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10 Top Places to Eat on Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard, just seven miles off Cape Cod, feels like a world away, rather than a 45-minute ferry crossing. Those who escape for a summer break there will discover fish shacks and fine-dining venues all focused on local bounty from the sea and the land. Here are a few local favorites.

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Photo: Marnely Murray

Henry’s

Tucked away in the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown, Henry’s is a cozy gastropub with a menu of small plates and a focus on locally sourced ingredients, including produce, island-caught sustainable fish and island-harvested shellfish, with farms, fishermen and gardens all listed on the menu. A favorite at Henry’s is the knuckle sandwich, composed of fresh lobster meat, fried capers and lemon on buttered brioche roll, and the local cioppino, made with MV-harvested shellfish, prawns, calamari and tomato broth. Henry’s is open year-round, one more reason to be a fan of the intimate spot.

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Photo: Greg Premru Photography Inc.

Atlantic Fish & Chop House

Smack dab on Edgartown Harbor, Atlantic Fish & Chop House could hardly have a more scenic setting. One of the larger and more upscale venues on the island, Atlantic serves lunch and dinner, then turns into a hopping nightclub at 10 p.m., with live entertainment or a DJ. The menu is quite diverse, with dishes like black truffle-lobster mac and cheese, Moroccan chicken and olive tagine, and delicious whole, char-broiled branzino, served with lemon preserves and herb marinade. The extensive menu also features everything from pizzas to Wagyu beef, so there is plenty to entice, including popular cocktails, like the La Rose, made with Stoli vanilla vodka, vanilla simple syrup, passion fruit puree, St. Germain and rose essence.

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Photo: Swift + Crowe Pictures

Sweet Life Café

This aptly named Oak Bluffs restaurant is located in a charming Victorian house, with an equally charming outdoor patio lit by twinkling lights. A favorite of the Obamas when they vacationed on the island, the restaurant features local, seasonal cuisine that’s gorgeously prepared. The chef’s tasting menu is a nice way to sample the range of what’s available and in season, possibly including dishes like Whiting Farm lamb tartare, wild nettle gnocchi and homemade herb-ricotta cavatelli, with Grey Barn pork belly.

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Larsen’s Fish Market

Larsen’s Fish Market in Menemsha is exactly that: a market selling freshly caught seafood in a tiny fishing village. Take your pick of striped bass, cod, mussels and littleneck clams to take home and cook, or head to the back, where you can order dishes from their tiny kitchen to eat right away. Choose a lobster roll, and they will crack open a lobster, pull out all the meat, slather it with butter and load it into a warmed hot dog roll, which you’ll take outside to devour while sitting on a lobster trap or picnic table. It is, for many, the essence of summer. You can also order whole steamed lobsters, freshy shucked oysters, crab cakes and a few other items. BYOB, order a few dishes, then walk to the nearby beach for one the best sunset spots on the whole island.

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