It seems that everyone knows about The Clam Box in Ipswich; tourists, beachgoers, locals, food bloggers, restaurant critics, and so many others can all be found at this classic North Shore seafood joint during the warmer months, and for good reason, as it has what many consider to be some of the best seafood anywhere on the Massachusetts coast. But did you know that there is another Clam Box? Well, there is indeed one in Quincy, though it is not related to the Ipswich spot--and it is definitely lesser-known than the former, that is, unless you happen to live in the immediate area. But while it isn't a household name like the North Shore Clam Box (even though it has the same name), The Clam Box at Wollaston Beach is a popular spot among locals and it also has outstanding seafood items as well.
Located on Quincy Shore Drive across from the beach, The Clam Box looks and feels a lot like Tony's Clam Shop, which is just down the street. Like that restaurant, you order at the counter, then either wait at a table inside or (during the warmer months) on its outdoor patio by the street until your order comes up. And much like Tony's, The Clam Box is bright and relatively spacious inside, with large windows letting sunlight come in and tables that are mainly for up to four diners (there are a couple of tables in the far corner that can be pushed together if you have a group of five or six).
The Clam Box in Quincy has a lot of the same items as that of The Clam Box in Ipswich (or Tony's Clam Shop, for that matter), and people in Quincy often compare the dishes at The Clam Box to those at Tony's, with both places getting the nod depending on the person--and the food item. A few of the highlights at this eatery include some marvelous crab cakes which have almost no filler and also have an extra zing which comes from sauce and seasoning mixed in; fish and chips that aren't greasy at all and have flaky, tender, and mild-tasting fish, along with some of the best handcut fries in the city; a lobster roll that is overstuffed with meat and compares favorably to the ones at Tony's; fried scallops that have a very light batter and also come with their excellent fries; fried clams that perhaps don't quite reach the levels of greatness of Tony's, but are still better than most in the Boston area; a seafood platter that comes with shrimp, scallops, clams, smelt, and calamari; and an assortment of items for landlubbers, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, wings, gyros, grilled cheese sandwiches, and turkey clubs. The Clam Box also serves beer, including options from local and regional breweries.
So is The Clam Box as good as its neighbor Tony's Clam Shop, or The Clam Box in Ipswich, for that matter? Well, the former comparison is tough because the two are extremely close in quality, and as to the latter, well, few places are as good as The Clam Box in Ipswich. But The Clam Box in Quincy is a terrific place to go to for seafood, ocean breezes, and people-watching, and considering the fact that there are very few seafood joints on the water in the immediate Boston area, it is a spot that really doesn't have much direct competition other than Tony's and a handful of others. It may not be the landmark spot that the Ipswich restaurant is, but The Clam Box at Wollaston Beach is well worth seeking out if you are a seafood lover. [Ed note: Call in advance during the winter, as The Clam Box in Quincy closes during the colder months.]
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