Pegmeister calls it the first sign of spring: when local fried clam joints start opening up for the season. The Ipswich Clam Box is already open; the Clam Box on Wollaston Beach in Quincy opens this weekend; and Tony’s, also on Wollaston Beach, is soon to follow.

Which to choose for your first-of-the-season foray? The Clam Box of Ipswich edges out the Clam Box in Wollaston for greatness. BarmyFotheringayPhipps says, “[L]et me put it this way: if we’re driving along the south shore, we will detour to the Wollaston Clam Box for dinner. But we will book a Zipcar SPECIFICALLY to go to the Ipswich Clam Box.” The fried clams are above reproach, and the surroundings are classic vintage clam shack.

Tony’s is a worthy competitor, perhaps even worthier than its neighboring Clam Box: “I prefer Tony’s. I think their oil tends to be ‘cleaner’, resulting in a crisper/less greasy product,” says Science Chick. Tony’s onion rings, however, are inferior to the Clam Box’s, “more like well done onion strings,” complains Pegmeister.

Clam Box of Ipswich [North Shore]
206 High Street, Ipswich
978-356-9707

Clam Box [South Shore]
789 Quincy Shore Drive, Quincy
617-773-6677

Tony’s Clam Shop [South Shore]
861 Quincy Shore Drive, Quincy
617-773-5090

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