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Boston - Best Chowder/Steamers?


JesseNYC
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The family and I are going to be in Boston for 4 days in the middle of August. We're looking to partake of some great chowder and steamers. We do not want anything too touristy. We really want to eat where the locals eat. Any Suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

"I'll have the lobster...... stuffed with tacos"

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I really like the chowder, and most of the other food, at Kingfish Hall in Fanueil Hall. Fanueil Hall area is extremely touristy, but I'm a local and this is one of my preferred places for (non-asian) seafood. The Kingfish Hall chowder isn't thick like Legal's clam chowder--it's a bit more brothy, but has great flavor and comes with clams in the shell. We've been there with many people, both local and visitors, and all of them have loved it.

The chowder at Chart House, near the aquarium, is quite good too. They serve a more traditional chowder, and have simple but good preparations of steak and seafood. Chart House had to be retired from the annual Boston Chowderfest because they won too many years in a row.

I'm sure many of the other notable Boston seafood restaurants (Neptune Oysters, Atlantic Fish, B&G Oysters, Mare, etc.) would be good bets, but I haven't had chowder or steamers at any of these places.

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I can attest that Neptune's Oyster Bar's chowder is quite excellent, and each bowl is cooked to order.

I also really enjoyed the chowder at Neptunes. As i'm not from New England (last week was the first time i've ever been to new england), it was probably the best chowder i've ever had in my life.

chowder.jpg

My picture's not quite as nice as Jasons :)

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My friends in the Boston area all rave about Barking Crab, about 50% tourists and 50% locals. A "down home" experience, go in good weather and eat in the outdoor tent right on the Boston Harborfront.

On a trip there last May we thought that the steamers were among the best we'd ever had. The chowder was very good, can't say if it was the "best", though...

Barking Crab Website

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I do NOT reccomend Barking Crab at all. Its THE most touristy restaurant in the entire city. Go across the street on the Waterfront to Daily Catch instead.

I respectfully disagree. We had a wonderful meal at Barking Crab. The community tables offer a unique opportunity to share and converse with (otherwise) strangers. Our table partners when we were there were both locals who said they go there often. The mix is about 50-50 / tourists-locals, so I can't imagine it being the MOST touristy place. It is fun, it is right on the water, and the food is excellent. We loved the place.

P.S. I also noticed that their chowder won the Globe's "Best in Boston" survey last year...

Barking Crab Gayot Review

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I do NOT reccomend Barking Crab at all. Its THE most touristy restaurant in the entire city. Go across the street on the Waterfront to Daily Catch instead.

I respectfully disagree. We had a wonderful meal at Barking Crab. The community tables offer a unique opportunity to share and converse with (otherwise) strangers. Our table partners when we were there were both locals who said they go there often. The mix is about 50-50 / tourists-locals, so I can't imagine it being the MOST touristy place. It is fun, it is right on the water, and the food is excellent. We loved the place.

P.S. I also noticed that their chowder won the Globe's "Best in Boston" survey last year...

Barking Crab Gayot Review

Count me as one of the "locals" that also goes there...Haven't had their chowder, I generally would suggest the bar at Legal (any lLegal) for that (and maybe some raw bar), and I'd sit at the bar at Union Oyster House for the steamers and raw bar, but nothing else...

Fried clams and a lot od cooked food is also good at Barking Crab. I persoanlly like it for the clam shack feel without going up to Essex, or Ipswich.

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Jason, what does it mean to say that each bowl is "cooked to order"?

I mean, literally, each bowl of soup is cooked to order. They may very well have the clam stock and par cooked potatoes in the mise, but its all put together (clams, potatoes, cream, stock, herbs, etc) for service and cooked in a saucepan. No big pots of chowder in there. The kitchen is mega tiny.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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