Restaurants in Essex, MA

Essex claims to be the place fried clams were invented. That’s debatable, but there’s no doubt that Cape Ann — Essex in particular — is a wonderful place to eat fried clams. Foremost, there is Woodman’s of Essex, the place where Chubby Woodman is said to first have fried them, in 1916. Essex Seafood has terrific clams, too, as well as lobster dinners and fried seafood plates. For those who seek a town-cafe ambience for clam eating, the Village Restaurant is an Essex institution with a menu-for-everyone that includes terrific fried clams and goes far beyond them. Ten miles north of Essex is Ipswich, home of the Clam Box, the iconic clam-eating restaurant that is shaped like the cardboard box in which fried clams are presented at eat-in-the-rough clam shacks.

Essex’s Most Famous Dishes

On a sunny picnic table, fried clams are piled high in a red-checked cardboard boat.

Fried Clams

In a red drive-in basket, onion rings are crisp and golden-brown

Onion Rings

A bowl of thick, creamy chowder, loaded with clams and sprinkled with green onion

Clam Chowder

Opened and ready-to-eat littleneck clams in a bowl of white wine sauce with pasta and herbs

Clams

Essex’s Best Restaurants

Essex Seafood - Fried Clams Boat
Essex Seafood

ESSEX, MA

Woodman's sign & the American flag
Woodman’s of Essex

ESSEX, MA

Village Restaurant - Fried Clam
Village Restaurant

ESSEX, MA

Essex Articles & Guides

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On a sunny picnic table, fried clams are piled high in a red-checked cardboard boat.

The Fried Clam Belt

By Jane And Michael Stern I am a semi-retired plumber, but I've dug clams all my life," says Tom Marr, the cook at Farnham's diner in Essex, Massachusetts. "The ones...

Picnic table holds a plastic cup with a balance of lemonade and ice tea ... Maine lobster roll

Yankee Grape-Nuts

Originally marketed in 1897 to compete with granula, which was the predecessor to granola, Grape-Nuts is an unlikely fun dessert. But in the world of Yankee cookery, the little...

Lobster roll on a round bun

New England Shore Dinner

Along the Northeast's Atlantic coast, the term "shore dinner" doesn't just mean some seafood on a plate. Descendant of Algonquin clambakes in which clams and corn were layered in...

On a sunny picnic table, fried clams are piled high in a red-checked cardboard boat.

Fried Clams | Whole Belly | New England Roadfood Bests

Few eats stir Yankee passions more intensely than fried clams. Most devoted clamophiles insist on whole belly clams (the big gooey ones), and while clam strips do tend to...

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