- Named “One of the All-Time Best Seafood Dives Ever!” by Coastal Living Magazine
- Undefeated champion of the Cape Cod Quahog Challenge for “Best Stuffed Clam” Three Years in a Row
- Cape Cod A List Best Clam Shack & Best Lobster Roll
- Cape Cod Life Magazine Best of Cape & Islands Readers’ Choice Awards, Outer Cape: GOLD WINNER for Best Fried Clams, Best Lobster Roll, Best Kids Activity, and Best Lunch; SILVER WINNER: Best Seafood Restaurant, Best Raw Bar, Best Family Dining, Best Outdoor Dining, Best Chowder and Best Ice Cream
- Yankee Magazine: One of “12 Best Lobster Shacks”
- Yankee Magazine: One of America’s “50 Best Seafood Dives”
- Yankee Magazine: One of Cape Cod’s Best Lobster Rolls
- Boston Magazine: Best Clam Shack, Cape Cod
- Coastal Living: One of America’s Favorite Seafood Dives
- One of Cape Cod Online’s Top 10 Fried Clams
- One of Endless Vacation’s 5 Tempting Seafood Shacks on Cape Cod
- Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor for years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
“Along with the ultra-crunchy fried clams and baked Wellfleet scallops, this Cape Cod legend has been serving top quality steamed lobsters for more than 50 years. Customers come for ice cream, cocktails and a round of mini golf. But they stay for the three types of lobster rolls. The regular roll mixes lobster with a little bit of mayo and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. The Hot Roll is packed with just steamed lobster meat and a side of hot drawn butter. The Ginormous Roll is almost too big for your mouth, with three quarters of a pound of tender, sweet meat. On the side, the onion rings are a must.”
“Every summer,” “You must at least once,” “brave the . . . lines,” that seemingly, “go all the way to the next town,” for the “awesome lobster rolls,” “to-die-for fried clams,” “killer onion rings,” and “nice raw-bar options” doled out at this Eastham “seafood shack”; indeed, it’s “worth the wait” . . . especially considering there’s alcohol (a rarity), ice cream and mini golf too.
“Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar has it all, from the best fried clams in the world (swear hard-core aficionados) to lobster rolls stuffed with incredibly succulent meat. The perfectly fried onion rings make a great accompaniment.”
“Best Fried Clams” and “Best Casual Dining”
# 1 secret spot on Cape Cod for the best lobster roll
“The most ubiquitous sign on the Cape seems to be ‘Best Fried Seafood.’ Only a handful of the seafood shacks manage live up to it…. Arnold’s boasts a raw bar with superlative local clams. If you overindulge there’s a miniature golf course next door that might burn off a calorie or two.”
“By day, it’s a boisterous, kid-friendly spot that doles out lobster rolls and fried seafood to families straight from (or headed to) the beach; by night, it’s a laid-back watering hole/raw bar where jovial owner Nick Nickerson mans the ‘shucking shack.’ … Everything on the vast menu of seafood classics is done to Nick’s uncompromising standards, and the thin onion rings are almost worth a trip by themselves.”
“If you’re looking for a harborside hole in the wall, this isn’t it. There’s an ever-present line out the door, an ice cream stand out back, and (clam shack purists, cover your ears) a mini golf course. But Arnold’s has lasted 30 years for good reason, namely the perfectly fried clams, giant lobster rolls, and craveable crisp onio rings. (And we mean craveable: Arnold’s serves 2,000 pounds of rings each week.) Go before you’re actually hungry, wait out the line, and be rewarded with heaping baskets of summery deliciousness.”
“One of our favorite seafood dives. Great fried seafood, (especially the clams), legendary onion rings (Arnold’s sells two tons a week), and enormous portions.”
“Best Family Dining,” “Best Fried Clams,” “Best Ice Cream,” “Best Lunch”
“There’s only one thing to do when you want some fried onion rings – strike out for Arnold’s! After an order of clam strips, a lobster roll, and some of Arnold’s ideal onion rings, we were sated.”
“Casual meals at affordable prices. Our favorite roadside stop. Melt-in-your-mouth fried clams and mountainous, fluffy onion rings. Nickerson’s version was geared toward a Cape Cod theme: a lobster and clam shack with roller skating car-hops, a malt-shop menu and a 50s theme. Arnold’s fast became known as a quality seafood shack with affordable prices and good old fashioned fun.”
