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Clam Box

246 High Street, Ipswich, MA - (978) 356-9707
Posted By Michael Stern on 6/1/2006 8:24:00 PM
The Clam Box is shaped like a clam box, the trapezoidal container in which fried-clams-to-go are customarily served. It is a genuine roadside attraction that dates back some sixty years and would be of interest for its looks alone. Under the stewardship of Marina “Chickie” Aggelakelis, the restaurant has thrived. In addition to maintaining and enhancing its unique looks, Chickie has made the Clam Box a standard for fried-clam excellence. In our opinion, this is the place to eat the best fried clams on the North Shore; and since the North Shore is home of the best fried clams anywhere, these are the best fried clams in the universe.

The best way to have them is as a platter: a plate piled high with modest-size whole-bellied clams, French fries, and onion rings. You’ll get a little tartar sauce for dipping and some wonderful sweet cole slaw which is a necessary part of the clam-eating experience, for it helps cut the grease of so much fried food. But the truly wonderful thing about Clam Box fried clams is how greaseless they seem. They are luscious and crunchy, no doubt about that; but you’ll have no oily fingers after plowing through a plate.

There is indoor seating, and across the parking lot from the building there are picnic tables for al fresco dining. Throughout most of the summer, expect a wait in line at mealtimes. The Clam Box is famous, deservedly so.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
fried clam platter
Chowder
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During a weekend of much clam eating, I decided on this visit to order clams and only clams – a policy I do not recommend for newcomers, for the whole clam plate, with o-rings, fries, and slaw is definitive. Nonetheless, I found this all-clam boat to be one of the most delicious monomaniacal meals I've eaten in a long, long time.
"During a weekend of much clam eating, I decided on this visit to order clams and only clams – a policy I do not recommend for newcomers, for the whole clam plate, with o-rings, fries, and slaw is definitive. Nonetheless, I found this all-clam boat to be one of the most delicious monomaniacal meals I've eaten in a long, long time."
Michael Stern





These get my vote for best fried clams anywhere.
"These get my vote for best fried clams anywhere."
Cliff Strutz


Sure, the lobster is very important, but don't underestimate the perfectly toasted and buttered top-loading hot dog bun.
"Sure, the lobster is very important, but don't underestimate the perfectly toasted and buttered top-loading hot dog bun."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


If you like scallops, you won't be disappointed by the Clam Box's fried scallop roll.  They handle the frying of all seafood here with expertise.
"If you like scallops, you won't be disappointed by the Clam Box's fried scallop roll. They handle the frying of all seafood here with expertise."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


A mini-meal comes with the side of your choice.  Clam Box's onion rings are wonderful, especially when paired with perfection in fried clams.
"A mini-meal comes with the side of your choice. Clam Box's onion rings are wonderful, especially when paired with perfection in fried clams."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Clam Box's fried clam strips are perhaps the only strips we've ever eaten that don't seem like a compromise.  They are as good as the bellies, in their own way.
"Clam Box's fried clam strips are perhaps the only strips we've ever eaten that don't seem like a compromise. They are as good as the bellies, in their own way."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Each one of these crisp clams are the perfect size.  They have been sorted by hand to insure consistency.
"Each one of these crisp clams are the perfect size. They have been sorted by hand to insure consistency."
Stephen Rushmore


This toasted beauty is overflowing with delicious fresh lobster.
"This toasted beauty is overflowing with delicious fresh lobster."
Stephen Rushmore


Since 1935!
"Since 1935!"
Cliff Strutz


Shaped like a clam box, The Clam Box is almost always crowded in the summer, with lines of customers flowing out its doors.  Note the meticulous landscaping, with the words
"Shaped like a clam box, The Clam Box is almost always crowded in the summer, with lines of customers flowing out its doors. Note the meticulous landscaping, with the words "CLAM BOX" spelled out in flowers."
Michael Stern


The beauty of The Clam Box is not only its food.  It is a meticulously detailed restaurant, inside and out.  This happy little clam behind the flower planter points towards the front door.
"The beauty of The Clam Box is not only its food. It is a meticulously detailed restaurant, inside and out. This happy little clam behind the flower planter points towards the front door."
Michael Stern



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