There are few things we like more than chowing down on tasty island nosh. From creamy chowders to fresh raw oysters, Martha’s Vineyard has the distinct advantage of being surrounded by water on all sides. However, don’t think that seafood is our sole culinary triumph. From gulping down raw cow’s milk at a local farm stand to cutting into a hearty steak at a corner bistro, the ways to experience food on the island are as varied as the island itself. Instead of hiking, biking or swimming your way across the island, eat your way from Aquinnah to Edgartown with this foodie tour of the Vineyard.
Festivals of the Foodie Variety
Get all the culinary delights of the island in one place — all you have to do is show up! Stroll through tent after tent of decadent food and wine as you breathe in the salty air of the island. Honestly, what could possibly be better?
Taste of the Vineyard
Martha’s Vineyard’s oldest food festival, Taste of the Vineyard Gourmet Stroll, started over 30 years ago and only continues to one-up itself every year with delightful cuisine. Held annually in June, this event kicks of the island’s social season with 1200 of your closest friends and 90 food & beverage vendors, serving everything from artisanal chocolates to oysters on the half shelf to craft brews. Plus, we’re particularly fond of the fact that you can burn all this grub off on the dance floor at the end of the night.
Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival
Who doesn’t like a hubbub? With 25-plus sold-out events each year, Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival in October is the highlight of the off-season. Bringing together island chefs, local farmers, and wine personalities from across the United States, this festival introduces the culinary creators of the island to the community at large. There’s basically too many wonderful tastings, pop-up dinners, and small batch experiences to describe, so we’re going to keep it simple and say, if you can only go to one event during this four-day feast, attend the Grand Tasting. Arrive with an empty stomach and prepare yourself for over 200 pours.
The MV Wine Festival
Can’t wait until October? Attend the MV Wine Festival in May. While this festival also features four days of feasting, its focus falls more towards wine (unsurprisingly, we suppose). With wine dinners, a cocktail competition, and even a forging challenge, you may just find your new favorite summer beverage.
Foodie Tour de Farms
It doesn’t get more local than this. Create the ultimate picnic by taking a tour de farms. Start your foodie tour by stopping at Morning Glory Farms, right outside of Edgartown. Stock up on fresh tomatoes and greens grown in their greenhouse, and, if you’re feeling romantic, gather up a bouquet of fresh flowers, courtesy of Heather Gardens. At your next stop, The Grey Barn in Chilmark, delight in their freshly made cheeses with names like Prufrock, Bluebird, and Eidolon, or pick up a pint of their raw cow’s milk. What’s a picnic without some sweet and yeasty goodness to round off the meal? You’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for Orange Peel Bakery. Identifiable mainly due to the large stone oven in the yard, this treasure serves up fresh bread, cookies, and even pizza on special nights if you decide cooking isn’t for you. It’s the only place in Aquinnah open 365 days a year — the head baker bakes breads and cakes every day, leaving them at the bakery in exchange for payment on the honor system. If that isn’t charming, we don’t know what is.
Go Classic with a Restaurant Tour
Take a seat and dig into the more established side of our foodie tour: Martha’s Vineyard’s booming restaurant scene. For an authentic, island snack, stop by Menemsha Fish Market for creamy chowder and a lobster roll. Located right on the water, you’re basically guaranteed some of the freshest seafood on the island. For a more upscale experience, settle into the romantic atmosphere of Alchemy where every bite is bursting with flavor. Ascend their staircase and head towards the back of the restaurant where you can dine in an old world library by the fire.
In our totally unbiased opinion (okay, maybe we’re a bit biased), Chesca’s Restaurant delivers the best of fine dining with a comforting flair. Grab a hand-crafted cocktail and sip it on our front porch; or settle in for a meal of delectable seared scallops. Honestly, it takes all our willpower not to eat there every evening.
Can’t narrow down the restaurants on your must-try list? Plan your visit for Restaurant Week. With discounts and special menus at participating restaurants, your foodie tour of Martha’s Vineyard can be more comprehensive and less expensive.
Embark on a Culinary Adventure
Not satisfied unless you get your hands a little dirty? You’ll gather plenty of salt and mud on your culinary adventure with Farm. Field. Sea. Through hands-on, knowledge-driven learning experiences, you can connect (or reconnect) with the food of the island in a way that is both satisfying and delicious. Master the art of cheesemaking, explore the island’s culinary heritage, or just join Farm. Field. Sea. for a pop-up dinner. Regardless of which adventure you choose (and trust us, it’s very hard to choose just one), your meal’s setting will be a feast for the eyes, set in some of the most beautiful locations on the island. As the sun sets, feel your body, tired but satisfied and full from a day of culinary adventure.
In your weary state, find an island home that is happy to welcome you in, covered in grime or otherwise. With fluffy, homemade muffins in the morning and saltwater taffy in the afternoons, Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites provides the treats and the luxury to perfectly punctuate your foodie tour.