I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Nantucket twice in September. On the first trip, my family went and stayed with family friends. On the second trip, my girlfriend Meredith had a handful of us Charleston girls come up and stay with her. Both trips were an absolute blast (see my Instagram highlight ‘ACK SEPT‘ for more). Nantucket in September is incredible. The days are warm (perfect for the beach!) while the mornings and nights feel like full on fall. The weather turned much more fall-esque between my first trip the first week of September and my second trip the third week of September. On both trips, I was with groups so we enjoyed a number of delicious, memorable meals out. The restaurants on Nantucket are so great so I wanted to shed on light on my favorites with this post, my 15 top restaurants in Nantucket.
For more restaurant recommendations including casual spots, ice cream spots, juice spots, markets etc. visit my complete Nantucket travel guide! It’s a must-read because you don’t want to miss out on Nantucket’s best ice cream shop, Juice Bar, which is known for it’s homemade waffle cones!
15 Top Restaurants In Nantucket
Topper’s is the restaurant at the hotel The Wauwinet and where all these photos were taken. This place is an old school Nantucket spot with so much character and charm. Arrive at the restaurant early so you can take wine out onto the sprawling lawn and enjoy it while watching the sunset on the adirondack chairs. The restaurant itself offers a la carte and prix fixe menus featuring seasonally inspired New England cuisine (the Topper’s clam Chowder is perhaps my favorite on island!).
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this is one of my most favorite restaurants ever! If you’re the type of person who likes to sip cocktails and nibble on lobster while wiggling your toes in the sand, then make a reservation (ahead) here. Request to sit outside and you will actually be sitting at a table on the beach. The sunsets here are some of the best in town! I suggest getting to Galley Beach early before your reservation to enjoy cocktails in the plush lounges on the beach before dinner.
Cru is located right at the end of the wharf in town so you can eat oysters while watching the boats come and go… life could be worse, ha! This place is so fun for a boozy brunch or for a big dinner out! The atmosphere is always buzzing and the seafood is out of this world. Cru has arguably the best lobster roll on island.
Millie’s is so darn good! The restaurant serves up Baja-style fare like fish tacos, poke, shrimp Caesar salads, and lobster quesadillas with a relaxed, neighborhood vibe. Dine inside, on the patio, or hit the takeout window. Whatever you do, don’t forget to sip on an infamous Madaket Mystery! P.S. expect a wait but walk down to the beach to catch the sunset while you wait.
The food at The Nautilus is so amazing! I know it might not seem possible but if you ever need a break from oysters and lobster rolls, then beeline to The Nautilus. The Asian fusion inspired menu is meant for sharing and delicious + creative (as are the cocktails!). I love the buzzy atmosphere for a girls night out or date night.
Mark my words, you will be obsessed with the restaurant at Greydon House from the moment you step foot inside. The cozy, intimate, and charming atmosphere of the dining rooms is very inviting… it’s a nod to Nantucket’s maritime past. The menu is a locally sourced and seafood focused take on American classics with an upscale twist. P.S. they are also have a great outdoor terrace.
If you’re in the mood for Italian food, then Ventuno is the spot for you as it has the best Italian food on the island. They are known for their handful of delicious pastas so I highly recommend trying any of them! If your thirsty before or after dinner, then head to the back patio for drinks at the outdoor bar… I love a nightcap here.
This is the most happening spot on Nantucket to enjoy a sushi dinner. Lola 41 gets very busy but they only take same day reservations so you have to be prompt about it! I’m a sushi fanatic and I love it here.
Proprietors Bar & Table
Proprietors is a cozy little spot tucked off India street. The menu consists of new American cuisine complete with a lot of shared small plates. It’s a great spot to go with a group who is in the mood to try a little of everything!
The Summer House
For a beachside meal or beverage, head to Summer House Beach Bistro. You can’t beat eating their lobster Caesar salad while sipping a glass of ice cold rosé with your toes in the sand and a sea breeze in your air! You can also have dinner in the main restaurant (not on the beach) and enjoy cocktails in the piano bar (which gets rowdy on the weekends!).
This restaurant has such a Nantucket romance to it. I highly recommend The Chanticleer for a lunch or dinner out when celebrating an occasion or when you just feel like getting a little dressed up. The garden in front will make your heart sing! Did I mention that the wine list is excellent?
Brant Point Grill
Brant Point Grill is the hotel restaurant at The White Elephant. It is famous for two things: 1) it’s lobster mac and cheese and 2) it’s sweeping views of Nantucket Harbor. Request a table on the restaurant’s large and lively patio to take full advantage of the views. The dining experience is lovely!
Let’s just call this place a sandwich lover’s heaven. Build your own (huge) sandwiches, grab a bag of Cape Cod chips, and enjoy your meal outside on their picnic tables + sprawling lawn or take them to go to the beach. Something Natural is a perfect sandwich shop!
Black Eyed Susan’s
This is a must stop casual spot for breakfast in town. Expect a line but don’t be scared off because everything is delicious. Black Eyed Susan’s located right in the heart of town so you can window shop while you wait for your table. P.S. It’s BYOB.
This is a such a great place to go to enjoy an al fresco brunch. The pancakes are fluffy, the avocado toast is fresh, and the breakfast sandwich is delicious. Also, don’t skip lunch or dinner at Island Kitchen either! The food is comforting and delicious. The ice cream is a MUST too!
In addition to these 15 wonderful Nantucket restaurants, the island offers so many more that aren’t to be missed including Straight Wharf, American Seasons, Black Eyed Susan’s, Club Car, Island Kitchen, Boarding House, and more. Happy dinning! Every foodie will love the restaurants on this little island, just 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod.
Photography by Emily Elisabeth Photography
If you were there September 2019 then Summer House Restaurant wasn’t open – it had burned
I was there summer 2019 before the fire – so sad!!
Thank you for this list! My husband and I are going in two weeks for the first time. What time of year were you there in all your pictures?
Yay, I’m so glad! You will have the best time! These photos were taken in late September! fall was already in the air!! I hope you had a marvelous trip! xx
I came across this because our family is heading to Nantucket in about 10 days. We have been to Nantucket many times and love it, but I always like to check and see what people are saying about the restaurants on the island, as we only have so many nights there and there are so many great places from which to choose. Your list is very good! What caught my eye and the reason I am commenting, is that you are from Charleston. It just so happens that my wife and I are going to Charleston next weekend for four nights “on our way” to Nantucket. We have never been to Charleston, but have heard many wonderful things and are excited to go! We gave our hotel concierge a list of restaurants that had been recommended to us, but they came back with reservations at a bunch of different places that we had never heard of. I am wondering if you could kindly share your thoughts on the best restaurants for a couple to visit on their first trip to Charleston.
Hi Len! I am so sorry I am just now responding to your comment! I hope you had the absolute best time in Charleston and Nantucket over the summer – you hit two of my most favorite places in the world! Thanks for reading!