We found 10 cafés and several specialty markets around the Cape that serve fresh, healthy lunches. All use local ingredients and offer unique takes on the classics: burrito in a bowl, a Cape Cobb salad and kimchi grilled cheese. So whether you are in the mood for chicken salad with pears or a quinoa salad with cranberry feta, we’ve got you covered.
Fresh from the garden—Earthly Delights
This pioneering, healthy lunch spot in Osterville has been delighting customers since 1999. Owner Mary Phelps says that opening Earthly Delights was something she just had to do. She grows almost all of her ingredients right at home in her grandiose garden. “Last year, we had some 270 tomato plants!” laughs Phelps.
“We like to make recipes depending on what we grow,” adds business partner Tom Stahle. “So we educate our customers in that sense. Last year, we grew jelly melons—they’re like a cucumber with thorns.”
Their most popular sandwiches include the turkey avocado, with a basil mayo and grilled onions. “My favorite is the fish cakes,” says real estate agent Dan Griffin, who stops by almost every day for lunch. The famed fish cakes are made with wild Alaskan cod and roasted potatoes. “We’ve become a destination for comfort food, where people come on their lunch break,” adds Phelps. “They come for our casseroles—our chicken curry is by far the most popular.”
Summer hours: 7 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Friday;
7 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays;
and 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays.
15 West Bay Road, Osterville, 508-420-2206
A hands-on classroom—Café Riverview
When the Riverview School began exploring what opportunities would help students with independent living and work skills, opening a café was the perfect fit. Café Riverview opened its doors in 2010, with an integrated employment model in which students work through different levels of training. “It’s a hands-on classroom,” says Margot Cahoon, the school’s marketing manager.
“Students learn to handle all situations,” says Cathy Kearney, who manages the café. Working in the café gives students communication skills and confidence by interacting with customers, according to Kearney. Work experience coordinator Kerry Macurdy helps students transition into working in the café. “Students rotate different jobs—from the front end as a cashier taking orders to serving the food,” says Macurdy. Some students are enrolled in the culinary program at Cape Cod Community College, so many of them do the cooking.
Popular items for lunch include the California turkey wrap and the spicy BLT. The café also offers smoothies and a Greek yogurt parfait. Gluten-free options are available.
Summer hours: 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday
Off-season hours: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
451 Route 6A, East Sandwich, 508-833-8365
In a pickle—The Pickle Jar Kitchen
The Pickle Jar Kitchen doesn’t just serve healthy breakfasts and lunches; the upscale café also offers, as its name suggests, craft pickles to take home by the pound. Among these zesty favorites are the garlic dill cuke and the Mexicali carrot and jalapeño. Who said pickling was just for cucumbers?
The café was the brainchild of two families who wanted to bring their love of gardening and cooking—and of course, pickling—to downtown Falmouth. “We envisioned a place where we could cook homegrown food for breakfast and lunch,” says Casey Gallant. She and her husband, Ben, are co-owners, along with Lis and Kevin Lay.
Customers can’t get enough of the Nobska Light—pastrami-cured salmon on grilled Lavash bread with herb yogurt dressing, mixed greens, pea shoots and shaved fennel. The Crispy Tofu Salad comes served with the house-spiced pickled red onions. Gluten-free options are available for most sandwiches.
The Pickle Jar Kitchen is open year-round from 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Thursday through Monday.
From June to September, they’re also open on Wednesdays.
170 Main St., Falmouth, 508-540-6760
‘Fresh fast fun’—The Corner Store
“Our mission is to serve quality-driven, fresh food to as many people as possible,” says Corner Store owner Steve DeLeonardis. Now in its 12th year, the Corner Store in Chatham serves up fresh, specialty burritos such as the ever-popular grilled chicken—“grilled so you can taste the flame broil,” says DeLeonardis. While the Chatham location caters more to the takeout crowd, The Corner Store’s newest location in Orleans, now in its third year, has 44 seats where guests can relax and eat. The Orleans store is known for its healthy salads, such as the quinoa with cranberry feta.
Both stores, however, serve up the same fresh burritos that have made the Corner Store famous. For those watching their carb intake, a “burrito in a bowl,” served on a bed of greens, is an option, as are gluten-free wraps. “Our motto is fresh fast fun,” says DeLeonardis, “and I feel like that’s how people really want to eat.”
Both locations are open daily from 6:30 a.m.- 6:30 pm.
1403 Old Queen Anne Road, Chatham, 508-432-1077
54 Main St., Orleans, 508-255-5454
Relish the thought—Relish Bakery & Sandwich Shop
Owner Frank Vasello’s mission is simple: To serve delicious food at affordable prices. This all-takeout spot offers healthy breakfasts and lunches from ingredients made in-house, and Vasello likes to put a twist on things. “My chicken salad sandwich comes with pears and gorgonzola for that extra flavor,” says Vasello. And customers eat up his chicken curry made with golden raisins.
