A Summer Must-Do, Lunch At The Gay Head Cliffs (Maybe Dinner Too) – Martha’s Vineyard Dining

Gay Head & The Cliffs - An Up-Island Destination In AquinnahSometimes a girl likes to mix it up for lunch.  I get stuck in the three-town rut.  So on a sunny, hot Summer day, why not take a trip up to Aquinnah, and see what’s going on for lunch at the other end of the Island.

After maneuvering past the bikers, I found a great parking spot, which surely meant good luck for what was to come.  The Cliffs were packed with tourists — hot but smiling — enjoying one of the most beautiful vistas in the world.  But me, I was focused on the food scene.

Faith’s Seafood Shack

Faith's Seafood Shack - Amazing Fish Tacos Aquinnah DiningI love Faith’s for lunch (they are open for dinner too).  Let me tell you why.  First, the fish tacos – YUMMY! Baked cod with a fresh cilantro slaw with red cabbage and jicama, with a zesty Baha sauce that brings it all together.

It’s warm and cool and crunchy, and oh so good, and you feel good about what you just ate — not to mention the added bonus that you can grab a seat at a picnic table right in back, and take in the breeze and the view.  These tacos ended up being my lunch for the day.  They just sounded too good.

My New Favorite Fish Tacos At Faith's Seafood Shack Gay Head Restaurant AquinnahThere are a number of other things that really caught my eye on the menu too, like the steamed mussels in a Zuppa (red) sauce with garlic bread.  How about Faith’s homemade meatball sub, or perhaps a slow-cooked pulled-pork sandwich.  Also, check out their “Aquinnah Chowder.”

I’m not going to tell you why it’s different, you’ll have taste it for yourself.  Too hot for you?  Well perhaps you might want to try their lobster roll.  It’s got a twist — there’s lemon mayo in it.  The citrus gives it a little zing!  It was also just written up in Travel & Leisure Magazine’s Definitive Guide to Martha’s Vineyard.  A nice way to celebrate being opened for 5 years!

Faith Vanderhoop of Faith's Seafood Shack Aquinnah Dining Martha's Vineyard RestaurantsIf you’re not in the mood for food, a shaved ice might be for you.  The portions are big and there are some great flavors like coconut, root beer, blue raspberry, cherry, lemon and watermelon.  You can even combine them to create your own concoction.

Mayber you’re just thirsty?  Well, Faith’s has the most amazing Blossom Water —  I know, I had no idea what it was either.  It’s a brand of lightly flavored water.  I got grapefruit/lavender.  It was so flavorful and refreshing.  I need to find out where it’s sold closer to Oak Bluffs.  Though it might be worth the drive.

Sushi At Faith's Seafood Shack - Amazing!  Aquinnah DiningWondering where the sushi is?  Well, Faith’s hopes to have sushi back on the menu in August.  Their sushi guy was hurt, and has not been able to work.  Not to worry though, there are so many tasty options, I didn’t even realize it wasn’t on the menu.

Dreamcatcher

Dreamcatcher Seafood Restaurant At The Gay Head CliffsWhen I checked out Dreamcatcher, I asked chef & owner, Dona, what were the must-haves? She told me the lobster roll, “Dona’s One-of-a-Kind Lobster Roll.”  Her customer’s gave it the name.  It’s filled to the brim with lobster meat, lightly mayo’d, with a toasted butter role, and a little something extra.

Dona's Lobster Roll At Dreamcatcher Aquinnah RestaurantsDreamcatcher has been open for 10 years, and that lobster roll keeps people coming back.  Most of her customers are repeat offenders, including a lot of locals.  Of course, if seafood isn’t your thing, there are lots of other options on the menu.

What really caught my eye were some of the sweet treats. They have a “Dream Float” which is orange soda and vanilla ice cream.  I have never heard of this, but it sounds awesome.  A fizzy version of a creamsicle.

They have root beer floats too of course.   Also, you will not believe the size of the cookie ice cream sandwiches they sell.  I couldn’t get a picture that would do it justice.  It’s huge!

Aquinnah Shop Restaurant

The Aquinnah Shop Dining At Gay Head Cliffs Martha's Vineyard RestaurantsThis restaurant has been around since the 1940’s. How amazing is that?  For 70 years it has been serving up food to locals and visitors alike — All while offering the best view of Aquinnah and its cliffs.  The outdoor dining areas offer you a captivating view of the water.  It is so breathtaking and relaxing.  The food is pretty good too.

If you’re there for lunch, you have to try the Bluefish burger.  It’s rockstar good.  The bluefish is caught daily by Island fav, Captain Buddy Vanderhoop, and you should get there early because it tends to sell out. Soaking up the Aquinnah sun - Sun-Brewed Tea At The Aquinnah Shop It’s not on the menu but on the special board.  So, double check when you go in to see if it’s 86’d or still available.

Hankering for something refreshing?  Well, then you need a glass or three of their sun-brewed ice tea.  Perhaps it’s the multi-million dollar view while brewing, that helps make it so delicious.

Amazing Water Views From The Aquinnah Shop DeckI never think about the Aquinnah Restaurant for dinner, but I hear it offers the best seat for a gorgeous sunset. Dinners at the restaurant are supposed to be amazing.  Jacob Vanderhoop, a graduate of Cordon Blue, is the chef at night, and apparently his specials will amaze you.  Using a lot of fresh, local seafood caught that day, he whips up one to three specials a night.

Because the food and the view is so good, reservations are suggested.  I think I know where I am taking my mom when she come back in September.  I can get her the sunset without all the sand and a great meal.  Sounds like heaven.  They even have high-chairs!

Taking a trip to Aquinnah is like a mini-vacation for this city girl.  There is something about it,  the beauty, the awesome people, the amazing views, how undeveloped it is.  I need to remember this more often, and visit this magical part of Martha’s Vineyard on a regular basis.

I had so much fun on my mini-vacation that I bought a Vineyard t-shirt. Talk about being caught up in the moment!

Also, I should mention that there will soon be a kiosk open at the Cliffs that will be focused on information and education about the Island’s Wampanoag Indian Tribe.  I think this will be a great addition to this area.

This Island is so rich in history, and this is long overdue here, especially at the Cliffs.  People should know that the Wampanoag Tribe is an important part of Martha’s Vineyard’s history and future.

Thanks for reading On Point.  I hope you enjoy these tasty tidbits.  A number of these places are on Facebook where you can find out more info. Also, don’t forget to “Like” Point B on Facebook, follow us on TwitterLinkedInPinterest and YouTube.

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