“We ordered the shore dinners what else? That comes with enough tender, salty steamers to fill you up, plus fresh corn and a lobster that was just terrific. With bibs, beer, nutcrackers, lemon wedges, and lots of paper towels, it was messy, fun and completely satisfying.”
“Outer Cape’s Best Clams, Onion Rings and Outdoor Dining Award goes to Arnold’s Restaurant.”
“Arnold’s is a great place to enjoy the fruits of the sea.”
“Best fried clams on Cape Cod”
“You’re sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod if Arnold’s Restaurant in Eastham, Mass., is on the itinerary. Another in-the-rough restaurant, Arnold’s is clean, has indoor and outdoor seating and serves some of the world’s best onion rings and sweet corn to go with lobster. The raw bar, operated by a local shell-fisherman, provides great appetizers.”
“Arguably the best seafood shack this side of the Cape Cod Canal. Set on a corner lot on the Cape’s thoroughfare, Route 6, Arnold’s is hard to miss. Undaunted by the long line (usually out the door), I wait my turn and order from the vast selection of seafood including lobster, fried clams, scallops, and shrimp – add a mound of onion rings, and grab a seat at one of the picnic tables. My number is called fairly quickly and I giddily dive into plates overloaded with fresh fare.”
“Then of course you’ve got your loyal customers that come in year after year, month after month, week after week, and sometimes day after day.” read more
Helping to maintain and nurture Cape Cod’s sensitive ecosystem is important to Arnold’s. In 2013 we signed on to become a part of The Massachusetts Oyster Project: Restaurant Shell Recycling Program. With the help of our hauler friends at MA Frazier, we helped recycle 800 lbs of oyster shells in our first week! These recycled oyster shells will be placed back at the bottom of the sea so spat (baby oysters) can grow on them. In many areas there is not enough existing material for the spat to settle on, they prefer to settle on calcium containing substances such as shell, this program is just what the spat need. Arnold’s asks that any customer enjoying oysters (or mussels or steamers!) to please leave the empty shells behind on their table at the end of their meal so we may recycle them.
These days it seems that there are a number of businesses out there crowing about ‘going green.’ It is impossible to view this recent enthusiasm for sustainable, environmentally friendly practices as anything but a pure positive. At Arnold’s, however, we are not making a lot of noise about our “going green” for the very simple reason that we “went green” a long time before it was fashionable to do so.
All human industry has an environmental impact. That said, there are things that can be done—things we have done—that reduce the size of the footprint we leave behind. Something as simple as replacing old, inefficient appliances with Energy-Star-rated equipment can, we believe, make a meaningful difference.
For those businesses more ambitious in their environmental activism, there are renewables to focus upon. For more than fifteen years we have been recycling our corrugated cardboard, glass, tin, aluminum, and plastic. Seven years ago we extended our commitment to include the composting of all organic, bio-degradable kitchen waste. Obviously, it is easier to simply
throw this material away. Doing the right thing, however, very often requires greater effort, and at Arnold’s, we believe that the moral choice is clear.
We are pleased that of late the “green” orientation is beginning to catch on with so many local businesses. Our staff members, who turn up at the Eastham transfer station three mornings a week to sort recyclables into their proper receptacles, look forward to having company.
At Arnold’s we are quick to draw the distinction between being a self-service restaurant and being a self-serving restaurant.
For more than three decades Arnold’s has enjoyed the consistent and enthusiastic support of loyal customers. Without the community there would be no success story for us—a fact that we never lose sight of. It has been our belief from the very beginning that good fortune is best enjoyed when it is shared with others. In keeping with this philosophical orientation, Arnold’s has a very long and proud history of supporting community-based, grass roots, charitable enterprises. The sincerity of our commitment to helping those in need is readily evidenced by the numerous benefit days that we host throughout the season and by the tens of thousands of dollars we donate annually to non-profit organizations.
As almost everyone knows, Arnold’s only accepts cash and personal checks. Is it inconvenient to customers sometimes, yes. But please keep in mind, the money that we save in credit card fees is donated back to the community. Every time you the customer pays in cash, you too are giving back to the community.
Identify a local charity that addresses the service needs of the disabled, one that ministers to the needs of the homeless, or one that focuses on the needs of those in acute financial crisis, and chances are that Arnold’s has an established history of support.
While giving back to the community which has sustained us is something of a company policy, our giving genuinely knows no fixed geographical limits. Cambodian students, now studying in an Arnold’s-sponsored, five-room, elementary school in Thboung Khmum District, Kampong Cham Province, will happily attest to that.
Some would call what we do good citizenship. We just call it doing what feels right.