Eating out on Martha’s Vineyard (without breaking the budget)

Those who know me well would probably describe my spending habits as “cheap”…  but I prefer the terms “economy minded” or “frugal”!  I don’t eat out often (college tuitions to save for you know), and I really appreciate a Value.  For all of these reasons, I am sympathetic to visitors who want to vacation on this beautiful island without taking a second mortgage out on their house.  Eating out every meal can be expensive, but if you know where to go, a little planning will go far and you can then splurge without guilt on some of our more posh gourmet dining options.

Because the island offers a vast array of eateries, this post will focus on Edgartown, which is the area I know best.  Let’s start with breakfast…   Please don’t underestimate the value of a breakfast included in your room rate, even a simple continental. Especially if you have more than 1 or 2 mouths to feed! It is one less thing to think about & budget.  It also makes the mornings a little more relaxed.  You don’t have to consider where to go, or even wait until everyone in your family is awake.

beach-picnic2I highly recommend solidifying your lunch plans before you take off for your day.  If you are headed to the beach or off for a hike or long bike ride, you can get sandwiches, etc. to go and have a picnic at a scenic spot along the way.  Two deli’s that offer great value are Humphreys Bakery (right behind The Colonial Inn on Winter St.) and Shiretown Meats (the butcher shop beside Stop & Shop).  Both offer huge portions, so it’s possible to make 1 sandwich into lunch for 2.  Another less expensive and popular option is fast food to go at the Quarterdeck on Dock St.  You can grab a hotdog for the kids (or an inexpensive soft ice cream cone) and enjoy your feast on a bench along the harbor, while watching the boats and ducking the seagulls (I understand that the gulls really like those french fries… watch your fingers!).

If you are looking for a casual, kid friendly spot to “eat in”, check out Among the Flowers on Mayhew Lane.  They have a wonderful patio area from which to people watch, & good food (celebrating 30 years in business, they must be doing something right…also a great option for a full breakfast).

There are numerous fabulous dinner options in Edgartown, depending on your mood and budget.  For casual pub fare, I like to recommend the Newes from America Pub, on the corner of N.Water St. and Kelley St.  It’s a cozy spot with a kid’s menu, and  microbrews on-tap.  Another popular restaurant with reasonable prices is Sharkey’s Cantina on upper Main St.  Yes, I know that most people don’t come to Martha’s Vineyard expecting to eat Mexican food; but the food is good, the atmosphere is fun, and variety is the spice of life, right?!

Another moderately priced dining option is Lattanzi’s Pizzeria.  Off of Courthouse Square, they offer exceptional “traditional Italian cuisine” (with a fine dining option next door).  The pizzeria is more casual, and offers something on the menu for everyone in the family.

If you are interested in a more upscale dining option, the Best Value in Edgartown is atChesca’s, on N.Water St. at the Colonial Inn Courtyard.  They offer delicious “urban Italian & American cuisine”, a comfortably elegant atmosphere, an extensive wine list, and the service is always top notch.  If there is a wait (it’s a really popular spot), you can enjoy your favorite beverage and people watch in the most comfortable rockers on the Island… on the covered front porch of the Colonial Inn.  Although everything on Chesca’s menu is a good bet, they offer a few Bento Box options that will help minimize the bill.  Their American version of this Japanese tradition offers smaller portions of an entree, salad, choice of soup or chowder, mashed potatoes and a fresh sautéed vegetable all for one attractive price ($28-32).

So what are your favorite choices when “eating out” on a budget on Martha’s Vineyard?  Did I miss you favorite Edgartown eating tradition?  I hope to expand on this list and cover other towns in future posts, so please let us know what your favorites are!

Image courtesy of edenpictures


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