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13 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Clams

Whether you enjoy them raw, steamed, or fried, tender juicy clams are a delicacy at these popular chains.

Like mussels and oysters, clams are bivalve mollusks that have been part of the cuisine of many coastal communities for centuries. Briny and slightly sweet with a chewy texture, the tasty shellfish are harvested through various methods, including hand digging, raking, and dredging, and they are an essential part of many marine ecosystems and coastal economies.

Clams are prepared for meals in many different ways. They're often enjoyed raw on the half shell with a squeeze of lemon or a dash of hot sauce, or steamed to tenderness and served with broth over pasta or stirred into rice dishes. Fried clams, popular in New England, are crispy on the outside and soft and chewy within. And who could forget the tender briny morsels in a well-made clam chowder?

Whether consumed raw, steamed, or fried, the versatility of clams is why you'll find them in cuisines around the world. You'll also find them at popular restaurant chains around the U.S. Here's a look at the chains serving the best preparations of these tender mollusks.


maggiano's linguine and clams dish
Photo: Maggiano's
Linguine & Clams w/White Garlic Sauce (Per Order)
Calories: 1,590
Fat: 88 g (Saturated Fat: 21 g, Trans Fat: 2 g)
Sodium: 1,890 mg
Carbs: 131 g (Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 6 g)
Protein: 70 g

Founded in Chicago, the popular Italian-American restaurant Maggiano's now has 50 locations across the U.S. to satisfy your pasta and red sauce cravings. It serves all the classics, including a comforting linguine and clams with either a tomato based red sauce, or a silky white wine garlic herb sauce. You can also broaden the seafood pasta bliss by ordering the Linguine Di Mare, which includes not only clams but also lobster, shrimp, and mussels in a spicy tomato sauce.

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Captain D's

captain d's clam strips
Photo: Captain D's
Nutrition: (Per Order)
Calories: 580
Fat: 38 g (Saturated Fat: 13 g)
Sodium: 960 mg
Carbs: 49 g (Fiber: 3 g)
Protein: 15 g

Founded as a seafood and hamburger restaurant back in 1969, Captain D's is a fast-food restaurant with about 500 locations in the U.S. serving fried and grilled seafood and chicken. It's the ideal place to quickly satisfy a craving for crispy fried clam strips, with a quarter pound of fried bivalves, perfect for dipping in Captain D's signature Dippin' Sauce.

Red Lobster

The Admiral's Feast at Red Lobser includes fried shrimp, wild-caught flounder, clam strips and bay scallops.
Photo: Red Lobster / Facebook
Admiral's Feast (Per Order)
Calories: 1,640
Fat: 96 g (Saturated Fat: 10 g)
Sodium: 4,750 mg
Carbs: 134 g (Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 18 g)
Protein: 58 g

With more than 600 locations around the U.S., Red Lobster is a popular dinner destination for so many Americans. The chain delivers several mighty seafood platters, including the abundant Admiral's Feast. The mighty plate includes crispy, golden-brown clam strips, along with Walt's Favorite Shrimp, wild-caught flounder and bay scallops. The platter comes with tartar and cocktail sauces for dipping. On top of that, you can choose between two sides, including Chesapeake fries, slaw, hushpuppies, and bacon mac and cheese.

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Barcelona Wine Bar

barcelona wine bar paella
Photo: Barcelona Wine Bar
Nutrition information unavailable

With locations in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., this tapas-focused wine bar has made many fans with seafood lovers. The growing chain's menu is heavy on small plates and shareables, but also features large format dishes, including an indulgent paella – a crispy rice dish – with plentiful clams and shrimp.


boqueria paella de mariscos dish
Photo: Boqueria

Nutrition information unavailable

An elevated tapas bar that's focused on food, drink, and music, Boqueria first opened in New York City in 2006, and now has locations around the country, including Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. The Spanish restaurant serves paella in small and large sizes, including a paella de mariscos, which includes bomba rice, clams, monkfish, mussels, and shrimp, mixed with saffron and salsa verde.

