5.23.2019

Nantucket Guide Part 2: Where to Eat + What to Do

If you haven't already, check out Part 1 where I go over where to stay and how to get to Nantucket. It has a lot of helpful things to note if you're planning a trip. Outside of where to stay, my second most-asked question was about my favorite places to eat, closely followed with what to do when you're there. 
So today we're talking about just that! I do have to admit that there are lots of places I haven't been to because I get stuck in my routines. But I have been around enough to make some good recommendations! If there's something I left out, please let me know in the comments below.

Where to Eat:

Breakfast:
--Fog Island/Keepers: As of this season, Fog Island (the BEST breakfast on the island) is now under the same roof as Keepers (which is an amazing dinner spot). With that, their location right in the heart of downtown moved to a mid-island. The best part about Fog Island was how convenient it is for those staying in town without a car. It is still 100% worth it to Uber out. Their food is SO GOOD.
--Black-Eyed Susans: This is the only breakfast place downtown that I've been to! It's good, but it can get busy. They don't take reservations and the place is small but it is a good spot for breakfast if you're staying in town. One thing to note is that they don't take credit cards.
--Bartlett Farms: Now this is a great grab-and-go breakfast sandwich. It's a full grocery store but they have a counter where you can get a delicious breakfast bagels and muffins (and whatever else you want)! Grab it and head to the beach for a great way to start your day.

--Downyflake: This is a little more inland as well but very accessible via bike. This is a "local" spot with great donuts!
Lunch:
--Provisions: This is my favorite place for sandwiches on the island. UGH so good. I also have a really happy memory of first talking about our wedding plans here. I'll forever look back and smile about it. They are always busy but they are worth the wait. The sandwiches are delish and it's also cash only!

--Oath Pizza: If you're craving pizza, this place is good! It's at the end of the Straight Wharf. It's quick and easy and a good place if you need something along those lines.
--Brotherhood of Thieves: This is right next door to my favorite hotel (21 Broad) and I think we stumbled in during one of our first visits to the island. The food is great and the lobster roll is awesome. It's right downtown so it's super easy to get to!
Dinner:

--Nautilus: This is the bessssttttt place and one we didn't even know about until last year! We came before the season started and a lot of places weren't quite open yet. We got a recommendation to try this place for dinner and, wow, it does not disappoint. It's like a seafood fusion tapas restaurant with great food and great drinks. It's small and they just started taking reservations but they fill up fast! If you can't make it on the list, stop by and try to grab a spot at the bar. It's the best way to do it!
--Cru: Definitely more of a "scene" but its a great setting for lunch, dinner or drinks. It's on the pricey end, but they have great seafood. It's right on the dock by all these massive yachts, so it's fun to stop by on a nice night. It's a very preppy, beachy vibe; great for some pictures!
--Club Car: This is another restaurant where you really go for the vibe. We've only been here once and I don't remember much about the food, but I do remember the setting. I think it's more of a shared plate dinner with some exotic food, but I was a little tipsy when I was there. The drinks are sooo good and the bar is set in an old cable car, hence the name. I should probably go back haha.
--Island Kitchen: This is another great spot for dinner or lunch. Their food is very fresh and they have a rotating menu. It's more mid-island so you'll need to catch an Uber/Taxi out there. BUT it is a great spot to eat late night dinner and then walk across the street to the Chicken Box (which is the local bar on the island).

--Millies: This is the farthest of them all. It's wayyyy outside of downtown but worth the hike! If you don't have a car and don't want to Uber out there, the public buses cost $2 and drop you off right at the door to the restaurant. Millies is a Mexican/seafood fusion place that is very casual and a favorite local spot! It's also a great place to catch the sunset at Madaket Beach (or go to the beach then to Millies). If you find you can't make it out, they do have a food truck at Cisco Brewery so you can get your fix!

--Galley Beach: This is one of the most expensive places for dinner but it's a stunning location. It's kind of a trade off lol. The best is to go early and grab a drink at their beach bar, watch the sunset and enjoy some great cocktails before going in for your reservation to enjoy the open air dinner. It's a great one-two-punch to make for a special (and expensive) night! Just make sure to get a reservation before you go. They close often for weddings!
Dessert:

--Juice Bar: If there is only one thing you do on the island, please make sure it's Juice Bar! It's a homemade ice cream shop that honestly has the BEST ice cream I've ever had. Andrew and I will go at least once every day while we're there, no matter the weather. UGH, it's just so good. Their waffle cones will have you blacking out from a mile away. It's cash only but they have an ATM on site.
--Aunt Leah's Fudge: This is a little shop near the wharf that has some really good fudge. The peanut butter chocolate is worth all the weight you might gain eating it. So good. It's a little grab and go shop with lots of great goodies but make sure to try the fudge before you go!
What to Do:


Beaches: There are so many great beaches on the island you really can't go wrong. I probably shouldn't even include this section because I really only go to Cisco. We have been to some others, but like I said, I love my routines lol. There are also two great beaches that I'm moving down to the lighthouse section since they're more related to that than anything else. 

