Where to Get Fried Clams in Boston This Summer

By Eric Twardzik
Courthouse Seafood Restaurant

Much like a New England summer, fried clams are hot, worth waiting for, and always gone to soon. Here are few local seafood standards that sell standout fried clams—most made with local bivalves harvested in nearby Ipswich.

While we appreciate the artful composition (and contents) of Saltie Girl’s tinned fish spreads, we love the stripped-down simplicity of the fried, whole-belly Ipswich Clams, which arrive in a metal bucket that can barely contain them. Served alongside are the only accompaniments needed: two sizable lemon wedges and a mini-bucket of tartar sauce.

Exterior of B&G Oysters

Not that we’d expect otherwise, but Barbara Lynch’s South End seafood restaurant B&G Oyster does a spot-on version of the local classic. The Fried Ipswich Clams are substantial and crispy without being chewy. A house-made tartar sauce is the perfect creamy, zingy foil to the crunch of the deep-fried seafood (and to the French fries served alongside it).

Courthouse Seafood Restaurant

Courthouse Seafood has provided fresh seafood and Portuguese imports in East Cambridge since 1912. The market expanded in 1987 with a restaurant next door, featuring the most affordable, high-quality fried seafood dinners around (with excellent tartar sauce). A generous portion of Whole, Native Clams arrives with the friendly customer service that helps a local business survive for more than a century. (Note: Courthouse is taking a summer break and will be closed from June 28-July 12.)

Updated by Jacqueline Cain

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