A Cape Cod trip is a dream come true for travelers who arrive at our doorstep every day. Offering a tour of history in the structures that have been standing since before our nation declared its independence, an exploration of golden sand beaches and towering lighthouses, and an epicurean adventure that should and probably will include as much seafood as you can handle! Cape Cod is surrounded by water, and the seafood we serve at restaurants and diners all over the Cape is destined to be the sweetest you have ever tasted. We at New England Vacation Rentals have created this ultimate guide to what is destined to be your next food obsession, the seafood of Cape Cod.

Seafood for Breakfast?

Although you may not have thought about it too carefully, seafood at breakfast has been a long-standing tradition all over the world, with most people’s thoughts turning to the lox they top their bagels and schmear with every morning. On Cape Cod, however, our thoughts turn to the savory delights of the crab or lobster (this is Massachusetts, after all!) benedicts served at the restaurants listed below.

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Homeport Restaurant, 55 Main Street in Orleans

The best restaurants aren’t always the ones with the white tablecloths and snooty waiters, more often than not they are the homey establishments that have existed for years, becoming the gathering place for locals and travelers. Homeport Restaurant, a local restaurant serving breakfast and lunch for over 54 years, is one such place, open every day from 6 AM until 2 PM. Their succulent benedict created with crab cakes is known as the Baltimore and is served with crispy home fries that taste even better when you accidentally mix them in with the hollandaise sauce.

Sea Street Café, 50 Sea Street in Hyannis

Open 7:30 AM until 3 PM every day of the week, the Sea Street Café offers an expansive benedict menu featuring a Fenway benedict with sausage, onions, and peppers, but our personal favorite? The Cape Cod Benedict, on which mini lobster cakes are the star of the show. Flaky and filled with more meat than filler, this seafood breakfast is one you won’t soon forget.

Red Cottage Restaurant, 36 Old Bass River Road in Dennis

This historic restaurant in Dennis has been serving breakfast and lunch for over 73 years and is open every day from 7 AM until 2 PM. Honestly, we can say we have never had a meal that was less than wonderful at the Red Cottage Restaurant, but their Meet the Benedicts menu is what really excites us and most guests that visit one of the best seafood restaurants on Cape Cod! Offering six different benedicts, their Crabby Benny made with Chesapeake blue crab cakes and their Lobster Benny made with 8 ounces of knuckle and claw lobster meat will make you believe in love at first bite. Just don’t forget your cash, because the Red Cottage does not take credit cards.

Eggs benedict with lox

The Midday Break

As you visit the oldest house on Cape Cod (the Hoxie House) explore the windmills that once provided power to the homes and businesses on Cape Cod, and frolic in the surf of the National Seashore, you may find that the hearty breakfast you enjoyed in the earlier hours doesn’t quite have the staying power you had hoped for. The midday break can be important for maintaining the energy needed to continue your afternoon explorations and the seafood restaurants listed below will be the perfect spots for your lunch adventures.

Lobster Trap Restaurant, 290 Shore Road in Bourne

One thing you will soon notice is that the best seafood restaurants on Cape Cod can be the shacks that are often crowded with diners, especially in the summer months, and the Lobster Trap Restaurant offers one of our favorite examples. Offering a true Cape Cod experience and open every day of the week at 11 AM, we can’t choose a favorite dish, but we can encourage visitors to try something unique, such as stuffed Quahog or the classic Massachusetts dish, the lobster roll.

Fisherman’s View Seafood Market & Restaurant, 20 Freezer Road in Sandwich

For many diners, seafood is not their favorite food, but after just one bite of any of the meals served at Fisherman’s View, we think that opinion may change. Fresh, sweet, and imaginative, this is the perfect restaurant to try the first of what we hope will be many cups of clam chowder. Also offering a kid’s menu, it might be a great spot to introduce your pickiest eaters to a seafood meal; the fish & chips on the kids’ menu is fresh and delicious.

Bowl of chowder with bread

Black Cat Harbor Shack, 159 Ocean Street in Hyannis

Hyannis is one of our larger towns on Cape Cod and the restaurant landscape is destined to be one that you will fall in love with, especially when you visit the Black Cat Harbor Shack for lunch during your summer Cape Cod trip. (Many local restaurants close during the winter months, reopening on Memorial Day weekend) The Shack is an open structure, offering picnic tables at which you can savor the freshest oysters, the creamiest lobster bisque, and soft shell clams that will make your taste buds sing.

Family Friendly Seafood Restaurants

One of the hardest parts of vacationing with children is finding restaurants that understand that no, your kids aren’t feral, they are just spirited and still learning how to handle social situations. Every meal with the kiddos has the potential to become fraught with tension, but it is at dinner time, when the youngest travelers are tired from their long day of adventures that the potential becomes almost a certainty. Fortunately, there are plenty of local seafood restaurants that are not just casual and delicious, they will adore your kids almost as much as you do.

