Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar

Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar. Photo by Sarah McCaffery

Have you truly experienced Cape Cod in all its glory if you haven’t tried some of its signature mouthwatering seafood? Whether you are a seafood connoisseur or just starting out, these seafood spots are sure to entice you with their award-winning fried clams.

James Limberakis is no stranger to family-run food digs. When The Clam Shack in Falmouth opened in 1961, it was an instant landmark in the town. Since taking over the business from his father in 1984, Limberakis has continued the endearing family tradition that makes The Clam Shack so charming. As for the fried clams, they are on another level.

So what makes the clams so special? “We use clams that aren’t as heavy as Northeast clams,” says Limberakis. “We consistently change and keep our oil clean too, which is a big part of it.” And the hospitality at The Clam Shack is enough to make you stop by again. “The staff here always have a smile on their face, which seems to work,” Limberakis says.

In Eastham, look no further for fried clams than Arnold’s, a long-standing lobster and clam shack with a history of family service. After a fire in 1993, Arnold’s was transformed into a larger restaurant, complete with an added ice cream room and mini golf. Owner Nick Nickerson explains, “It was terrible at the time, but in a way it was a godsend. It really helped us expand and accommodate more customers.”

With 41 years of experience serving families on the Cape, Arnold’s delivers when it comes to seafood—especially their fried clams. “I follow wherever the best clams are,” says Nickerson, “and right now those clams are in Ipswich. The clam market is tight right now, but I’m very specific, and in the end it serves our customers.” Additionally, Arnold’s uses a light breading for frying, which allows the authentic clam flavor to shine through. “People can come to Arnold’s and expect to get that consistency and quality.” 

When Angela and Angelo Argyriadis bought the once small ice cream shack called Kream ‘N Kone, they knew they had bought a piece of Cape Cod history. If you’ve ever driven down Main Street, Dennis in July, you’re sure to have seen a line forming outside Kream ‘N Kone. Opened in 1953, Kream ‘N Kone serves classic fare, including seafood, burgers, sandwiches and, of course, ice cream.

Among their award-winning seafood, you won’t be disappointed by their delectable fried clams. Angelo Argyriadis says they always chooses native clams from the same two suppliers, which he and his wife have used since they bought the restaurant 29 years ago. “It’s a cliche but true: buy quality and the end result is quality,” says Argyriadis. “Our sign says ‘The Finest Fried Seafood Anywhere’—people go home with that memory and we do our best to make sure it’s always true.”

Mary Anglin is an intern for Cape Cod Life Publications.