It’s no secret that Martha’s Vineyard is a popular resort destination, and with that comes visitors who want to indulge and imbibe in all that vacation-time has to offer. A question that often comes up among our visitors is where to go to enjoy or purchase alcohol, as not all Vineyard towns are created equal when it comes to liquor service.
Whether you’re in search of alcoholic beverages to stock your hotel or vacation home, or looking for a seat at the bar, you’ll need to head to Oak Bluffs or Edgartown, the only two towns with full liquor licensing laws. In Oak Bluffs, you can purchase hard alcohol at Jim’s Package Store or Our Market, both located on Oak Bluffs harbor, or the Vineyard Wine & Cheese Shop located on Circuit Avenue. For beer and wine only, make a visit to Tony’s Market which also offers groceries, prepared foods, and catering services.
Just want to grab a drink? Again Oak Bluffs and Edgartown are where you’ll need to go, as no other Vineyard towns allow you to order an alcoholic beverage without the purchase of food, or in the case of a couple of towns, not at all. When it comes to “hitting the bars” in Oak Bluffs, The Ritz is the most iconic dive bar on Martha’s Vineyard with entertainment most nights of the week that draws hordes of locals and visitors alike.
For the beer connoisseurs, there’s Offshore Ale Company, home to award-winning brews (with cans and growlers to go!), indoor and outdoor seating, and a full bar. Drinking by the Oak Bluffs harbor is a rite of passage around these parts, with a handful of bars/restaurants lining the water’s edge. Be sure to grab a frozen drink from Donovan’s Reef (the Dirty Banana is world-famous!) and make a night of it, bopping between Nancy’s, Lobsterville, the Sand Bar, Coop de Ville (beer and wine only) and Fishbones Bar & Grille. The night is young!
If Edgartown is where you’re heading you can grab wine, beer, and hard alcohol at Your Market, Al’s Package Store, Wharf Wine and Spirits, Rosewater Wine & Spirits or MV Wine & Spirits (by the Martha’s Vineyard Airport). As for nightlife, the Port Hunter and The Wharf bring the crowds and often offer live music and entertainment. The Atlantic and The Seafood Shanty both offer creative cocktails with an impressive view of Edgartown harbor.
On Upper Main Street, Town Bar & Grill is a go-to year-round destination with 18 beers on tap, signature cocktails, and any other drink you dream up. Beer lovers can indulge at Bad Martha’s Farmers Brewery, a seasonal microbrewery with savory snacks and a selection of lawn games on the beautiful grounds of Donaroma's Nursery that will keep you entertained for hours. Just steps away, Margarita lovers can rejoice at Sharky’s Cantina.
As for Vineyard Haven, home to our year-round Steamship Authority ferry terminal, there are a number of restaurants in downtown Vineyard Haven that offer beer, wine, and liquor, but it’s important to note that drinks must be ordered alongside food. Additionally, there are no wine, beer or liquor stores in Vineyard Haven. In town, Salvatore’s and La Soffitta offer extensive wine lists to pair with their Italian fare, and Mikado and Copperwork boast menus of Asian-inspired cocktails and sake. Beloved casual eatery Waterside Market offers canned and bottled wine and beer to be enjoyed on-premise or to go with food orders.
Nearby Beach Road restaurant in the Tisbury Marketplace is known for its creative cocktails, including a house-made Sangria featuring cucumber, melon, and mint basil-infused white rum, Vinho Verde, and ginger as well as Love & Happiness with strawberry & ginger Espolon Blanco Tequila, lavender agave, lemon. Pair your libation with some of the freshest seafood on Martha’s Vineyard while enjoying views of the Lagoon. If enjoying a crisp glass of white wine on a private beach sounds like vacation bliss then check out Garde East on Vineyard Haven harbor. The sophisticated menu is inspired by the best the Island has to offer - fresh seafood and local produce - complemented by over 500 wine labels.
When it comes to visiting and dining at our up-Island towns including West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah your options for alcohol are far more limited. There are no bars or wine, beer or liquor stores in any of these three towns. State Road restaurant in West Tisbury is the only formal restaurant in town and the only establishment that serves beer and wine (and wine cocktails!) with dinner. Head up to Menemsha where you’ll catch one of the Island’s most amazing sunsets over a seafood dinner on the sand provided by one of our local fish markets. Remember to bring your own wine since there’s no alcohol served in Menemsha eateries. Nearby Chilmark Tavern is BYOB, so be sure to bring any wine, beer, or hard alcohol with you as Chilmark is a dry town and you cannot purchase any alcohol in town.
Heading further up-Island to Aquinnah the Outermost Inn is the only other place you’ll find an adult beverage. This beloved restaurant is known for its sprawling lawn and impressive views; it offers a wine list, beer list, and fine cordials to complement its dinner menu. Reservations are required and coveted! Be sure to arrive early to enjoy a drink outside.
We hope that helps you make sense of all the different rules and regulations around enjoying alcohol on Martha’s Vineyard. Cheers to a fabulous stay on the Island!
Be sure to check mvy.com for updates on the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival and the Martha’s Vineyard Craft Beer Festival which take place annually in the spring and fall respectively.
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