One of my favorite ways to get info on a new place we’re visiting is to look it up in the New York Times Travel section’s “36 Hours in ….” series. That article always has great, succinct advice on what to do and see, and more importantly, where to eat.
I always prefer the inside scoop from someone who’s been there, and not a lame paragraph in Fodor’s, so thought I’d share some tips with you. Today’s post is on food and later this week I’ll post about fun activities, especially with kids.
Here’s my report on our Top 7 eats from the trenches of Martha’s Vineyard :
–While not quite on the Vineyard yet, I highly recommend you stop at Pie in the Sky bakery in Woods Hole. No matter what ungodly hour you got stuck with to ferry your car over, you can get a great cup of Joe and delicious bread and cookies. Don’t miss their famous popovers.
— Many restaurants will claim to serve the best lobster roll on the island and it would be fun to try them all but we only had time for two. I would recommend the lobster roll at MacPhail’s Corner Cafe. I liked the toasted buttery bun and the right amount of mayo to bring out the flavor of the big chunks of lobster. The Net Result and Among the Flowers are also good places to try one.
–Surprise, surprise but my list is saturated with seafood! For the best takeout fried clams I would head to The Bite in Menemsha. This tiny shack by the beach fries up clams, oysters, squid, shrimp and scallops, and has chicken and mozzarella sticks for fish-fearing tots. Tender fresh fish and not overly greasy.
–Wherever I go, especially in the summer, I must find ice cream. The Vineyard has many places to sample a scoop but I recommend Mad Martha’s. This award-winning homemade ice cream comes in many flavors off the beaten path– black raspberry, mint Oreo, butter crunch, coconut– that evoke gelato with their rich taste. They also offer a wide selection of homemade frozen yogurt that tastes like food, instead of chemicals. Locations in Edgartown, Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs make it easy to covet a cone.
–If you’re still hankering for lobster but don’t want to bust the bank, head to Larsen’s Fish Market in Menemsha for an excellent raw fish selection. Lobsters of every size, several fish filets, swordfish, clams, mussels and more are so fresh, sometimes you can see the fisherman who caught them zooming off in his boat when you arrive. The friendly staff offers great cooking advice for novices and the prepared foods– particularly the lobster bisque– make Larsen’s an essential stop on your eating tour.
–If you’re passionate for pastries like me there are many bakeries on the island to satisfy your sweet tooth. Our favorites included the banana bread from Morning Glory Farm, pies at Eileen Blake’s, and apple fritters from the famous Black Dog. The fresh and local ingredients make eating these treats seem less sinful, and somehow more healthy.
–My 12-year-old son is obsessed with sushi so he was determined to try it on the Vineyard. We took a deep breath of sea air, ordered salmon, eel, and tuna rolls from The Net Result in Vineyard Haven and hoped for the best. I was skeptical but it was fresh, delicious sushi. You can eat at picnic tables outside the market or take it to go, as we did, for our ferry ride home.
We didn’t have a bad meal on the Vineyard. Maybe it’s because we knew where to go or maybe because so much of it is made with all natural ingredients, the food just tastes better. Even if your kids don’t love seafood, there are plenty of choices and price points for traveling families.
I’d love to hear any places you’ve tried on the Vineyard for our next trip…tell me in the comments.