The Beach Times

Dining Options Along the Cape Cod Rail Trail
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, September 10, 2018


We’ve previously examined the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which is a 22-mile-long bike path between South Wellfleet and South Dennis, but as you’ll quickly learn if you decide to make the journey, this isn’t just any old trail.

Once you embark on your ride or jog on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, you’ll pass through areas of complete wilderness, in addition to rural, suburban, and urban parts of the Cape. You'll also see the Cape Cod National Seashore, Nickerson State Park, and numerous city centers. Basically, if you complete the trail, you’ll see everything that Cape Cod has to offer, including a variety of restaurants that have set up shop just off the path.

The following is a list of some of the top restaurants near the trail so that you can determine where to stop along the way. Once you see some of the available options, you’d be forgiven for wanting to turn your Rail Trail cycling excursion into a multi-day event.

 

Restaurants in South Wellfleet

Those who start or finish their ride in Wellfleet will have a number of dining options from which to choose, both at the trailhead and further south.

Right near the trailhead in South Wellfleet is PB Boulangerie Bistro, a French restaurant with a built-in bakery. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, allowing you to pop by for a bite no matter what time you're in the area.

Van Rensselaer’s Restaurant and Raw Bar is a family-run business with a menu made up mostly of seafood dishes. The eatery is casual, making it the perfect place to finish your day, and has many craft beers available, as well. There is a kids' menu if you choose to travel with the little ones.

Those in the mood for something a little more upscale will love Bocce Italian Grill. This restaurant serves a variety of Italian favorites, along with high-end wines, and has an outdoor area to enjoy on warmer evenings. Keep in mind that grill is only open for dinner.

At the far southern end of Wellfleet is Marconi Beach Restaurant, which serves southern-style BBQ food, along with local seafood. The restaurant is a fairly unique concept because you can either dig into a BBQ rib dinner or go with a clambake with lobster, depending on your mood.

 

Eastham Dining

After making your way through Wellfleet, you come upon Eastham, which also has a wide selection of restaurants. Much like Wellfleet, there are various cuisine types, so you can make your decision based on what you feel like eating at that moment.

As you first enter Eastham, you'll see a cluster of restaurants, including Local Break Restaurant and Bar. This pub-style establishment has a large bar, and many of its menu items come from local sources. There's a sizable beer menu, as well, should you want a drink after your long ride on the trail.

Karoo Restaurant serves authentic South African cuisine, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Many dishes also feature Indian and European influences, making the menu extremely diverse. If you're looking to try something different, Karoo is the place to do it.

Steps from Karoo is Red Barn Pizza & More, another family-friendly restaurant with pizza, an arcade, mini-golf, and an outdoor dining area with picnic tables. They're open for lunch through dinner, and the casual atmosphere means you'll always feel right at home.

You'll probably encounter a line-up if you visit Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar during peak hours, but depending on your schedule, it’s probably worth the wait. This iconic seafood spot is known for its lobster rolls, and it also has ice cream, mini-golf, and outdoor seating.

 

Downtown Orleans Restaurants

The Cape Cod Rail Trail goes right through the heart of downtown Orleans, where you’ll find shops, boutiques, and, of course, restaurants. Some of these restaurants are a block or two off the trail, so make sure you know where you’re going before heading into town.

One of the restaurants a bit off the trail is The Knack, which specializes in burgers and hot dogs, but also has some sandwiches and seafood on the menu. Everything available at the restaurant is from local sources and as an added bonus, you can order online before your arrival and pick it up when you get there.

Sir Cricket's Fish & Chips is also a couple of minutes from the Rail Trail along Route 6A. This stop is one of the more basic options on this list, as it is a take-out counter offering lobster rolls, chowder, and fried fish, but you won't be disappointed by the quality. There is a small non-seafood menu available, as well.

Not everything in Orleans is away from the trail, as Mahoney's Atlantic Bar and Grill is right where the path crosses with Main Street. This eatery is only open for dinner, but it's a chic spot to stop for a drink and some classic New England cuisine, including seafood. You'll also be happy to know that there's a bike rack right outside the restaurant.

