- The Clam Shack (Falmouth Harbor; tel. 508/540-7758): The ultimate clam shack sits on the edge of the harbor and serves up reasonably priced fried seafood with all the fixings. Order the fried clams (with bellies, please!), and squeeze into the picnic tables beside the counter to await your feast.
- Cap't Cass Rock Harbor Seafood (Orleans; no phone): Take a photo of the family in front of this shack covered with colorful buoys, and then go inside and chow down. Hearty portions of simply prepared fresh fish keep diners coming back year after year.
- Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar (Eastham; tel. 508/255-2575): Once you are served a heaping plate of fried seafood here, you won't bother with any other clam shack. No one else gives you so much for such a reasonable price on Cape Cod.
- Moby Dick's Restaurant (Wellfleet; tel. 508/349-9795): Unfortunately, word has spread about this terrific restaurant, and it can get pretty mobbed here around supper time. Still, it's a terrific place to bring the family, screaming kids and all. The clambake special is a 1 1/4-pound lobster, native Monomoy steamed clams, and corn on the cob. Perfect.
- Sayle's Seafood (Nantucket; tel. 508/228-4599): Take a 10-minute walk from town on Washington Street Extension, and you'll arrive at this fish-store-cum-clam-shack. Charlie Sayles is a local fisherman, and everything here is deliciously fresh. Get your fried clams to go and eat them at the beach.
- The Bite (Menemsha; tel. 508/645-9239): A writer once called this "the best restaurant on Martha's Vineyard," perhaps in retaliation for a high-priced meal in Edgartown. Nevertheless, this is a choice clam shack, tucked away in a picturesque fishing village. Order your meal to go and stroll over to the beach, which has the best sunset views on the island. The fried clams are delicious; some say the secret is the batter. Of course, the fish, unloaded just steps away, couldn't be fresher.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.