Even though there is so much to do down-Island, I highly suggest sprinkling in some up-Island adventures. It can feel like a whole different world when you cross that West Tisbury town line.
One of my favorite things to do is dine at the Aquinnah Shop Restaurant right on the Cliffs. There are other great spots too, like Cliffhangers and the Orange Peel Bakery, but the Aquinnah Shop is a must to visit. Also, I learned that it is one of the oldest restaurants on the Island.
I wrangled my friend Catherine in for a lunch date last week. She had not been there for years. Needless to say she was overdue for a visit.
First, we walked around like tourists, poking into shops, and of course checking out the cool and informative Wampanoag info building. The outside of the building is covered in tree bark, and inside you’ll find lots of interesting facts about the Wampanoags on the Vineyard.
Something important to know about the Aquinnah Shop. It does close for a bit between breakfast and lunch. Lucky for us, Cat and I were done with our tourist activities right around 12:30 p.m. which was when it opened for lunch. Lucky us!
There is inside seating, but you need to sit outside. When you walk out onto that deck, the view is simply breathtaking. It’s something you need to experience for yourself. The water, the lush landscape, the breeze, the view, the sound of the waves. It’s magical.
We sat right by the railing, taking it all in. You almost feel as though you’ve travelled to a different part of the world, not just a different town.
The menu is pretty good — full of lunch options. There’s seafood like stuffed quahogs, codfish cakes, fish and chips, fried scallops, sandwiches, salads, etc. Both Cat and I felt like a good ole sandwich. She opted for the tuna burger, which changes daily, and I opted for their specialty burger.
Since we were sort of playing hooky and being a tourist for the day, we decided to have a beer with lunch. After all beer and sandwiches go really well together.
The tuna burger was AMAZING. A huge piece of ahi tuna, lightly seared, topped with a spicy housemade aioli. We were impressed, and lucky for me she gave me half. We were both in love with it. I would definitely order this again, however it was prepared that day.
What made the burger special? Well, it in between that toasted bun, was not only a good burger but also lobster! Yes, a surf and turf burger was happening. What a fun way to dress up a burger.
The sandwiches were not very expensive, nor were the beers. There are sides available as well, like sweet potato fries, onion rings, and coleslaw too. For our sandwiches, an order of onion rings, and tow beers a piece, our bill was less than $70. Not bad at all. Plus. we were there for a while.
It was hard to leave the restaurant. It was so beautiful and so relaxing. If reality wasn’t calling us back to Oak Bluffs, we would have stayed a lot longer. We didn’t even get to have pie. The Aquinnah Shop is well known for its pie – baked fresh daily. We were just too full, but know better for next time.
The Aquinnah Shop is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some of my Point B colleagues just came back from eating dinner at the Aquinnah Shop, and said it’s the most spectacular sunset restaurant dining experience they’ve had on the Vineyard. I might have to check that out for myself someday soon.