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Fried Clams?

I've been reading that "Ipswich" fried clams are the way to go...any suggestions in Boston for these? I won't have a car, but will have day trips to Kennebunkport & Salem & Hyannisport...I've looked at "ClamShack" in Kennebunkport, but also want to try their lobster roll & crab roll, so it might be too much!

Would like to know where you hounds think I should go for the best fried clams in Boston? We're staying at Boston Park Plaza, if that helps, the first week of July. Thanks!

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  1. Just wanted to say, we're coming from Vancouver, B.C. on the West Coast, and I've never tried any other clams but little necks in pasta "vongole" here. Would also love any other NE advice you can pass along! Thanks!

    1. Neptune Oyster in the North End of Boston has very flavorful smaller fried clams, and Grumpy White's in Quincy serves the larger ones, but I would call ahead. Hook Lobster on Atlantic Street in Boston has lobster rolls at a fair price,

      4 Replies
      1. re: chowfamily

        Thanks chowfamily, I do have Neptune Oyster on my list...we only have 5 days, and 3 day trips out, but our evenings are all free. I'm also thinking of Bartley's Burgers, Figs, Franklin Cafe, Oleana & Eastern Standard Kitchen for Brunch on the day we leave...& Great Bay for their $1 happy hour in the Island Lounge...

        1. re: ck1234

          I'm not sure if you HAVE to go on these road trips, I'd axe one of them since it's a lot of riding around and very little time actually in Boston. Maybe you've been here a bunch of times and don't need to explore the city itself. Kennebunkport is cute but it has a Rockport feel which is a lot easier to get to with no car. Whatever, your Boston choices are all pretty good and you get around to different areas of town, so it's an interesting sampling.

          1. re: Joanie

            Joanie's right, don't waste time going to Kennebunkport, buy a postcard of Walker's Point in Boston. See more easier, eat better and cheaper in Portsmouth.

          2. re: ck1234

            I would skip Figs. I've never walked out of a Todd English restaurant satisfied yet.

            I was extremely surprised at the Oyster Roll at the No Name Restaurant between Downtown and South Boston.

            -----
            No Name Restaurant
            151-2 Fish Pier, Boston, MA 02210

        2. My favorite place for fried clams is the Clam Box in Ipswich, Woodmans and Farnhams are also big there and more picturesque. You could stop on your trips to Kennebunkport or Salem if you'll have a car for those day trips (I'm not clear about if you will). In Boston Neptune does have great friend clams, and other seafood, would be my first choice. I also often go to Legal Seafood for clams and shellfish.

          1. Chow Boston conventional wisdom: Neptune Oyster is perfect, Summer Shack a tourist trap with bad food.

            My contrarian but sincerely held opinion: Neptune Oyster overpriced, pretentious, and self-conscious. Summer Shack quite good especially for New England seafood basics like fried clams. While there sample Jasper White's pan roasted lobster, one of the best dishes anywhere at any price.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Carty

              I too like the fried clams at Summer Shack. Also in Boston try Morse's Fish Market on Washington St. I haven't been but many others like it.

              1. re: chuck s

                I would skip Morse's: too much sugar in their batter, they use steamers for their fried clams, and they never remove the hinges from their scallops..

                1. re: keisaiguy

                  You're supposed to use steamers for fried clams. That is how they are made.

              2. re: Carty

                If the Summer Shack didn't regularly serve me small portions of clams, if the oysters weren't dried out, if the server didn't disappear (permanently) and have me walking about trying to get a beer, if there were even a few pieces of clam in their chowder, if the atmosphere wasn't as empty and cold as a garage in both locations, I might consider suggesting the Summer Shack for the OP.

                By contrast I've always been happy at Neptune (I don't feel self-conscious or pretentious there, but it is expensive), at Legal's I have had complaints but nothing like my experiences at the Summer Shack (I'd keep giving the Shack a try but the Back Bay location doesn't do lunch anymore...).

                1. re: steinpilz

                  Will second steinpilz on a ringing "no" for Summer Shack. Poor and overpriced food and stun-level noise do not a good dining experience make for me. Neptune Oyster isn't especially cheap, but you at least get what you pay for there in my experience.

                2. re: Carty

                  A hearty second on Jasper's pan-roasted lobster, which is worth the money and the years all that buttery sauce subtracts from your life expectancy! You can't eat ambience, so we forgave the high-school cafeteria decor. The sides can be a wonderful surprise - we had pureed parsnips that were addictive.

                3. In Salem head for Dube's Seafood on Jefferson Street for fried clams.