Looking for the best restaurants in Gloucester MA? This fishing village has its fair share of seafood restaurants but is also home to great tacos, Italian, and more!
As one of the biggest cities in the entire region, it should be no surprise that Gloucester is home to many fantastic restaurants. And as the city got its start as a fishing village, it should also be no surprise that many of those restaurants serve up fresh fish and seafood.
That’s not all the town has to offer, of course. I say come for the beaches, stay for the food!
63 Washington Street, Gloucester, MA // (978) 282-9600
On Gloucester’s Washington Street, you might find a small, unassuming cantina by the name of “Tacos Lupita”. Once you step inside you’ll be greeted with brightly painted walls and tiled tables that will have you questioning if you’re in Mexico instead of Massachusetts.
The atmosphere in Tacos Lupita is very casual but full of charm and color. However, it’s really the food that stands out in this establishment. There’s no dishonesty on the sign out front, as they truly offer “the best tacos in town”.
Despite the name, Tacos Lupita is more than just tacos as well. They offer a wide-ranging menu that is full of authentic Mexican favorites. Classics like Burritos and Quesadillas make an appearance, with other delicious options, such as Huaraches and Gorditas, as well.
What to get at Tacos Lupita: You can’t go wrong with any of the options, but if you’re unsure, try a taco with your protein of choice. If you’re feeling adventurous, get the cow tongue option. The breaded steak torta or the Egg with Chorizo Burrito are also great choices. Vegetarians have tons of options as well, such as the Vegetarian Quesadilla. Kids will enjoy Chicken Nuggets or Wings too.
Azorean Restaurant & Bar
133 Washington Street, Gloucester, MA // (978) 283-5500
Further north along Washington is Azorean Restaurant & Bar, a gorgeous establishment that offers diners phenomenal Portuguese cuisine. It’s right by Carl’s Cones, the best spot to stop in for ice cream after chowing down on some amazing food at Azorean.
The outside of Azorean is carefully styled with a Mediterranean flair, which perfectly captures the romantic warmth of the restaurant inside. Inside, you’ll find that the Iberian Peninsula is present, not just on the menu, but on the walls, which are lined with imported Portuguese artwork and tiles. The attention to detail extends to the welcoming atmosphere as well, as Azorean is fairly casual and offers a great staff that provides excellent customer service.
But the decor is not the only source of authenticity here. Since both the head chef and the owner hail from Portugal, the menu is crafted to perfectly capture the flavors and traditions of their homeland’s cuisine. However, it’s also wide-ranging and features other influences. Dishes like pizza and burgers make Azorean accessible for even the pickiest of eaters.
What to get at Azorean: If you’re interested in trying something traditional, start with the Portuguese Soup and then try the Seafood Cataplana, which contains mussels, littleneck clams, shrimp, and calamari cooked in a clamshell pan. For something more familiar, the Lemon Chicken is a delicious choice. Veg-heads will enjoy a Vegetarian Wrap with portobello mushrooms. There’s a cheese pizza and an American burger that are perfect for kiddos as well.
78 Essex Ave, Gloucester, MA // (978) 281-5256
To the west of the Blynman Canal, you can find some of the best Italian fare and seafood restaurants around. Causeway is right by the water and offers a very casual dining experience with large portions at a reasonable price, plus a fun nautical theme. It also features a very lively atmosphere, since the restaurant is typically a very popular place with locals.
Causeway is open for both lunch and dinner and offers an array of dishes that include Italian classics and American favorites. There’s a particular emphasis on seafood, which isn’t surprising considering the location, but there are also plenty of other options if fish and shellfish aren’t to your taste.
What to get at Causeway Restaurant: For lunch, you can enjoy traditional sandwiches, like a Tuna Melt or Turkey Club. The Clam Chowder is also a good choice. For dinner, try the Peters Platter with Haddock, Shrimp, Scallops, Calamari, & Clams. If seafood isn’t your favorite, the Chicken Picatta is delicious as well. Kids will enjoy Buffalo Chicken Fingers or Spaghetti and Meatballs. Unfortunately, there are not many vegetarian options, but the Tomato Mozzarella Salad is available.
6 Rowe Square, Gloucester, MA // (978) 282-9799
If you’re still hungry for more Italian fare or New England seafood dishes, you’re in luck. Just off of Main Street is Seaport Grille, which offers a varied menu in an environment that is elevated without being stuffy. It also just so happens to be one of the best restaurants on Massachusett’s North Shore.
Besides the food, the best part of dining at Seaport Grille is probably that it is directly on the harbor and features two decks so you can eat with a beautiful view of the water. But, while the waterfront decks are lovely, the inside is too. So when the weather doesn’t permit outdoor seating as an option, you won’t be disappointed by the indoor dining experience.
Seaport Grille is a great place to catch up with friends over some lobster and white wine. It’s also great for family celebrations, date nights, business meetings, and just about any other special occasion. Plus, the food is so good, you’ll be looking for any excuse to stop in for a bite.
What to get at Seaport Grille: The Ipswich Clam Platter is award-winning, and for good reason. The Cioppino and Scotty Cook’s Lazy Man Lobster Pie are also to-die-for main courses. If you’d rather not eat seafood, the Chicken Picatta and Filet Mignon are also great choices. Both vegetarians and kids will enjoy the Macaroni and Cheese!
Lobsta Land Restaurant
84 Causeway St, Gloucester, MA //(978) 281-0415
If you’re in the mood for delicious seafood and want to try a true “local’s” spot, Lobsta Land is just the ticket. This great restaurant has been serving Cape Ann for more than 30 years and has cemented itself as a key part of the Gloucester restaurant scene. They offer great food made with the freshest seafood, as well as tasty drinks and a comfortable environment that can’t be beaten.
The first thing you’ll notice about Lobsta Land is the fun signage outside, and the delightful brightly-painted sea creatures that decorate the building. This sets the tone for the fun and eclectic environment that you’ll find inside. It’s casual, which makes it the best place for conversations or catching live music, and is sure to always provide a great time.
What to get at Lobsta Land: For lunch, try their Lobster Roll! For dinner, the Native Haddock Chowder or Ahi Sashimi Tuna Tower are both great appetizers. Continue your wonderful meal with a Lobster Quesadilla or Crabcake Sandwich for something on the lighter side. The Seafood Risotto and Sole Meuniere are amazing house specialties, but you might also enjoy the Teriyaki Marinated Sirloin Steak Tip Kebab if you’d prefer one of their meat dishes. Kids will enjoy the Chicken Finger Dinner. There’s also a separate Gluten-Free Menu with many options, but unfortunately, Vegetarians will be limited to the House Salad.
273 Main St, Gloucester, MA // (978) 281-7882
If you’re looking for something that’ll satisfy everyone in your group, Leonardo’s Pizza is the perfect place. It’s a small little pizzeria with counter service and a limited atmosphere. However, it’ll make you feel like you’re in New York City with its authentic Italian cuisine and delicious pizza.
Plus, while pizza is their specialty, Leonardo’s menu includes many other options too. There are wings and appetizers, as well as subs, sandwiches, pasta, rice plates, and burgers. There are even fun twists on classic dishes, like omelette subs. There is truly something for everyone at Leonardo’s.
What to get at Leonardo’s: Expect all the classics of a pizza joint done well, but if you want something that is special to Leonardo’s try the Chicken Parmesan or Mac n’ Cheese Pizza. The Shrimp Scampi is a great choice for both seafood and pasta lovers and vegetarians will enjoy the Veggie Omelette Sub. There are plenty of options for kiddos too, including chicken fingers and hot dogs.