Best of the Vineyard 2019: Food and Drink

Everything you need to know about food and drink on Martha’s Vineyard according to you.

Best Bakery: Back Door Donuts/Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Cafe & Bakery

5 Post Office Square, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-3688,

Runner-up: Scottish Bakehouse

977 State Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-6633,

No matter how rough your night may seem, a warm confection from Back Door Donuts will turn things around. The bakery is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and doughnuts are served out the back door from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Scottish Bakehouse will cure your cravings with locally sourced ingredients.

Best Bar/Pub: Offshore Ale Co.

30 Kennebec Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-2626,

Runner-up: Lookout Tavern

8 Seaview Avenue Extension, Oak Bluffs, 508-696-9844,

Is Offshore Ale a nonprofit organization yet? It should be – the warmth and sense of community offered there are unmatched (at least for those without peanut allergies). The beer’s pretty good too. Bring first-time Vineyard visitors to Lookout Tavern for a killer view and a brew.

Best Breakfast: ArtCliff Diner

38 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-1224,

Runner-up: Linda Jean’s Restaurant

25 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-4093,

ArtCliff Diner has been around since 1943, and with its can-do staff, flakey, buttery biscuits, and eclectic menu that’ll keep you on your toes, let’s hope it stays around for another seventy-six years. Linda Jean’s will leave you full and happy with classic American diner fare.

Best Breakfast Sandwich: 7a Foods

1045 State Road, West Tisbury, 508-693-4636,

Runner-up: Scottish Bakehouse

977 State Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-6633,

7a gets a lot of attention for its lunch, but the breakfast sandwich with a local egg, bacon or homemade sausage, and a plain or cheddar-jalapeño biscuit is equally adored. The Scottish Bakehouse version offers plentiful choices, including “fakin’ bacon,” made with tempeh.

Best Burger: Atria

137 Main Street, Edgartown, 508-627-5850,

Runner-up: Fat Ronnie’s Burger Bar

7 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-6600

Most restaurants offer only one house burger. The Brick Cellar Bar at Atria has eleven, with options for every taste, including seared foie gras in the Pay Day or habanero pepper garnish in the Dante’s Inferno. Picky? Build it yourself at Fat Ronnie’s Burger Bar, perfect for a late-night bite on Circuit Avenue.

Best Caterer: V. Jaime Hamlin and Sons Catering & Party Design


Runner-up: Kitchen Porch Catering

Airport Business Park, 14 A Street, Edgartown, 508-645-5000,

For catering events that range from clambakes to cocktail parties to nothing short of a coronation, V. Jaime Hamlin and Sons Catering & Party Design takes the cake (or lobster sliders and gazpacho shooters) and serves it too. Kitchen Porch emphasizes farm-to-table ingredients.

Best Chowder: Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Co.

9 Oak Bluffs Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-696-3000,

Runner-up: Larsen’s Fish Market

56 Basin Road, Chilmark, 508-645-2680,

You don’t have to be a Vineyarder to love Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Co.’s signature dish: It regularly wins awards on Cape Cod and beyond. Not too thick and chocked full of veggies and clams, it’s clear why. Larsen’s switches up the chowder each day, offering mussel, clam, and lobster broth options.

Best Clambake: Bill Smith’s Martha’s Vineyard Clambake Co.


Runner-up: Larsen’s Fish Market

56 Basin Road, Chilmark, 508-645-2680,

Whether it’s feeding a beach party of thirty or a wedding of 300, Bill Smith’s Martha’s Vineyard Clambake Co. is the go-to for a New England feast. Order the catered experience or do it yourself with the clambake-to-go option. At Larsen’s Fish Market, customize your menu with daily catches.

Best Cocktails: Alchemy

71 Main Street, Edgartown, 508-627-9999,

Runner-up: 20byNine

16 Kennebec Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-338-2065,

The mixologists at Alchemy might actually be alchemists, concocting cocktails that have to be tasted to be believed. Imbibe while taking in Edgartown’s Main Street scene from the second-floor porch. Whiskey-based cocktails are the specialty at 20byNine, with syrups and infusions made in house.

