It may be known as the summer playground for the rich and famous, but Nantucket still offers a true blend of family fare and fine dining for all food lovers.
There’s plenty of seafood (the obvious choice for island excursions), but also many surprising creations that would entertain the most unpredictable of pallets. And with a brewery, winery and distillery all nearby, there’s also an informed bar culture, with shakers, strainers and swizzle sticks ready to compliment your meal.
The following is a list of the current hot spots you must try, whether you’re on Nantucket for only a day or a more extended stay.
Cru, high-end seafood and craft cocktails with a waterfront view
Non-island residents may be surprised to learn that there are only three restaurants on Nantucket which can be considered “waterfront” – and the newest, Cru, is one of them. This swanky seafood establishment is in its fifth year of service and offers an uncompromised selection of local oysters and other gifts of the sea. Their raw bar menu changes each week and brings mounds of oysters to the table – each with a different taste. The establishment offers brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night, hand-crafted cocktails.
1 Straight Wharf
Millies, family eatery with Baja-inspired menu
Another relative newcomer to the island, Millies offers affordable and familiar southwestern fare with Californian sensibilities and island style. Like most of Nantucket’s restaurants, it focuses on pairing locally-sourced vegetables and herbs with fresh seafood. But vegetarians and the gluten-intolerant will still find their menu welcoming, with such sandwich options as the Miacomet with roasted beets, summer greens, rosemary roasted almonds and a balsamic vinaigrette. Though their flagship location in Madaket – loved by locals – is a little out of the way for those who wish to stay dockside, Millies recently opened a location in the heart of downtown.
326 Madaket Road
Dockside: 31 Easy Street
Brant Point Grill, classy surf and turf at the White Elephant Hotel
Another option for those in the mood for a date night, the Brant Point Grill offers lobster, steak, seafood and a few lighter fare options. But while all of their dinner menu items are tempting, it is necessary to save room for dessert: selections like the pumpkin crème brulee, trio of sorbets, and Vermont maple syrup and walnut cheesecake will melt away any worries not already taken care of by spending a day on Nantucket. The Grill also offers breakfast and lunch, featuring omelets, smoked salmon and vanilla bean challah French toast.
50 Easton Street
Oath Craft Pizza, eclectic pizza joint offering crispy crusts and savory sauces
Don’t expect any greasy, fatty pie from this establishment. Oath Craft Pizza obsesses over crispy crust perfection and blending deep flavors into their sauces. But what is brilliant about Oath Craft, besides the use of such toppings as rose pickled onions, jalapeno relish and honey barbecue drizzle, is that its gourmet selections do not come with a gourmet price tag. A whole pie can cost between $8.95 and $12.95, while the single-size half-pies are only $6.95 to $7.95. Don’t forget a splurge on a triple chocolate cookie pizza to end what is sure to be an awesome night. Vegetarian AND vegan options available!
44 Straight Wharf