While seafood clearly tops the wish list of many Nantucket  visitors, the island has also developed a healthy stable of other cuisines as well, from Italian and New American to Japanese and fusion fare. Of course, wherever seafood plays a major role in those cuisines here, it’s bound to be excellent.
Global-meets-coastal cuisine can be found at The Pearl (12 Federal St., 508/228-9701, www.boardinghouse-pearl.com , 5 p.m.–11 p.m. Tues.–Sat., closed Sun. May–Oct.; 5 p.m.–9 p.m. Tues.–Sat., closed Sun. Nov.–April, $35–44), a blue-cast room as luminous as its name. Dress your snazziest and come to dig into grilled whitefish tacos with spicy mayo, salt-and-pepper wok-fried lobster, and sea scallops with buckwheat risotto.
True food lovers—that is to say, those who relish eating the dishes rather than being seen in the right place eating them—make a beeline for Black Eyed Susan’s (10 India St., 508/325-0308, www.black-eyedsusans.com , 5:30 p.m.–10 p.m. Tues.–Fri.; 10 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5 a.m.–9 p.m. Sat.–Sun.; call for off-season hours; $18–29). From the counter (the chandelier-topped eatery’s set in a former dining car) flames jump and skillets sizzle as chefs expertly whip up sophisticated, simply scrumptious dishes like chile-revved tuna tartare and, at brunch, sourdough French toast with orange Jack Daniels butter. No reservations are taken, but you can arrive early and put your name on a list to come back later in the evening.
If Something Natural (50 Cliff Rd., 508/228-0504, www.somethingnatural.com , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily April–Oct.; closed Nov.–May, $4–7) were based in a city business district, it would have made a mint and spawned thirteen offspring by now. But as it is, the country-style bakery/store serves locals and biking visitors quietly on the outskirts of town. The draw? Homemade sandwiches like chicken salad with extraordinary chutney on thick-sliced still-warm oatmeal bread.