Seafood abounds on Cape Cod for obvious reasons. We are surrounded by water on all sides. Local seafood is fresh and delicious, which is why so many local chefs plan their menus around its bounty.

When fishermen and chefs work together as a community, not only do they benefit, but so do diners like you. “People seem very interested in how people make a living on the water,” says Nick Muto, chairman of the board of the Chatham-based Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. “It connects the dots for them. They see the boats in the harbor and when you mention the fisherman’s name or the fisherman’s boat, it helps people complete the circle of how their food gets from the ocean to the plate in front of them.”

The owner of a clambake company called Backside Bakes, Muto says his customers always enjoy hearing the story behind their dinner. He says they also relish the fact that, nine times out of ten, the lobsters he cooks for them were swimming in the ocean that very morning.

For executive chef James Hackney at the newly crowned 5-star Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Harwich, both farm-to-fork and sea-to-table entrees have always been a priority when planning menus. The Wequassett also offers guests unique opportunities for some true hands-on experiences with the local bounty. Head out on an excursion across Chatham’s Oyster Pond to see how oysters are harvested, then enjoy a fresh oyster tasting with champagne back at the resort. Or spend two hours on a Cottreau Novi Lobster Boat with the boat’s crew as they pull up lobster pots. Just hours later you can taste your fresh catch of the day along with wine pairings at the Wequassett’s exquisite Twenty-eight Atlantic restaurant

You can also catch your own dinner on one of the area’s many deep-sea fishing excursions, including Hy-Line Cruises Deep Sea Fishing in Hyannis and Yankee Deep Sea Fishing in Harwich Port. Experienced commercial captains are onboard to ensure both a great day of fishing and a memorable outing with friends or family.

For those who prefer dinner to be a little less interactive, the Cape has plenty of restaurants whose chefs specialize in creative dishes starring native seafood. Here are just a few of the many great options in your pursuit of the freshest seafood on Cape Cod.

The Brewster Fish House in Brewster began as a retail fish market and evolved into one of the most innovative seafood restaurants in the area. The lines out the door in the summer attest to Chef Jeremiah Reardon’s passion for bringing local, sustainable and creative entrees to his menu. Seafood is his specialty, and the menu changes with the catch of the season.

The Sacred Cod at the oceanfront Chatham Bars Inn features classic pub fare in a dining room with a vaulted ceiling and antique wood-paneled walls. Local oysters, mussels, scallops and a catch of the day are regular menu items, as well as a wonderful selection of vegetables grown and picked daily at their own farm in Brewster.

The seafood doesn’t get much fresher than what you can find at Mac’s Seafood in Wellfleet. In addition to four family-run seafood markets, the Hay brothers and company also operate Mac’s on the Pier, a clam shack plus so much more, and Mac’s Shack, a more upscale dining spot in Wellfleet. Their newest restaurant venture is the modern Mac’s Fish House in Provincetown. Sushi doesn’t get any fresher than this.

Ocean Terrace at Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster offers one of the best sunset dining views on the Cape. On balmy summer nights you can dine on their outdoor terrace overlooking the ocean. Ocean Terrace Indoors also offers two intimate dining rooms in the Mansion. Be sure to sample some oysters harvested fresh from their own Bay Pines Beach.

Blackfish in Truro is a rustic brick-walled eatery in a former blacksmith shop. Chef/owner Eric Jansen is fiercely passionate about locally sourced foods and his creativity with ingredients has earned him an equally passionate following, both at his restaurant and his farm-to-fork food truck, Crush Pad at the Truro Vineyards.

The Wicked Oyster in Wellfleet takes advantage of the town’s famed oysters with an appetizer served on the half shell and buttermilk-battered fried oysters on their dinner menu. They also serve lobster two ways, scallops and a fresh catch of the day, all in presentations that are as beautiful to behold as they are delicious to eat.

The modus operandi at The Canteen in Provincetown is locally sourced scratch cooking. Lobsters are hand-shucked every day and their raw bar features local shellfish, including Provincetown oysters. They also have a wonderful selection of locally brewed beers.

At the other end of the Cape, Quicks Hole Tavern in Woods Hole is committed to farm-to-table sourcing. This means that their menu changes seasonally, but the one thing you can be sure to always find is local seafood like Jonah crab cakes, steamed mussels and quahog chowder. Also be sure to try their famous pig candy appetizer, made with house-smoked pork. It’s not seafood, but it is irresistible.

For casual water-view dining, Spanky’s Clam Shack & Seaside Saloon in Hyannis serves fresh locally caught and harvested seafood like lobster, seasonal fish, clams, scallops, and steamers.

On Nantucket Island, Topper’s at The Wauwinet offers seasonally inspired cuisine with an emphasis on local seafood and produce. Their menu lists the sources for many of their items they serve. A sample includes Retsyo oysters harvested just 300 yards away, halibut caught in the Grand Banks, Block Island swordfish, locally caught littlenecks and smoked bluefish.

Over at the new Fishermen’s View overlooking the Cape Cod Canal in Sandwich, both fishermen and restaurateurs get equal billing. Brothers Denny and Bob Colbert are no strangers to the waters off Cape Cod, having worked as commercial fishermen for years. They took it one step further in August 2016, when they opened a restaurant and adjacent seafood market at the Sandwich Marina, where they unload their fresh catch of lobsters, Jonah crabs and scallops from their own three fishing vessels. They also work with other local fishermen to bring diners a true boat-to-table dining experience.