--Cisco Beach: This is Andrew's and my favorite place on the island. I don't know what it is about Cisco but every time we go we have the best weather. It's never super crowded other than the surfers and the dogs, but I'm totally down for watching both! I'm also a big fan because it's a 20-25 minute bike ride (all on a bike path) from town. Also great for a stop at the brewery before or after the beach on your way going out or coming back!
--Tom Nevers Beach: We've only walked this beach once but it was huge and not crowded. That's probably because it's so far out. I remember the water being really calm and getting to see all the sea lions pop their heads out!

--Siasconset Beach: This was one of our first stops in Nantucket when we had a car! 'Sconset is really far so you'll ideally want to rent a car to get to this part of the island. If you do, I promise it's worth it! Is such a beautiful little town with the most amazing flowers (when in bloom) and stunning houses. The beach is right next to town and a great place to spend the afternoon!

--Madaket Beach: This is a great family-friendly beach that is the ideal spot to watch the sunset if the weather is right. It's right next to Millies, so if you're going out you might as well stop by for dinner or lunch. Again, you can take the bus or cab out there since it is super far away. 
Lighthouses:

--Brant Point: This is the quintessential lighthouse on Nantucket. It's the cutest little white lighthouse with a very large American flag on it, AND -- the best part -- it's really close to downtown. It's totally walkable or via bike. The beach itself is very rocky and not great for swimming. Andrew and I will visit between our hotel check out and our flight, take a towel, play some cards, and wave to the ferries as they come in.

--Great Point Light: Very much unlike Brant Point, this lighthouse is only accessible via 4-wheeled car with a beach permit and is at the very tip of the island. If you can swing it, rent a Jeep Wrangler for your trip and head down the beach to the lighthouse. The lighthouse is on protected land so you still need to walk some, but it is a really fun full beach/lighthouse day activity! You feel like you're on the edge of the world. 
--Sankaty Head Lighthouse: This (I think) is the prettiest lighthouse on the island. It's iconic because it can be seen from many different places in Nantucket. You'll need a car to get out there and prepare for it to be windy, but it is a lot of fun! It's a great thing to do if you plan on heading to 'Sconset for the day. The bluff walk takes you almost right to it!
Museums: 

--Whaling Museum: Andrew and I went here during our last trip because it was rainy. That's why I suggest this as the perfect rainy day activity on the island! It's a really well done and informative museum and teaches a lot about the origin of Nantucket. They have some crazy stories to tell and it's worth a stop!
--Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum: This is a very small museum but really interesting (at least to me) because I love the lightship baskets. They have some really special ones on display and take you through the origin and popularity of the lighthouse basket in today's culture.
Extras + Shopping:

--Cisco Brewery: This is a must. There is no excuse to not get out there. They have a free shuttle service from downtown and it's super easy to pop on a bike and head over. It takes about 15 minutes via bike from downtown. It is the best place to be on a nice summer day, enjoying some live music, great drinks, good company, and awesome food trucks. The brewery has three houses: one for liquor, another for wine and the last for beer so there is really something for everyone. Kids and dogs are welcome too! Just the best place to be!! My ideal day there is spent with a bloody mary (or two) in hand and a lobster roll form the Nantucket Lobster Trap.

--Sailing: There is a really great sailing excursion on the island that takes you out for an hour and a half sail around the harbor. The Captain, Jim, is awesome and it's such a fun way to see and experience the island. You can book per person ($60-80) or book a private sail for up to 14 people!

--'Sconset Bluff Walk: You'll need to drive out there, but make sure to take a stroll on the bluff walk. It's a little path that takes you through Sconset and past some of the most beautiful homes!

--Shopping: Like all places, there are some really great stores downtown. Some you've heard of like Vineyard Vines, Ralph Lauren, and Southern Tide, but there are a ton of great local stores I suggest you check out. My favorite thing to do is pop in and out of every store and see what catches my eye. The little stores that are filled with cute Nantucket items or beachy clothes are my favorite ones to stop in! Make sure to walk down and around Main Street but also by the wharf (on both sides)! There are more shops there than you would think. All are so cute and really special. 
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WHEW, that was a long one!! But I hope this helps. If you haven't already,  check out Part 1 of this guide where I cover how to get to the island and where to stay!! If you have any other questions, please let me know down below. I'm happy to help answer!

3 comments:

  1. Yes!!! I love this so much!! I cannot wait to head out there for my birthday, and really cannot wait for some Juice Bar ice cream!! Thanks for putting these guides together, Krista!

    xx Libby
    https://premedwearspearls.blogspot.com/

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  2. Love this! Something Natural is another great lunch stop - delicious, easy sandwich spot in a park-like setting! Also, the bus goes out to ‘Sconset so you don’t need a car to get out there - a‘Sconset cookie from the market is a must!

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