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Fried Seafood

Where can I find the best FRIED SEAFOOD. Looking to get out and drive around this weekend. From Brookline so looking to drive up North. We know where we like but hoping to hear of some places we dont know of.

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  1. depending how far north you intended, there's Farnham's in Essex. Great clams, good calamari.

    1. I always say it, and no one seems to second it, but the Choate Bridge in Ipswich has the most delicious clams ever, and their fish and chips are addictive. Add malt vinegar, and YUM! Cute gimmick in the popcorn maker - gives you something to nosh on while waiting. ALSO - I know you are looking for fried, but their lobster roll is my very favorite!!!!!!!!! Choate Bridge is very affordable. And, with the full bar, you can have a beer as well. I love the joint.

      Take a ride to Great Neck and enjoy the beautiful views!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Small Plates

        I've seconded the Choate Bridge lobster roll rec in the past- their chowder is great as well. Haven't had the fried clams there.

      2. Don't forget the red tide alert at the moment. Stick to scallops.

        Actually, does anyone know if they are using back-stock (ie frozen local) clams? These places can't be closed for the holiday weekend.

        1 Reply
        1. re: yumyum

          James Hook is selling steamer clams from Maine right now...open every day for the long weekend..check for hours.

          I'd imagine that the NS clam shacks are getting them from up there too.

        2. Woodman's in Essex has excellent fried clams - in fact, they invented them supposedly. I'm not a big clam fan, but these were excellent. Good luck!

          1. Normally I'd recommend Farnham's but with Red Tide, no native clams. On rte 133 in Gloucester across from the harbor and next to the cinamas is The Causeway always fresh fish, great selection and tasty. Oh, it's also BYOB. Avoid Woodman's all all costs, way way overrated.

            1. Just hit Lobstaland on Sunday (128 inbound just over the Cape Anne bridge) had superb fried clams and fried haddock, and Lobstaland has a full bar ;-).

              I like the clam shack vibe, particularly at Essex Seafood, but Lobstaland has been VERY reliable for me over the years.

              Also, on the red tide note, they said there is just a warning in effect right now, not a full ban.

              6 Replies
              1. re: StriperGuy

                And you've gotta love the name.

                What does a red tide "warning" mean ... eat at your own risk, keep away from kids and oldsters? Any ideas?

                1. re: yumyum

                  i don't know what a warning is either. the shellfish beds are either Open or Closed.

                  and for the latest on that, go to the source:

                  1. re: ScubaSteve

                    Anyone know how long it takes for red tide to dissipate? Or are there too many variables? Is it anyone's guess?

                    1. re: ScubaSteve

                      We were on Plum Island on Sunday and the clam beds were CLOSED

                    2. re: yumyum

                      Sounded weird to me to. I bet they just got the clams from Maine...

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        or the Cape.
                        but i know some places are using Canadian.

                  2. we made the short trip to woodman's in essex after hearing of how fabulous the fried clams were for years. all four of us agreed - BIG DISAPPOINTMENT! we've had better clams at a small place in peabody called Land 'n Sea on Lynnfield St. this place has been consistent for 20 yrs. for us. however, it certainly lacks the ambiance of seaside towns like essex and gloucester. sorry, can't recommend another spot on the sea.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bella7

                      I tried to warn you about Woodman's. Most all clams are coming from our Canadian neighbors, AYE!

                      1. re: bella7

                        I've never heard a positive recommendation for Woodmans from anyone living near the area. I am always directed to Farnham's or that other place further down the road whose name escapes me. It's generally regarded as a tourist trap with a superior location.

                      2. No need to hit the North Shore for fried seafood. The jalea at Rincon Limeno in Eastie is lovely, though clams aren't in the dish: it's usually grouper, calamari, and shrimp. Wonderful fry job, short money, nice people.

                        I also think Morse Fish in the South End does fine fried fish and shellfish for cheap. Wish the fries were better, though.

                        For that roast beef sandwich and fried seafood thing, I prefer Royal in Eastie to the more famous places.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          I would also throw out Moulton's as a good spot for reasonably priced and tasty fried seafood.

                        2. Neptune Oyster used to have exceptional fried seafood, but I'm not sure if this is still true (I guess I'll have to investigate).

                          1. In the newburyport area, I have always liked Bob Lobster on the causeway to Plum Island. Eat in, stick to fried. Michaels, in Newburyport proper, fries up some nice seafood in a slightly nicer atmosphere with views of the river. Fried scallops, IM(humble)O are fabulous at any time of year, and are especially attractive when the local clams are forbidden.