Best of Boston

BEST Chowder

2014 BEST Chowder

Grill 23

Boston

For the finest chowder in town, you’ll have to turn to a steakhouse. Grill 23’s version stars quahogs, but takes the humble bivalve-and-potato soup into luxury territory thanks to butter-braised lobster knuckle meat and nubs of bacon lardons cut from… read more»

2013 BEST Chowder, Clam
Photo by Jesse Burke

B & G Oysters

Boston

Anatomy of a Winner: Here in Boston, it’s tough to stand out in a veritable ocean of chowdah. Here’s how Barbara Lynch’s oyster bar shows up the competition. 1. Flaky puff pastry “oyster crackers” are coated with sweet paprika and… read more»

2012 BEST Chowder, Clam

Ned Devine’s

Boston

That’s right—Ned Devine’s. We were won over by the buttery, not-too-thick texture, bits of fresh thyme, and sweet, chopped cockles and clams that make this Faneuil Hall spot’s chowder a perfect example of what the New England staple should be. read more»

2011 BEST Chowder

Legal Sea Foods

Boston

Like spaghetti sauce or competition chili, clam chowder is one of those foods that’s better made in enormous quantities. The big-batch approach melds all the flavors—and no one in town does as much volume as Legal. Based on a rich… read more»

2010 BEST Chowder
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Legal Sea Foods

Chestnut Hill

Surely someplace other than Legal can whip up a great chowder, we thought. And so we set about finding it. Countless gloppy, thin, and off-tasting bowls later, we conceded: The rich seafood base of Legal’s well-seasoned recipe is unmatched, and… read more»

2007 BEST Chowder, Clam

Great Bay

Boston

A pure, fine broth; a smoky backbone of bacon; and plump whole mollusks elevate this above the gluey sludge commonly doled out to tourists. No bells and whistles, just the essence of the sea. read more»

2005 BEST Chowder, Clam

Turner Fisheries Restaurant & Bar

Boston

Experimentation may be the spice of fine dining, but chowder demands tradition. To heretics inclined to load their chowder with corn, carrots, or—God forbid—Baileys Irish Cream, we say: Move west. Real Bostonians demand their chowder like Turner’s. That is, dense… read more»

2004 BEST Chowder, Clam

Turner Fisheries

Boston

Chowder, that most traditional of New England foods, could never be invented today. Leaving aside the Manhattanite abomination, a good chowder, with its base of salt pork and heavy cream, is a test of will to modern-day dieters. Turner Fisheries… read more»

2003 BEST Chowder, Clam

The Times Bar and Restaurant

Boston

To hell with baked beans. Clam chowder is Boston’s crowning food—not potato, not flour, but clam. That’s a distinction understood at the Times, an otherwise largely undistinguished beer hall within a stone’s kick of the waterfront. Each spoonful of the… read more»

2002 BEST Chowder

The Barking Crab

Boston

For a city with perhaps the nation’s highest expectations for clam chowder, Boston offers a pitiful few truly good renditions. Most versions have degenerated into blandness, with a texture that’s either too watery or suspiciously sludgy. But it is still… read more»