Thursday, August 14, 2014


Currently in Kalispell MT (Low 55 Some Sun and Some Storms High 78) 

Now that we are inland we officially declare our '2014 Clam Chowder Tour' to be completed. 

We had some really good clam chowder and some that was surprisingly disappointing. Without further adieu here is:

5th place - Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach in Newport Oregon

4th - J's Fish N Chips in Lincoln City Oregon

3rd - Silver Salmon Grill in Astoria Washington

2nd - Castaways Seafood Grill in Long Beach Washington

Drumroll please, in first place was Ivar's in Bothell Washington. 

Ivar's has multiple sitdown restaurants, seafood bars and fish bars. Every place we have had their clam chowder it is the best. It is also available at Costco and to be quite honest it almost cracked the top 5 coming in at 7th out of 16 that we tried.

One offering we did not know how to categorize as it had a clam chowder base but added shrimp and three white cheeses was the 'Slumgullion' at Fish Tails Cafe in Newport. It is then baked until gooey and delicious and served with garlic bread. Whatever category it is in it was pretty darn good.

The two most disappointing chowders were from 42nd St. Cafe in Seaview Washington and Giovanni's in Morro Bay California. Both were thin with hardly any flavor and what clams they had were tough. The other food we had at 42nd St. Cafe was really good so the clam chowder surprised us.

TGIFridays had surprisingly good chowder for a chain not named Ivar's. 

Here is the 16 ranked in order top to last with notes on some.

Ivar's (multiple locations in the Seattle area and one in Spokane)

Castaways Seafood Grill in Long Beach WA

Silver Salmon Grille in Astoria OR, oyster stew also great

J's Fish N Chips in Lincoln City OR, creamy and had a smoky taste of ham or bacon

Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach in Newport OR

Full Circle Café in Long Beach WA

Ivar's from Costco

Tonys Crab Shack in Bandon OR

Phil's in Moss Landing CA - had more onion than any other chowder we think

Hofbrau in Morro Bay CA - fish n chips also good but Ivar's also still the best because fish is not as greasy

Dockside in Morro Bay CA - oyster chowder was better

Fisherman's Grotto in Charleston OR

Fisherman's Seafood Market in Coos Bay OR

Fridays in Simi Valley CA - surprisingly good for a chain

42nd St. Café in Seaview WA - very disappointing, thin, lots of clams but most were tough

Giovanni's in Morro Bay CA - very disappointing, thin, hardly any flavor

We look forward to our next clam chowder tour when we visit Maine next summer.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo


  1. Shot we missed Ivar's. I don't think there will be a next time. Just too far to travel for us.

  2. I really wondered where you were going to do a clam chowder tour in Kalispell. I'm not a fan of clam chowder so I won't be trying out any of your suggestions. But it sounds like you had fun finding the top five.