Clam Castle

Clam Shack | Seafood
Memorable
One of the best
Save

This clam castle is in fact a clam shack, and we mean that in the nicest possible way. A breezy roadside eatery with a pleasant dining room adjacent to the order windows and picnic tables set back from Route One, it has been a significant shoreline source of fried clams and clam chowder for more than half a century.

The whole-belly fried clams are plump, juicy and sweet with vividly seasoned crust that is brittle but virtually melts on the tongue when you crunch into it. For those who like only a hint of clam flavor as part of the fried-food package, the Castle also offers clam strips. While not the bivalve connoisseur’s choice, these strips are in fact quite tasty … reminding us of the fried clams that originally helped make Howard Johnson’s famous.

There’s a full array of other fried seafood, as well as seafood salads, burgers and hot dogs for the fry-basket-frowner; but in our book there are two non-fried things that must be eaten. First, chowder: a brisk, oceany brew typical of the southern New England shoreline, bright with clam flavor and ballasted by the starchy goodness of potatoes. Second, the lobster roll! A striking Connecticut beauty, it is loaded with immense, butter-glistening pieces of meat, many of them two- or three-bite size (no shreds or stringy stuff here!) Barely holding them all is a split-top Yankee bun, so fresh and soft inside that it absorbs massive amounts of butter-lobster flavor and is impossible to stop eating even after the big hunks of lobster are gone. Its outside has been brushed with butter and grilled to a golden crisp.

The food is better than ever, and service has gone a bit upscale since the Clam Castle formally became Donahue’s Clam Castle a few years back. You still place your order and pay at the counter, but now a member of the waitstaff will bring it to you at the table. Everything is still presented on or in disposable dishware.

What to Eat
Clam Castle, fried clams
fried clams
Must-Try
Clam Castle's big, succulent, whole-belly fried clams are clad in crust that is brilliantly seasoned. These are among Connecticut's best. They come with tartar sauce that is very pickly and not the least bit sweet.
Clam Castle, Lobster Roll
Lobster Roll
Must-Try
We don't know of another lobster roll with hunks of meat so large. It is fresh, sweet, and buttery.
clam chowder
Information
Price
$$
Seasons
Summer
Meals Served
Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Website

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