At less than 15 miles long and only three and a half miles wide, the water that surrounds the island of Nantucket, MA
, dominates its culture and cuisine. Eating out in Nantucket is therefore a great opportunity to sample some of the best fish and seafood, freshly sourced from the Atlantic. We take a look at Nantucket’s dining scene, from haute cuisine to local eateries, to bring you ten of the best restaurants on the island.
Restaurant, American, Contemporary, $$$
Tucked away in the center of Nantucket, American Seasons
provides the island’s most seasonal and creative menu. At one of the island’s oldest sites, the restaurant is well known as Nantucket’s premier dining destination. With Chef Michael LaScola, renowned for his fun experiments on the American favorites, heading the kitchen, American Seasons produces only the best quality family food. Since taking over ownership of American Seasons, Michael has been praised by The New York Times and Travel & Leisure for his work. The cozy dining room is surrounded with seasonal decorations and American
Restaurant, American, Seafood, none
boasts a menu packed full of the finest seafood from local harpooned swordfish to local day-boat scallops and clam bake. Straight Wharf captures Nantucket’s seaside culture and turns it into a menu of delightful treats for all ages. Sit in the indoor dining room, or on the decking outside and watch the boats bring in the fish from the marina.
Le Languedoc Inn & Bistro
Bistro, Restaurant, French, Contemporary, $$$
Established in 1976, Le Languedoc Inn & Bistro
is a well-known cultural landmark of Nantucket. Owners Alan and Ann Cunha, Neil and Eddie Grennan have been running the restaurant for the last 35 years and promise a delightful evening whether it be a windy night in November or a humid evening in August. Le Languedoc bases its cuisine on French
techniques using the freshest ingredients from Nantucket, New England and around the world. Expect perfect presentation when ordering the soft shell crabs and shad roe or the Nantucket Bay scallops and black truffles.
Bakery, Cafe, Sandwich Shop, American, $$$
is a popular sandwich shop and bakery on Nantucket Island surrounded by beautiful purple flowers with a wooden exterior. Embracing an emphasis on healthy and natural produce, the team pile their sandwiches high with healthy fillings and set them on freshly baked bread. Their award-winning cookies are also a must-try. Whether it’s a prime roast beef sandwich, lobster salad sandwich or even a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich, Something Natural will serve it.
Centre Street Bistro
Bistro, Restaurant, American, Contemporary, $$$
Summing up Centre Street Bistro
in three words would be ‘honest, uncomplicated and creative’. Providing a comfortable and intimate atmosphere, the owners and chefs Ruth and Tom Pitts
, locals of Nantucket, believe food is an art form. Serving their famous goat’s cheese tart and bread, Centre Street Bistro is known to the locals as a place you can rely on for good, hearty food all year round. The dessert menu is particularly special since Ruth herself makes all their sweet treats in-house. The choices change every evening and season but the timeless classic here is the chocolate marquis dessert.
The Proprietors Bar & Table
Bar, Restaurant, American, Contemporary, none
Fresh from Nantucket’s acclaimed American Seasons , Michael and Orla LaScola have also started up The Proprietors Bar & Table
bringing Nantucket’s views and culinary delights. The art on the walls is particularly special, showing Nantucket’s history of sailors returning from trans-continental voyages at sea. The menu compliments this theme with dishes using ingredients sourced from local farms, artisans and the sea. The wine list is also deeply influenced by New World producers with designs reflecting the Nantucket home filled with treasures from abroad.
Bar, Restaurant, Mexican, American, Seafood, $$$
Embrace the laid-back beachside attitude at Millie’s
restaurant. Chef David Scribner focuses on Californian
Bajan-style food using fresh local seafood, handmade salsa and guacamole. Millies was named after the iconic Nantucket resident ‘Madaket Millie’
Jewett, a Nantucket legend that spent her life caring for the beaches, animals and pearls of Madaket. From a taco filled with grilled striped bass or a quesadilla packed full of lobster meat, slow-roasted tomato, grilled zucchini and cheddar cheese, Millies takes Nantucket’s local produce and twists it with a Bajan-style kick.
Greengrocer, Restaurant, American, none
is Nantucket’s oldest and largest family-owned farm with seven generations of Bartletts farming the land since the early 1800s, offering a large greenhouse, garden center, cookbook, Bartlett’s Farm Market
and now their very own kitchen and restaurant. The food they serve is only grown from their own farm, and includes such delicacies as yogurt fennel soup, Eileen’s raw salad, or even a mushroom orrechetti
salad. The menu changes daily depending on the seasons and farming conditions. The farm is a perfect location for an enjoyable day out and a bite to eat in the evening.
Restaurant, Contemporary, Seafood, American, none
The name may give it away: Seagrille
provides local and fresh regional grilled seafood. Owned and ran by EJ and Robin Harvey, it is a wonderful and inviting restaurant with friendly staff, with a menu that includes Quahog chowder, lobster bisque and day-boat cod. Located in the middle of the island, the Seagrille is a great choice for many wanting to taste the local produce of Nantucket in an award-winning setting: the restaurant has received ‘best of’ awards from the likes of Cape Cod Life, The Inquirer and Mirror, among others.
Fog Island Cafe
Cafe, Diner, Restaurant, American, Contemporary, $$$
Fog Island Cafe is a popular destination for hungry customers during breakfast or lunch, consistently serving delicious food with generous portions. Fog Island Cafe serves everything from fluffy buttermilk pancakes to baked goods and for those who enjoy savory dishes, the cafe also offers plenty of fresh sandwiches, including healthy options from the deli, served on multigrain or rye bread. It does get extremely busy in the tourist months, so make sure you go ahead of time and put your name down on the waiting list. Don’t fret too much as the staff is attentive and the table turnover is swiftly managed. Plus, the food is well worth the wait!