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Sep 8, 2008 01:05 PM

Seafood recommendations around Gloucester / Cape Ann

We will be heading to Gloucester, MA for a wedding in two weeks. Below is a list of seafood places recommended to me so far. As they all sound good, not sure which place to go for. As we are only there for 1.5 days, appreciate if anyone can recommend one place over the others or any other place that is not on the list. Doesn't have been any place fancy just as long the food is good. Primarily looking for places that have yummy lobster roll, clam chowder, seafood stew. Wouldn't mind if you have any Portugese restaurants to recommend as well. The wedding is on a Sunday afternoon so looking for a place that will be opened on Sunday or Monday. Thanks.

-Lobsta Land
-Lobster Pool
-Essex Seafood
-Woodman's of Essex
-Charlie's Place
-Village Restaurant in Essex

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  1. Lobster Pool has a super view and the chow is very good. For a good chowder, The Causeway is a winner. Stay away from Essex Seafood, it's horrible, Village is good but a bit on the blue hair side.

    1. I think Woodman's is terrific for fried clams, which are, in my opinion, the Best Food on Earth. Essex Seafood is also very good, contrary to what Treb responded.
      Farnham's, in Essex also, is also very nice.
      Lobster is a fine food, but in Cape Ann, what you should be eating is fried clams - with the bellies.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Hugh DeMann

        All good, I've been to all of your choices except Charlies.
        Clamshacks: Essex Seafood, Woodman's, Farnham's, the Lobster Pool, and the Clam Box in Essex are all good to great depending on when you hit them, how crowded, and how fresh the oil/lard they're cooking in. The Clam Box gets highest marks for consistancy, Lobster Pool has the best view, Woodman's handles crowds the best. I agree with Hugh that Essex Seafood can be very good, and less crowded than the others.
        Lobsta Land and The Village are more restaurantish, and have some other choices, the Village does fried clams and fish really well, Lobsta Land's better for variety.
        There's a new restaurant in Gloucester where McTeaghe's used to be, I think it's called Lat 43. Like the old restaurant, it has a large and varied menu. And a sushi pit in the middle, I've been once, and the sushi was reasonably good, not extraordinary, but good. I've read elsewhere that there's been turnover of the sushi chefs, with resulting varying opinions on quality..
        Anyways, another option for seafood, right on the water with dockside tables.

        1. re: Hugh DeMann

          Hate to be the bearer of bad news but, when a bunch of us hounds did a crawl in the last Friday of July, Essex Seafood had the worst clams of the 5 places we ate at. Woodman's came in 2nd, very respectable.

          1. re: Hugh DeMann

            in the 6-7 times i've been to Essex Seafood i've never been impressed. it just seems so mediocre, but that could be because of it's close proximity to Greatness.

          2. Gloucester isn't necessarily the place for variety or deals in Portuguese cuisine these days. (Lowell, Peabody and other inland locations or RI/CT offer more options.) I have heard good things about the Azorean and despite trying to satisfy a lot of tastes with non portuguese dishes including some weird things (azorean nachos), they have plenty of traditional Portuguese offerings. Prices are a bit more than traditional Portuguese restaurants, but pretty reasonable and they offer some nice twists (grilled sardines, desserts with pineapple and a delicacy in the azores where they grow a special type of pineapple...this is probably the normal and possibly even canned variety, though. we get nice sardines from portugual, but you could check that its not the frozen goncalves prepackaged type). Not certain what's happened to the Boulevard Ocean, but its not Portuguese anymore. I have never found a Portuguese bakery in Gloucester (there is one in Peabody). In any case the Azorean is open Sun and Mon, so might just work for you.

            1. The Choate Bridge restaurant in Ipswich center has delicious fried clams and my favorite lobster roll - my biggest problem when I go there is deciding - so usually I get both! Add some nice cold beer, and you are in heaven!