Best Coffee: Mocha Mott’s

10 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-696-1922
15 Main Street, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-3155,

Runner-up: Behind the Bookstore

46 Main Street, Edgartown, 774-549-9123,

There may not be WiFi at Mocha Mott’s, but there is a whole lot of good coffee. And keep an eye out for your favorite multi-talented baristas on stage at a variety of Island venues. An artful latte at Behind the Bookstore is a welcome respite from Edgartown crowds.

Best Family Dining: Giordano’s Restaurant

18 Lake Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-0184,

Runner-up: Offshore Ale Co.

30 Kennebec Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-2626,

It’s hard to keep a whole family happy at dinner; it’s considerably easier at Giordano’s Restaurant, thanks to the friendly atmosphere and extensive menu of hearty Italian meals that satisfy every taste. At Offshore, kids can toss peanut shells on the floor in between gulps of house-brewed root beer.

Best Farm Market or Stand: Morning Glory Farm

290 Edgartown–West Tisbury Road, Edgartown, 508-627-9003,

Runner-up: West Tisbury Farmers’ Market

The Grange Hall, 1067 State Road, West Tisbury,

From the famous corn, to the oh-so-sweet strawberries, to the much loved salad bar, Morning Glory offers a cornucopia of Island-grown produce. And good luck walking out of there without am armful of flowers. The West Tisbury Farmers’ Market is the place to see and be seen on summer Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Alexa Worthington is at your service at Best Fine Dining–winner State Road Restaurant.
Elizabeth Cecil

Best Fine Dining: State Road Restaurant

688 State Road, West Tisbury, 508-693-8582,

Runner-up: L’étoile

22 North Water Street, Edgartown, 508-627-5187,

Warm and intimate, State Road is perfect for a date night – or really any night that you want to dine on creative, locally sourced dishes. Stop by for the equally tasty Sunday brunch if you can’t snag a dinner reservation. L’étoile offers the option of inventive three-course meals on a romantic patio.

Best Fish and Chips: The Net Result

Tisbury Marketplace, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-6071,

Runner-up: The Newes from America

23 Kelley Street, Edgartown, 508-627-4397,

Many a visitor walks straight from the Vineyard Haven ferry to The Net Result to enjoy fish and chips at an outdoor picnic table. The crispy fish and hand-cut fries are the perfect way to kick off a trip. No one leaves hungry after a beer-battered haddock at The Newes from America; it’s often bigger than the plate!

Louis and Beth Larsen hooked awards for Best Fish Market and Best Fish and Chips.
Elizabeth Cecil

Best Fish Market: The Net Result

Tisbury Marketplace, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-6071,

Runner-up: Larsen’s Fish Market

56 Basin Road, Chilmark, 508-645-2680,

The Net Result’s display case gives hope that there’s still plenty of fish in the sea, many of them right off Vineyard shores. Pro chefs can pick up local catches to cook themselves; amateurs can rest easy with prepared options. Larsen’s fish comes from boats right outside the back door.

Best French Fries: Atria

137 Main Street, Edgartown, 508-627-5850,

Runner-up: Offshore Ale Co.

30 Kennebec Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-2626,

French fries usually play second fiddle to the main dish. At Atria, they’re served thin, crispy, perfect in every way, and share center stage with the award-winning burgers. At Offshore, try them plain or topped with Parmesan and truffle oil.

Best Fried Clams: Giordano’s Restaurant

18 Lake Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-0184,

Runner-up: The Net Result

Tisbury Marketplace, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-6071,

Like barbecue is to the South, fried clams are a New England classic. Giordano’s does them right: The restaurant fries whole clams and strips so good that fans line up for them in droves on opening day. Fried clams at The Net Result go down easy, with light breading and just the right amount of crisp.

Best Grocery Store: Cronig’s Market

357 State Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-4457
469 State Road, West Tisbury, 508-693-2234,

Runner-up: Reliable Market

36 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-1102,

An Island staple, Cronig’s gathers all of the Vineyard’s best organic produce, fruits, meats, and cheeses in two convenient locations where patrons are sure to see a friendly face. Family-run Reliable Market repeatedly lives up to its name.

