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    South Dartmouth or European village? It can be hard to tell when you’re in Padanaram

    The Westport River is an easy, beautiful bike ride away.
    Lauren Daley for The Boston Globe
    The Westport River is an easy, beautiful bike ride away.

    Padanaram can feel like another world entirely. Walking or cycling the quiet streets here on a fall day, you could almost swear you’re in a small European seaside village.

    If you’re looking for hustle and bustle, go anywhere else. With its old-country vibe, this harbor village — tucked in the town of South Dartmouth — is where you might bicycle from art gallery to high-end clothing shop, eat fresh pastries, turn lunch and a bottle of wine into a long, lazy afternoon.

    Fuel up

    Farm & Coast Market is a harborside gem. The relatively newly opened cafe/bakery/market boasts an old-world provision shop vibe. Here, you might disembark your boat to replenish your larder — a wheel of Gray Barn Eidolon cheese made on Martha’s Vineyard, perhaps; or a wedge of Spanish Idiazabal; local produce, house-made pickles, a bottle of wine, sticks of handmade salami; small-batch squares of dark chocolate. Under a hand-written sign over the butcher’s counter, a glass case displays fresh-from-the-farm lamb and pork chops, steaks, chorizo verde. The deli counter might offer sweet potato salad, Cipollini onions. The bakery counter displays torte, tiramisu, and thick fudge brownies.


    Adding to the old European feel, the market doubles as a cafe and small restaurant where the menu depends on what the farmers bring in, and breads, muffins, pies, and scones are made fresh each morning.

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    Try fried duck eggs, barnyard hash, buttermilk biscuits. Or linger over a long lunch of French onion soup with gruyere crostini, spinach salad with tea-cured salmon, angel hair pasta with cured pancetta, and a bottle of wine. 7 Bridge St., 774-992-7093,

    Just outside the village line, early-risers will find the aptly-named Sunrise Bakery & Coffee Shop, which opens at 4:30 a.m. Watch the sun rise with a fresh pumpkin doughnut, sweet bread, or Portuguese malasadas. 71 Dartmouth St., 508-984-7706,


    Village shopping is quaint and curated. Details and Design offers high-end women’s clothing, accessories and home wares — think cashmere lounge pants, Parajumper jackets, alpaca wool sweaters, Uashmama paper bag totes. Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 332 Elm St., 508-990-7337,

    Antiquers might treasure-hunt at Village Merchant (Closed Mondays. 354 Elm St., Padanaram. 508-496-9653) while 6½ Bridge Street Gallery looks lifted from a storybook, no bigger than a gardening shed, offering handblown glass, hand-made jewelry and the like. Thurs-Sat. 10 a.m-5 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m-4 p.m. 6½ Bridge St., 774-202-3301,


    Flora encompasses a trio of boutiques spread throughout the village — Flora-Style (368 Elm St.) for women’s clothing, Flora-Home (9 Bridge St.) and gift shop Flora-Etc. (324 Elm St.) Think Rifle Paper Co. cards, whimsically embroidered throw pillows, slides made in Portugal, silk shirts from Italy, or Micha Lampert winter hats. Tues-Sat., 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. 508-996-2332.


    Cyclists can pedal a gorgeous 10-miler to the head of the Westport River. There are a few ways to get there, but traveling via Russells Mills and Fisher roads will take you past woods, farms, and lichen-covered stone walls. Brake at the riverhead for some of the best doughnuts around at Head Town Landing Country Store. 488 Old County Road, Westport, 508-636-6191,

    If you drive — or just have lots of energy — you might rent a kayak or stand-up paddle at Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures and, for a few hours, see nothing but the river stretching in front of you, diving ospreys and grazing egrets. 489 Old County Road, Westport, 508-636-0300, ospreysea

    On your way back to the village proper, stop at Dartmouth Orchards to pick your own apples. 515 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth, 508-992-9337,

    Unwind with a yoga lesson at Divine Yoga & Padanaram Paddle Board Co. 10 Bridge St., 508-676-5511,



    Padanaram offers some solid farm-to-table options, where menus change depending on the harvest of the day. At Little Moss you might start with fresh oysters, marinated olives, cauliflower soup, eggplant agrodolce or gravlax with rye; then barbecue pork with grilled peaches, black bass with cherry tomatoes and yogurt or house-made pasta with butter and parmesan. For dessert: Roasted peach sorbet with cloumage ice cream, perhaps, or chocolate pots de creme with miso caramel. Wednesday through Sunday. 6 Bridge St., 508-994-1162,

    At Black Bass Grille you might try Portuguese little necks steamed with chourico, kale and lager or ahi tuna nachos with pickled slaw and tropical salsa; fish tacos with avocado, pesto shrimp pizza, or lobster mac and cheese. Closed Monday. 3 Water St., 508-999-6975,

    Creative fare at the Sail Loft may include steak and cheese eggrolls; cranberry & goat cheese salad with grilled salmon; Kamikaze burger topped with tempura fried pineapple, cheddar cheese and teriyaki glaze; Portuguese flatbread pizza with chorizo, caramelized onions and mozzarella; truffled short rib risotto, or veggie coconut curry over jasmine rice. 246 Elm St., 774-328-9871,

    Lauren Daley can be reached at