No, it isn't a Swedish restaurant, but ABBA does provide a unique dining experience along the Cape Cod Rail Trail because it is housed in a barn from the 1830s. The menu is also unique, as it is made up of Mediterranean dishes that you won't find anywhere else in the area.

 

Food in Brewster

After Orleans, the trail goes through Brewster, including a stretch of Nickerson State Park. The pathway is also about a block from the Old King's Highway, which is where pretty much everything in Brewster is located.

Cobie's is a casual counter-style eatery that has been around since 1948. It's also a favorite with cyclists because all you have to do is walk up to the counter, rather than finding a place to park your bike and waiting for a table. New England-style seafood favorites are on the menu, but they serve ice cream if you're just looking for a treat.

A similar counter-style diner is JT's Seafood Restaurant, which also serves seafood and has an outdoor seating area. Unlike Cobie’s, however, you can sit inside at JT’s as long as seating is available. If you're starving, give their specialty, the Jumbo Hot Lobster Roll, a try.

 

Those looking for a drink or a quick bite might consider Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters. The muffins, scones, croissants, and granola on the menu are sure to give you the energy you need between meals to make it through the next leg of your journey. And if you're not in the mood for a coffee, they have a selection of cold drinks.

Peddler's Restaurant is only open for dinner, and its romantic setting might not seem ideal after a long cycle. At the same time, the classic French cuisine and local seafood create an enjoyable menu, and the wine list is excellent. Just make sure you bring a change of clothes if you plan to stop in during your cycle.

 

Dining in Harwich

Remember how we mentioned that you'd pass through some rural and secluded areas? Once you get into Harwich, you'll find that dining options near the Rail Trail are a bit scarce. Having said that, you can still find a meal at Local Flavor Lunch and Bagel. A quick detour up the Old Colony Rail Trail will also take you to Ruggie's Breakfast and Lunch, should you get especially desperate for some food.

 

South Dennis Eating Options

As you head into South Dennis, you'll reach the Cape Cod Rail Trail's other trailhead. Here, you'll see a brewery, movie theater, shopping mall, and numerous restaurants. When completing your journey, it’s nice to know you have a few different cuisine types from which to choose.

Just south of the Rail Trail parking lot in South Dennis is Morrell's Restaurant & Catering, which is a seasonal eatery with a bar and great daily specials. This family-owned business uses locally-sourced seafood, making it ideal for a meal at the end of your ride.

Heading north from the parking lot you’ll come across Bangkok Thai Cuisine II, which, as the name suggests, serves Thai cuisine. Locals love the food here, as it is healthy and affordable in a casual environment. It's a pleasant place to stop after putting in some substantial miles.

Jason's Tavern is north of Bangkok Thai Cuisine II and is another laid-back venue to grab a quick meal. The tavern is known for having some of the best burgers on Cape Cod and also has seafood, sandwiches, chicken, and salads on the menu. If you get there early enough in the day, there are discounts before 6 PM.

Red Cottage Restaurant is a couple of blocks from the trailhead, but is one of the most popular dining options in South Dennis and is worth visiting at some point during your vacation. This 50s-style diner is open for breakfast and lunch all year long and dinner in the summer, from June until August, between Wednesday and Sunday. The restaurant is cash only, so you'll want to hit the ATM before stopping by.

 

Plenty of Food on the Rail Trail

You’ll never be short on dining options as you travel the Cape Cod Rail Trail. The Cape is known for its outdoor lifestyle and exploring this scenic bike path allows you to experience much of what makes the area such an attractive place to live and visit while sampling some famous local cuisine along the way.

Whether you want to head out on a quick jaunt on the trail to find some lunch or plan to complete the 22-mile distance, be sure to pack your bike this vacation so that you can get out there and taste some of the Cape Cod Rail Trail’s top restaurants.



Abba Arnolds Lobster Clam Bar Bike Paths Bocce Italian Grill Cape Cod Rail Trail Cobies Jasons Tavern Jts Seafood Restaurant Karoo Local Break Local Flavor Mahoneys Atlantic Bar And Grill Marconi Beach Restaurant Morrells Restaurant Pb Boulangerie Bistro Peddlers Restaurant Red Barn Pizza Red Cottage Restaurant Ruggies Breakfast And Lunch Sir Crickets Fish Chips Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters The Knack Van Rensselaers Restaurant

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