It boggles the mind that The Village Restaurant has not been discovered by people outside of the North Shore of Boston. Located in Essex, a quaint town in the Cape Ann area, The Village Restaurant is quite simply one of the best seafood restaurants in Massachusetts. Perhaps the fact that Woodman's of Essex, a famous clam shack, is a few hundred feet away might have something to do with its relative obscurity. But as with the other listings here, the fact that The Village is undiscovered makes it an Essex institution in its own way.
The Village Restaurant is frequented by locals, including many retirees. There are several rooms with many tables, but it can get crowded on summer weekends (a bit ironic for a "hidden" restaurant, I know, but remember, the locals love this place). If you like fish, this is the place for you; while nearby Woodman's serves only shellfish, The Village has a wide variety of seafood, from clams to haddock to lobster to swordfish. Everything here is fresh, so don't expect to get your dinner quickly. The wait is well worth it, though.
Essex is a bit off the beaten track, which is perhaps why The Village Restaurant is relatively unknown. It is a scenic ride from Boston, though, and well worth a side trip. Bring your seafood-loving friends and a good appetite; you won't be disappointed.
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