On a cold fall day, few things can warm our insides better than a cup or bowl of creamy clam chowder. The tomato-based chowders, called Manhattan style, are all fine and good. Here, in the Northwest, creamy New England-style chowder is our gold standard, with bits of smoked bacon added for that extra oomph of flavor that’s signature to our region.
But first, the clams. The Pacific Northwest is known for its razor clams, which are most commonly found on our beaches in Oregon. Tricky to catch and quick to dig deeper when pursued, they are meaty and succulent when cooked in chowder. Other varieties that local clamdiggers will find are bay clams, which include butter, littleneck, gaper and cockie varieties, purple varnish clams, or others like softshell and piddock. All are lovely and flavorful in chowders.
Lucky for Overleaf Lodge & Spa visitors, several restaurants in the Yachats area, as well as points farther north and south (Visit the Oregon Coast), serve delicious chowders, so make time to sample some of the fare during your stay with us and throughout your coastal travels. (Chowder is also an excellent take-out order to enjoy in your room at Overleaf Lodge!) Usually, restaurants will list on their menus the kinds of clams cooked in their chowders, but if not, it’s perfectly fine to ask the chef if you’re curious about the chowder’s ingredients. Bon appétit!
Clam chowder in Yachats
- Ona Restaurant and Lounge, 131 Highway 101 N: This delicious clam chowder includes house-shucked manila clams, alder smoked pepper bacon and cream.
- Luna Sea Fish House, 153 Highway 101 N: Luna serves three kinds of clam chowder: a homemade Manhattan-style, a homemade New England-style, and also Slumgullion, a big bowl of the white clam chowder with white cheeses and bay shrimp, baked and served with garlic bread.
- Yachats Brewing, 348 Highway 101 N: Yachats Brewing incorporates another Northwest favorite, smoked salmon, rather than clams into its hand-crafted Smoked Salmon Chowder.
- The Drift Inn Restaurant, 124 Highway 101 N: For lunch only, this creamy Seafood Chowder features clams and smoked salmon.
- Yachats Underground Pub & Grub, 125 Oceanview Drive: This house-made New England-style Clam Chowder includes bacon.
- The Sea Note Restaurant & Lounge, 333 Highway 101 N: Serves house-made New England-style Clam Chowder, minus bacon.
Clam chowder north to Newport
We mention only a few of the many restaurants in Newport that highlight clam chowder on their menus:
- Mo’s Seafood & Chowder, 622 SW Bay Blvd.: This is where Mo’s, a Northwest classic, started way back in 1946, and has since expanded to other sites along the coast. With good reason; their Chowder is quintessential Northwest!
- Local Ocean Seafoods, 213 SE Bay Blvd.: Clam Chowder features razor clams, pork belly and fresh herbs in a creamy clam base.
- Nye Beach Café, 526 NW Coast St.: Most every day serves a New England-style Chowder, as well as Slumgullion, the chowder with white cheese and Oregon pink shrimp.
- Fishtails Café, 3101 SE Ferry Slip Road: Serves a New England-style Clam Chowder for lunch by the bowl or cup. Also makes Slumgullion, with cheese and shrimp.
Clam chowder south to Florence
We mention only a few of the many restaurants in Florence that highlight clam chowder on their menus:
- Bridgewater Fish House and Zebra Bar, 1297 Bay St.: Serves two kinds for dinner, the tomato-based Shellfish Cioppino and a cream-based Clam Chowder with bacon, clams and shrimp.
- Waterfront Depot Restaurant, 1252 Bay St.: Serves a house made “Depot” cream-based Clam Chowder.
- Novelli’s Crab and Seafood, 100 Harbor St., Boat Slip A13 on the boat dock: Worth the experience alone of walking up onto the dock and ordering chowder, Novelli’s serves delicious cream-based Clam and Crab Chowders.
- 1285 Restobar, 1285 Bay St.: This creamy Clam Chowder Florentine includes spinach.
- Krab Kettle, 280 Highway 101 S: This New England-style Clam Chowder is made fresh daily, in time for lunch and sells out quickly. For take-out only.