When it comes to vacationing or simply getting away, everyone has their favorite spot – the one that encompasses all their favorite things and feels as if they are at their home away from home. For me and my family, that place is Cape Cod. My family has grown up with summers at my aunt and cousins’ cottage in Dennis, Massachusetts, where we have had some of the absolute best experiences. We’ve enjoyed camp fires, pizza on Mayflower beach, birthday celebrations and of course, endless sunsets. Over the many years, we have started and continued so many traditions, many involving something we all feel passionate about: food! Some of my favorite restaurants in the entire world are down the Cape, and I am so excited to share a few of my most special spots with you in this issue.  

First is Skipper Chowderhouse in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts, which happens to be owned by one of my very good friends from college. Skipper has some of the most beautiful waterfront views, and not only is it a fun place to hang, but it also arguably has some of the most outstanding seafood and ice cream sundaes in all New England. Before I ended up with my shellfish allergy, my go-to order had always been the Fried Chowder, which is a MUST try for any seafood lover. The Fried Chowder has been featured on Travel Channel’s Food Paradise and is award-winning for great reason. This dish contains six mini chowder cakes that are deep fried in panko breadcrumbs and served with some of the best hot sauce of all time on the side. While many order this for an appetizer, I think it suffices as the main course itself! Now, my go-to entrée is the mouthwatering Caesar Salad with their Cajun Chicken Breast, which is perfect for anyone who loves a little extra kick of spice in their meal. Now that you are sold, be sure to head to the Skipper on April 9th for their re-opening at the start of this summer season!

Next is The Dog House Restaurant in Dennisport, Massachusetts, which is right down the road from my family’s cottage. I have been going here for as long as I can remember, and their hot dogs truly never get old. The Dog House Restaurant is the perfect place to head to for a quick bite, or to sit back and relax in some nice Cape weather! Their menu offers hot dogs like you have never seen before – some of my favorites including the Fourth of July Dog, Glendon Beach Dog and the Mayflower Beach Dog. The Fourth of July Dog is stuffed with coleslaw, crispy bacon crumbles, fried onion rings and BBQ sauce to top it off. If you’re a meat lover, the Glendon Beach Dog is the perfect option for you, with beef chili, melted cheddar, diced white onion, chipotle aioli and cilantro. And, for all my French fry lovers – the Mayflower Beach Dog is filled with melted cheddar, bacon crumbles, French fries (!!!) and chipotle aioli. And, since you must experience a side of their uniquely flavored fries, don’t forget to order my favorite, the Dynamite Fries, or their best-selling fries, the Pork Carnitas Fries. The Dynamite Fries are topped with queso cheese, bacon crumbles and sriracha, while the Pork Carnitas Fries are topped wit queso cheese, shredded pork, pico de Gallo, caramelized onions, jalapeños, guacamole and chipotle aioli. Name a better way to feast after a long day at the beach? The Dog House will be reopening in May 2020 for their summer season. 

Lastly, Sam Diego’s in Hyannis, Massachusetts will go down as one of my family’s all-time favorite restaurants. Anyone who knows my family, and especially me, knows that I am a die-hard burrito and margarita fan. And, let me tell you, Sam Diego’s delivers! At Sam Diego’s, you will kick your meal off with their very own chips and salsa, which you will most definitely require refills of – they are that good! You truly cannot go wrong with any item on their menu, however my top burrito is and always has been the Chicken ‘N Habanero Mango Burrito. This burrito is “rolled ‘n stuffed” with marinated sliced chicken breast, Spanish rice, chipotle cream cheese, habanero-mango sauce, red pepper salsa and pepper jack cheese, all within a sun-dried tomato tortilla. It is then topped with “smokey” chipotle aioli and crumbled cotija cheese, served with black beans and sour cream on the side. It is a very generous portion, but it is required that you also save room for one of their jumbo, flavorful (and strong!) margaritas! My favorite margarita is Miguel’s Watermelon Margarita, which is made of Sauza Gold tequila, a blend of Watermelon Schnapps and Sam’s margarita mix, and can be served on the rocks or frozen. Not to mention, it features a delicious sugar rim and is garnished with an old fashion watermelon candy slice. For me personally, I try to incorporate spice anywhere I can, so will usually order with some jalapeños as well. Sam Diego’s is open year-round, so you can enjoy some classic Mexican food and margaritas whenever your heart desires! 

Whether you are from New England or are planning on visiting and spending some time down the Cape, I hope you add these three remarkable establishments to your itinerary. Throughout all my past summers, I have had some of my most favorite dishes and created some of the best memories at The Skipper Chowderhouse, The Dog House as well as Sam Diego’s. Summer 2020 is just around the corner – are you ready to blow your taste buds away?