You can't go to Martha's Vineyard without visiting Black Dog. That would be like going to Boston and not seeing Fenway Park.
Our first day on the island we hopped off the ferry in Oak Bluffs. We took a spin on the Flying Horses Carousel, wandered for hours through the gingerbread houses and bopped in and out of the stores on Circuit Avenue. At that point, we had worked up quite an appetite. We decided to hop on the #13 bus to Vineyard Haven.
This was the view from the bus stop when we arrived. This photo is not edited or filtered at all.
The bus drops you off at the ferry station and the Black Dog compound is just a few doors down.
Follow the signs to either the tavern, the bakery or one of the shops.
We were headed to the tavern and we walked by the cutest outdoor seating area along the way.
They have their own corn hole!
We kept walking, past the outdoor patio on the back side of the restaurant until we arrived to the signature black dog statue overlooking the water.
The inside of the restaurant feels so appropriately nautical.
We were lucky to snag a table right in the window, overlooking the water.
Our waitress popped by with menus, which had a quote from Black Dog's founder right on the front.
On the back side was the Black Dog founding story.
The menu we were most interested in was the cocktail one, of course!
My travel buddy ordered the washashore, a gorgeous, ombré tequila drink.
After a few sips she said, "This is so refreshing. I was worried it might be too boozy, but it wasn't." As we wandered around the island the rest of the day, we kept seeing signs and t-shirts with the word "washashore" so we finally asked a shop owner what it meant. He explained, "There are islanders - people who were born here, grew up here or summered here their whole lives. And then there are visitors or newbies who 'wash ashore.' That's where the term comes from."
I decided on a Bloody Mary, which came garnished with a celery stalk, a pickle spear, an olive and a lemon wedge. The drink was very satisfying (especially the pickle), but I do wish it had been a bit spicier.
My lunch date ordered the blackened burger, which was an eight ounce burger patty topped with red peppers, onions and blue cheese.
When her plate was cleared, I asked what she thought and she replied, "This felt way bigger than an eight ounce patty. The blue cheese on top was super creamy and it went so well with the peppers and onions. If you got a bite with all four ingredients, it was perfect."
There weren't too many vegetarian options on the lunch menu, so I settled on the quinoa burger. Truth be told, I was hoping for a grilled cheese, which is my usual go-to at seafood restaurants (a.k.a. every place on Cape Cod).
The quinoa patty was shockingly delicious! It was light and tasted heavenly with the curry lime aioli.
Each of our burgers came with French fries, which my friend described as, "whispy." She continued, "I really like these fries. They are like steak fries, but curved." We ate every last one.
After the bill had been paid, we re-entered the Black Dog compound to do some shopping. The first place we popped into was the kids store. Check out this adorable height measuring stick.
Next we went into the shop with all the adult clothes. I am not going to lie to you, I bought a sweatshirt. I couldn't resist! It was so soft.
We ended our loop in the gear shop, where it took some serious restraint not to buy Scout a bunch of branded dog toys.
If you are taking a trip to Martha's Vineyard and your ferry is coming into Vineyard Haven, definitely have your first meal at Black Dog. If the time of day isn't quite right for a big meal, you can hit up Black Dog bakery for a coffee and a pastry.