I cannot tell you how many times I have driven by John’s Fish Market/Sandy’s Fish “N” Chips on State Road in Vineyard Haven. Heck, I used to live right up the street, yet I had never gone.
However, recently I have been hearing about how good the food is. My friend Angie has told me that the “Obama Burger” is one of the best on Island, and that it’s easy, fast, and more affordable than other takeout options. So as you can imagine, my interest was piqued.
Currently, I am in “stay-cation” mode, meaning my kiddos don’t have camp, so they’re with me everyday until school starts, which also means I need to have family friendly options daily.
Luckily Sandy’s is just that. It’s conveniently located outside of town, and there’s plenty of parking, an added perk especially this time of year. There are picnic tables and benches available if you want to stay and eat, which is another bonus.
We opted to dine there. Upon entering, I happened to notice the ice cream window that is on the lefthand side of the building. Sandy’s is also on the left side, while John’s Fish Market is on the right, but it’s all connected.
Anyway, it turns out that Wednesdays are $1 small ice cream cone days, and we just happened to be there on a Wednesday. It looked like dessert was in the future. Who can say no to $1 ice cream cones?
I have to say that I was surprised and impressed with the selection of food. Of course the basics, like fish “n” chips, fried clams, french fries, burgers (like the Obama Burger), but there were also things like spicy Asian noodles, a salmon, swordfish or tuna burger (under $10).
There were all sorts of options. It was tough to choose. Being there for lunch, I decided for a sandwich option. I got the ahi tuna (yet again) which is served on a brioche roll, LTP, and you can have their housemade wasbi mayo, along with a side of cajun fries.
My kiddos opted to share a fish “n” chips. My daughter, Charlotte, fancies herself a sort of connoisseur of it. It was a large portion, easily shared, for only $11.95. There is a kids menu as well, with the basics like chicken tenders and grilled cheese.
The cajun fries were definitely the way to go. So crispy and flavorful, it was a battle between us for them. There are lots of other sides too, like potstickers (yum), clam cakes, chowder and more.
The tuna sandwich was good too. I had it rare and with the wasabi mayo, which is a nice, flavorful touch, not too hot. I would get it again for sure, but I think those spicy Asian noodles have my name on them for next time.
In addition to the kind of food we were eating, other takeout options include steamed lobsters, mussels, etc., and there is a large selection of fish for you to grab as well and prepare at home.
The staff was really nice, and the food came out quickly, and it was nicely priced for what we had gotten, about $27. I would definitely come back for sure. So easy, just grab and go, perfect for lunch or dinner, which they are open for as well.
Also, be on the lookout for specials that are posted on a daily board by the road. Might be worth it to swing around and stop in.
Most importantly, don’t forget that Wednesdays are $1 small ice cream cone days. There’s vanilla, chocolate, or twist. They also make frappes and stuff, but I like a good ole ice cream cone most days. My daughter told me, Sandy’s reminded her of The Galley in Menemsha, with the good food and ice cream, but without the long drive. How right she is, little smartypants.
John’s Fish Market has been in business since 1949, and is fourth generation owned, now by Glenn Pachico.
The next generation is definitely taking this Island business to a new level of great! The fish market is open Monday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sandy’s is open Monday – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Both are open through the late Summer, early Fall.