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 »