A fried feast at PJ’s Family Restaurant in Wellfleet.Photo Credit : Mark Fleming
Choosing a favorite homemade ice cream on Cape Cod is like choosing a favorite child. That said, here are three to get you started on finding that superlative summer scoop: Sundae School Ice Cream in Dennis Port, an old-fashioned parlor with a marble soda fountain, doles out ginormous portions of coffee-based Bass River Mud, among other delicacies. At Four Seas Ice Cream, at Centerville’s Four Corners, family-owned since 1934, make a beeline for the coconut, mint chip, or fresh strawberry. And Twin Acres Ice Cream, set in a little oak grove in Sandwich, dishes up banana boats, hot fudge sundaes, and scoops of such perennial favorites as blueberry parfait and pumpkin.
Clams, scallops, French fries, onion rings—guilt-free if you’re on vacation, fried food just tastes better outdoors. You can’t go wrong with a classic roadside shack like PJ’s in Wellfleet, but if you want to up the ante with a water view, try the Barnacle by Craigville Beach, Sesuit Harbor Café in Dennis, or Osterville Fish, Too, overlooking the salt marsh by Barnstable Harbor.
Grab that clam rake and bucket: Many Cape towns offer both temporary and seasonal shellfishing licenses, meaning you can treasure-hunt for mussels, oysters, scallops, and clams. Properly refrigerated, most will keep a few days—but we bet you won’t want to wait that long.
The Cape Cod food scene owes a debt to French pastry—specifically, two pâtisseries whose success heralded a wave of next-level dining here. It all began in 2009 with Wellfleet’s PB Boulangerie Bistro, where Philippe Rispoli and Boris Villatte first turned out their Paris-perfect baguettes and croissants. Alas, the partnership soured, and Villatte went on to open Maison Villatte in Falmouth. But happily, Cape diners now have two great spots to choose from.
From avant-garde farm-to-table dining in Falmouth to chic seaside bistros in P-town, from clam shacks to artisan ice cream shops, the Cape has a flavor for every vacation. For a tour of Yankee senior editor Amy Traverso’s favorite food destinations on the Cape, go here: Amy Traverso’s Cape Cod Dining Guide