Seaport Grille, Gloucester
What’s Unique: Heaping platters of crispy Ipswich clams overlooking Gloucester’s working waterfront, served with a side of perfectly seasoned coleslaw and crispy fries.
Insider tip: Sometimes the outdoor deck can be a bit breezy—grab a jacket and enjoy the fresh sea air.
Fun fact: Fans of the movie The Perfect Storm will recognize many landmarks from Seaport Grille’s deck.
6 Rowe Sq., Gloucester, 978-282-9799, seaportgrillegloucester.com
Top Dog, Rockport
Standout Qualities: They produce such a consistently perfect fried indulgence—creamy, crunchy, and salty, with a briny burst of the sea.
What’s unique: “Select” clams, hand-chosen for their belly size, dipped in a secret recipe of corn meal, flour, and herbs, and served with house-made tartar sauce.
2 Doyles Cove Rd., Bearskin Neck, Rockport, 978-546-0006, topdog-ofrockport.com
Woodman's of Essex, Essex
Insider tip: Woodman’s fried clams are gluten-free.
121 Main St., Essex, 978-768-6057, woodmans.com