For a mouthwatering summer road trip surrounded by magnificent scenery, you can’t beat this expedition along New England’s coast. At waterside picnic tables and roadside drive-ins, in diner booths and vintage shore dinner halls, the good eats include chowders both briny-thin and cream-sweet, clams crisp-fried and charcoal-grilled, and plenty of lobster.
Don’t worry about dressing up or making a reservation. Like so much of America’s great regional fare, New England’s best seafood is of the people, by the people and for the people.
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The Place Guilford, Conn.
Abbott’s Lobster In the Rough Noank, Conn.
Aunt Carrie’s Narragansett, R.I.
Located at ocean’s edge, Aunt Carrie’s is the place to go for a grand, old-style shore dinner. First comes chowder (white, red or Rhode Island–style clear) along with clam cakes. Next, steamers with butter for dipping and filet of flounder with slaw and french fries, followed by a whole lobster. Finally, there’s strawberry shortcake or a slice of Aunt Carrie’s legendary rhubarb pie. Top it all off with a postprandial stroll along the ocean beach.
Oxford Creamery Mattapoisett, Mass.
The sundaes, frappés, freezes, floats, shakes and splits are dandy at this 1931-vintage drive-in, but the lobster roll is downright spectacular—and a bargain to boot. Large segments of claw, tail and knuckle meat, just barely cool, are veiled in a thin film of mayonnaise that provides a gauzy halo for a tidal wave of oceanic sweetness.