Food & Drink

Clamtastic Tour: 8 Must-Try Fried Clam Spots in Chicago!

Fried clams are a staple of New England cuisine, but that doesn't mean you have to travel all the way to the East Coast to try them.

Chicago has plenty of spots that serve up delicious fried clams, and as a local, I'm here to guide you to the best ones.

When it comes to fried clams, there are a few things to look for. The first is the freshness of the clams themselves.

You want to make sure that the clams are as fresh as possible and that they are cooked to perfection. The batter is also crucial – it should be light and crispy, not heavy and greasy.

Another thing to consider is the ambiance of the restaurant. While this may not affect the taste of the clams, it can certainly enhance the overall experience.

Some places are casual and laid-back, while others are more upscale and formal. It all depends on your personal preference.

Overall, there are plenty of places in Chicago that serve up delicious fried clams.

Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a fancy night out, there's something for everyone. So sit back, relax, and let me guide you to the best fried clams in town.

1. Shaw's Crab House

Shaw's Crab House
21 E Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60611 (Google Maps)

Shaw's Crab House is a retro seafood restaurant and oyster bar that offers classic fare and sushi in a relaxed space with a vintage vibe.

Their fried clams are a must-try, perfectly cooked and crispy.

The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure that every guest has a great dining experience. The prices are a bit high, but the quality of the food and service justifies it.

If you're in the mood for some delicious fried clams, Shaw's Crab House is definitely worth a visit.

2. Hagen's Fish Market

Hagen's Fish Market
5635 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60634 (Google Maps)

Hagen's Fish Market is a must-visit for seafood lovers.

Their fried clams are crispy and delicious, making them the perfect snack for a day out.

The market is well-stocked with fresh seafood, and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable.

Stop by for a quick lunch or to pick up some fresh seafood for dinner. Hagen's Fish Market is a hidden gem that is definitely worth a visit.

3. Goose Island Shrimp House

Goose Island Shrimp House
1011 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60642 (Google Maps)

Goose Island Shrimp House is a cash-only, carryout spot that specializes in fried seafood. Their jumbo shrimp, oysters, and catfish are hand-breaded daily and cooked to perfection.

The cornmeal coating is light and not greasy, making it a great option for a quick and delicious meal.

Although there are no seats available, customers can eat from the window ledge while enjoying the natural flavor of the food.

The prices are reasonable, and the portions are on point. If you're a seafood lover and in the mood for fried clams, Goose Island Shrimp House is definitely worth checking out.

4. Calumet Fisheries

Calumet Fisheries
3259 E 95th St, Chicago, IL 60617 (Google Maps)

Calumet Fisheries is a seafood shack that has been serving fresh, smoked, and fried seafood since 1928.

This cash-only establishment is popular for its smoked fish, but their fried clams are also worth trying.

The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is cozy. The shack is small and intimate with limited seating, so it's best to order takeout and enjoy your food by the river.

If you're a seafood lover, Calumet Fisheries is a must-visit spot.

5. RPM Seafood

Rpm Seafood
317 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654 (Google Maps)

RPM Seafood is a must-visit for seafood lovers. The place is upscale with a fashionable, riverfront locale that provides a perfect ambiance for fine dining.

The menu features a variety of seafood-based dishes, including fried clams.

The food is well-prepared and flavorful, and the service is professional and attentive. The outdoor seating provides a stunning view of the river and the city.

RPM Seafood is a great place to enjoy a delicious meal in a sophisticated atmosphere.

6. Luke's Lobster City Hall

Luke's Lobster City Hall
134 N La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60602 (Google Maps)

If you're looking for a place to indulge in some delicious fried clams, Luke's Lobster City Hall is worth checking out.

This seafood restaurant offers Maine-style lobster rolls with toasted buns and mouth-watering clam chowder.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the food is always fresh and tasty. While it may be a bit pricey, the quality of the food makes it worth the splurge.

Whether you're a seafood lover or just looking for a satisfying meal, Luke's Lobster City Hall is definitely worth a visit.

7. Half Shell

Half Shell
676 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614 (Google Maps)

Half Shell is a no-frills neighborhood pub that specializes in seafood and raw bar selections.

The staff is friendly and attentive, and the food is consistently delicious. The fried clams are a must-try, and the crab legs are perfectly cooked.

The outdoor patio is a great spot to enjoy a beer and fresh seafood.

Keep in mind that this cash-only establishment can get pricey, but it's well worth it for the quality of the food and the cozy atmosphere.

8. Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp

Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp
2120 S Canal St, Chicago, IL 60616 (Google Maps)

Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp is a legendary fried seafood joint that has been serving up delicious dishes for over 70 years.

Their perfectly fried clams are juicy and flavorful, and their lightly breaded shrimp are always cooked to perfection.

The outdoor seating area is a great place to enjoy a meal, and the restaurant is open 24 hours a day, making it a convenient spot for a late-night bite.

While the staff can sometimes be rude, the food is consistently good and the prices are reasonable. If you're in the mood for some tasty fried seafood, Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp is definitely worth a visit.