On the Island, dining out with a group – whether it’s a large family or a bunch of friends – can be daunting. And searching for a restaurant with the space, the food and the vibe amid the summer crush can make you just want to stay home. But luckily there is a solution: Nomans in Oak Bluffs, with a menu and atmosphere that will please everyone from toddlers to grandparents, vegans to meat-lovers.

Nomans opened in 2019, transforming the former Lola’s space at The Island Inn, a stone’s throw from Harthaven and Nantucket Sound, into a casual, fun indoor-outdoor experience. Modeled somewhat like a German beer garden (biergarten), where drinks are enjoyed amidst greenery, Nomans’ patio features several seating areas, outdoor games, and “rum huts,” you can reserve.

With no reservations or wait list, the idea is to grab a table, place your food order inside, and pick it up at the window. (All food comes in family-friendly recyclable containers.) Live music happens several nights a week (the Friday night dance parties with DJ Smooth B are legendary), and special events pop up through the season.

Nomans has its own house rum and delicious specialty cocktails in addition to beer and wine. The menu offers classic updates at affordable prices, and everything is made to order. All menu items are available to go as well.

Here are five of our favorites on the Nomans menu:

1) Nomans Queso & Chips ($12)

Put aside everything you think you know about melted cheese and order Nomans’ queso to start your meal. Topped with flecks of green onions, it has just the right creamy consistency and mild spice level that make it impossible not to double dip. We won’t tell if you simply call it dinner.

2) Pickle Brined Fried Chicken Sandwich ($15)

The fried chicken sandwich trend is still going strong, and this is one of the best on the Island. Crunchy, juicy chicken thighs are served with a tangy, spicy sauce and a freshly made slaw. Be sure to grab extra napkins for this one. Don’t forget a side of crispy fries ($8), served with not-too-spicy chipotle aioli.

3) Chicken Tacos ($15)

As a California native, I’m skeptical of most East Coast Mexican food. But Nomans’ chicken tacos deliver: served in corn tortillas, the flavorful pulled chicken is topped with slices of avocado and served with a side of delicious house-made salsa.

4) Elote Chopped Salad ($14)

This salad is bursting with color and flavor (think carrots, kale, fresh grilled corn and cabbage) and I could eat the lime-chili dressing with a spoon. Add a protein (chicken, codfish or lobster) to make it even more substantial.

5) Cupcakes and cookies (prices vary)

You can’t go wrong with your choice of sweets from the daily offerings of gorgeous cupcakes, cookies and bars. Nomans’ baker is filling the dessert case with tons of spectacular treats that are big enough to share. The rotating menu includes a double-chocolate cupcake with velvety frosting and a chewy chocolate chip cookie stuffed with chocolate chips. 



15 Island Inn Road, Oak Bluffs



Open 7 days; Sunday - Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., 
Friday - Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

No reservations accepted.

Online ordering available.

Live music and shuttle information 
available on website.




Laura Holmes Haddad is a former cookbook editor and a regular contributor to the Vine.


All photos by Ray Ewing.