There are few better ways to cap off a fishing trip or day of pleasure boating off Martha’s Vineyard than stopping for a bowl of chowder, lobster roll, or plate of fresh-shucked oysters at Larsen’s Fish Market in Menemsha Harbor, part of the town of Chilmark. Text & Photos by Tom Richardson

A delicious Larsen’s lobster roll.

Opened in 1969 by local fisherman Louis Larsen and his wife Mary, the market does indeed sell fresh fish and other seafood from its shingled building on Dutcher Dock, but also offers a limited assortment of prepared dishes and raw bar items. The food can be enjoyed on your boat or at one of the rustic wood tables outside the market. The market does sell soda, but alcohol is BYOB.

The menu includes steamed lobster, lobster rolls, chowder, lobster bisque, stuffed quahogs, stuffed scallops, crab cakes, steamers and mussels. Raw Bar items include oysters, littlenecks, and cherrystones.
Boaters can often find a spot to tie up along Dutcher Dock, space permitting, but check with the harbormaster’s office first. In some cases, they may direct you to a slip or mooring. It helps if you arrive during off-peak hours or the shoulder season. Remember that commercial vessels have priority when it comes to dock space.

Boaters may be able to find space along the bulkhead next to the commercial vessels.

Note that anchoring inside the boat basin is prohibited, but the town reserves 16 slips and two guest moorings for transient vessels up to 40 feet, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Good holding ground and more public moorings are available for larger vessels outside the harbor in Menemsha Bight. This area is exposed to winds from the north and west, but makes for a protected location during prevailing summer southwesterlies. Once anchored, you can dinghy, swim, or wade ashore to visit the harbor or enjoy the beaches.

The market occupies the same building as when it opened in 1969.

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