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Where to get the perfect bowl of clam chowder on the Cape

6 Sep 2012 8:01 AM
Where to get the perfect bowl of clam chowder on the Cape

For decades, a fierce debate has raged about the relative merits of Manhattan and New England clam chowders. Although that dispute may rage for years, there is no denying that either one can be perfect on a brisk autumn afternoon. Of course, no place has a stronger and more distinguished reputation for producing savory, delicately balanced New England clam chowder than Cape Cod, a longstanding bulwark of all things seafood.

The Cape is heavy with places to down this local favorite, but, of course, not all of these venues are equally worthy of your patronage. Owners of Cape Cod homes have come to expect only the best from their chowder, so knowing where to get the cream of the crop is vital for any Cape resident.

Here are a few of the restaurants that many people believe serve the best bowl of clam chowder money can buy.

Brewster Inn & Chowder House
This venerable institution, located at 1993 RT. 6A in Brewster, has been serving steaming bowls of the dish for almost a century, and has developed quite a following. However, unlike some other spots on the Cape, Brewster Inn is more of a local favorite than a tourist destination.

As such, the food is traditional and in line with the tastes of seasoned Cape Codders. People keep coming back to this restaurant for several reasons, and its extensive list of seafood dishes and soups is high on the list. Additionally, its reputation, for having the best martini in town, according to Frommer's, certainly doesn't hurt.

Chatham Squire
For a traditional chowder-gulping experience, Cape Cod residents often head to 152 South Shore Dr. in South Yarmouth to find The Skipper Restaurant and Chowder House. Here, they can get a taste of classic clam chowder with a great view of the Nantucket Sound.

The restaurant has been perfecting its chowder recipe since 1936. Over that time, many locals believe it has achieved the perfect balance of fresh cream, hearty potatoes and - of course - delicious clams.

With rustic decor and an extensive beer selection, The Skipper is considered by numerous Cape residents to be an ideal place to while away an afternoon enjoying the view, the friendly crowd and, above all, a perfect bowl of chowder.

Between these two venues - and many more on scenic Cape Cod - it is likely that even the most entrenched Manhattan-chowder fan will find room in his or her heart - and belly- for a hot bowl of the New England variety.