Hidden Gems: Four Classic Seafood Places That Are Road Trip Worthy

You’ll have to hop in the car for these lobster roll and fried clam shops, but the ride is well worth it.

Welcome to Hidden Gems, where local food blogger Marc Hurwitz (of Hidden Boston and Boston Restaurant Talk) spotlights off-the-beaten-path, under-the-radar restaurants.

For some reason, even though Boston is located on the ocean, there aren’t a whole lot of classic old seafood shacks and eateries located in Boston proper, and the cities and towns surrounding it don’t have too many, either. Because of this, it helps to have a car if you like roadside eateries that feature fried clams and lobster rolls—and, if you do, the four places below are certainly worth checking out.

THE HINGHAM LOBSTER POUND
4 Broad Cove Road, Hingham, 781-749-1984, hinghamlobster.com

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All photos by Marc Hurwitz (unless otherwise specified)

Hingham is a wealthy South Shore town on the ocean with high-end shops and restaurants, but it also has one of the few down-and-dirty lobster places within a half hour of the Boston border. Located on Route 3A just north of the town center, the Hingham Lobster Pound is a takeout place that is wildly popular with locals but remains little-known outside of the immediate area. This 55-year-old shack is known for its lobster, of course, but it also features some excellent fried clams as well as scallops, shrimp, and haddock, and lobster rolls, clam rolls, and scallop rolls are also available. For those who don’t like seafood, the Hingham Lobster Pound also serves burgers and wings.

THE LOBSTER POOL
329 Granite Street, Rockport, 781-438-9688, lobsterpoolrestaurant.com

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If you like a bit of scenery with your seafood, a dining spot in Rockport called The Lobster Pool is a must. Unlike most restaurants in this quaint little community on Cape Ann, this restaurant is far away from the center of town, located next to the spectacular Halibut Point State Park and looking west out toward Ipswich Bay, making this a perfect spot for sunsets over the water (a relative rarity in Massachusetts). Plenty of seating can be found in its indoor dining room, while picnic tables outside are the place to be when the weather is nice. A few highlights at The Lobster Pool include boiled lobsters, crab cakes, clam chowder, lobster rolls, and fried sole.

ROY MOORE LOBSTER COMPANY
39 Bearskin Neck, Rockport, 978-546-6696

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photo via Facebook

Nearby but completely different from The Lobster Pool is a place called Roy Moore Lobster Company, which is located on Bearskin Neck in the heart of Rockport Center. Unlike its fellow seafood spot a few miles to the west, Roy Moore is about as no frills as you can get, with only a few seats (crates, actually) on a tiny deck out back and steamed lobsters that customers pick being the main event here. A few other items are also available, including clam chowder, salmon, and shrimp, but this place is all about lobster, and it has the feel of a seafood shack 200 miles to the north in Downeast Maine, even though it is smack dab in the middle of one of the most popular tourist towns in Massachusetts.

KOOL KONE
374 Marion Road, Wareham, 508-295-6638 koolkone.com

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Kool Kone may sound like an ice cream place—and it is—but this roadside snack shack located in a quiet part of Wareham is also a terrific place to go for seafood. Having the feel of the old-school Cape Cod seafood joints lining Route 6 in Eastham and Wellfleet (complete with a patio off to the side), Kool Kone is much closer to Boston and features the same outstanding fried clams, haddock, shrimp, and scallops that those places do. Landlubbers can dine on fried chicken, burgers, and hot dogs, and because this is the South Coast, some Portuguese items are also available (kale soup, linguica pepper and onion subs, and so on). Both hard and soft-serve ice cream are offered at Kool Kone, along with homemade ice cream sandwiches.

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