Sure, you expect seafood on the menu when you’re in Massachusetts, especially along Cape Cod. And yep, the seafood classics like the New England style lobster roll (the best kind of lobster roll) and clam chowder are definitely delicious and readily available, but after spending a long weekend in Provincetown, I was surprised to find such a diverse culinary scene.
In a town most famous for its arts and culture (and gay-friendliness), Provincetown has a unique culinary history, too. It’s the town where Anthony Bourdain got his start. He spent a season living and working with other restaurant workers one summer, and it’s the summer that turned him onto the food scene.
In Provincetown, there are so many restaurants and cafés, it’d take a full season to visit them all! The town flourishes during its peak travel seasons (starting in the spring and through the summer), but the good food never stops in Ptown.
Here, some of my favorite restaurants in Provincetown—the best places to eat that were recommended to me by friends and locals, and the Provincetown restaurants that really stood out on my summer weekend.
Where to Eat in Provincetown
Famous for a number of its foods, including their lobster roll, The Canteen is a newer restaurant to the Provincetown food scene, but it has quickly made its reputation known! It’s a casual restaurant; you order food from the counter and then take a number to your table. But the food in top-quality.
The restaurant is often listed among Provincetown’s best lobster rolls. (For those wondering, they serve both standard styles: the hot New England style with butter, and the cold style with mayo). The restaurant includes indoor and outdoor dining options. Their restaurant building is over 200 years old, but the real attraction is the outdoor dining in the backyard which runs right up to the beach.
The Angel Foods market is a gourmet grocery store and deli. I stumbled onto it while biking through the town but quickly fell in love with it! Besides regular grocery items you can expect from a local grocer, they also have a deli with lots of prepared foods and sandwich options.
Angel Foods also makes handful Italian pasta sauces and has a small coffee shop in the back. Grab a bite to eat here and then head to their yard where you can grab a seat in one of their outdoor lounge chairs. If you’re planning a beach day, this is also a great spot to stock up on supplies!
A longtime favorite for locals and visitors, John’s Footlong food stand is located just off the Provincetown pier. It’s essentially a walk-up counter window, but they have a small outdoor seating space (with umbrellas) on the roof of their building.
The menu at John’s Footlong includes everything you’d expect from a fast food takeaway, but with a Cape Cod twist. They’ve got all the fried seafood you could want—from whole-belled fried clams to scallops & shrimps. But also fast food standards like cheeseburgers, and of course, hot dogs.
The Harbor Lounge is actually a cocktail bar not a restaurant, but their cocktail menu is worth noting—and their location is one of the best! Besides their indoor bar lounge area, there’s a wooden jetty that juts out over the beach. During high tide, you’re standing over water, but in low tide, it’s just the beach.
It’s a beautiful view over the Provincetown beach. And the cocktails are great, too.
One of Provincetown’s best restaurants, Pepe’s Wharf has two decks that look right out over the beach and high tide. With separate lunch and dinner menus, it’s a casual fine dining restaurant with a lively bar. You may need to make reservations for dinner, though.
On the menu are standard seafood specialties, but Pepe’s Wharf serves some unique options as well, including a lobster pizza and seafood pasta. The foods are fresh, the ambiance is both romantic and lively, and the prices are fair. If you’re looking for a romantic dinner or just top-quality seafood dishes don’t miss Pepe’s Wharf!
A small seaside restaurant on the East End of Provincetown, Yoloqueria serves Tex-Mex style cuisine but with their own twist. The restaurant is most famous for its brunch options which are highly recommended (and several come with tater tots!). Creative cocktails are also on the menu!
Strangers & Saints
Located in a former captains house, the new Strangers & Saints restaurant takes its style from its nautical history. Serving Mediterranean dishes, the restaurant has a beautiful, romantic aesthetic. A spacious outdoor patio is open during the summer, but inside, you’ll find plush chairs, candlelit tables, and a cozy setting.
With Mediterranean style pizzas and shareable dishes, the food is definitely of the highest quality. A lot of Spanish inspiration on the menu.
It can get crowded, so make a reservation if possible!
Far Land Provisions
One of Provincetown’s more popular grocery stores slash delis, Far Land Provisions sells home-baked goods and deli sandwiches at their speciality shop. But they also run the convenience shop and restaurant at the Herring Cove Beach just on the outskirts of town, so you’re likely to run into their food at some point while in Provincetown!
Located on Commercial Street in the bustling section of downtown Provincetown’s East End, Spindler’s Restaurant is the on-site restaurant for the Waterford Inn hotel. With a second floor terrace and spacious bar, they offer a great view over Commercial Street. The restaurant’s regular menu features French-style cuisine with Italian and New England flavors, but on select days and weekends, they also serve a popular brunch.
The menu changes seasonally, but Chef Eduardo “Papi” Rios runs some of the brunches and select speciality dinners—with tacos, chilaquiles, and other Mexican specialities.
Provincetown Brewing Company
Opened in the summer 2019 seasons, Provincetown Brewing Company (PBC) is the town’s first brewery. Their restaurant and brewery on Bradford Street features an outdoor terrace in front, and a multi-level space inside, including booths and lounge areas—plus the bar seating.
It’s a cool vibe inside, and since opening, they also serve small bar bites, sandwiches, and salads alongside their brews. You’ll find some of their beer selection even on the Provincetown ferries from Boston!
Besides seafood restaurants and bars, Provincetown’s culinary traditions are also rooted in a number of other shops. You’ll find fudge shops and sweet stores throughout the town, plus a handful of small grocery and convenience stores. Food in Provincetown is closely intertwined with the daily life in town; it seems everyone is always at or on their way to a restaurant or bar for a coffee or snack.
With all the outdoor seating and the warm summer weather, finding a place to eat in Provincetown is never really a challenge; and thankfully most of the restaurants are serving top quality foods and reasonable prices!
Note: My visit to Provincetown was supported and sponsored by the town. Discover more travel tips for Provincetown on their tourism website. Additional LGBTQ tips and a guide to the town is produced by the Provincetown Business Guild, or you can find my Provincetown gay guide here.