As a lifelong New Englander, it doesn’t feel like summer to me until I’ve visited at least one clam shack. I grew up right on the water in Rhode Island, and eating at clam shacks was part of our way of life. Now that I’m a bit more landlocked, I usually have to wait for a visit home, a day trip, or a weekend away to eat some of my favorite food. Here are three of my favorite New England clam shacks.
Moby Dick’s in Wellfleet, MA, which I visited last weekend, isn’t the average clam shack. It offers indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a gift shop. Order at the counter, and your meal is brought to your table. Although I was in Wellfleet, home of the Wellfleet oyster, I chose a starter of littleneck clams – my favorites.
For my entree, I couldn’t pass up the clambake – a lobster served with 1 lb. of Monomoy steamers and corn on the cob. My kids, who are a little less adventurous, chose chicken tenders and mac and cheese, while my husband had a lobster roll, which he enjoyed. Moby Dick’s also has great desserts, but we were completely stuffed!
In Maine, my favorite is Bob’s Clam Hut, located right on Route 1 in Kittery. It’s an easy drive for Boston, and they have lots of indoor seating. While there are lots of options on the menu, I recommend coming here for the fried clams. Whole fried clams are available in both the traditional style and the Lillian style (with a thicker, softer breading) – both are delicious.
I have a special place in my heart for the original Flo’s Clam Shack, in Portsmouth, RI. It’s the clam shack I used to frequent the most as a child, and I still love going back there. They’ve also expanded with a newer location in Middletown, RI , but the original in Portsmouth is still my favorite. The chowder, stuffed quahogs, fried clams, and clam cakes are my favorite – we used to order everything and share!
What’s your favorite New England clam shack?
See more places to go in New England with kids here.