellfleet and Mac’s Market and Kitchen in Eastham.
Mac’s Chatham Fish and Lobster has an extensive menu featuring seafood dishes, as well as sushi, sandwiches, and poke bowls. Because of their creative menu with lots of options, we like to eat there more than once during a trip. In the warmer months, they have outdoor and indoor seating.
Haven’t booked a Cape Cod hotel yet? Here are some great family-friendly options.
- Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster
- The Bayside Resort
- The Sea Crest Beach Hotel
- The Cape Codder Resort and Spa
- Red Jacket Beach Resort
- Ocean Club on Smuggler’s Beach
- Red Jacket Riviera Beach Resort
- Chatham Bars Inn
Looking for more Cape Cod travel tips? Click to see our guide with town recommendations, things to do, restaurants, and more in Cape Cod.