Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Jun 25, 2010 07:59 AM

Driving from New York to Salem (and back)

I'm driving from NYC to Salem, MA and then back home. Are there any good seafood restaurants to stop along the way as I'm driving? I'm willing to make slight (but probably not significant) detours along the way.

I really appreciate the help making my roadtrip delicious.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Try posting on the Southern New England Board for places on the road. Also, what route are you taking? I95? I84?

    1 Reply
    1. re: BBHound

      Thanks for the suggestion. I was planning on taking I84 there and 95 back.

    2. She is almost certainly taking I-84 to I-90. Not seafood, but Rein's Deli at exit 65 off I-84 in CT is a fantastic deli and open until midnight every night. You can get to Salem by taking I-95/ Route 128 around in land, or drive into Boston and then follow the coast. Distance wise they routes are very similar, but Boston traffic can add a little while at the wrong time. However, driving through Boston gives you access to lots of seafood restaurants in and around Boston (i.e. B&G Oysters, East Coast Grill, etc.), and driving up the coast to Salem puts you near places along the shore. Try searching the Boston board for seafood for more ideas. Just don't go to the Barking Crab!

      The Barking Crab
      88 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210

      East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
      1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

      6 Replies
      1. re: lipoff

        I can't imagine stopping at Rein's Deli if I actually lived in New York. She can probably get better-quality deli within walking distance of her home.

        And frankly, recommending that she go into Boston on her way to Salem strikes me as terrible advice. That's adding at least two hours, maybe three, to a drive that's 4 1/2 hours long before you stop to eat. That's a "significant detour" in anyone's book.

        Really, the OP has the same problem as the poster who was driving to Wells, ME last week. By the time she gets to the Boston area, she's almost done with her trip. She's better off stopping in the Hartford-to-Sturbridge area... see all the recommendations in the Wells thread or check the southern NE board.

        Alternatively, if you really want to stop in this area, search the boards for recommendations in Bedford, Billerica and Burlington (there was a "Staying in Burlington" thread recently). Some of those restaurants are close to the part of the highway she'll be driving on anyway (Rt. 128/I-95).

        1. re: scratchie

          Are you thinking of Salem, New Hampshire? Because there is absolutely no way that driving through Boston on the way to Salem, Mass is a three hour detour.

          1. re: Beachowolfe

            Including traffic and a meal, it could easily be a three-hour detour. In any case, regardless of the exact timing, it's a "signficant" detour which the OP specifically stated that she wished to avoid.

            1. re: scratchie

              No it's not. If you're coming east on the Mass Pike you can get to Salem (MA) by taking I-95 to Route 128 to Route 114. Or you can take I-90 all the way into the city, and then Route 1A or US-1 to Route 107. At rush hour both ways will have traffic. Going through Boston might be 5 or 10 minutes and a few miles longer, but its not significant. Of course, stopping for dinner somewhere takes time. But this is Chowhound after all, and we live to eat. I don't think the OP wants to stop at a rest stop along the highway. Going through Boston and up the coastline would give the OP access to all sorts of wonderful seafood restaurants. Going around the I-95 loop puts you inland. I believe the previous poster suggested Legal Seafoods, Border Cafe, or Bickfords in that area in another thread. There are some good restaurants along I-95 (but not those), but for special seafood the OP would be best served by going through Boston, unless she wants to have seafood in Salem itself.

              And Rein's is a terrific deli, on par with anything I've had, including in New York City, certainly better than a random corner store. Places like Barney Greengrass and Katz' aren't everywhere, you know. Certainly Rein's is a treat if you're hungry on the drive in Connecticut and it's before midnight.

                1. re: Beachowolfe

                  I stand corrected. There's no way Google Maps could ever possibly be wrong.

      2. dunno about on the way, but you should definitely check out a&j king bakery when you're in salem. great breads, pastries & sandwiches.

        1. My recommendations as you're coming down 95 through CT:

          Johnny Ad's, Old Saybrook

          Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale, Madison and Westbrook

          Lenny's in the Indian Neck Section of Branford

          Each one will have great lobster rolls, nice fried clams, oysters, etc. Lenny's has a big back deck overlooking a salt marsh where the ospreys are nesting. All have excellent seafood.

          1. Plenty of places in Boston, but traffic/directions/parking might be a hassle (if you do take 93 through the city on either way, J&J in Somerville is close to the Sullivan Sq exit and has great Portuguese seafood dishes). For the 95 route, you could hop off at Mystic and hit up Sea Swirl, which is very good for classic NE fried fare and very close to the highway.