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New Old Topic--Best Whole Belly Clams in NY area?

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Well, as my screen name implies, this is an ongoing quest. We volleyed this topic back and forth to the point of exhaustion some time ago, but some rules were being broken and it made for difficult reading. Lots of replies were for the best Ipswich clams around, and, predictably, the names of establishments throughout New England were liberally tossed about. Well, let's try this the original way, okay, gang? I want to know ONLY the best places to get this wonderful morsel IN NEW YORK. In fact, I'd prefer that we keep it to Metropolitan New York (Long Island, all 5 boroughs of NYC, Southern Westchester, Southwestern Connecticut and eastern New Jersey). This way, the clams you all cite will actually be obtainable. I think we all are aware that the good ones are simply going to be closest to the Cape and the north end of Boston. But, failing that desire to drive a zillion miles, what is good 'round these here parts?

I've tried Bigelow's on Long Island (no good, very expensive). Tried a place in Glen Head on Long Island called Crabby Dan's. Not only are the clams crappy, the entire menu is crappy, but they're friendly folk (so?). Haven't tried the places on eastern Long Island that have been mentioned here before (but I promise I will), and I'm willing to go as far as Westport, CT for a decent fried whole belly. I know about Mary's Fishcamp in Manhattan, but haven't been there either. Any NEW suggestions, group?

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  1. If you are willing to go to Westport, try Westfair Fish on the Post Road. I have only eaten there once, and they were good. Nothing fancy, a few tables inside as well as in the parking lot. About 20 miles further up Captain's Galley in West Haven is very good, but last time I was there (about a month ago) They were $25.00 at lunch. New Haven has a few places as well but I suspect that is too far.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mmalmad

      Yeah, I used to live in Danbury, then in Westport and I routinely went to places out in Orange and West Haven. You're right, they're good, although this was a long time ago for me. I do know about Westfair, though haven't been (goin' soon though). There used to be a place on the Post Rd. in Westport called the Clam Box (I'm guessing an offshoot of the original Massachusetts one). I'm guessing they're no longer there, huh?

      1. re: RickTheClamBellyFan

        Clam Box, That was a long time ago....Mansion Clam is still in Westport, but I hear that under new ownership it has gone downhill. Luckily for me, a few places have opened here in New Haven (one about 1/2 mile from me) that are pretty good

        1. re: mmalmad

          I was in NYC yesterday, and while waiting for the train, had the Ipswich Clam roll at The Oyster Bar. Though slightly chewy they were sweet and tasty. May save you the trip to CT

    2. brooklyn fish camp (5th ave, park slope) has a fried oyster & whole belly calm appetizer. If you ask they can sub oysters for all clams. The clams we very fresh, batter was a little too crunchy though. Tarter sauce was ammmazing. Outside of the city and LI, my fav clam shack is Sea Swirl in Mystic, CT. they actually cut off the chewey part so it's all tender clam goodness. You even get your choice of big bellies or little bellies!