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Summer Road Tripping: 5 Clam Shacks To Visit

Jun 28, 2021 12:10PM ● By Rosa Simone McCann

Kick-off the summer with a visit to one (or all) of these five New England clam shacks, and get a taste of Maine and New Hampshires’ freshest and most authentic seafood. 

The White Cottage Snack Bar, Woodstock, VT

This seafood and dairy bar has operated out of Woodstock, Vermont, since 1957. They serve whole fried clams and fried scallops, clam strips, clam roll, fish and chips, or, if you prefer, all these options at once (see the New Englander: scallops, clam, fried fish, and coleslaw.) They’re also known for their ice cream – they offer 30 flavors and a variety of toppings – as well as fried onion rings, hot dogs, sandwiches, and salads for the seafood averse. Best of all, the White Cottage overlooks the Ottauquechee, and customers can enjoy their food from the comfort of covered tables, complete with rocking chairs. Call the White Cottage at (802) 457-3455, drop by between 11 am and 10 pm, or view their website for more information. 

Perkins Pier Clam Shack & Bar, Hampton, NH

In addition to the classic fried clams, clam strips, scallops, calamari, and seafood rolls, Perkins Pier Clam Shack & Bar also offers a variety of specials, which rotate each weekend, and can include anything from pork belly tacos to falafel. Customers also praise their burger selection, and one reviewer called their fries “the best in Hampton Beach.” Pier Clam Shack provides outdoor seating and is a favorite with the locals. They open at 3 pm Monday through Wednesday, and at 12 pm Friday through Sunday, and always remain open until 1 am. Call them at (603) 601-7702, or view their Facebook for more details. 

Bob’s Clam Hut, Kittery, ME

What started as a backyard clam shack in 1956 has since transformed into a favorite local business, named on Thrillist's top 50 essential American restaurants, and even appearing on Guy Fieri’s Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Bob’s is famous for its New England Clam Chowder, Lobster Stew, and fried clams. They make their tartar sauce fresh according to a family recipe, and, of course, they source all seafood locally. In addition to its famous seafood options, Bob’s offers a wide selection of salads and sandwiches, as well as a menu, especially for kids. You can also buy Bob’s merchandise, including hats and t-shirts, at the store. Call Bob’s at (207) 439-4233, email [email protected] between the hours of 11 am and 9 pm, or 8:30 pm on weekends. 

The Clam Shack, Kennebunk, ME

The Clam Shack in Kennebunk, Maine, has been serving fresh seafood since its opening in 1968 and, according to the restaurant’s website, remains committed to the standard it established in the sixties, with “local, fresh and top quality ingredients.” The Clam Shack serves traditional clam strips, fried clam, fish, scallops, shrimp, and calamari, as well as a traditional boiled lobster dinner and, perhaps most famously, an award-winning lobster roll. The restaurant is featured in Thrillists’s list of “the Best Things to Eat in Every State,” attracting customers not only with delicious food but with breathtaking seafront views. Call the restaurant at (207) 967-3321 or email at [email protected]. Visit the restaurant from 11 am onwards, or ask any questions here

Pop’s Clam Shell, Alton Bay, NH

This family-owned restaurant dates back to 1945 and has since become a major part of any beach goer’s trip to Lake Winnipesaukee. Pop’s sells all the classics: scallops, calamari, haddock, shrimp, clam strips, and a wide array of deep-fried options, including onion rings, mushrooms, and pickles. They also make subs and grill simple burgers and hot dogs and dishes unique to the restaurant: the Rodeo Burger, for example, with jalapeño, onion rings, and barbecue sauce. The restaurant is open Friday through Sunday until the end of June when they’ll expand their hours to five days a week. Check out their open hours here. You can give them a call at (603) 875-6363 and find directions here.

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