For me, finding Sandy’s Fish & Chips in Vineyard Haven was an accident — a happy accident. I stopped at John’s Fish Market for a piece of swordfish six years ago and stood in the “wrong” line: the line for Sandy’s, which occupies half of the space. I quickly ordered a fried clam platter, picked up a swordfish steak a few feet away, and have been coming back ever since.

Sandy’s is owned by Glenn and Sheila Pachico, who are operating the family-owned business in its 74th year. “Sandy” was Glenn’s mom, who ran the store for 40 years. Samantha Lowe now runs the daily operations; she’s the hard-working woman you’ll see at the grill. Sandy’s is a seasonal business, usually open in late April through September. With a huge list of seafood favorites plus a full line-up of hamburgers (including the Obama Burger) as well as a kid’s menu, Sandy’s is the place to go to feed a crowd. Portions are generous and prices are fair. You can try and snag one of three outdoor picnic tables but we usually take everything home.

Choosing from the big menu can be tricky; to help you decide, I'm recommending five favorites. And don’t forget to bring cash for the chocolate and vanilla soft-serve ice cream; you just might eat dessert first.

1. Fish Sandwich ($15.95)

Choose from grilled swordfish, tuna, halibut, or salmon served on a brioche bun. It’s one of the freshest fish sandwiches on the Island – and at a great price. I like it “loaded:” with lettuce, a slice of tomato and citrus sauce.

2. Fried Clam Plate ($29.50)

There are a lot of fried clams on the Island but Sandy’s does it right: plenty of bellies and all fried to a deep golden crispness. The plate comes with French fries, tangy coleslaw and tartar sauce.

3. Fish & Chips ($17.95)

As the business name suggests, you can’t leave Sandy’s without ordering fish and chips. A generous portion of lightly-battered and fried fresh cod (sometimes with a bonus of bluefish cheeks) comes with French fries, homemade coleslaw and tartar sauce and makes a perfect summer lunch or dinner.

4. Lobster Salad Roll ($26.95)

Sandy’s lobster roll features big hunks of fresh lobster lightly coated in mayonnaise — and a generous portion at that — served chilled on a grilled, buttered roll. It’s the quintessential Vineyard treat for a summer day. It comes with a small bag of potato chips.

5. Fish Wrap ($12.95)

One of Sandy’s most popular lunch items (and mine, too), the fish wrap contains strips of breaded fresh white fish mounded on thinly sliced cabbage, topped with a Greek yogurt sauce, pico de gallo and Cheddar or Jack cheese, all wrapped in a plain, wheat or spinach wrap. Though it feels light, it’s a large portion and very filling.   


Sandy's Fish & Chips

5 Martin Rd. (at the corner of State Rd.), Vineyard Haven


Ordering by phone is advised

Cash & credit cards; ice cream cash only

Open Monday - Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.