In the early days of Cape Cod on the Massachusetts eastern shore,
codfish and cranberries were the major sources of income.
Today, tourism is the big money maker; and for many tourists,
clams are as big an attraction as the beaches. Maybe they should
change the name to Cape Clam.
Stuffed Quahogs (pronounced ko'-hogs, and sometimes spelled
quohogs and also known as chow-duh clams) are one of the
three vital food groups on the Cape (along with chow-duh and
It's tough to maintain a business that does most of its business
during just a few months of the year. Sadly, a lot of the Cape's
best clam joints have closed recently, so this page is becoming
more of a memorial than a source of recommendations.
The best stuffed quahogs I've ever had, were at Kerrigan's restaurant on Route 28 on the western edge of Hyannis. Sadly, they closed in
the late '90s.
Molly's in West Yarmouth was fine -- and closed. Narby Clancy's has terrible quahogs,
Pilot House (formerly Shaw's), just off the Cape near the Bourne Bridge, and Half Time, on the Cape near the Sagamore bridge, are
tied for a close second place to the late/great Kerrigan's. Pilot House seemed to be in a perpetual state of remodeling. Shaw's raw bar
and ordering counter disappeared, but the food and service remained wonderful. The bar was a mile long and there was live music on many nights Great raw clams and oysters, lobsters, and home-baked pies, too.
When I used to go there, Half Time looked like a sports bar; but if your priority is food, not ball games, you won't be disappointed. Their chili is as good as their clams - Yum!
UNFORTUNATE UPDATE: In 2007 Pilot House was demolished and replaced by a CVS drugstore. I like CVS, but I like clams even more.
McMenamy's in Falmouth is pretty good for quahogs, as is the Bridge Restaurant in Sagamore near the bridge. I also like the Seafood Sam's chain. Mildred's Chowder House in Hyannis had terrible, overpriced
everything, but is now gone. It's successor closed quickly, too. Maybe the kitchen is jinxed. UPDATE 9/28/05: the building has been
demolished. I hope the land isn't jinxed, too.
For fried clams in mid-Cape, we like Salty's and Jerry's, both on Main St. (Route 28) in West Yarmouth.
The much larger and slightly fancier Cooke's (on Rte. 132 in Hyannis and Ryan's Way in Mashpee), has extremely good fried clams, with
very friendly service and a big menu. You order and pay at the front counter, and food is brought to your table. Great lemonade, BTW.