A Guide to Bostons best Clam Chowder

Being a Native New Englander and a born and raised Bostonian, I have the accent to prove it; the only kind of clam chowder that is worth anything is New England style clam chowder. Besides tasting so good it probably does have more than an ample amount of calories and fats but a cup now and then is good for the soul.

New England style clam chowder is made with New England clams, onion, potato, cream and butter. The more that is in the broth the more New Englanders will rave about the best cup of clam chowder they ever had. I have sampled a fair amount of clam chowder over the years and there are some places who serve a better cup of clam chowder than others. The distinction is subtle at times but the locals will argue where the best clam chowder is served.

This year Boston holds its 26th Chowderfest in conjunction with the 2007 Harborfest. Local restaurants come together to compete for the title “Boston’s Best Chowder”. The competition is keen but a good time is had by all. Needless to say at an event such as this allows a New England clam chowder neophyte an opportunity to decide for themselves who serves Boston’s best clam chowder.

Many places serve a good clam chowder not only in Boston but throughout New England. Depending on individual taste the variances are subtle but distinct. How I judge if a clam chowder is worthy to order a second cup are there enough clams in the cup? Also, are there chunks of potato? Is the broth creamy, remaining fluid without being overly thin or thick as mud? When the cup is served are pieces of clam and potato visible above the edge of the cup? And lastly but important is it served hot? There is nothing worse than a barely warmed over cup of chowder. Your taste and criteria may vary from mine but that is what is exciting about the great New England chowder debates. If you visit New England and ask the locals where the best clam chowder can be found you may receive a different answer each time. So, the best way to determine where the best of Boston’s clam chowders is served is to visit a few suggested restaurants and sample them. More often than not, your taste buds will appreciate the experience.

If you don’t trust your own intuition then you may want to try visiting some of the restaurants who were voted the best of Boston in the past:

The Chart House, Long Wharf, Boston

The Atlantic Fish Company, Atlantic Avenue, Boston

And while visiting on Cape Cod:

Captain Parker’s Pub in West Yarmouth