Vacation outfits + allergy friendly spots in Chatham (Cape Cod)

Gap jeans 24P, looser fit (similar & well stocked), tank xs P, sandals 5.5, Naghedi bag, sunnies
On Rio: stripe tee 3, joggers 2, sneakers 7, hat M / L

After visiting friends in Chatham, MA (Cape Cod) last year and really enjoying the small town, we booked a rental earlier this month to vacation there with our extended family! We loved staying steps from Main Street, and were able to easily walk around town from shops to restaurants to the local small beaches.

I wanted to share my outfits from the week, and local spots that were dairy & nut allergy-friendly for my kid. Before any trip I always scour the web for reviews and menus of allergy-friendly spots, so hopefully this can be useful to someone else visiting the area!

ann taylor blazer dress petite sezane gold sandals
AT dress xxsP c/o(hemmed, similar), Sézane sandals 6 c/o, run small (love!), Naghedi bag
mom and me edited pieces blue floral dress cape cod
sezane blouse madewell shorts
Left: A+F top xxs, Sézane shorts sz 0 c/o, sandals 5.5, Naghedi bag
Right: swimsuit 2 c/o (JEANWANG10 for $10 off), shorts xxs, sandals 5.5, adjustable hat

Heads up that everything is priced at a premium on the Cape, from lodging to groceries to restaurants. While we opted to rent a house, Chatham Bars Inn is the popular hotel to stay at in the area. It’s pricey, but has family-friendly amenities between the scenic beach and pool, and friends who go always have a great time.

The kids were constantly bickering when together, so Nick & I spent a lot of time on this trip splitting up for 1-on-1 time with each one. None of the spots on the list below are particularly exciting, but made for a nice low key family vacation!

Oyster Pond Beach

Little local beach for toddlers and kids that has bathroom facilities.

Chatham Pier Fish Market

A touristy but fine spot to watch the fishing boats unload and the many seals waiting to catch a bite. The restaurant there has very tasty crisp fries, and we enjoyed the scallop roll, lobster roll and clam chowder.

Veterans Field Playground

Our friends with kids a tad older like coming here to watch baseball games as a family, and our kids enjoyed the playground. Bathrooms available.

Candy Manor

Located right on Main Street with friendly & helpful staff, and a great selection from gummies to house made fudge and chocolates. I took Rio here for our mom & son day where he was absolutely delighted, and got to try his first ever milk chocolate (in the shape of little cars)!

Allergy note: Dairy and nuts are everywhere here, so I didn’t bring Nori inside but got some pre-packaged candies and gummies for her. The team leaders were very patient with my questions, and even took photos of ingredient labels and texted them to me.

Other walkable spots along Main Street
  • Chatham Orpheum Theatre had a free kids matinee daily at 9:30AM.
  • Eldredge Library is an old library where we spent a little time at each afternoon
  • Occasional public events like concerts or Shakespeare in the park that my in-laws enjoyed
  • Lots of little shops. My kids loved popping into Chatham T kids daily to look at the toys and clothes.  And Ducks in the Window has fun small toys for kids, but FYI the shop is tiny.


Mom & Pops Burgers

A short drive from town. Filipino owned, so in addition to delicious burgers they also have lumpia (Filipino fried spring rolls)! Nick is half Filipino and the cuisine is not yet prevalent where we live, so we were thrilled to find 2 restaurants in Chatham!

Allergy note: Mostly or completely nut-free, but since they serve and fry a lot of items with dairy, they said that dairy cross-contamination is likely.

Aplaya Kitchen & Tiki Bar

The newer sister restaurant of Mom & Pops that’s walkable in town. This spot is entirely outdoors set under straw tiki umbrellas, with tasty & shareable Filipino inspired dishes. My kids loved the lumpia (sells out before the end of day), while I enjoyed the tacos, cold noodle salad (subbed in adobo chicken skewers instead of tofu), pinoy burger, and the scrumptious ube ice cream sandwich. It’s one of the few places in town you can get food and cocktails after 9PM, so Nick & I popped in for a date several times after the kids went to bed!

Allergy note: lots of nut & dairy free options, including the same lumpia from their sister restaurant Mom & Pops but with a low risk of dairy cross contamination at this location. Thanks to this, Nori got to try some for the very first time!

