Temperatures are getting colder by the minute, as the days are getting longer. It’s what living in New England feels like - a variety of weathers all in one week. But since we know it’s mostly cold, we wanted to showcase some of our favorite culinary delights this season: soups, stews, and chowders!
First let’s get technical: What's the difference between soup and stew? Our friends over at Taste of Home say: In theory, a soup is a combination of vegetables, meat or fish cooked in liquid. A stew is any dish that's prepared by stewing – that is, the food is barely covered with liquid and simmered for a long time in a covered pot. Now how about chowders and bisques? Simple! Bisques and chowders are simply two types of thick soup; bisque is generally smooth while chowder is chunky.
It’s essential to know the difference when cooking them, but since we’re going to be sharing all the spots where you can eat them without dirtying dishes - let’s move on!
Edgartown Clam Chowder by Bettini Restaurant in Edgartown
Nothing better than a hot bowl of creamy chowder and when you’re at Bettini Restaurant at the Harbor View Hotel, you get just that. Chef Patrice Martineau even creates a house-made oyster cracker to accompany the chowder and it’s one for the books.
“Bettini’s fresh take on Vineyard style sets the stage for chef-inspired menus that showcase the season’s freshest offerings from local farms, fishing boats, foragers and markets. Expansive windows reveal a magnificent coastal view that reinforces the kitchen’s relationship with the local landscape, creating a seamless Island-to-table dining experience.”
Quahog Chowder by The Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven
Known for being topped with buttery croutons, this Quahog Chowder at The Black Dog Tavern is a local favorite. Want to recreate it at home? We found the recipe over on Recipe Girl.
Lobster Stew by The Cardboard Box in Oak Bluffs
Indulge in this Lobster Stew at the Cardboard Box and rejoice at all the goodness that is good food. Made with sweet potato, roasted onion, smoky bacon, basil, and a lobster cream that’s to die for, this Oak Bluffs spot deserves a place on your list when looking for creative food that you will love.
French Onion Soup by The Newes Pub in Edgartown
French Onion Soup is such a classic and one you can always find at this historic pub in Edgartown. This soup is broth-y and full of delicious, caramelized onions, topped with bread and broiled cheese for that perfect spoonful every time.
Named by Travel & Leisure as one of the best places to eat on Martha’s Vineyard, the Newes serves American and British pub food that pays respects to the variety of fresh, local ingredients the Island has to offer.
Soup to Go by Waterside Market in Vineyard Haven
We love this option at Waterside Market! Packaged in glass mason jars, the culinary team at the Market has ready to go soups - they vary from daily specials to the chef’s classic chili, but you can almost always find a delicious option to bring home and reheat to your liking. We commend and applaud Waterside Market’s initiative of using less plastic in their day to day productions!
Fresh ingredients, organic and local when possible, innovative recipes made from scratch daily including soups, salads, and killer sandwiches. Tuck into the house-roasted, hormone-free meats, breakfast (served until 4 pm!) and Stumptown Coffee. Make sure to check Waterside out when in Vineyard Haven - it’s a great spot to wait for your ferry or grab a quick meal before heading back home.
Black Bean Soup by The Wharf Pub in Edgartown
If you’re heading to Edgartown for lunch, a stop at the Wharf Pub at the bottom of Main Street is a must. The menu is focused on tasty New England food with creative twists and this Black Bean Soup is one of them. Pair it with some Chowder Fries (New England clam chowder, bacon, green onion, jack & cheddar cheese) and you’ve got a delicious winter meal!
Looking for inspiration to create soups at home this winter? Below are links to some of our local favorites from Island writers:
Udon Noodle Soup with Miso-Glazed Vegetables and Chicken via Martha’s Vineyard Magazine
Butternut Squash Soup by Food Minded Fellow
Winter Soups from The Martha’s Vineyard Times
Visit Martha's Vineyard
Loving Martha's Vineyard is the easiest thing in the world to do.