Best Ice Cream Shop: Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium

20A Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-696-0008,

Runner-up: Mad Martha’s

48 Main Street, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-5883
12 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-9152
7 North Water Street, Edgartown, 508-627-8761

When temperatures rise, treat yourself to Ben & Bill’s, where the waffle and cake cones are glutted with scoops of made-from-scratch deliciousness that you could share but won’t want to. Mad Martha’s has a loyal following and flavors galore.

Best Island-Made Candy/Chocolate: Chilmark Chocolates

19 State Road, Chilmark, 508-645-3013

Runner-up: Murdick’s Fudge

21 North Water Street, Edgartown, 508-627-8047
5 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-2335
Corner of Union and Main Streets, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-7344,

The Island is bidding a mournful goodbye to Chilmark Chocolates, which will close by the end of 2019. Time to stock up on Menemsha Mints, Chappy Chewies, and a whole lot of nostalgia. Next year, delicious treats from Murdick’s Fudge will surely help temper the sting of the loss.

Best Lobster Roll: Grace Episcopal Church

Woodlawn Avenue and William Street, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-0332 (Fridays, 4 to 7 p.m. through September)

Runner-up: Lookout Tavern

8 Seaview Avenue Extension, Oak Bluffs, 508-696-9844,

Fans of the classic New England lobster roll (served cold on a hot dog bun with mayo) flock to Grace Episcopal Church on Fridays. Generously portioned, you always feel like you get your money’s worth. At the Lookout Tavern, choose between cold with mayo or hot with butter. 

Best Lunch: 7a Foods

1045 State Road, West Tisbury, 508-693-4636,

Runner-up: Little House Cafe

339 State Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-687-9794,

Sit on the benches outside 7a on a summer afternoon and you may not hear much conversation. You will hear sighs of satisfaction from people preoccupied with their flavor-packed sandwiches, plus the occasional crunch of potato chips. At Little House Cafe, a delicious, healthy-ish nosh awaits.

Ever-changing entrées and inventive desserts earned The Cardboard Box a win for Best New Restaurant.
Elizabeth Cecil

Best New Restaurant: The Cardboard Box

6 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-338-2621,

Runner-up: Dilly’s Taqueria

12 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-687-9171,

Fresh crudo and fried chicken. Tasting courses and edible art. A slushie machine named Chilly Nelson. Neon signs and black and white walls. A rock star restaurant has arrived in Oak Bluffs; it’s called The Cardboard Box. A few paces away, Dilly’s Taqueria puts bold flavor first.

Best Outdoor Dining: Aquinnah Shop Restaurant

27 Aquinnah Circle, Aquinnah, 508-645-3867,

Runner-up: The Seafood Shanty

31 Dock Street, Edgartown, 508-627-8622,

At the Aquinnah Shop – once the “Island’s Best Kept Secret” – lobster endive salads, pesto chicken sandwiches, and pan-seared striped bass are served with an expansive side view of the ocean. The Seafood Shanty is the place to sip sangria and watch the boats motor around Edgartown Harbor.

Talk about a meal with a view: The Aquinnah Shop wins for Best Outdoor Dining.
Elizabeth Cecil

Best Package Store: Our Market

1 East Chop Drive, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-3000,

Runner-up: MV Wine & Spirits

17A Airport Road, Edgartown, 508-627-7557,

Turns out the Island’s best wine collection might not be in a private Chilmark basement – it’s nestled next to Oak Bluffs Harbor. Our Market has signature sauvignons, petite sirahs, and not so petite jugs of reds and whites, plus spirits and beers. MV Wine & Spirits has a large craft beer selection.

Best Picnic Food: 7a Foods

1045 State Road, West Tisbury, 508-693-4636,

Runner-up: Black Sheep

18 North Summer Street,  Edgartown, 774-549-9118
17 Airport Road, Edgartown, 508-338-7770,

What’s more delightful than a picnic on the beach or in a shady spot on a warm afternoon? A picnic basket filled with tuna melts, turkey BLTs, and roasted beet wraps, courtesy of 7a Foods. Black Sheep offers a selection of sandwiches, cheeses, and dishes made to grab and go.

