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Aug 31, 2008 03:45 PM

Ipswich Clambake

I've hit this place 4 times now. It's right down the road from the Clam Box. When I see the line at the Clam Box sometimes I just can't cope and have been using this as a backup.
Atmosphere: Order at a counter, grab your own soda. Also have a fish counter. In other words nothing fancy. Has limited outdoor seating with no view. Really reminds me of Yankee Lobster on the waterfront. Generally little to no wait, even for weekend lunch.
Food: First time I had the clam plate. Passable. Decent batter. Clams were small but that's not unusual. I love the Clam Box for the large bellies when available. Tartar sauce was just like JT Farnhams: pump your own, slightly sweet. Not my style. Around $19 with 2 sides. Rings OK. Fries actually really good, thick cut with skin on. They also have malt vinegar at every table.
Trip 2: The weekend special Maine Crab Roll. I used to love the old crab roll at Kelly's. This was even better (since Kelly's went to the horrible king crab roll with celery and chips as a side I've quit ordering it). Toasted bun piled high with tasty Maine crab. Mayo, nothing else. With fries $14.50.
Trip 3: Lobster roll and chowder. Very good lobster roll. Large chunks, small amount of mayo only. No lettuce, toasted bun. $15.50 with fries around $13 without. Chowder, similar to Kelly's. Not too thick. Lots of clams. I spy someone eating a 'naked' lobster roll with a side of drawn butter...trip 4. It was worth it.

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  1. Also of note - Ipswich Clambake is a great seafood store. I have been going to them for well over ten years (used to be on Route 1). They are my go-to for scallops, halibut, lobsters ... Their selection is usually small, but the quality is always great. They cook lobsters to order - call ahead and you can pick 'em right up.

    1. My company used them for the first time this year for our annual outing at Crane's Beach and everyone raved about the food. We've used Woodman's for the past few years and Ipswich's quality and variety was noticeably better and apparently cost less to boot.

      1. Another good option in Ipswich, albeit in a pub setting, is the Choate Bridge Restaurant. Surprisingly good fried clams & lobster rolls are to be had here.


        6 Replies
        1. re: Harp00n

          Okay, let's try "Link to a place" again!

          Choate Bridge Pub
          3 S Main St, Ipswich, MA

          1. re: Harp00n

            I second the Choate recommendation - great burgers too.

              1. re: Harp00n

                Love Choate Bridge. We have been going there. Can't take the lines at the Clambox. We have had the lobster rolls and husband had a fried plate and we enjoyed them both. We took a non-seafood person there and he loved their burger. We usually sit in the bar area at a booth.

                1. re: marilu

                  Oops. what have I done?
                  Shhhhsh............. :-0)


                  1. re: Harp00n

                    Let's keep Choate our little secret.