On the spectrum between brothy and stand-up-your-spoon thick, the chowder at this elevated clam shack falls more toward brothy, though still made with dairy. Jason Santos, award-winning celebrity chef best known for his blue hair and Boston restaurants Abby Lane, Buttermilk & Bourbon, and Citrus & Salt, studs it with whole clams and nuggets of crispy, peppery applewood-smoked bacon, making for a meal in itself, especially if you pair it with a couple of Santos’s Honey-Glazed Biscuits.
195 Pleasant St., Marblehead, 781-990-1739, bandbfish.com
Turner’s Seafood Grill & Market
Turner’s—respected and family owned since 1994—crafts a classic chowder that is creamy and rich. It’s even gluten-free if you skip the oyster crackers served on the side, since it is thickened with rice flour. Available to eat in, or grab a quart to-go.
506 Main St., Melrose, 781-662-0700, turners-seafood.com