Mac’s Chatham Fish & Lobster

Pretty good from their fried plates to fresh seafood. We enjoyed a generous fisherman’s platter with the kids (the scallops are just perfect here!) and Nick and I went back for oysters and shrimp cocktail.

Allergy note: This is the only fried seafood spot in the area I felt comfortable with for my kid, since they’re very allergy-conscious and emphasize that everything in their fryers are both dairy and gluten free. You can ask to see their detailed allergen menu.

Pizza Shark

Local favorite that I popped into several times for either a slice or a loaded pizza. Unfortunately there’s no non-dairy options here, but solid pizza if you do eat dairy!

Public Cafe

Asian-owned spot that serves typical cafe food like turkey club sandwiches, but I went for the Asian dishes like nepalese momo dumplings (dairy and nut free). Even without the spicy tomato dipping sauce, the momos had too much of a kick for my kids, but the adults enjoyed them! You can tell that they’re homemade with lots of flavor.

Snowy Owl

Per Nick: Excellent espresso and matcha drinks (they roast their own coffee) at a small to-go window inside a shaded courtyard—as a bonus, it’s easy to roll up and sit during Rio’s afternoon stroller naps.

Buffy’s Ice Cream

Nick and his parents enjoyed the (prepackaged) indulgent ice cream sandwiches here!

Allergy note: The owner was very attentive to allergies, and gave us the ingredients for their coconut milk-based dairy free options.

Brick Block Ice Cream

Another town favorite. Kids under 2 get a free little cup of ice cream with any order!

Allergy info: They have a few nondairy ice creams, but they always tell us that the safest option for a severe dairy allergy is their fruit sorbets (options are mango or raspberry). They let me check the ingredients list, and the staff offers to scoop from a newly opened container to minimize risk of cross contamination.

Branches Grill & Cafe

I love trying Jamaican food any chance I can get – their dishes are so flavorful! Got this as takeout for the adults.

Left: Bentgo lunch box, sun hat (adjustable fit), Public Cafe dumplings
Right: Rio in our YOYO COMPACT STROLLER (MY REVIEW) at Candy Manor 
Aplaya Chatham cape code Filipino fod
Lumpia, shrimp chips, chicken adobo skewers at Aplaya Tiki Bar
Mac’s Chatham Fish & Lobster – went here twice since they’re so allergy-friendly!

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Leave a Comment


  1. lee wrote:

    ooo that Sezane Nele blouse is so pretty for summer ! Love to see these polished and elevated outfits but still casual enough for everyday wear

    Posted 8.21.23 Reply
  2. annabel wu wrote:

    Im a foodie. And i love your post and restaurant recommendations . Im def sharing this with all my friends who have kids. Appreciate all the tips as well. Really enjoy your outfits which I will refer to often.

    Posted 8.16.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you, Annabel!

      Posted 8.17.23 Reply
  3. Cynthia wrote:

    Love your outfits! Thanks for your recommendations for style, vacation, and food!

    Posted 8.16.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you Cynthia, I’m so glad to hear you enjoy the mix of topics!

      Posted 8.17.23 Reply
  4. Sophie wrote:

    You look so chic! The personification of elegance, thank you for a great post. I had to laugh about the bickering kids😃

    Posted 8.16.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      You are so sweet, thank you Sophie!

      Posted 8.17.23 Reply
  5. Sherry wrote:

    Thanks so much for highlighting these adorable local places! As a South Asian, I’ve found I had to “dress up” more than locals to feel/look/seem less like an “other” in wealthy areas (including where I live in the northern IL ‘burbs). Thank you for showing polished outfits! And I appreciate all your toddler-friendly reccs.

    Posted 8.16.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Sherry, thanks for sharing your perspective! Happy to hear you enjoy both the outfit and toddler-friendly recs xx

      Posted 8.16.23 Reply
  6. Elizabeth wrote:

    Sounds like a fun trip! I love seeing the mix of outfits plus hearing about the fun parks you went to and all the great food recommendations! As a fellow parent, I appreciate you highlighting which parks have restrooms – such an important detail when traveling with littles!

    Posted 8.16.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you Elizabeth! Before kids I never could have guessed that would become such an important detail in our outings!

      Posted 8.16.23 Reply
  7. MyHanh wrote:

    Hi old friend! So cool to hear about the Filipino spots in the Cape. It’s so close but I’m always intimidated to visit for many reasons. Maybe the drive is worth it for lunch at Aplaya! 🙂
    Also A+ review for the walk-up window for coffee during stroller naps! 😆 if you don’t know, now you know.