Lobster Shanty, 2905 State Highway in Eastham

Casual and laidback, the Lobster Shanty invites your entire family to work your way through a menu filled with seafood favorites, perhaps concentrating on their very reasonably priced lobster section. Their lobster rolls are fresh and exciting and guaranteed to haunt your dreams in a good way long after you have returned home from your vacation in paradise.

Lobster pasta dish

Brax Landing Restaurant, 705 MA-28 in Harwich Port

Sometimes the best way to corral a rambunctious child is by choosing to dine on the patio and letting them have a little more freedom and Brax Landing Restaurant has a beautiful patio on the water that will also give your littles something fun to watch as boats skim across the water coming in and out of the harbor. Offering a menu filled with surf and turf favorites, their crab cake sandwich will bring you joy and if you have any room left over in your belly, we recommend the chocolate mousse cake for dessert.

Land Ho! 38 Main Street and MA-6A in Orleans

Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Land Ho! represents the vibe of Cape Cod, perhaps better than any other place in the region. Casual and cheery and offering a quirky décor that everyone feels comfortable and at home in, their menu is a blend of seafood favorites and land lubbers’ delights, ensuring that everyone in your traveling party will find something they adore.

A Special Occasion Deserves a Special Occasion Restaurant

Often travelers are celebrating something during their vacation on Cape Cod and because every special occasion is best enjoyed when accompanied by a fine meal, these special occasion seafood restaurants will help make your night out something you will never forget.

The Ocean House Restaurant, 425 Old Wharf Road in Dennis Port

Offering sea views and an expansive menu of elevated seafood and land lubbers’ meals, the chef at Ocean House is making a name for himself on Cape Cod. Having received a variety of accolades in 2023, including Most Romantic Restaurant and Community Choice for Fine Dining, this upscale establishment will take your celebration to the next level of wonderful. This is a seasonal restaurant and is closed at the moment but will be opening again in the spring.

Lobster dish

Impudent Oyster, 15 Chatham Bars Avenue in Chatham

Sometimes the structure that houses the restaurant is extra special and at other times it is the food that elevates your experience, but when you dine at the Impudent Oyster, you will discover that both exist together. Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and located in a building that was once a church, it still retains at least one of its arched stained glass windows, as well as its lofty ceiling, dark wood beams, and the serene ambience that could only come from a place of worship. The menu features an impeccable selection of seafood dishes, this night is the perfect night to splurge, perhaps ordering their Pesca Fra Diabla, a dish in which local littlenecks, lobsters, and an assortment of fresh seafood are simmered in a spicy red sauce and served over linguine.

Cape Sea Grille, 31 Sea Street in Harwich

Housed inside an elegant 19th century home, Cape Sea Grille is known for its innovative menu created with local ingredients, native seafood, and sustainable meats. Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesday, this special spot is open year-round, enabling even winter visitors the opportunity to enjoy a great seafood celebration. Also known for their specialty martinis, a meal at Cape Sea Grille is destined to be one that will haunt your dreams in all the best of ways.

Where the Locals Eat

Anyone who has done much traveling understands that the best stores are the ones the locals shop and the best restaurants are where the locals eat and our New England Vacation Rentals guide to the best seafood restaurants would not be complete without the following restaurants added to it.

Keltic Kitchen, 415 MA-28 in West Yarmouth

This local favorite is known for its cheerful ambience, large portions, and its Irish meals, but our personal favorite is, of course, their Seafood Benny, featuring an English muffin topped with lobster, shrimp, scallops, chopped clams, and pepper and onions. Drenched in hollandaise sauce, this hearty breakfast is worth trying again and again, just ask the locals!

Eggs benedict with cup of coffee

Pate’s Restaurant, 1260 Main Street in Chatham

Pate’s has a long history on Cape Cod, starting out as a simple burger joint in 1957 and evolving over the years into a fine dining establishment that offers a chef driven menu that is simply divine. Pate’s has only had two owners over its decades in business, the Pate family who originated it and the Gardner family who have turned it into a special occasion restaurant, one in which most residents have dined at time and time again. Offering both seafood and land meals, the thought and care put into every dish they offer is obvious from first bite; try their Surf & Turf, a combination of lobster, lobster ravioli, and grilled sirloin and discover what ecstasy tastes like.

Spanky’s Clam Shack & Seaside Saloon, 138 Ocean Street in Hyannis

This classic New Cape Cod restaurant is a seasonal one, only open during the summer months, but it is one that is definitely worth the wait. From their traditional clam “chowdah” to their lobster rolls and fried seafood plates, they have never taken a wrong step and if you don’t feel like a native Caper as you sit outdoors at tables that overlook the harbor, you may not truly understand what a Caper is. (No, we aren’t talking about the salty buds that add flavor to your favorite dishes, a Caper is what people who live on Cape Cod sometimes call themselves.)

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Your New England Vacation Rentals Cheerful Kitchen

So it’s not a restaurant and you will probably have to prepare, serve, and clear the meal yourself, but our fully equipped kitchens offer cheerful spaces that help bring back the joy in cooking. Including lobster pots in most pantries and grills on most back patios, your home caught seafood will reflect the love you add to every meal you prepare. Reserve your favorite escape today!