The Best Seasonal and Year-Round Fried Clams Destinations in the
Box, Ipswich, Mass.
Article and photos (unless otherwise noted) by Eric Hurwitz. Updated 12/19/16.
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The magic begins when soft shell whole-bellied clams prepared
with evaporated milk and flour are dipped in batter and then fried.
It could also be said that the fried clam is one of the downfalls of
optimal health, but an occasional indulgence into this delicious form
of shellfish sure feels right as a New England native. Adding some
well-formed fries or onion rings with some tartar sauce on the side
sends this local dish into hall of fame culinary status.
Here are some of our favorite fried clam restaurant destinations in the
1. Woodman's, Essex
the birthplace of the fried clam, circa 1916, Woodman's is a household
name in this area, and with good reason: the fried clams here are truly
delicious and served in ample portions. Consider Woodman's the standard
of which many other fried clam places look up to, and a go-to
destination for locals craving fried clams. 12 Main St. Tel. (978)
768-6057. Open year-round.
Fried clams from Woodman's in Essex. Photo credit: Massachusetts
Department of Travel and Tourism.
2. The Clam Box, Ipswich Not
too far from Woodman's, this classic North Shore clam shack shaped like
a clam box is every bit as good as Woodman's. Some say it is better,
but I think it's a definite tie. 246 High St. Tel. (978) 356-9707.
3. Harry's Restaurant & Dairy
Bar, Westboro This Metrowest roadside restaurant that
dates back to 1946 is known for its mounds of mouthwatering fried clams
of the lowest prices you'll find for a plate. Harry's looks like a
diner, but the long-time staff won't have any part of that -- they feel
it's more like a restaurant. Whatever the case, go with the fried clams
here. 149 Turnpike Rd (Route 9). Tel. (508) 366-8302. Open year-round.
4. Kelly's Roast Beef, Revere Beach
This well-known, north-of-Boston beachside take-out place might have
roast beef in its name, but fried clams are the preferred dish by many.
Order at the window and enjoy the plate at the beach -- great during
the summer and with a surprising number of people braving the cold in
the winter. The latter is enough proof about the lenghts people will go
to get a taste of these fried clams! 410 Revere Beach Blvd. Tel.
(781) 284-9129. Open year-round.
5. Red Wing Diner, Walpole
Another old-time restaurant going back more than 50 years, the Red Wing
Diner, according to many, have fried clams every bit as good as
Woodman's. There's not much of a drop-off, that's for sure. While the
rather ugly southwest of Boston Route 1 area doesn't have as much as a
geographical appetizer presence as the scenic, coastal North Shore, the
Red Wing is all about the food and the fried clams serve as its main
attraction. 2235 Providence Highway, Route 1. Tel. (508) 668-0453. Open
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