Best of Boston

BEST Chowder

2017 BEST Chowder, Clam

Legal Sea Foods


You don’t mess with success. Legal’s classic formula—a creamy base, loads of clam flavor, firm potato chunks—has been warming Bostonians’ souls for decades. It even has a White House endorsement, having been ladled at every inauguration since the Reagan era…. read more»

2016 BEST Chowder, Clam



We know what you’re thinking: With all the seafood joints in Boston, you landed on Sonsie? Stifle your preconceptions for a moment, because when it comes to the classics, it’s all about execution. And that’s where this al fresco hot… read more»

2015 BEST Chowder, Clam

The Daily Catch Seaport


With a just creamy enough texture, generous potato chunks, meaty pieces of clam, and a house-made biscuit in place of the requisite oyster crackers, the Daily Catch’s chowder is an exemplar of the form. read more»

2014 BEST Chowder

Grill 23


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

B & G Oysters


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


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


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

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


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


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»