The weather is finally starting to look like the Massachusetts winter we all know and love (and love to hate) and there’s a definite chill in the air. What better way to warm up than with a delicious bowl of chowdah? Made the Massachusetts way (no tomatoes or clear broth for us, please) these recipes are sure to take the cold out of your bones and put a satisfied grin on your face. Check out these 10 spots in Massachusetts for chowder that will blow you away.
1. Union Oyster House, Boston
Established in 1826, this is America's oldest continuously operating restaurant. Daniel Webster was a regular, which will definitely mean something to you if you're a Massachusetts native. This spot made it onto Forbes "10 Classic Great Restaurants in the World," and the booths and bar are even in their original positions! The Union Oyster house has had almost 200 years to perfect their chowder recipe, and it shows. Do your mouth a favor and try this chowder.
2. Woodman's of Essex, Essex
Zagat calls their chowder “an American cult classic—right up there with baseball and apple pie.” Since 1914, Woodman's of Essex has been winning award after award for their chowder, and with good reason. Their recipe takes the best of the sea and turns it into creamy wonderfulness.
3. Egg Roll Lady & Fish Shack, Worcester
Do you want your chowder thick and savory, with heaps of clam and bright flavor? This spot will give you what you need. The Phantom Gourmet loves them too. A pretty unassuming joint (one that you might just drive past if you weren't in the know) the Egg Roll Lady & Fish Shack delivers mouth-watering chowder at a price that won't make your eyes water.
4. Chatham Pier Fish Market
Huge hunks, traditional creamy broth, and only the freshest fare. That's how Chatham Pier Fish Market does it when it comes to chowder. If you're seeking a classic Cape Cod chowder experiences, look no further.
5. The Black Cat Tavern, Hyannis
Cape Cod is to chowder as New York City is to bagels: you have to work to find a really terrible bowl of chowder. However, The Black Cat Tavern really stands a cut above the rest when it comes to their clam chowder. Their recipe calls for a generous helping of clams and potatoes, along with a deliciously creamy broth. In fact, this restaurant won the annual Cape Cod Chowderfest festival in 2012, 2013, AND 2014. They know what they're doing.
6. 80 Thoreau, Concord
Skate meat. That's what 80 Thoreau's chowder recipe chowder calls for and its a stroke of brilliance. The broth is rich and practically buzzing with flavor, while the chunky bits are fresh and tasty. Note: their chowder is a seasonal dish, so check in with the restaurant before heading there for a tasting.
7. The Cabbyshack, Plymouth
This chowder was featured on Food Network''s "Best Thing I Ever Ate" and is the recipient of glowing reviews from the Phantom Gourmet. Served in a fresh baked bread bowl (how do bread bowls make everything taste better?) this is a chowder that will definitely make a scrumptious impression.
8. Boston Chowder Co., North Andover
Along with two Boston Chowderfest awards, this bowl of chowder has been profiled on The Food Network, E! Entertainment Television, Unwrapped and Food Finds. When a dish is getting that much attention, you owe it to yourself to at least try a bite. This chowder is steaming, fresh, and the portions are great.
9. Summer Shack, Cambridge
You won't get any any fancy or unusual ingredients in your bowl here. The Summer Shack's standard chowder is traditional. And that's a GREAT thing. Not too thick, not too thin, and just the right amount of spices.
10. Ned Devine's, Faneuil Hall
I know what you Boston locals are thinking: Ned Devine's is more of a Saturday night destination than a cozy Sunday brunch spot. However, their chowder is just the right texture and packs a boatload of clam flavor. Definitely check this place out for a hot bowl of chowder and great live entertainment.
Did you favorite spot not make the cut? Feel like standing up for what you know is the TRUE best bowl of chowder in Massachusetts? Go for it! Share this list with your friends and let us know what you think in the comments!