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Recommendations for good whole belly fried clams near Asbury Park, please.

I'll be traveling up to Asbury Park, NJ from Virginia in September for a friend's wedding. I've always wanted to try good whole belly fried clams and would love recommendations about where to go. From the little research I've done, all I know is that I do NOT want Biggie's Clam Bar. Thanks for your attention!

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  1. I have no idea what whole belly clams are...but my favorite clams strips in the area is at Jack's in Long Branch.

    1. Unfortunately I think that is a new england phenom. I know exactly what you are talking about.

      1. I wish I could make a suggestion, but I'm chiming in just to say they're not just a New England thing. I'm going to check w/a friend who's an 'expert' on them, but I know he's had them in NJ, NY, and specifically, at Bigelow's on Long Island. He still dreams about those.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Curlz

          I know they are not just New England. I am pretty sure though, that the whole bellies can't be frozen so you only get them in proximity to the shore or for more $$$ elsewhere.

          1. re: calliope_nh

            They have them on the menu at Mr. Shrimp in Belmar. That's the only place I know of in NJ to get them.

            1. re: bbf76

              When you order them at Mr Shrimp, are they the ones on the Appetizer menu? They are just listed as Ipswich Clams and the method of preparation is not indicated. The only other place I see them is as part of the Fried Combo.

              Mr Shrimp
              1600 State Route 71 Ste 1, Belmar, NJ 07719

              1. re: equal_Mark

                It's listed on their dine in menu as the Ipswich Clam Dinner under the Seafood Dinner section.


                Lightly fried, very good and served with sides as described here:


                For some reason my earlier Mr. Shrimp post today along with Tom's link to more info on Ipswich clams were deleted by the mods.

        2. Rooney's in Long Branch has whole belly fried clams and they are delicious!!! Right on the water so you'll have a gorgeous view as well.

          1. Jody's on Route 35 in Neptune might also have them.....worth a call because it's closer to AP than Belmar, but other than a few stools Jody's is a takeout place (and an excellent fish market)

            1. They also go by the name Ipswich. perhaps you will have better luck with that.

              1. Can someone explain what a "whole belly fried clam" is?

                4 Replies
                1. re: joonjoon

                  They are softshell clams rather than the more common little neck or quahog. The shells are actually kind of brittle and they're called Ipswich clams, piss clams, and other names. I prefer them steamed myself.

                  1. re: Sdenred

                    How are they as far as the sand factor is concerned? One reason I prefer mussels is that they almost never contain any sand.

                  2. re: joonjoon

                    Per Wikipedia: "They can be "clam strips" (sliced parts of hard-shell clams) or "clams with bellies" (whole soft-shell clams). Clams with bellies have the clam's gastrointestinal tract left intact and impart a fuller flavor. However, some restaurants remove the clam's chewy siphon, called the neck."

                  3. Mr. Shrimp sounds like the best option for me. Thanks so much for all the input!

                    1. One other rec in Asbury Park if you're going to be in the area (although I can't promise whole belly clams)...Taka is a terrific Japanese and sushi restaurant. And like many places in NJ, it's BYO!