Just because summer is coming to a close doesn’t mean that we have to switch out slushies for hot soup just yet. The warm air along the East Coast still screams summer, which means that there’s still a chance to squeeze out those last couple of beach days before school is back in session.
Luckily for me, I was able to live out my last few days in the sand on the island of Nantucket. While I was definitely a newbie when it came to knowing the hot spots of the island, I was lucky enough to have a Nantucket veteran for a best friend to show me the ropes. Now, being from New York I had always heard that Nantucket boasted gorgeous beaches and quaint boutiques. But I have to say, the part of the trip that I was so shocked about was how next level the food was.
I get it though—summer is on its last leg, and if you’re going to make the trip out to the island of salmon-colored shorts, then you don’t have time to go through that awkward tourist phase so you can track down the perfect fish taco. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of some of the best food stops on the island so that you can get straight to the good stuff.
Located in Madaket, Millie’s is a bit of a drive from town, but the view and fresh guacamole more than make up for it. As a first timer on the island, this place represented the quintessential Nantucket experience to me, complete with nautical wall decor, a view of the ocean, and seafood that tastes like it was caught that morning.
2. The Juice Bar
I will admit it right here and now—I was never really an ice cream kind of guy. If you offered me almost any kind of other dessert, I would probably take it over ice cream. But this place made me reconsider everything I thought I knew.
First of all, the ice cream is all entirely homemade, which is almost always a clear sign that you’ve got a winner on your hands. But to try the ice cream at The Juice Bar and not get it in one of their fresh waffle cones or cups that you can watch being made is nothing short of an injustice.
I can’t possibly explain just how much a warm, fresh waffle cone elevates the whole ice cream experience, but if you don’t want to take my word for it, the line around the block pretty much speaks for itself. Don’t worry though, it’s worth it.
3. Black-Eyed Susan’s
Situated within the town of Nantucket, Black-Eyed Susan’s is a great place to close out your day with friends. Aside from the fact that the food is amazing, the ability to see your food being prepared and servers that treat you like their friends make for a particularly fun dining experience.
#SpoonTip: Black-Eyed Susan’s is both cash only and BYOB. So make sure that you’ve got both of these bases covered if you want to get the most out of your meal.
4. Lola Burger
Yet another game changer that you absolutely have to try should you find yourself on the island. Boasting tons of options ranging from your classic burger to a Korean Pork Burger, Lola Burger is a safe bet for just about anyone. Truffle fries are mandatory.
5. Aunt Leah’s Fudge
Quite literally one of the hidden gems of the island. You probably wouldn’t even notice this place tucked between the t-shirt shops near the docks if you weren’t looking for it, but it’s about the closest you’re going to get to feeling like you’re twelve years old again. The whole place is owned by a retired teacher who decided to open up her own fudge store, and she even stops by from time to time to chat with customers. If Aunt Leah’s Fudge doesn’t warm your heart, nothing will.
6. Something Natural
With its homemade bread and healthy sandwiches, Something Natural makes you feel like you’re not sacrificing your beach bod, even if some of the sandwiches are large enough to feed a small village. Regardless, this joint is the perfect place to go if you need a solid lunch to bring with you to the beach, and PB&J’s just aren’t cutting it anymore.
7. The Downyflake
Having grown up on the East Coast my entire life, I can confidently say that this place puts Dunkin’ Donuts to shame. I don’t know how they do it, but The Downyflake somehow makes you feel like you’re not throwing away hours at the gym with each fluffy donut you scarf down. Not exactly sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but the point still stands—these donuts are bomb.
8. Lemon Press
Without a doubt, Lemon Press is the place to go to fuel all the trendy food Instagrams that you were hoping you’d get in Nantucket. This place is straight out of a Kardashian fantasy, and the perfect place to go if you want to feel like you have your life together.
Don’t be intimidated by the sea of açaí bowls and green smoothies on the menu. You can still get feel-good food from this place, like Belgian waffles, topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup, and even a BEC (that’s bacon, egg, and cheese for anyone outside of New England).