What follows is the guide I wish I had read before spending hours searching for fast, affordable (well, affordable for a town known for its high prices), DELICIOUS bites in Provincetown. All of these spots are in the heart of the town, on Commercial Street.
Do not read this article if you are on the verge of being “hangry” (so hungry you get angry) as it will cause you to pummel your screen. DO read this article if you are a fan of large, silly sculptures.
Our first stop (well, first and fifth stop, since we went back twice) was The Canteen, a casual eatery I’d heard recommended passionately. Their hot lobster roll (pictured in the first photo of this article) was as delectable as it looks, and the fish tacos and “Frosé” — frozen rose wine?! — pictured below were WHOA.
Plus, they have an outdoor patio with ocean views. Yup! For our second visit, we ordered two of their exciting sandwiches with extra avocado, took them back to our P-Town B&B (click to see our great hotel), and dinner was done. It’s easy yet scrumptious meals like this that make traveling with a small child sane!
Ok, of course we ate a lobster roll and artisanal sandwiches with extra avocado. What else would you expect for Cape Cod? But here is something you likely didn’t expect: Provincetown has some of the best dumplings around! (Bless my friend and fellow travel guru, Nathaniel for the tip.)
Kung Fu Dumplings graced us with the following morsels, pictured below: Shrimp, Soup, Beef, and Veggie Tofu Dumplings. The chef laughed, “You will not be able to finish all those.” Guess what? We 100% FINISHED. And now I shall dream eternally of slurping heavenly Soup Dumplings.
Want another silly sculpture after spotting my earlier photo of the whopping ice cream cone, you say? You’re in luck. Directly out the window of Kung Fu Dumplings is this massive, swinging shark!
People watching does NOT get any better than seeing the endless ways in which tourists from around the world pose with a giant shark, I can tell you that. Below is my dramatic pose with Sharkie. (Not pictured: Photo of me smooching Sharkie. Things got a little weird.)
We discovered the next gem thanks to the coupon The Canteen gave us to lure us inside certain sugar-soaked walls: Happy Camper is a haven of donuts, ice cream, cookies, and basically anything else you could conjure up if you had the magic power to create the most delicious items imaginable.
Case in point, this bacon-topped maple donut. FYI, they whip out a blow-torch to sizzle the bacon on the spot. SWOON.
Need exercise just from LOOKING at that bacon-maple donut? Me too. Let’s take a stroll from Commercial Street down the pier where the ferries take off to go up to Boston. Wait, is that another giant sculpture? YES!!! It is a whale, and his whale-stand reads, “My name is Bubbles.” Ok, Bubbles, it’s photo time.
Ahem. Back to Happy Camper. After the donut, I wasn’t going to have ice cream, but upon sampling six of the creative flavors, I simply couldn’t say no to “Hokey Pokey,” a vanilla and honeycomb candy combo that is apparently popular in New Zealand.
It tastes like burnt honey and… I want to use the word “heaven” for the alliteration but — drat! — I already used “heavenly” in the dumpling paragraph. Such are the stresses of writing about multiple great eats. Anyway, Hokey Pokey ice cream was a win.
The next challenge was to find the best outdoor seating in which to eat our next meal. It took two days (I’m writing this article so it won’t take you that long), but we finally realized that in the back of a food court at 205 Commercial Street, there is this gorgeous deck where you can eat any of your takeout goodies!
I got a burrito at Big Daddy’s Burritos after being seduced by their online descriptions of healthy, fresh ingredients, and was not disappointed. I eat a LOT of burritos (a mother’s go-to for filling, easy dinners!), but this had something special it its flavor combination. Paired with the view, below, it was bliss.
Clearly, we only scratched the surface for quick and delicious eats in Provincetown. In that same hallway as the burrito place, there’s a BBQ spot that gets ecstatic reviews, but alas, it was closed when we stopped by. Bummer, because you know I love my BBQ!
But really, everywhere you look around P-Town, fantastic food beckons… as do more oversized sculptures like this mammoth Hershey’s Kiss. Note that I didn’t pose with this one because I couldn’t quite figure out how to do it without getting poked.
So what did I miss, Provincetown experts? What are YOUR favorite places for grab-and-go, affordable, yummy bites? If you haven’t been to P-Town yet, which of these spots looks best to you? Do share!
Oh, and skip traffic and get to P-Town from Boston with an easy 90-minute ferry ride!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!