11 Amazing Restaurant Patios for Outdoor Dining on Cape Cod
Whether you want to dine beneath a beech tree or with a beach view, these restaurants have mastered the art of al fresco dining.
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Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season on Cape Cod, which floods with visitors from then through Labor Day. To anyone planning a trip, we have only one question: after a year stuck inside, why not spend every meal taking in all of the Cape’s natural beauty? To help, we rounded up the best of the best outdoor patios along the entire peninsula. Whether you’re craving dinner at a European-style piazza or a lunchtime bite by the harbor, you can soak up the sun, sea, and sky of Cape Cod on the patios of any of these restaurants.
With a patio located right at the Sandwich Marina, this boat-to-table restaurant and seafood market’s name is spot-on. Fishermen’s View proudly shows off its wares with a sizable raw bar of sushi, nigiri, and freshly shucked oysters, as well as both New England seafood standards and left-field riffs, like a lobster knuckle BLT with guacamole on Texas toast. Its frequently rotating menu is satisfying enough on its own—there are meat and vegetarian options, so there’s something for everybody—but the taste of the food paired with the sight of boats coming and going is peak Cape Cod idyll.
20 Freezer Rd., Sandwich, 508-591-0088, fishermensview.com.
Flying Bridge Restaurant
Flying Bridge Restaurant has been serving diners since 1983, and the view from its multi-level patio deck is clearly key to its longevity. Plotted along the Falmouth Harbor, diners can see everything from personal dinghys to the Island Queen ferries to Martha’s Vineyard sail by—and maybe even drop off a prospective diner or two—as they tuck in to the classic surf-and-turf menu. The best part? The patios are heated, meaning even the chilliest summer nights can be enjoyed long after the sun sets.
220 Scranton Ave., Falmouth, 508-548-2700, flyingbridgerestaurant.com.
Part of the Mashpee Commons, an open-air shopping and living area in Mashpee, Siena offers a taste of Tuscany on the Cape—and when you dine on its fan-shaped, street-facing patio, you might even mistake it for an Italian piazza. Though the menu’s got everything from homemade pizzas and pasta to essentials like eggplant Parmigiana, don’t skip their cioppino, a spicy tomato stew stuffed with six different kinds of seafood. You’re still on the Cape, after all.
17 Steeple St., Mashpee, 508-477-5929, siena.us.
Spanky’s Clam Shack and Seaside Saloon
Seeking a quintessential, Olde Cape Cod eatery serving no-frills seafood? Your search ends with Spanky’s. Dishing out specialties like stuffed quahog, fried clams, and lobster rolls right on Hyannis Harbor, its waterside patio is the perfect spot to revel in the sun, devour the regional specialties, and wash it all down with an ice-cold beer—or one of their margaritas, or a vodka-spiked Spanky’s Sweet Tea. Whatever screams “summer” loudest.
138 Ocean St., Hyannis, 508-771-2770, spankysclamshack.com.
Añejo Mexican Bistro
This Mexican eatery’s OG location is in Falmouth, but the second location in Hyannis is the home to its infamous Beechtree Taqueria, where diners can feast beneath—you guessed it—a lantern-strung weeping beech tree that’s as old as the United States. (Literally. It was planted in 1776.) That said, you didn’t just come for the arboriculture, but for the Mexican go-tos like carnitas tacos, New England-influenced dishes like a langosta enchilada with local lobster, and extensive margarita, tequila, and mezcal lists. And if you’re just getting started with agave spirits, you’re in luck: They offer flights so you can learn the lay of the land.
599 Main St., Hyannis, 774-470-5897; 188 Main St., Falmouth, 508-388-7631, anejo.cc.
Ocean Terrace is in good company as one of many dining areas at Brewster’s Ocean Edge Resort, from the upscale-cozy, mansion-set Bayzo’s Pub to the Beach Bar set atop sandy dunes. Still, Ocean Terrace’s elevated New England fare and views of the town and Cape Cod Bay fare make it a singular standout. Brewster oysters on the half-shell, grilled swordfish with potato puree, and maple-basted salmon are all delicious on their own—they’re even better, though, when enjoyed around the terrace’s flickering fire bowls, where the merriment always continues well past sunset.
2907 Main St., Brewster, 508-896-9000, oceanedge.com.
Outer Bar and Grille
It’s a blessing that you don’t have to be a guest at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club to enjoy the stunning views afforded by its restaurant, Outer Bar and Grille. It feels like you can touch the ocean even from its interior dining room, with its wide walls of windows overlooking Pleasant Bay and Round Cove—and from the outdoor deck seating that butts up against the beach, you’re actually able to sink your toes in the water with just a short walk. The menu’s a match for the vistas, too, with refined takes on New England fare like lobster bisque and wok-roasted native mussels.
2173 Route 2B, Harwich, 508-432-5400; wequassett.com/restaurant/outer-bar-and-grille.
Chatham Bars Inn
For a taste of some of the finest views and dining the Cape has to offer, the Chatham Bars Inn should be your destination. The resort boasts five distinct dining areas, two of which—The Beach House and Stars—are open for the public to feast upon views of Chatham Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. The former is a relaxed spot along the beach serving light lunch fare like buttermilk-fried calamari—to say nothing of the exciting cocktails, like the chai rum spritz—while the latter provides an upscale indoor dining experience replete with sharply-dressed staff, tableside preparations, and decadent dishes like butter-poached lobster risotto and a 32-oz. tomahawk ribeye.
297 Shore Rd., Chatham, 508-945-0096, chathambarsinn.com.
Built out of a former U.S. Lifesaving Station overlooking the Cahoon Hollow Beach and surrounded by the preserved nature of the Cape Cod National Seashore, the Beachcomber’s outdoor bar has one of the best views of the ocean along the whole Cape. And with a path straight down to the beach from the back bar, you can bring any takeout—including, of course, fried Wellfleet oysters—right down to the water.
1120 Cahoon Hollow Rd., Wellfleet, 508-349-6055, thebeachcomber.com.
Come on, we can’t talk about patios and not mention a restaurant named Patio! All jokes aside, Patio’s big and bustling outdoor dining setup along Commercial Street, the main artery of Provincetown, makes it a lively place to nosh on inspired renditions of seafood favorites, including moules frites and linguini carbonara with lobster, and enjoy a bottle of wine from their expansive wine list. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the people-watching.
328 Commercial St., Provincetown, 508-487-4003, ptownpatio.com.
Grab a seat at this beloved eatery with a vibrant bayside “backyard” for a taste of the peak-summer P-town scene. With a lean, New England-inspired menu focusing on locally sourced ingredients, it’s no wonder that locals and tourists alike can’t help but let a lazy afternoon bleed into a busy, buzzy evening here. Naturally, you’ll want to try (both) the lobster rolls, served hot and buttered or filled with cold crustacean salad. But here’s an insider tip: they have sticky buns exclusive to Saturdays that can’t be beat.
225 Commercial St., Provincetown, 508-487-3800, thecanteenptown.com.