Best Nantucket Restaurants
These last couple weeks of summer on Nantucket are some of the best of the season. The crowds aren’t as thick, and the sunsets become more vivid in the less humid air. September is the time to drop anchor on ACK, especially if you’re a foodie. You’ll find it a wee bit easier to get a reservation at some of the most coveted restaurants in the country. We’re thrilled to share some of our favorite places to dine on Nantucket. And, if you can’t get there before the season ends, you’ll definitely want to keep these in mind for next year.
Best Nantucket Restaurants for Romance
Any good romance has a bit of whimsy. That’s partly why the Greydon House’s Via Mare made our list for one of the most romantic restaurants on Nantucket. And while the eclectic and Bohemian decor lends itself to the courtship, the menu is really what has us head over heels. Whether you share the small plates or split the bigger dishes, this date spot won’t disappoint.
Founded in 1980 and tucked away on the Sconset’s picturesque seaside, The Summer House Restaurant sets the quintessential scene for a romantic dinner. Perfectly distributed candlelight, soft piano music, and of course, fine dining is the winning combination. If that didn’t get you, how about this: occasionally, patrons gather around the piano for a cheerful sing-a-long on those extra special evenings. It sounds like heaven to us!
Food prettier than the most fashionable patrons isn’t what makes Òran Mór Bistro so romantic. It might be the unique table for two on the balcony. Or, perhaps like in the movie “Like Water for Chocolate,” the love and emotion with which the food is prepared somehow are transferred to all who consume it. While all the dishes are made with love, we adore eating our way through the pasta section best.
For 50 years, couples have dined at Company of the Cauldron to celebrate their special moments. With two seatings per evening and a table d’hote menu (one prix fix menu for all that changes every evening), the dining experience varies from night to night. Curated by Chef Joseph Keller, who has collaborated with his brother, Thomas Keller, on famed culinary projects like The French Laundry and Bouche, the experience never disappoints!
Perhaps it’s the hedge and flower-lined courtyard that basks in soft light during the evening. Or maybe the ship-inspired interior decor makes Sistership one of Nantucket’s newest spots for romance. That gorgeous courtyard and front-row view of downtown Nantucket put it on our list of best spots with a view. Regardless of what creates the ambiance, the food will not disappoint! With creative desserts like rhubarb & rosehip granita, your meal will be true perfection from beginning to end.
Best Nantucket Restaurants for Seafood
If you are looking for lighter fare or a fix on your favorite Japanese dishes, head straight to Bar Yoshi. The sushi is some of the best you will find on the island. Some of our favorite dishes include scallion pancakes with
dill créme, red onion, smoked salmon, and caviar, as well as the spicy chicken lemongrass gyoza and piggy rice.
Nautilus Nantucket has become a bit of a temple for foodies. It is so beloved followers wait in line for day-of reservations and clammer for a seat at the one-year-old Boston location. We challenge you to find a more delectable Peking Duck. (Yes, we realize that is not a seafood dish.) But, their ceviche, crudo, and Thai lobster curry will open your eyes to why Nautilus made this category on our list.
With over 30 years of serving some of the best seafood on Nantucket, Seagrille is a Nantucket culinary institution. Locals know this is one of the best spots for simply prepared seafood and freshly made pasta. There are so many great dishes to try, but we recommend the scallops & foie gras and grilled lobster & house-made fettuccini.
It’s hard to believe that Straight Wharf has been serving some of the freshest seafood for over 60 years! The longevity speaks to the quality of the fresh-from-the-docks fish. You really can’t go wrong with any of the menu choices. But, here’s an insider secret: sometimes you’ll find some of the tastiest dishes on the bar menu.
Slip 14 has become a staple stop for tourists and locals alike, from creative cocktails to seafood so fresh it’s practically still swimming. If the food and drink don’t pull you in, you can’t beat the location on the Old South Wharf docks. So basically, if you’ve never been to Slip 14, make it a goal the next time you’re on Nantucket.
