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The 9 Best Clam Chowder Spots in New England

New England is known for its rich history, stunning coastal landscapes, and, of course, its legendary clam chowder. This creamy, hearty soup is a staple of New England cuisine, and finding the best bowl of clam chowder can be a delightful adventure. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, here are the nine best spots to savor clam chowder in New England.

1. Union Oyster House – Boston, Massachusetts

A Historic Delight

As the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the United States, Union Oyster House in Boston is not only a historic landmark but also a haven for clam chowder enthusiasts. The rich, creamy chowder here is made with fresh clams, potatoes, and a perfect blend of spices that have been refined over centuries. Served with a side of history, dining at Union Oyster House offers a taste of the past in every spoonful.

What to Expect:

  • A traditional, creamy New England clam chowder
  • Fresh, locally sourced clams
  • A cozy, historic atmosphere

2. The Black Pearl – Newport, Rhode Island

Newport’s Nautical Gem

Located on Bannister’s Wharf in Newport, The Black Pearl is renowned for its “chowda.” This legendary spot serves a clam chowder that is both thick and creamy, bursting with flavor and loaded with tender clams. The Black Pearl offers both indoor and outdoor seating, providing picturesque views of Newport Harbor as you enjoy your meal.

What to Expect:

  • Thick, creamy clam chowder
  • Fresh ingredients with robust flavor
  • Scenic waterfront dining

3. Legal Sea Foods – Various Locations

A Trusted Name in Seafood

With locations throughout New England, Legal Sea Foods is a household name known for its consistently excellent seafood. Their clam chowder is no exception, often lauded as one of the best in the region. The recipe features a creamy broth, tender clams, and just the right amount of seasoning, making it a must-try for any chowder lover.

What to Expect:

  • Creamy, flavorful clam chowder
  • High-quality, fresh ingredients
  • Multiple convenient locations

4. The Clam Shack – Kennebunkport, Maine

Coastal Charm and Comfort

The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport offers a more casual, yet equally delicious, clam chowder experience. Known for its seafood, this charming shack serves a chowder that’s rich and creamy with a slightly buttery finish. Pair it with one of their famous lobster rolls for the ultimate New England seafood meal.

What to Expect:

  • Rich, creamy clam chowder
  • Fresh, locally sourced seafood
  • Casual, coastal atmosphere

5. Woodman’s of Essex – Essex, Massachusetts

The Birthplace of the Fried Clam

While Woodman’s of Essex is famous for inventing the fried clam, their clam chowder is also a standout. This family-owned establishment has been serving up delicious seafood since 1914, and their chowder is made with fresh clams, creamy broth, and a touch of tradition. It’s a hearty, flavorful dish that perfectly complements their renowned fried clams.

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What to Expect:

  • Traditional, creamy clam chowder
  • Fresh, local ingredients
  • A historic, family-friendly setting

6. The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar – Newport, Rhode Island

Elegant Coastal Dining

For a more upscale chowder experience, The Mooring in Newport offers a sophisticated take on this classic dish. Their clam chowder is luxurious and rich, featuring a smooth, velvety broth filled with tender clams and a hint of smokiness. The elegant waterfront setting adds to the overall dining experience, making it a memorable spot for chowder lovers.

What to Expect:

  • Luxurious, velvety clam chowder
  • High-quality, fresh seafood
  • Elegant waterfront dining

7. Chowder Pot IV – Hartford, Connecticut

A Hidden Gem in Hartford

Chowder Pot IV might not be as well-known as some of the other spots on this list, but it certainly holds its own when it comes to clam chowder. This local favorite serves a hearty, creamy chowder packed with clams and perfectly seasoned. The cozy, welcoming atmosphere makes it a great spot to enjoy a bowl of chowder with family and friends.

What to Expect:

  • Hearty, creamy clam chowder
  • Generous portions of fresh clams
  • A cozy, welcoming atmosphere

8. Atlantic Fish Company – Boston, Massachusetts

A Boston Favorite

Located in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay, Atlantic Fish Company is a go-to spot for seafood lovers. Their clam chowder is rich and creamy, made with fresh, locally sourced clams and a perfectly balanced broth. The restaurant’s dedication to quality and freshness is evident in every bite, making it a top choice for clam chowder in Boston.

What to Expect:

  • Rich, creamy clam chowder
  • Fresh, locally sourced ingredients
  • A refined, yet relaxed dining atmosphere

9. Captain Parker’s Pub – West Yarmouth, Massachusetts

Award-Winning Chowder

Captain Parker’s Pub on Cape Cod has won numerous awards for its clam chowder, and for good reason. The chowder here is thick, creamy, and packed with flavor, featuring an abundance of clams and a perfectly seasoned broth. It’s a beloved local favorite that attracts visitors from all over who come to taste this award-winning dish.

What to Expect:

  • Thick, creamy, award-winning clam chowder
  • Generous portions of fresh clams
  • A lively, welcoming pub atmosphere


New England’s clam chowder scene is as rich and varied as the region itself. From historic landmarks to hidden gems, these nine spots offer some of the best clam chowder you’ll ever taste. Whether you prefer a thick, creamy chowder or a more refined, velvety version, there’s a spot on this list that’s sure to satisfy your cravings. So grab a spoon and get ready to explore the delicious world of New England clam chowder!

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