Boston’s 26 Most Iconic Dishes

Boston’s 26 Most Iconic Dishes

Get to know the city with these essential eats
by Rachel Leah Blumenthal@blumie Updated Sep 25, 2017, 1:20pm EDT

Attention, tourists: Boston’s dining scene hasn’t been defined by baked beans and chowder in decades. Sure, seafood is a standout option around town — in a multitude of non-chowder preparations — but there’s much more to try when eating your way around the city.

Here are 26 iconic dishes and drinks that define Boston in one way or another, along with bonus options to try related to each one. Some of these dishes have earned a place here primarily by way of their longevity and important place in Boston’s dining history; others are truly the best of the best of their kind, regardless of age; and others are unique items that can’t be readily found anywhere else in the city.



1 Woodman’s of Essex: “Chubby’s Original” Fried Clam Plate
Nothing screams “summer in New England” like a plate of fried oysters — ideally accompanied by fries and onion rings as well. And fortunately it’s not just available in the summer; this classic North Shore spot, founded more than a century ago, is open year-round. Woodman’s claims to have invented fried clams.

The restaurant separates its food counter from its drink counter, so be sure to proceed to the beverage line (there’s a full bar available) after placing your food order. There’s plenty of seating inside and out.

Other dishes to try at Woodman’s of Essex: clam cakes, clam chowder, hot boiled lobster (choose your own) with drawn butter

If you like this, also try: fried clams at J.T. Farnham’s (also in Essex), Clam Box (Ipswich), or Bob’s Clam Hut (Kittery, Maine)

“Chubby’s Original” fried clam plate at Woodman’s of Essex Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater
121 Main St
Essex, MA 01929
(978) 768-2559

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