Best Nantucket Restaurants for Families
Take a trip over to Madaket to enjoy the experience that is Millie’s. The menu spans from po’boys to tacos to tuna poke. There is literally something for everyone, including the kiddos! Oh, and before you leave, don’t forget to stop at Millie’s Market to grab a sweet, cold and creamy treat.
If you miss that family Sunday dinner vibe while on Nantucket, head to Fusaro’s! Their homemade Italian dishes would make any Nana proud! The little ones can choose from the kids’ menu, while mom and dad might order a custom pizza or try the classic bolognese. The best part is you won’t walk out broke.
Kids or no kids, B-ACK Yard BBQ is a must-try for any BBQ aficionado. With a laid-back, friendly vibe; in-house smoked meats; and sides that stick to your ribs, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another BBQ joint that meets the same standards. Choose from one of the combo meals to sample a variety of meats. But, you might also consider saving room for their “Nashville” hot chicken sandwich!
Best Nantucket Restaurants with a View
There are so many reasons we love Galley Beach. The food is fantastic. The staff is always welcoming. And then, there’s that sunset-overt-the-water-view that we New Englanders crave but seldom see. We’ve enjoyed so many wonderful meals at Galley Beach; choosing a favorite dish is hard. But, we do have one bit of advice- make a reservation. With one of the best sunset views on the island, you’ll need one, even if for just a cocktail.
Cru has so much going for it. The swank factor, the best lobster roll on the island, and then there’s the view (on multiple levels). From people-watching to yacht-watching, the scene can’t be beaten. But, the best sight is when the sunset paints the sky with water-colored hues. Then, for just a few moments, the chic hustle and bustle vibe that is Cru pauses to take in the remains of the day. Afterwhich, once again, the rosé freely flows while oysters are shucked.
Considering the Wauwinet’s luxurious digs, it’s no wonder the resort is home to Nantucket’s only AAA 5-Diamond Restaurant, Topper’s. And while pretty much everything on the menu is divine, what you will fall in love with is the view of Nantucket Bay from the flower-draped patio. It is a dining experience all should try.
If there’s one thing we love more than the beach, it’s a bar on the beach! The Sandbar at Jetties Beach meets all of your expectations and more. First, staff amps up the clam shack vibe with fab cocktails and beer-battered fish tacos. Then, as you nosh on lobster frites, the kids can build sandcastles while you watch the sun sparkle off the top of the Atlantic. Not a bad deal at all.
Best Nantucket Restaurants with Live Music
If you’re up for sushi, whiskey, beer, and pub food, then the Brotherhood is for you! And as you enjoy snacks and drinks at the Cisco Surf Bar, you can also enjoy live music. Now, what to order? While everything is fantastic, sometimes you just can’t beat a fat and juicy cheeseburger.
You cannot leave Nantucket without a visit to Cisco Brewery. Daily live music has the youngest to the oldest shakin’ their tail feathers to the beat. And one of the best parts is a variety of food trucks, allowing one to sample some of the best grub Nantucket has to offer!
From the brains of the peeps behind Nataulis, Gaslight not only provides tantalizing Japanese Asian fusion food but live music in downtown Nantucket. We’re hooked! Some of the food innovations include a Korean short rib taco in a scallion pancake and a burger in a boa bun. Sign us up! Just a note, 21+ for music shows.
If riding with your love aboard the Orient Express gets the love butterflies fluttering in your tummy, then The Club Car is for you. The live piano music, fantastic food, and craft cocktails served in this passionately-managed restaurant will be better than any butterflies in your belly. Housed partly in a club car from the Nantucket railroad, the renovated version features brunch, mid-day bites, dinner, and late-night snacks. We hop on board this culinary train anytime we are in town!
We know it’s not actually a restaurant, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention The Chicken Box as one of our favorite places to catch live music. This concert venue began in the mid-20th century as a honey-friend-chicken restaurant. Although no one is dishing friend chicken anymore, you can always count on them to serve up a good time!
Read more on The Haute Life
A Bulletproof Cocktail – Hot Buttered Manhattan Recipe
Seared Sea Scallops with Parsnip Purée, Blood Orange, and Fresh White Truffle – By Executive Chef Ryan Marcoux of Grill