Family Dining in Orleans

Lobsters are always a fun idea for family dining!

Lobsters are always a fun idea for family dining!

By Susanna Graham-Pye

Ran in the 2014 edition of Truly Orleans

When it comes to family dining options in Orleans, consider the town an enormous smorgasbord. There is, without question, something here for every taste, every mood, and  every budget.


Liam’s at Nauset Beach has all kinds of terrific foods – fried seafood and fish baskets, burgers, and wraps, to name but a few – but the snack shack is perhaps best known for its heaping baskets of thinly sliced, perfectly crisped onion rings. During the summer, the take out restaurant is open until 8 p.m., making it the perfect destination for a oceanside, no fuss, dinner picnic.

If you are looking to dine on traditional seafood in a casual atmosphere head to The Yardarm. The fried seafood is some of the best in Orleans and their award winning clam chowder is divine.

When it comes to traditional Chinese cuisine, Orleans has double happiness to offer, for the town is book-ended by two restaurants: The Double Dragon Inn at the north end of town and Hunan Gourmet to the south. Double Dragon offers familiar favorites, as well as a nice selection of curries. In addition to a full Chinese menu, some Thai dishes and sushi, Hunan Gourmet has a very affordable, very popular, all you can eat buffet, served for lunch and dinner.

Without question Guapo’s Tortilla Shack is one of the Orleans’ most popular family stops for locals. The fish tacos are outstanding, and homemade guacamole is served with yummy, freshly-made chips.

Orleans has a number of pizza places, and one of the best is Zia Pizzeria & Cafe in East Orleans known for its artisan and specialty pizzas.  Among the more unusual pizzas is the Club Med, made with fig jam, caramelized onions, feta, prosciutto and mozzarella. Zia’s is also known for its desserts, freshly made from scratch.

The Lobster Claw Restaurant has been serving traditional Cape-style meals to generations of visitors and locals.  The Cape kitch decor — fish net curtains, colorful murals of fishing scenes and a 30-foot boat for a bar — offers as much a feast for the eyes as the menu has food for the soul.

Another iconic Orleans gathering spot is the Land Ho! Restaurant, which has traditional pub fare. The cozy restaurant overlooking busy downtown Orleans has a regular menu filled with local favorites – clam pie, fish and chips, fried shellfish — as well as daily blackboard specials.

One of Orleans’ busiest rise and shine spots is the Hole in One Restaurant. Donut connoisseurs will love the hand cut, homemade donuts. The breakfast menu is huge and features a large array of creative “Benedicts “ and breakfast sandwiches made on homemade focaccia breads.

The Jailhouse is another family favorite. The building itself, once the town’s old lock-up, will intrigue children. Cheeseburger sliders, and mac and cheese are just some of the favorites on the children’s menu; for adults the menu is huge and offers many traditional favorites with a unique jailhouse twist.

And finally, not everyone wants to sit down to a meal. If grabbing a bite on the way to the beach or Firebirds game is what you’re after, the Nauset Grill has loads to offer -hearty breakfast sandwiches, burgers and a wide range of specialty sandwiches.