10 Clam Chowders That Define Boston

When people think of Boston they think of history, lobster, and of course: clam chowder. The creamy, meaty dish carries the spirit of Boston with it, and is a must-try for any tourist. But, not all clam chowders are created equal, as you’ll see as we go on.

Read through our article to see the 10 clam chowders we think best define the hub of the world and this great city!

To make things more interesting, we put two of the best clam chowders in #Boston against each other in a blind taste test for another segment of #FoodWars. The historic Union Oyster House Inc vs. the infamous Boston Chowda Company.
Watch & discover who our subjects chose in a blind taste test!!! Both are amazing but there could only be one winner.

1. The Barking Crab

barking crab chowder

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Head down to the harbor for one of Boston’s classic spots; the Barking Crab. This fun, condiment-colored hut is not only a lively venue right on the water, but is home to one of the city’s defining clam chowders. Big chunks of clams and the perfect creaminess make this chowder worthy of being served in Boston. This is definitely the place to go if you’re a fan of thick chowder!

2. The Boston Sail Loft

Boston Sail Loft Chowder

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This is another harbor side venue for some chowder, but less honky-tonk and more classy. The Boston Sail Loft is a beautiful place to grab some seafood, but their other great dishes aren’t why you read this list! Their chowder, served overflowing out of a mug, is to die for. Even better, you get to enjoy it in a beautiful building with floor to ceiling windows and a bar!

3. Yankee Lobster Co.

Yankee Lobster Co. Chowder

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Whether you sit down or grab it to go, find a way to try this chowder! A bit sweeter than others but still packing that New England flavor, Yankee Lobster Co. is another defining chowder from Boston. Doesn’t this picture just make you want to dive in? This is the perfect place to stop by after a Harpoon Brewery Tour; maybe even pair your chowder with a cold one!

4. Legal Sea Foods

Legal Sea Foods Chowder

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This one’s a local favorite, and for good reason. Legal Sea Foods has been serving their scrumptious sea food for decades, and certainly has learned to satisfy both locals and tourists alike. Their slogan, “If it ain’t fresh it ain’t legal,” shows exactly why they make our top 10 list. There are numerous locations to choose from for any occasion; even one inside Logan Airport! Sure it’s a popular chain, but it’s popular for a reason!

5. Jasper White’s Summer Shack

Jasper White's Summer Shack Chowder

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Looking for professional chef flavor but in a fun, cheesy venue? Look no further than Jasper White’s Summer Shack!

The chef from Jasper’s Restaurant has ditched the formality and created Cambridge’s most fun seafood spot. Picnic tables, checkered table cloths, and a summer-fun atmosphere adorn this exciting spot. Their chowder maintains this vibe with rich flavor, chunks of fresh seafood, and zesty flavor. Just like the restaurant itself, White takes a classic idea and spins it into something exciting while keeping its roots in tradition.

6. Neptune Oyster

Neptune Oyster Chowder

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Neptune isn’t cheap, but worry not: this one’s worth it! It’s fitting this restaurant is named for the Roman god of the sea, because their chowder is godly! This one isn’t for lovers of a thick chowder, but does include whole clams so you won’t be missing out on meat. If you’re looking to impress or just want a classy chowder night, we’ll see you at Neptune.

7. Boston Chowda Co.

Boston Chowda Co. Chowder

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This one’s perfect for tourists, but locals certainly enjoy it on a daily basis too. After a busy day of shopping til you drop in Faneuil Hall, pop inside Quincy Market for Boston’s favorite dish.

For big chunks of clams and potatoes without breaking the bank, there’s no place like Chowda Co. Order one in a to-go cup so you can keep shopping or walk down to the water. Boston Chowda Co. features other great chowders too, but c’mon; that’s not why you’re reading this list!

8. Chart House

Chart House Chowder

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Much like Neptune, this one might be best to save for a fancy night out. However, there’s no bad time for a chowder this good. Chart House’s flavorful clam chowder is often hailed as the best in Boston, and we can see why! Not only is this flavorful dish one of the most delicious around; what better environment to eat it in then a classy, dim venue right on Boston’s waterfront? A night here will certainly be one to remember, and not just because of one of New England’s best bowls of chowder.

9. Atlantic Fish Co.

Atlantic Fish Co. Chowder

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This one’s for the bread bowl lovers. About the only way to make Boston clam chowder even better is to serve it in a fresh, sourdough roll? Edi-bowl aside, Atlantic has a knack for making both the clam and vegetable flavors of this dish really jump out. Far from bland, just a look at this picture can tell you why this restaurant gets its rightful place in our top ten.

10. Union Oyster House

Union Oyster House Chowder

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Every great chowder we have listed defines Boston through delicious seafood flavor, but Union Oyster House will make you feel the history of our great city too. Founded in 1826, Union is the nation’s oldest continually operating restaurant. What’s more Boston than eating a velvety smooth chowder in a national historic landmark? Learn some history right on America’s freedom trail, then eat some too at what is arguably Boston’s best chowder site!

Watch our Chowda Wars video to see which chowder earned our seal of approval!

Big into seafood? Check out our guide on Legal Sea Foods’ many Boston locations!

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