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Edgartown is known for the largest concentration of gourmet restaurants on the Island but there's plenty to eat in all categories and price ranges. Be aware that waits can get long quickly so it's worth trying to get a reservation if you can or at least arrive early to get in the queue. Dress code is appropriate to the menu but most travelers will feel comfortable in most restaurants in casual pants or a skirt with a polo-style collared shirt.
The gourmet scales are tipped at L'Etoile in its new home on North Water Street. Formerly located in the most exclusive inn in town, it's still known for extraordinary dining at exhorbitant prices. Special occasion dining at its best, this restaurant has hosted such luminaries as Bill Clinton when he visited Martha's Vineyard during his presidency.
High-end but somewhat more casual dining spots include Atria (pronounced a-TREE-a), a 5-10 minute walk out of town on Main Street, Detente restaurant and wine bar, tucked back in Nevin Square; as well as Alchemy right in the heart of town. These menus are a bit more inventive than the typical seafood fare, as are the drink menus and the prices. The feel in each case is more "Hamptons" than "Vineyard" but definitely worth a visit if you're looking for something different.
True Vineyard seafood is best at the Square Rigger, although the location out at the triangle (10-20 minute walk out Main Street) keeps some folks away. In-town, the options are the Seafood Shanty with good seafood and great views.
TIP: If you have access to a kitchen when you visit, it might be the best place of all to have seafood dinner with no wait. Edgartown Seafood (just off Main Street) has been run by the Larson family for several generations and can sell you some of the best, freshest seafood on the Island, including lobsters, swordfish, shrimp, clams, etc. etc. They also have sauces and basic fixings, plus corn in season so sometimes you can build your whole dinner in one stop. They're right on the bike path and sometimes have a sign for lobster rolls so be sure to stop if it's up. That will fortify you for an afternoon ride, for sure!!
A broader selection can be found at Chesca's (Italian), The Coach House (a bit of everything at the Harbor View Hotel), and the Newes from America Pub (pub fare in the Kelley House across from Chesca's). The Newes is particularly welcoming in the off-season when a cozy fire and warm pub fare is particularly appropriate.
Families will feel comfortable at almost any restaurant at an early seating but particularly so at the Seafood Shanty where highchairs abound until late in the evening. Pizza is also a good family option and it seems you can't go wrong. Edgartown Pizza is a local favorite but it's not the most convenient (practically out to the triangle on Upper Main) so it's worth trying any one place and see what your family likes.
The most casual stops are also the most authentic. Try Edgartown Deli on Main Street or the Dock Street Diner on the harbor. Both are worth the local treat and charge reasonable prices. Seating is limited but both carry out pretty well. If you stop in the deli, look for the sign "Amity Deli" that hung outside the store during the filming of Jaws! If you prefer more of a local "Hard Rock" atmosphere, check out the funky nightclub bistro at Outerland, at the MV Airport, (still considered Edgartown) where you can have a casual dinner before the show -- and there's plenty of free parking.
If you're self-catering, your best bets for groceries are Stop & Shop on Upper Main, Edgartown Seafood as mentioned above and Morning Glory Farm a bit west of town (call for directions). The farm is convenient only with wheels (driving, biking or moped) but it's worth the trip with amazing baked goods, fresh salsa and guacamole as well as gourmet cheeses, and other tasty treats. Oh, and they have the best produce in town and fantabulous corn in season. (Island-grown corn typically comes in starting as early as July and running as late as October or November depending on the conditions each year.)
David Ryan's and Richelle's Place is a family owned and run restaurant located on 11 North Water St. that has something for everyone. They specailize in using local Island produce and product. From homemade soups to homemade desserts, every meal is cooked to order so the customer receives the freshest of the fresh! Sit and relax sipping on one of the specialized Martinis or a Goombay Smash and take in the wonderful atmosphere filled with great music, big screen TV and the local characters. Open year round.