Best Pizza: Giordano’s Restaurant

18 Lake Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-0184,

Runner-up: Rocco’s Pizzeria

Tisbury Marketplace, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-1125,

Giordano’s is a bustling old family restaurant that still uses original recipes – for good reason. The pizza is always served hot and is always really, really good. Rocco’s lengthy toppings list includes egg, fresh basil, and hot cherry peppers.

Best Sandwich: 7a Foods

1045 State Road, West Tisbury, 508-693-4636,

Runner-up: Humphreys Bakery

Woodland Center, 455 State Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-6518,

At 7a, you can start your day with an egg sandwich on a cheddar-jalapeño biscuit and keep it going with a Liz Lemon: hot housemade pastrami, turkey, Swiss, coleslaw, Russian dressing, and potato chips on rye. Humphreys (now re-christened Life at Humphreys) wins fans for its quality and quantity. Seriously, the sandwiches are huge.

Johnny Martina is happy as an oyster serving them on the halfshell at The Home Port, winner of Best Seafood Restaurant.
Elizabeth Cecil

Best Seafood Restaurant: Home Port Restaurant

512 North Road, Chilmark, 508-645-2679,

Runner-up: Lookout Tavern

8 Seaview Avenue Extension, Oak Bluffs, 508-696-9844,

Why mess with success? The Home Port has been serving classic New England seafood – steamers, lobster dinners, stuffed quahaugs – since 1930. The fried oysters are a must and taste just a bit better when paired with a Menemsha
sunset. Lookout patrons love the lobster bisque, oysters, and tuna tacos.

Best Sushi: Lookout Tavern

8 Seaview Avenue Extension, Oak Bluffs, 508-696-9844,

Runner-up: The Net Result

Tisbury Marketplace,  79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-6071,

The Lookout offers fresh, expertly crafted sushi with a view. Try the summer or sumo rolls, or go big with the Islander plate: sushi for two plus miso soup and seaweed salad. The Net Result’s secret weapon is the secret roll: an eel and avocado roll topped with fresh fish and a hush-hush special sauce.

Best Takeout: Giordano’s Restaurant

18 Lake Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-0184,

Runner-up: 7a Foods 

1045 State Road, West Tisbury, 508-693-4636,

Oak Bluffs has its share of takeout spots, but Giordano’s takes its “Best of” crown seriously, dishing up fried scallops, popcorn chicken, and onion rings in little red-and-white boxes that transport nicely to any nearby beach or park. 7a sandwiches are best brown-paper bagged and placed in a bicycle basket to go.

Best Vegetarian Meal: Little House Cafe

339 State Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-687-9794,

Runner-up: Not Your Sugar Mamas Organic Cafe

Tisbury Marketplace, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-338-2018,

Little House Cafe isn’t expressly a vegetarian restaurant, but with options like butternut squash salads, falafel, and lettuce wraps, it sure is a good place to be a vegetarian. Plant-based Not Your Sugar Mamas Organic Cafe has an exciting gluten-free menu as well as inventive pop-up events.

Best Wings: Coop de Ville

Dockside Marketplace, 12 Circuit Avenue Extension, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-3420,

Runner-up: Offshore Ale Co.

30 Kennebec Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-2626,

It’s possible that nobody deep fries more wings on the Island than Petey Berndt over at Coop de Ville, where the orders keep coming in for buckets of Dragon Fire, Maryland Style, or New Orleans Voodoo wings. Offshore’s classic buffalo variety is best paired with a mug of root beer or a pint of Lazy Frog IPA.

Best Year-Round Restaurant: Offshore Ale Co.

30 Kennebec Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-2626,

Runner-up: Little House Cafe

339 State Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-687-9794,

Whether they’re eating lobster rolls on the patio in the summer or cracking peanuts by the fireplace in the winter, Islanders flock to Offshore Ale all year long. Little House Cafe keeps the good vibes going in the off-season with delightful coffee, perfect pastries, and tasty tacos.

Comments (1)

Lucy Berndt
Charlottesville, Virginia
I am so proud of my brother Petey Berndt and the coop De Ville for winning best wings.
June 12, 2020 - 11:42am