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carmine's baked clams
Photo: Carmine's
Nutrition information unavailable

The Italian family-style restaurant, with locations in New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Washington, D.C., is known for big plates of pasta and hearty mains like chicken parmigiana. But before diving into one of those mighty mains, a must order is the restaurant's baked clams appetizer, which sees fresh littlenecks baked with house-seasoned bread crumbs and a rich clam broth. Carmine's also offers clams in red or white sauce over pasta.

Davio's Italian Steakhouse

Atlantic halibut with Wellfleet clam and tomatoes in citrus butter at Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse.
Photo: Davio's Foxborough
Nutrition information unavailable

With locations from Boston to Texas, this Italian inflected steakhouse has a menu of steaks, seafood, and pasta. Also on the menu? Clams! Davio's menu includes a dish of Wellfleet clams and halibut cooked in citrus butter and served over fava beans and asparagus. If that doesn't cure your craving, start your meal with raw chilled clams on the half-shell.

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Il Fornaio

il fornaio muscles on a dish with wine.
Photo: Il Fornaio / Facebook
Nutrition: (Per Serving):
Calories: 890

With 18 locations in the Golden State and Las Vegas, this upscale California-based chain serves a menu of pastas, pizza and grilled meats. On the pasta menu sits the Linguine Mara Chiaro, a decadent dish of thin pasta with clams, scallops, mussels, and shrimp, with roasted tomato sauce and white wine.

Joe's Crab Shack

joes crab shack mussels with corn on a plate.
Photo: Courtesy of Joe's Crab Shack
Nutrition information unavailable

Since opening in Houston in 1991, Joe's Crab Shack has been serving crab and other seafood to diners around the U.S. The informal seafood chain currently has about 30 locations where you can get your steamed clam fix with The Steamer, a pot filled with steamed clams, mussels and shrimp.

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Legal Sea Foods

fried whole clams at legal sea foods
Photo: Legal Sea Foods / X
Nutrition: (Per Serving)
Calories: 960

Starting as a family-owned fish market in Cambridge, Mass., Legal Sea Foods has always focused on the freshest, most sustainable seafood when selecting products to serve at its 25-plus locations. One of those products is one of the best ways to enjoy clams, called steamers, which see Ipswich or Essex soft shell clams steamed in their shell. They arrive at your table ready to remove from the shell and dip in butter. If that's not for you, the restaurant also serves excellent fried whole belly clams and clams over linguine.

Ocean Prime

bowl of new england clam chowder soup
Nutrition information unavailable

A favorite of celebs and professional athletes, ​​Ocean Prime offers a hearty selection of seafood and prime meats. With locations from Boston to Kansas City to Beverly Hills, Calif.—and lots of places in between—this upscale spot offers one of the best clam chowders to be found at a chain. Their creamy clam chowder is packed with fresh littleneck clams, and comes with crunchy oyster crackers.

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Shell's Seafood

steamed clams at shell's seafood
Photo: Shell's Seafood
Nutrition information unavailable

This small, Florida based seafood chain offers plenty of shrimp dishes, and an excellent cioppino that features clams, shrimp, and scallops. However, the standout clam dish at Shell's Seafood is the steamed littleneck clams served in the shell. The clams are steamed in garlic, white wine, and house spices, and the dish comes with hearty chunks of bread to sop up that clammy white wine deliciousness.

The Old Spaghetti Factory

linguine with white clams the old spaghetti factory
Photo: The Old Spaghetti Factory

Nutrition: (Per Serving)
Calories: 790

If you live on the West Coast or in the Midwest, chances are you've been to The Old Spaghetti Factory. If not, think big, hearty portions of Italian-American classics in a family-friendly atmosphere. Every entreé order comes with a soup or salad starter, which is an ideal way to kick off your dinner of pasta with white clam sauce, which is made from scratch with hints of wine, fresh garlic, green peppers, onions, and parsley. Finish with ice cream or spumoni!

Tanya Edwards
Tanya Edwards is a seasoned food and health journalist, who has held roles at Yahoo Health as Managing Editor and at Food Network as Programming Director. Read more about Tanya