Massachusetts has always been known for its delicious seafood. Whether you are visiting Massachusetts, or live here, you may find yourself wanting to visit one of the popular clam shacks in Massachusetts. Lobster rolls and fried clams are some of our most famous dishes – if you’d like to try one, consider checking out these lobster rolls and clam shacks in Massachusetts.
Best Lobster Rolls and Clam Shacks in Massachusetts
J.T. Farnhams in Essex
The North Shore of Massachusetts offers a number of fantastic clam shacks. J.T. Farnhams in Essex is a seasonal restaurant located right on the Essex River.
Menu options include several different chowders (including their famous seafood chowder), sandwiches, fried seafood, and lobster rolls. It’s generally open from March to December each year, but check their website for specific dates.
Woodman’s of Essex
One of the most famous seafood spots on the North Shore is the popular Woodman’s of Essex. Visit early, as the lines get long during the busy season.
This restaurant offers indoor and outdoor (including upstairs patio) seating, and also has a separate building for ice cream.
The most popular dishes here are fried clams, lobsters, lobster rolls, and steamed clams. Beer and wine are offered. Place your order at the counter, and then you’ll be called when your food is ready.
If you are visiting with picky kids, you’ll find a kid’s menu that also includes hot dogs, grilled cheese, and chicken tenders.
The Clam Box of Ipswich
One of the most famous clam shack buildings is the Clam Box, located in Ipswich. This iconic building, shaped like an actual clam box, is extremely popular in the summer.
The Clam Box offers plates of food (including fried clams) mini-meals (with one side), and sandwiches (including lobster rolls). Kids can enjoy burgers, chicken fingers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and chicken salad sandwiches.
Blue Collar Lobster Gloucester
Located right on the waterfront in Gloucester is Blue Collar Lobster. This restaurant offers counter service and a number of tables and seats right on the water. It’s a beautiful place to sit and eat.
A full bar complements a menu that includes blackened haddock tacos, calamari, fried clams, lobster, lobster rolls, and scallops. Don’t miss their homemade cornbread.
Roy Moore’s in Rockport
Although it’s not a clam shack, Roy Moore’s in Rockport is definitely a must-visit for any seafood lover visiting Rockport. This small building, nestled in the heart of Bearskin Neck offers boiled lobsters, New England clam chowder, stuffed clams, lobster rolls, and more.
Food can be taken for carry-out, or there are some outdoor tables in the back of the building. These can be hard to get, however, especially when it’s busy.
I have found Roy Moore’s to be some of the most affordable lobster rolls, and they are really delicious. This restaurant closes early, usually around 6 pm, so it’s more of a lunch or early dinner spot.
For more seating and menu options, they have a sister restaurant down the street called Roy Moore’s Fish Shack Restaurant. This restaurant has a much larger menu, as well as indoor seating, but it lacks the charm and uniqueness of the original restaurant.
When you are visiting Cape Cod, there are so many seafood restaurants and clam shacks located up and down the Cape. Here are some of our favorites.
Moby Dicks in Wellfleet
Moby Dicks in Wellfleet is a casual seafood BYOB restaurant located near Provincetown. The menu includes oysters, lobster rolls, burgers, salads, lobsters, clam bakes, and broiled/baked/fried seafood.
The restaurant offers a lunch menu if you plan to visit during the day. Online orders are taken if you’d like to save some time with your takeout order.
The Popponesset Raw Bar in Mashpee
My favorite lobster roll ever is offered at the Popponesset Raw Bar in Mashpee. This small restaurant, located in the Popponesset Marketplace, has a full bar and delicious food.
The highlight of the menu here is the colossal lobster roll. It’s a gigantic lobster roll stuffed with lobster meat and no filler. If you love lobster, you absolutely have to try it.
The Raw Bar doesn’t have fried clams, but they do offer oysters, littlenecks, crab cakes, shrimp, stuffed quahogs, steamed clams, hot dogs, kielbasa, and more. Their rum punch is absolutely delicious too.
Seating is outdoors in the back of the restaurant and table service is offered. You can also get take out from the side window.
Cobies Restaurant in Brewster
When we stayed at Ocean Edge in Brewster (on Cape Cod), we loved eating at Cobies Restaurant. It’s a quintessential clam shack offering sandwiches, fried clams, burgers, salads, lobster rolls (served hot or cold), ice cream, and more. Located near Nickerson State Park and the Cape Cod Rail Trail, it’s in a great location for many Cape Cod vacationers.
We visited twice during our July trip to Ocean Edge and loved the food each time. I was most impressed with the excellent fried clams, which were the perfect golden brown. Order at the window, and then you can sit at one of the many picnic tables located around the restaurant.
Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis
Recently rated the Best Seafood Restaurant on Cape Cod by the Best of Boston 2020, the Sesuit Harbor Cafe is a gem tucked into a harbor in Dennis. This BYOB restaurant has separate ordering areas for its main menu and for the raw bar. It offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as outdoor picnic bench seating with a gorgeous water view.
The menu includes boiled lobster, fried clams, stuffed lobster, and seared tuna. I especially loved the inventive raw bar menu, including the tuna sashimi and the sushi oysters. There’s also a children’s menu.
This restaurant gets extremely busy and the lines for food can get long. Arrive early, especially on the weekend, so that you can get parking and have a shorter wait to order.
Captain Marden’s Wellesley
Tucked among the mini-malls of Wellesley is Captain Marden’s Seafood, a fish market and restaurant serving fantastic seafood. It doesn’t have the typical clam hut feel but the food is great. During the day, there’s also the Cod Squad food truck parked in the front.
My favorite of their dishes is the fried whole belly clams, although the lobster roll is also delicious. The atmosphere here isn’t as good as the other clam shacks in Massachusetts, but if you are in the area it’s worth stopping by.
Clam Shacks Outside of Massachusetts
Bob’s Clam Hut
Located in Kittery Maine, Bob’s Clam Hut offers fried clams, lobster rolls, salads, sandwiches, and other seafood specialties. Unlike other local clam shacks, Bob’s has two different types of fried clams – Bob’s style and Lillian’s style (which is egg and milk washed).
Flo’s Clam Shack
Growing up in Rhode Island, I have fond memories of visiting Flo’s Drive-In in Portsmouth, RI. This quintessential clam shack along the Sakonnet River is a must-visit if you are on the East Bay of RI. For visitors to Newport, Rhode Island, there’s also a location in nearby Middletown.