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Woodman's of Essex

121 Main St, Essex, MA - (978) 768-6451
Woodman's says it invented fried clams. They are lush and crunchy, the crust playing harmony to the sweet, soft lode of bivalvular goodness it contains. Although Woodman’s clams are available by the pint, or on a bun (known as a clam roll), the preferred way to enjoy them is as a platter, which means accompanied by both French fries and onion rings. It’s a deep-fried pig-out beyond any nutritional law or reason!
76% Approval Rating (50 votes)

Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Fried Clams
lobster
onion rings
clam fritters

Highlighted Reviews

rating
Michael Stern - Photos (8)
Roadfood.com Editor
"Woodman's claims to be the place where the fried clam was invented -- on July 3, 1916, when Lawrence Woodman tried to drum up business by tossing clams into the deep fryer along with the Saratoga chips he was selling at his clam bar. Who knows if the story is true? Who ..."   [Read More]
rating
Joel Barmann
January 29, 2004
"For those who love good fried clams, Woodman's is the real deal. In terms of ambiance, it is surely lacking. However, the true afficianado of the fried clam can look beyond this, due to the great quality of the food. The clams are exceptionally fresh, the portions ..."   [Read More]

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Map & Web Site

121 Main St, Essex, MA
(978) 768-6451

http://www.woodmans.com/

Hours & Policies

Seasons:Open Year Round
Meals Served:Lunch, Dinner
Operational Hours:Always Call Ahead!
Credit Cards Accepted:No
Alcohol Served:Yes
Outdoor Seating:No
Reservations Accepted:No
Delivery Available:No
Takeout Counters:Yes
Clams are Woodman's claim to fame, but the lobsters are mighty pretty, too.
"Clams are Woodman's claim to fame, but the lobsters are mighty pretty, too."
Michael Stern





Clam cakes, aka clam fritters have a red-gold crust that is wicked-good. The interior is dense and moist and laced with enough pieces of clam to give every bite a sweet-savory harmony.
"Clam cakes, aka clam fritters have a red-gold crust that is wicked-good. The interior is dense and moist and laced with enough pieces of clam to give every bite a sweet-savory harmony. "
Michael Stern


Woodman's fried clams are among the best anywhere.
"Woodman's fried clams are among the best anywhere."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Woodman's is as much a lobster house as a clam shack.  There's a steamer going behind the iced lobsters.
"Woodman's is as much a lobster house as a clam shack. There's a steamer going behind the iced lobsters."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Place your order at one counter, and pick your order up at another.  Part of the fun of Woodman's is the action and hustle-bustle - it can look very confusing, but somehow it all works.
"Place your order at one counter, and pick your order up at another. Part of the fun of Woodman's is the action and hustle-bustle - it can look very confusing, but somehow it all works."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


At Woodman's order window, you decide what size clam box you want filled; a sign also informs you how the whole-belly clams are running.
"At Woodman's order window, you decide what size clam box you want filled; a sign also informs you how the whole-belly clams are running."
Michael Stern


Woodman's no-frills dining room
"Woodman's no-frills dining room"
Michael Stern


When the Roadfood New England Tour arrived, we got the upstairs raw bar dining room all to ourselves. But most of the time, at lunch or dinner hour, seats both inside Woodman's and outside under the tent are scarce indeed.
"When the Roadfood New England Tour arrived, we got the upstairs raw bar dining room all to ourselves. But most of the time, at lunch or dinner hour, seats both inside Woodman's and outside under the tent are scarce indeed."
Michael Stern


According to Woodman's history of the world, the fried clam was invented over an Independence Day weekend.  On Cape Ann, it truly is a patriotic food.
"According to Woodman's history of the world, the fried clam was invented over an Independence Day weekend. On Cape Ann, it truly is a patriotic food."
Michael Stern


As evening falls, customers gather around the front of Woodman's to admire the big, cooked lobsters on display.
"As evening falls, customers gather around the front of Woodman's to admire the big, cooked lobsters on display."
Michael Stern


This large clam shell sign outside Woodman's is a reminder that the fried clam was invented here on July 3, 1916 … or so the story goes.
"This large clam shell sign outside Woodman's is a reminder that the fried clam was invented here on July 3, 1916 … or so the story goes."
Michael Stern



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