    Posted 8.16.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Always so good to hear from you, I hope you’ve been well!

      Haha yes, when stroller naps take up 2 hours of your afternoon, small details like the walk up window are key!

      Posted 8.16.23 Reply
  8. Mallory wrote:

    People can be amusing sometimes. I’m loving this post, as always. I especially love the candor regarding the littles having a hard time getting along, and how you managed it with 1:1 time. Great tip!!

    Posted 8.15.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you Mallory, I always appreciate hearing how other families handle this stage so wanted to share what we’ve been trying!

      Posted 8.16.23 Reply
  9. Hkxtine wrote:

    Looks like such a fun family vacation that the kids will remember! Absolutely adore the flared outfit, your swimsuits, and your always practical yet stylish footwear

    Posted 8.15.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you! Certainly hoping they’ll remember these moments together as a family and our one on one times together xx

      Posted 8.16.23 Reply
  10. Emma wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    Thank you for doing these posts. I’ve been following you ever since I was in college. I’m married now and have kid of my own. Like yours, my kiddo has food allergies and bad eczema. I found myself going to your blog every so often to look for guidance as well as recommendations (we see a derm and allergist as well but I like to hear from real life experiences). Your posts about allergy friendly spots make going out so much easier as we now have more options. Love to see that Chatham had allergy friendly places. Time to plan our next trip 🙂

    Posted 8.15.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Emma, thank you so much for following along over the years! I’m sorry to hear that your little one is also dealing with food allergies, but I’m so glad some of my posts have been helpful. Sending all my best to your and your family xx

      Posted 8.16.23 Reply
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    Who dresses like this on the Cape? Maybe in Chatham….
    Bathing suits, sweats, and t or sweatshirts.

    Posted 8.15.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      I’m sure there’s always going to be people in sweats and T shirts, but from visiting last year I saw people liked to dress up a bit in town. Lots of dresses and colorful pieces. And even if everyone else wore sweats, these are the outfits I’m happy in and don’t see what the big deal is!

      Posted 8.15.23 Reply
      • Lauren Fisk wrote:

        I don’t care if someone wants to be more casual, so I don’t understand why anyone would begrudge someone who likes to dress up a bit more. I’m sure most people saw your outfits and just thought you looked cute!

        Posted 8.15.23 Reply
      • Karrie wrote:

        Thank you for this wonderful recap of your trip and outfits. I appreciate how detailed you are.

        Posted 8.16.23 Reply
    • Anonymous wrote:

      If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all!

      Posted 8.15.23 Reply
    • Sophie wrote:

      As someone who lives in Europe, I find these outfits to be both elegant & appropriately casual. I don’t particularly want to wear sweats unless I am in the comfort of my own sofa. ( and not even then, if I can help it) I’d never wear sweatpants on holiday or even just to go out of my own front door…

      Posted 8.17.23 Reply
  12. TAYLOR SHANNON wrote:

    I believe the link for the similar gap jeans is incorrect. 🙂 I LOVE your blog. I’m 4’9″ and have always struggled to find petite friendly clothing. You have helped me discover so many great brands. Thank you!!

    Posted 8.15.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Taylor! Thanks for your sweet note and for pointing that out – just fixed! For 4’9″ you may need to cut them a little shorter, or I recommend Abercrombie Ultra High RIse Ankle in the extra short inseam in case you haven’t tried them yet!

      Posted 8.15.23 Reply
  13. CE wrote:

    It’s unfortunate that you highlighted clothing from places not in Chatham. All of our small Main Street clothing shops would have loved a shout out!

    Posted 8.14.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      This post was about what I packed for vacation and wore! I don’t usually go new clothes shopping for myself during family vacations, but mentioned Main Street was great for browsing shops!

      Posted 8.15.23 Reply
    • Yvonne wrote:

      Give Jean a break. She obviously can’t please everyone, and has mentioned at least 10 local food places by name in this post, and many other non-food attractions.

      Posted 8.15.23 Reply
    • Anonymous wrote:

      Jean would be using up her precious vacation time if she has to visit the local boutiques and plan new outfits as a fashion blogger rather than spending quality time with family

      Posted 8.16.23 Reply

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