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5 Top Restaurants in Rockport

In this quintessentially quaint seaside town, there is of course plentiful lobster, but you can also enjoy everything from seasonal salads to singer Sam Smith’s favorite barbequed shrimp.

Even in an area packed with classic seaside towns, Rockport stands out, with the fishing shack Motif No. 1 holding the title of most painted building in the world.

But whether you come for waterfront walks, dabbling in the arts or a show at the famed Shalin Liu Performance Center, you’ve still got to eat.  Here are some of our top picks.

Roy Moore Lobster Co.

It can be hard to find a flawlessly cooked crustacean, but this seasonal shack gets it right every time – and has been doing so for more than 100 years. Lobsters are continually steamed to perfection, so there is seldom a wait. Extras are few, so bring your own lobster crackers and feed the seafood-averse elsewhere. The tiny sea-worn deck offers communal seating with a view of Rockport Harbor – you may find yourself next to a few local lobstermen or a group of tourists from Japan. Plan lunch or early dinner – this shack shuts promptly at 6 p.m.

📍 39 Bearskin Neck, Rockport, MA

📞 978-546-6696

📱 @roymoorelobster

Feather & Wedge

The menu changes frequently at this cozy spot whose name is an homage to the town’s quarrying history. Feather and wedge refer to the tools and process used for splitting granite, and the bar’s focal point is a wall-sized black-and-white photo of Rockport’s old quarry, from the town’s past producing highly desirable granite. Look for a range of entrees from seasonal salads and burgers to fish stew and sirloin steak. The convivial atmosphere in the narrow L-shaped space welcomes a wide range of guests, with locals joining domestic and international tourists. The year-round hours in this very seasonal enclave are very good news – especially to anyone attending a concert at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, located just a few doors down.

📍 5 Main St. Rockport, MA

📞 978-999-5917

📱 @featherandwedge

The Fish Shack Bar and Restaurant

Stop by this year-round spot for classic New England seafood in a casual environment. Fried food tops the list, with clams, naturally, as well as scallops and local haddock, but you can also get salads, sandwiches and entrées like old-school baked haddock. There’s a whole section of the menu devoted to lobster – available as a roll, in a garlicky scampi, in a lazy lobster casserole, in mac and cheese or straight-up boiled.

📍 21 Dock Sq. Rockport, MA

📞 978-546-6667

📱 The Fish Shack

Fleur Cuisine

The space that housed Ellen’s Harborside for more than 40 years now boasts a carefree Miami vibe, a wrap-around patio and a year-round menu of bold flavors that tweak classic dishes in delicious ways. Alva and Wanddy Lafleur have devoted themselves to melding the New England cuisine of their home with childhood roots in Haiti. Look for subtle influences in everything from clam chowder with a kick of heat, to an indulgent Pan-Seared Sea Bass, coconut shrimp, and the Fiesta Pineapple Bowl – a half pineapple filled with spicy-sweet fried rice, roasted corn, peppers, tomatoes, and creole-influenced seasoning. The cocktail program is on-point – don’t miss the Hurricane, served in a hollowed-out pineapple, or the cremas – a creamy alcoholic drink native to Haiti, featuring dairy milk, coconut, and Haitian rum, and available by the glass or by the bottle to go.

📍 1 T-Wharf, Rockport, MA

📞 879-309-5199

📱 @FleurCuisine_

My Place by the Sea

For more than 20 years, Owners Kathy Milbury and Barbara Stavropoulos have been pleasing palates with new American cuisine from a charming house perched on the far edge of Bearskin Neck. Every seat, both inside and out at the year-round restaurant, offers water views that have garnered national acclaim. The menu changes weekly, but you will always find the Sam Smith BBQ Shrimp – named for the Grammy-winning singer who called the restaurant his favorite spot – a lobster taco, and the “Appetizer Kit,” which includes clam chowder, a crab cake, and shrimp tempura. Landlubbers needn’t worry – the restaurant has plenty for you, including steak, chicken, and pasta.

📍 68 Bearskin Neck, Rockport, MA

📞 978-546-9667

📱 My Place by the Sea