Do you prefer an elegant dinner in a fine restaurant or a sunset clambake on the beach? Nantucket offers dining experiences to satisfy every culinary appetite. Be sure to experience island specialties including our world-famous Nantucket Bay Scallops, farm fresh tomatoes and corn, bluefish pate and beach plum jelly. Come taste island life!
While the whalers of yore subsisted on salt cod and hardtack (a nearly indestructible biscuit brought aboard ships because of its unlimited shelf life), the bill of fare on Nantucket today is as far-reaching as the ocean waters that surround us.
The wealth of fine food on Nantucket is not restricted to the abundant bluefish and striped bass swimming just offshore, or to the world-famous Nantucket Bay Scallops that thrive in our pristine harbor waters. The tastes of the island are everywhere! Of the few fruits native to North America, for example, three can be found on Nantucket: cranberries, blueberries and Concord grapes. While the cranberries are cultivated (and remain a prized export), blueberries and grapes continue to grow wild in many areas of the island, as do beach plums and rose hips (which make excellent jellies!)
There is also a remarkable variety of fresh vegetables grown by island farmers and backyard gardeners. One look at the Bartlett’s Farm vegetable truck parked daily on Main Street or the weekly Farmer’s Markets throughout the season is proof enough that Nantucket’s cornucopia is not limited to corn, tomatoes, and squash.
Nantucket is also renowned for the fantastic offerings of its many restaurants. For many, the only difficulty in dining out is deciding which world-class restaurant to choose! There are cuisines to satisfy any palate, as the island’s chefs create memorable meals from the bounty of fresh native seafood, fruit and vegetables.
The island also plays host to many festive culinary events each year. The Nantucket Wine Festival held each May has developed over the last 15 years into one of the nation's most celebrated wine and food events, attracting winemakers, chefs and patrons from around the world. Now in its sixth year, Nantucket Restaurant Week offers diners a chance to enjoy special three-course menus and prices in many of the island’s top restaurants in both spring and fall.
As Julia Child—who was known to cook a meal or two on Nantucket—used to proclaim: Bon Appetit!
Photo courtesy of American Seasons