Summer in New England is synonymous with seafood. As the days grow long and warm, coastal waters from Connecticut to Maine teem with life and become fertile fishing grounds. No matter where you are in the North Atlantic states, there is bound to be a real tried-and-true seafood shack nearby. (Of course, you don’t need to be in New England to enjoy seafood. Here is the best seafood restaurant in every state.)
To compile a list of the best seafood shacks in New England, consult the 24/7 Tempo menus, ratings, and reviews from websites including YankeeAnd the Providence MagazineAnd the Rhode Island monthlyAnd the Connecticut PostAnd the New Haven RecordAnd the New Hampshire MagazineAnd the daily mealAnd the GayotAnd the eater.
From bivalve mollusks like oysters and clams, to lobsters, to cod and haddock, marine life has long supported the economies of many New England villages. Fortunately for residents and tourists alike, this seafood is sustainably harvested and available fresh from the boat at many fast food kiosks and snack shacks.
Fried whole oysters are the gold standard at these restaurants, and in fact each seafood shack offers its own version of lobster rolls, whether it’s Connecticut style (warm with butter) or Maine style (cool with mayonnaise). Cod and fried haddock sandwiches are ubiquitous, too, as is the clam chowder. Here is the best seafood to eat.
Click here to see the best seafood shacks in New England
Aside from baskets of perfectly fried seafood, the main draw at many of New England’s best seafood shacks is the gorgeous coastal or harbor view. While some may have indoor dining areas, most have only outdoor seating, which comes with a healthy dose of salty ocean air. Keep in mind that many seasonal restaurants open in late March or early April and close when the weather cools off and the skies darken early.
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