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Posted by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Massachusetts is well known for its Revolutionary War history, the New England Patriots, and beautiful coastline, but nothing says summer in Massachusetts like seafood.  Whether you’ve been slurping back raw oysters since day one or you prefer your finned fish fried to perfection, the Bay State has something for everyone. Here’s a taste of some classic, summer seafood dishes – and tips for diving in if you’re a first-timer!

Clam Chowder

Probably the most well-known dish, and the easiest introduction to seafood for picky eaters, is clam “chowdah.”  Thick and creamy with clams, potatoes, and bacon, chowder is great as an appetizer or main, and hints at the ocean without being overwhelming.  Paired with saltines or oyster crackers for a good crunch, clam chowder is a perennial favorite.  Warm your soul with chowder at these restaurants:

Fried Clams

Invented in Essex, fried clams are a must eat summer food.  These deliciously crispy, golden-brown bites of goodness are a treat for anyone, and a gentle entry for those looking to get more involved in the culinary world of bivalves. As a Serious Eats writer has suggested, these are best served with a side of cool, sea breeze.  Check out these joints that make the cut:

Lobster Roll

Some things we can all agree on: the lobster must be fresh, sweet, and tender.  The bun must be buttery, toasted, split-top white bread (ala hot dog bun).  We cannot have a world without conflict, however, and the debate about lobster rolls centers around the way the lobster is served.  New England style, featuring cold lobster dressed in mayonnaise to make it more of a lobster salad, goes up against the Connecticut version, which is served hot and bathed in butter.  Whether you’ve already picked sides or need more convincing, the rolls at these spots are sure to win you over:


While some can’t get over the idea of eating a still-living creature, they are surely missing out. Massachusetts offers a wide range of oysters, the variety of which can only be rivaled by Washington State. East Coast oysters tend to be saltier than those from the West Coast, and for those who enjoy the brine, Massachusetts is known for Wellfleet and Wianno Oysters.  A good oyster is a fresh oyster, so go straight to the source at these winners:

Massachusetts’ coastal location provides a bounty of fresh seafood, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, that simply can’t be missed. For a list of great seafood dining options, check out the MOTT restaurant directory.
Were there any iconic dishes or restaurants that didn’t make the list? Follow MOTT on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and share your thoughts by tagging your comments #seafoodMA!

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