10 Must-Try Clam Shacks

Summer seafood joints across the Ocean State

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Nothing says summer in the Ocean State like that first nibble of a crispy, perfectly fried clam cake or succulent lobstah roll. Even if you have your clam shack of choice, why not shake things up and venture out to what may become a new favorite? Let this list be a guide to your waterfront fried seafood snacking all season long.

 

Aunt Carrie’s Restaurant

Some say owner and proprietor Carrie Cooper invented the clam cake the same year this gem in Point Judith opened a century ago. Since, this quaint seafood shack has been named a James Beard “American Classic.” Tuck into some fish filets, lobster rolls, and steamers in their dining room, or take your order outside and soak in the ocean air and sunshine before grabbing a scoop from Aunt Carrie’s Ice Cream Shoppe. Narragansett

 

Blount Clam Shack

Rhode Islanders wait all year for Blount on the waterfront in Warren to open for the season. Regulars and first-time customers go wild over their signature lobster roll – a solid half pound of lobster meat served either cold with house dill mayo or warm with butter – clam cakes, chowder, fried scallops, and fish and chips. Between the delish seafood and views of the Bay, this al fresco spot on a sweet street lined with historic houses is pretty close to perfect. Warren

 

Dune Bros

You don’t have to leave the capital city to get the clam shack experience. The Dune Bros truck, a short stroll from the Michael S. Van Leesten Memorial Bridge, is the PVD summertime destination for fried and fresh seafood fare, whether you’re looking for a casual, family-friendly lunch or a taste of the beach. Their signature Fish Mac (fried fish on a roll with lettuce and tomato) is a favorite. Providence

 

Evelyn’s Drive-In

Townies and even TV stars like Guy Fieri are fiercely loyal to this legendary roadside eatery on Nanaquaket Pond. Since 1969, their lobster rolls, fish and chips, clam strips, and calamari have kept tourists and locals alike lining up to get their orders in or to grab some coveted seats indoors or out. For the ultimate Evelyn’s experience, time your order so your meal arrives just as the sun is setting – the best time to visit. Tiverton

 

Flo’s Clam Shack and Drive-In

Another iconic name, Flo’s has been on the scene since 1936 with a Portsmouth eatery and Middletown drive-in (which opened in 1991) both near the water. Current and former Ocean State dwellers go out of their way just to get their hands on their made-to-order fried clam strips, fried oysters, and clam cakes. Are you even a Rhode Islander if you’ve never been to at least one of Flo’s restaurants? Portsmouth & Middletown

 

Gardner’s Wharf Seafood

Both a marvelous fish market and takeout spot with outdoor seating, Gardner’s Wharf Seafood is tucked away at the end of Main Street, overlooking Wickford Cove, where you can spot boats sailing in with just-caught seafood daily. For prepared food, Chevy’s Shack is where villagers and visitors can find Lobster Grilled Cheese on brioche buns, tuna melts, fish sandos, stuffies, and all your standard fried beachy fare. Wickford

Iggy’s

Poised at the center of clam shack culture in Rhode Island, Iggy’s is open year round at their original Oakland Beach spot, where the takeout window concept also includes an indoor dining space and back patio overlooking the water. Devotees love their clam cakes, lobster, sandwiches, and raw bar. Happen to find yourself in Gansett? Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House is a fab destination for an informal, post-beach bite. Warwick & Narragansett

 

Newport Lobster Shack

I thought I knew all the hot spots in Newport until I was introduced to the Lobster Shack. For those not in the know, this humble red trailer has some of the tastiest lobster, prepared simply. Cold lobster rolls are made with enormous pieces of fresh claw and tail meat and served with light mayo on a bun. Add in an order of slaw, corn on the cob, and calamari, and you have a scrumptious casual feast.

 

Rocky Point Clam Shack

If you’re one of the many who still lament the closing of Rocky Point Amusement Park and the Shore Dinner Hall in 1996, this clam shack is a must visit. The colorful stand overlooking Post Road boasts a few artifacts from the original park and offers three kinds of clam chowder, clam cakes, coleslaw, a kid’s menu, and more. A cup of Del’s or Autocrat Coffee Milk and a doughboy completes the meal. Warwick

 

Tommy’s Clam Shack 

Peak lobster roll and clam cake season around these parts calls for a Tommy’s outing. Plant yourself at a picnic table (or order to-go if you’re not in the mood for the crowds) and choose from an old school menu of classics (from clam fritters and chowder to lobster bake) or some more adventurous eats like Southwestern fish tacos and tortilla soup. They’re also known for serving up generous portions at sharp prices. Warwick

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