After a couple days of iced coffee weather, we’d like to officially welcome spring BACK to Cape Cod! Though it starts on the calendar on March 21, those of us that live here know spring doesn’t really begin until it’s acceptable to walk around outside with an iced coffee and not have your hand freeze to the glass. Well, that time is here, finally.
April means that Cape Cod starts its engines in a big way. Our small business owners are back from their winter sojourns to Florida, the Caribbean, and other fabulous place they jet off to in the colder months. Take a walk around downtown Falmouth, Main Street in Sandwich or Mashpee Commons and you’ll see the proprietors hard at work cleaning, ordering and taking deliveries of products for the season. Many of our favorite restaurants are finally putting their al fresco table out and staying open later and on more days. If you want to make Cape Cod an everyday thing, well, we can help do that too.
Here’s a list of some our favorites reopening for the season:
The Raw Bar Popponesset – Home to what just might be the best lobster rolls on Cape Cod, The Raw Bar is a summer destination for residents of Mashpee and visitors from around the world drawn in by the massive, juicy delicious lobster rolls. Each roll has about a pound and a half of mostly claw meat in just enough mayonnaise.The Raw Bar is also known for its fantastic cocktails, from the famous rum punches to other favorites like mudslides and Long Island Iced Teas. Remember their strictly enforced no cell phone policy and don’t forget you can order from Bob’s Seafood across the way! Opens 4/19.
The Falmouth Raw Bar Falmouth Harbor – A relatively new entrant into the raw bar pool here on the Upper Cape, the Falmouth Raw Bar is known for its, well, raw bar selection, lobster rolls and views overlooking Falmouth Harbor. Stop by in the summer for live entertainment and “Barefoot Sundays” to make the memorable food and view even better. Opens 4/17.
Cooke’s Mashpee – Cooke’s is for the seafood purists among our readers. Serving simple broiled and fried seafood, Cooke’s routinely wins “Best of” awards for their fried fish and shellfish, especially their fried clams. Located near Mashpee Commons, Cooke’s has a large dining room and does a booming takeout business in the summer, making it a great option to take home and eat at the picnic table. A personal favorite of the author is the calamari, onion rings and french fry combo platter – not for the faint of heart or nutritionally conscious! Opened March.
Quick’s Hole Woods Hole – Opened in 2008, Quick’s Hole quickly became a must-eat destination for foodies and families alike. Overlooking Penzance Hole and beautiful Woods Hole, you’ll fine fresh local seafood and other menu items made with ingredients from local farms, bakers and more. Stop by any night during the summer and you might catch a live concert on the porch overlooking the harbor. Be sure to try their famous lobster tacos and tortilla chips with house made salsa and pico de gallo. If you’re also looking for a place to stay, the attached Woods Hole Inn offers luxurious seaside accommodations. Opening 5/17.
Lobster Trap Bourne – Ok so this one technically doesn’t qualify since they’re now open year-round, but we’d feel incomplete if we left the Lobster Trap off the list only because it’s so much better in the summer! Located on the water at the intersection of the Back River and Buzzards Bay, the views from any table in the recently-renovated dining room are simply spectacular. Their menu has been recently overhauled as well, featuring new dishes like lobster egg rolls and tuna tartar, and old favorites like their clam roll, crispy calamari and steak tips. Now Open Year Round.
Captain Al’s Buzzards Bay – Located on the water on Cranberry Highway just before you get to Onset, Captain Al’s is a seasonal favorite on the mainland side of the bridge. One of the few restaurants on this list you can get to by boat, you can tie up at the dock outside Al’s and come enjoy drinks and seafood on the water. Al’s fish sandwich is a local favorite, and you can’t go wrong ordering the lobster roll either. Opened early April.
Casino Wharf FX Falmouth Heights – Driving along Surf Drive in Falmouth Heights, you literally can’t miss the Casino Wharf. Housed in a building with a storied and colorful history, the Casino Wharf offers front row seating for watching the tides roll in or out and watching the ferries and casual boaters come and go from Falmouth Harbor and Woods Hole. Stop in for a drink after a day at neighboring Falmouth Heights beach and sit in awe of the sunsets over Vineyard Sound. On a clear day, visibility is all the way to Martha’s Vineyard! Opened March 29.
Chart Room Bourne (Cataumet) – Yet another waterfront restaurant on our list, the Chart Room is located inside bustling and picturesque Kingman Yacht Center on Buzzards Bay. The building the restaurant is in has a rich history, starting life as a New Jersey Central railroad barge and also serving as a machine shop for the Army and Navy during the Korean War, machining parts for patrol boats. The restaurant opened in 1966; the floor is still made up of the original rail road ties. Enjoy their signature broiled seafood while watching boaters and fishermen come in and out of Kingman at any time of day. Open weekends, opens full-time last week of June.
Hemisphere Town Neck, Sandwich – Overlooking Town Neck beach in Sandwich, Hemisphere is a great place for a night out or to grab a beachfront sunset dinner. Any given night during the summer, you might also see a wedding or a family function taking place on the beach or in the restaurant’s function areas. Be sure to try their “Shrimp and Crab Ravioli” or their “Red Hot Burger.” Opened for the season April 11.