The season may be winding down, but there’s still time to take advantage of the tasty eats along Oak Bluffs Harbor. As you walk along, you can enjoy the water and picturesque views on one side and bar after restaurant on the other. This weekend the harbor sidewalk was still packed to the brim, with both tourists and locals there to relax, watch the sunset, and grab a bite to eat with friends and family. And it’s not all about the scenery; there really is some delicious food to be had on the harbor! While the restaurants are still open and the masses are subsiding, now is the time to make your way down to the water to enjoy some of the offerings you may have missed this summer.
Nancy’s & Donovan’s Reef The snack bar on the ground level is a great family-friendly space for an affordable meal on the go. Grab some perfectly fried clam strips ($9.95), or stop by Donovan’s for his signature Dirty Banana. Have time to enjoy a more leisurely meal? Head upstairs and sit outdoors, where you can enjoy a beautiful view over the water. If it’s time for sunset, it should be noted that the sunset on the harbor is comparable to the famous scene in Menemsha. Often more crowded, but still a striking display of gorgeous colors. And did you know that Nancy’s is the one stop on-Island where you can have a taste of the Middle East? Try the Fattoush salad or a Mediterranean sampler, or grab a gyro or falafel downstairs.
Sand Bar & Grille Sometimes all you need to relax is an ice-cold beer and your toes in the sand, and at the Sand Bar you can do just that. Their menu boasts some great-quality sushi. They offer typical pub fare, like burgers and sandwiches, but their sushi is always what I come back for.
Lobsterville Bar & Grille This harborfront destination makes me return every time for one thing and one thing only: their lobster macaroni and cheese. This signature dish is a must-have, which combines three cheeses with sweet lobster meat, rotini pasta, and a garlic crumb topping. It’s seriously one of the best lobster mac and cheese dishes on-Island.
Coop De Ville and Shuck Shack It’s the dockside seafood shack where everyone’s had a drink (or four), and it offers one of the largest beer selections on-Island. The low-key atmosphere is perfect after the workweek, and if you’re craving fresh raw seafood, head next door to their newly expanded space, the Shuck Shack. Slurp back oysters on any of the eight bar stools along the harbor, where you’ll find an even more casual menu than Coop de Ville, but with the same surf feel.
Fishbones Bar & Grille It was completely renovated last year and is the ideal spot for a relaxing cocktail, a sun-kissed lunch, or a sunset romantic, but still casual, dinner. The island-inspired menu is what draws me to it, including mahi mahi with a jerk seasoning, a macadamia-crusted grouper, or a Key West swordfish, all with the option of coconut rice, black beans, plantains (and more) as sides. Fishbones takes me back to my carefree days back home in the Dominican Republic, especially when I pair my meal with a Passionfruit Rum Punch.