From Bait to Plate, It Doesn’t Get Any Better.
Welcome to America’s oldest fishing port. The best way to understand our history and our future as a 21st-century fishing port is to get out and explore the seafood system by visiting local markets and restaurants, strolling the waterfront or taking in monuments and museums dedicated to our way life. You can even get on the water to see the industry from very close up.
While foodies around the globe have embraced the “Farm to Table” movement concept, here in Gloucester we’ve put our own perspective on sourcing local, natural, responsibly harvested, under-utilized species and in-season seafood cuisine. You are likely familiar with the phrase: “Ocean to Table”… we call our model: “Bait to Plate”.
To help make your way around our 400-year old port of Gloucester from a culinary concept, here is a collection of restaurants, tours, attractions, museums, and activities – mostly on or near the water, where you’ll enjoy a truly wholesome seafood experience.
This is a “self-guided” Discover Gloucester Seafood Trail encouraging you to check out the listings and customize your specific trail to suit your interests. There’s so much to discover here in Gloucester about our seafood and maritime industry…we anticipate that you’ll learn something new, indulge in our fresh seafood delicacies, and have fun along the way!
A good place to start is by taking a deep-sea fishing trip with Yankee Fleet out of East Gloucester. You can rent fishing gear and the mates will even clean the fish you catch. Take it home and cook it up yourself. YUM! You can rent fishing gear and the mates will even clean the fish you catch. Take it home and cook it up yourself. YUM!
If having someone else do the work is more what you are looking for, try the Gloucester House Restaurant. Family-run for 50 years and located right on the working waterfront in Gloucester, they have an expansive menu and they know fresh seafood.
The Schooner Thomas E. Lannon, which ties up right at their door, offers a ‘chowda and which ties up right at their door, offers a ‘chowda and lobsta roll’ sunset dinner sail on Saturday nights in July and August. Enjoy a casual dinner and a sunset sail on a beautiful 65-foot wooden sailing vessel.
Maritime Gloucester on Harbor Loop, where hands-on exhibits explain Gloucester’s long and strong connections to the fishing industry. Touch tanks will excite the kids.on Harbor Loop, where hands-on exhibits explain Gloucester’s long and strong connections to the fishing industry. Touch tanks will excite the kids.
The Castle Manor Inn’s Sea Glass Restaurant is set in a wonderful turn-of-the-century Victorian inn. Choose one of three small dining rooms or dine al fresco on their outdoor covered deck.is set in a wonderful turn-of-the-century Victorian inn. Choose one of three small dining rooms or dine al fresco on their outdoor covered deck.
Speaking of decks, the newly renovated Studio Restaurant on the water on Rocky Neck has reopened this summer, has a fabulous deck, signature drinks and a great seafood menu. And be sure not to miss the Rudder, also right on Smith Cove on Rocky Neck, popular with locals and visitors alike. Their island atmosphere, great food and drinks will make for a fun night out.
For an entertaining, informative walk around town sampling delectable goodies along the way, sign up for the Cape Ann Foodie Tour. This is not just about seafood, but you will learn a lot about Gloucester and some of her favorite food offerings.
“Anything fresher still swims” is the slogan for Turner’s Seafood Market. Turner’s Seafood Market, at 4 Smith St. in Gloucester. The market is stocked fresh daily with everything from the sea, plus prepared seafood dishes, ready for you to cook at home.
And a visit to Gloucester is not complete without a side trip to Essex and an “eat in the rough” meal at Woodman’s of Essex. Celebrating their 100th year, the Woodman family invented the fried clam, and serves up gazillions of them every year.
Ryan and Wood, is the local distiller of Beauport Vodka, Folly Cove Rum, Knockabout Gin and Rye Whiskey. Crafted in small batches right here in Gloucester, these spirits can be found everywhere. They also give free tours at their distillery at Blackburn Park.m, Knockabout Gin and Rye Whiskey. Crafted in small batches right here in Gloucester, these spirits can be found everywhere. They also give free tours at their distillery at Blackburn Park.
You might catch a glimpse of a Giant Bluefin Tuna from the deck at Mile Marker One Restaurant & Bar. Located at the Cape Ann’s Marina Resort – home to the TV series WICKED TUNA, where you will definitely spot Dave Carraro, crew and boat F/V Tuna.com and Paul Hebert, crew and boat Wicked Pissah. Souvenirs are sold here and if they are around, they might give you an autograph as well.
The annual Bluefin Blowout Giant Tuna Fishing Tournament is also hosted here, featuring live weigh-in and events sometime in July or August. Many charter boats are stored here and a good place to look for the type of fishing or sightseeing that you could be interested in. Mile Marker One will also cook up your catch after a day of fishing for a true seafood experience.