Topic: Massachusetts

16. Fried Clams

3.00 avg. rating (61% score) - 9 votes
fried clams

All photos/art by Rayne Beaudoin

J.T. Farnham’s
88 Eastern Ave. (Rte. 133)
Essex, MA

The “clam highway” on Boston’s North Shore and Cape Ann boasts at least five fabulous shacks, including Woodman’s, said to be the inventor of fried clams. Our preference is Farnham’s: light, not greasy, no rubbery clam strips, just sweet-and-tender bellies and necks.

  • the “Causeway” in Gloucester is the BEST seafood restaurant I’ve Ever eaten at! Especially if you like Mussels; a huge bowl of Mussels for Only $10 bucks!!!

  • Lenny’s in the Indian Neck area of Branford has amazing seafood. Great fried whole belly clams. To die for onion rings. Outstanding coleslaw. Super sweet scallops. Delicious lobster salad.

  • Gene’s Clam Shop in Fairhaven, Ma. is very good too, also there clam cakes.

  • timothy

    Hi, Jimmies of Savin Rock in West Haven was good when I was younger. But in CT now I would have to say it’s a toss up between Lenny’s in Westbrook or U.S.S. Chowder Pot in Branford.

  • Ted’s Fried Clams in Shapleigh, Maine has the crispiest batter and the most tender bellies.

  • Flo’s in Portsmouth, RI or Evelyn’s in Tiverton, RI are the places I go when I get back to RI.
    Great clams!

  • Suzanne

    Yes the Clambox is the best but then I haven’t been to the Causeway in Gloucester—I also like Farnhams- Woodman’s is too greasy!

  • “Jimmies of Savin Rock” in West Haven, CT has great fried clams.

  • I may be taken to task but for real fried clam enthusiasts and not just wanna-bes or tourists, the two best places are: The Clam Box in Ipswich and The Causeway (the ultimate fried clam place) in Gloucester. Yes, Farnhams is good too, but these two are heads and shoulders above the rest. If you do visit the Cuaseway, bring an appetite. A regular plate of anything either takes one heck of an appetite to finish or is a meal for two for the normal appetite. But, trust me, it is well worth a visit.

  • Thomas

    As a New England expatriate, I long for “whole clams” which seem to be a rarity outside of New England, and particularly Essex. However, there is a beacon of hope out here on the West Coast in San Diego, CA, where you can get “real” clams and Maine Lobster. If you are ever out this way, stop by the Studio Diner (www.studiodiner.com), where they fly the little critters in twice a week. Reputedly over $1,000,000 a year. Just to satisfy the cravings of us misplaced souls. Plus, they are open 24/7.


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