Editors’ Choice (Tie)
You certainly won’t go hungry ordering the fried clams here; the portions are generous and are served with the house tartar sauce. Diners can watch the boats bringing in the freshest catch from the water’s edge year-round while sipping on a craft cocktail or draft beer. In the summertime it feels like the whole restaurant—which is celebrating a decade in business this year—is one big patio.
6 Rowe Square, Gloucester, 978-282-9799, seaportgrillegloucester.com
Lucky us! People around the world have been making pilgrimages to this spot since the 1950s to taste these delectable deep-fried jewels. But we can go anytime—they’re open year-round. Thanks to the attention to quality that has kept The Village in business for nearly 70 years, these bivalves are tops.
55 Main St., Essex, 978-768-6400, wedigclams.com
It’s open seasonally only at this tiny spot on Bearskin Neck, so make a point to come out this summer to enjoy some of these fresh-shucked, perfectly fried darlings while overlooking beautiful Rockport Harbor.
2 Doyles Cove Rd., Bearskin Neck, Rockport, 978-546-0006, topdogofrockport.com
Woodman’s of Essex
Rumor has it that Woodman’s actually invented the fried clam. We know for sure that they are always delicious, and have always been gluten-free.
119 Main St., Essex, 978-768-6057, woodmans.com