He’s been creating healthy, delicious dishes on Commercial Street in Provincetown since 2001. “A friend of mine said to me, ‘Hey, you should open up a little restaurant in P’town.’” And the rest is history. A graduate of Massachusetts College of Art, Vasello has found food to be his passion.
New items on the menu this year include summer rolls with a spicy dipping sauce and a gluten-free brownie that Vasello has been busy perfecting. “We’re not vegan, but the brownie happens to be vegan,” says Vasello, adding that most sandwiches can be served gluten-free as well.
Relish is open 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m., seven days a week, May through October.
93 Commercial St., Provincetown, 508-487-8077, ptownrelish.com
MEET ME AT THE MARKET
Specialty spots offer fresh sandwiches, homemade soups and local produce
All the best, under one roof:
Ring Bros. Marketplace
Ring Bros. in Dennis is a specialty supermarket featuring a variety of stores in one. For lunch, the Dark Horse Deli provides classic favorites as well as gluten-free options. Popular sandwiches include the Ranchero, with turkey and pepper jack cheese. Grab-and-go sandwiches are made fresh every day. “Our veggie sandwich with garlic aioli is wildly popular,” says Lori Flanagan, marketing director.
Ring Brothers is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week. 485 Route 134, South Dennis, 508-394-2244
Part of the neighborhood:
The Nauset Beach Stroller. The Hampton. The Gobbler. These are some of the specialty sandwiches available for takeout at Nauset Farms in Orleans. Manager Frank Barbato says that he and owner Warren Waugh love being part of the neighborhood. Everything is homemade, from salads to sausages to the lobster roll on grilled brioche. “People want to shop locally,” says Barbato. “They want to know where the food comes from.”
Summer hours: 7 a.m.–8 p.m. daily. 199 Main St., Orleans, 508-255-2800
Lambert’s Rainbow Fruit
Lambert’s award-winning deli features homemade chicken salad, specialty meats and local produce. “I love being able to serve fresh food to the community,” says owner Matt Lambert, whose family has owned the Centerville icon since 1978. Comfort foods such as lasagna, meatloaf and seafood salad are available for takeout. At least six homemade soups are always available, and customers are loyal to the salad bar.
Lambert’s is open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sundays. Two locations: 1000 W. Main St., Centerville, 508-778-4066, lambertsfruitcenterville.com; Lambert’s Farm Market, 271 Cotuit Road, Sandwich, 508-477-0655.
The Local Juice Bar + Pantry
Local Juice Bar + Pantry co-owners Jen Villa and Nicole Cormier, who is a registered dietician, have been juicing and selling their juice at farmers markets from Falmouth to Wellfleet since 2014. “It’s about being nutritionally sound, mindful and sustainable,” says Villa. In July of 2016, the duo opened their first brick-and-mortar store in Hyannis, where they serve fresh juices, smoothies, daily soups and even curated lunch boxes that include homemade snacks, such as veggie chips and fruit roll-ups.
The Local Juice Bar + Pantry is open 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Saturdays; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. 539 South St., Hyannis, 508-775-5552
Healthy wraps, paninis & juice:
Customers of the Organic Market can enjoy freshly made grab-and-go sandwiches or order a selection from the panini bar, including the pesto turkey or the popular veggie Southwest sunshine burger. Customers can also build their own creation. “I love the grilled cheese—I add avocado, onions and tomatoes,” says Diane Precourt. Pressed juices and smoothies abound, available with a shot of wheatgrass or turmeric for an extra boost.
Three locations: 32 Market St., Mashpee, 774-361-6075, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday; 640 Main St., Dennisport, 508-760-3043, 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday; 1218 Main St., Chatham, 508-945-4139, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on Sunday.
Homemade soups & fresh salads:
Famous for its chicken salad, its Bolognese sauce and Howie’s cheese spread, Fancy’s has been pleasing patrons in Osterville for over a decade. Owner Jeff Lindsey purchased the market in 2015, and he’s kept the tradition going. Fancy’s features homemade soups, hot prepared foods and grab-and-go salads. “We use local produce, and we always have fresh salads to go,” says manager Red Suonpera.
Summer hours: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily. 699 Main St., Osterville, 508-428-6954
NEW HEALTHY SPOT
No Meat, No Wheat:
Karma’s mission is to serve gluten-free meals
using fresh ingredients from their farm and other
local sources. They offer fresh soups, salads such as
the Mediterranean and the Kale, and yogurt and
veggies for grab and go.
Karma Foods, 2628 Main St., Brewster, 508-896-8804