Duxbury, Massachusetts

Restaurants and cafes in this seaside town offer a sense of place on the South Shore.

  • Current
    Weather

Clear & 72°

  • When to
    Visit

Spring or Summer

  • Population
     

1,567

  • Founded
     

1637

By Jacqueline Cain

You don’t need to drive all the way down the Cape to relax on a beautiful beach in Massachusetts. The South Shore boasts several seaside towns with plenty to eat, see, and do, and Duxbury is one of our faves. Just more than 30 miles from Boston, this historic community is home to Island Creek Oysters (some of the best bivalves in the world), and its top dining options reflect a connection to the land and sea. From takeout-friendly pastries and açaí bowls to restaurants with rum drinks and caviar on everything, here’s where to dine in Duxbury.

You don’t need to drive all the way down the Cape to relax on a beautiful beach in Massachusetts. The South Shore boasts several seaside towns with plenty to eat, see, and do, and Duxbury is one of our faves. Just more than 30 miles from Boston, this historic community is home to Island Creek Oysters (some of the best bivalves in the world), and its top dining options reflect a connection to the land and sea. From takeout-friendly pastries and açaí bowls to restaurants with rum drinks and caviar on everything, here’s where to dine in Duxbury.

French Memories
This patisserie is on point, but brunch at French Memories is nevertheless a quintessentially South Shore experience. This homey spot has been a Duxbury staple for more than 30 years. Paris ex-pat and pastry chef Philippe Odier and his wife, Debra, oversee the display cases full of croissants, tarts, macarons, and more every day of the week—and they also keep bees to provide the honey that sweetens certain treats. We love the Almond Croissant with flaky, caramelized edges, but the line to order can be long and croissants can sell out early, especially on weekends. There is a large selection of other pastries to choose from, along with sandwiches for lunch, plus cheese and pâté spreads. Take me there.

Namaste Cafe
This brand-new addition to downtown Duxbury just opened in May, but it’s already a morning mainstay. Namaste Cafe is the latest venture from the folks behind wood-fired takeout pizzeria Fire & Stone (more on that in a bit), and it serves up high-quality coffee, breakfast toasts, and açaí bowls. Fire-kissed flavors also grace the menu here, like on the Squad Goals toast topped with roasted beetroot hummus, wood-fired mushrooms, soy-rizzo (a vegan hash), avocado, and microgreens. Those who prefer the sweeter side of breakfast should not miss açaí bowls made with super-fresh fruit and local honey. Along with espresso and specialty drinks like a Maple Latte with Massachusetts dairy, there are also teas and cold-pressed juices. Take me there.

The Raw Bar at Island Creek Oyster Farm
Oyster lovers around the world can find Duxbury-grown Island Creeks on raw bar menus, but there’s only one place to slurp right at the source. The Raw Bar at Island Creek Oyster Farm is a unique and beautiful spot to have lunch or early dinner, in-season when spacious picnic tables and well-contained fire pits populate the lawn abutting Duxbury Harbor. Enjoy trays of oysters on ice while looking out on the water where they were cultivated. You can even take a tour of the oyster farm. Let the pros do the shucking while you order up accompaniments like tinned fish, clam dip (with or without caviar), kid-friendly hot dogs, and cans of rosé and New England beer. The Raw Bar is open daily May through October from noon until twilight. Take me there.

Fire & Stone Trattoria
Christopher Jeffcote took an unusual route into the restaurant industry: He began by building ovens. As a stonemason, he crafted wood-burning, outdoor hearths for clients on the South Shore, and eventually realized he was pretty good at wielding the flames, too. Now, as a chef, a similar artisan spirit informs Fire & Stone Trattoria, a takeout-only kitchen specializing in crispy, neo-Neapolitan pizzas and other “New England Street Food.” The crispy pizzas, burgers made with Vermont-grown beef, Atlantic fish and chips, and grilled Flatbread sandwiches filled with local cheese and produce are all developed to travel well, but also to showcase the highest-quality ingredients. Jeffcote and his wife, Kaitlyn, also just opened a sunny cafe called Namaste nearby. Take me there.

The Oysterman
Oysters are very important in Duxbury, but surprisingly the town didn’t have a modern raw bar until The Oysterman came along in 2016. Now every day for lunch and dinner, this lively spot beckons with cold bivalves and more surf-and-turf fare. Fish Tacos are lightly fried and topped with bright and spicy sauces, and we love the double-smash patty Oysterman Cheeseburger oozing with American cheese, house-brined pickles, and special sauce. There’s also a great bar scene here, and cocktails with a sense of place, like the spicy mezcal-prickly pear Purple Dragon, named for the local high school mascot. Since opening the Oysterman, the same team has expanded with the Anchor around the corner and the Blacksmith Tavern in Pembroke. Take me there.

The Winsor House
A Federal-style home built in 1803 for a family of wealthy merchants, The Winsor House has been a restaurant for nearly 100 years. It’s located directly across the street from the entrance to Island Creek Oyster Farm, and last year the seafood pros took over restaurant operations. It remains a community icon and an elegant place to dine in Duxbury, with the welcoming and whimsical vibe that ICO has cultivated. “Eat All You Want, We’ll Grow More” oysters like Row 34s and Aunt Dottie’s; the raw bar menu also features Chef’s Crudo to Share and ICO House-Packed Caviar. The main menu includes a Caesar salad with fried oysters, seasonal seafood dishes like brown butter-poached Halibut; plus chicken, steak, and a burger. The list of wine and local beers is excellent, but Bostonians should also know that Dave Cagle, formerly owner of The Automatic, created the bar’s rum-soaked cocktail program. Take me there.

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