Restaurants 17


Each year we hand select 40 restaurants from around New England
that compete in one of five different categories:

Classic New England Clam Chowder
Traditional Chowder (only Rhode Island and Manhattan chowders)
Creative Chowder

You're votes determine the best in New England!
Visit this page by 4/1 for our 2018 line-up or visit the ChowdaTrail for our 2017 list

New England Clam Chowder:

B.R.Y.A.C. of the popular Black Rock section of Bridgeport CT finished 2nd at the 2017 Chowdafest competition!

City Fish Market in Wethersfield CT has a huge following, especially for their chowder. 

Jesse Camille's of Naugatuck CT  has a chowder that rivals those on Cape Cod and is exceptionally popular!

The greater the challenge, the higher Michael Jordan raised his game and his steahouse located in the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT is no different. Look for Michael Jordan's Steak House to raise the bar in the New England clam chowder category and take on the defending two-time champ!

My Brothers' Place is a multi-award winning "chowdah" representing Massachusetts this year. Tucked away in Webster Mass, they might just bring home the championship most assume belongs in MA anyway.

​Pike Place Chowder of Seattle reaffirmed why they are America's favorite chowder by winning BOTH the 2015 and 2016 Chowdafest title for the best New England clam chowder and looking for a three-peat!

Robert's Maine Grill is one of Maine's great seafood restaurants and people travel far and wide to the Vacation State just for a cup of Robert's New England clam chowder. This category is even tougher now that they have entered.

The Sedona Taphouse of Norwalk CT narrowly missed taking the top spot
in the 2015 competition and are looking to get back on the podium in 2017

​Continually voted best chowder in Hartford CT and a 3rd place finisher in 2016, Chef Kevin of Take Five Cookery
now knows what it takes to knock off the big guns! Most of his ingredients will come from his own farm!

​Two-Fifty Market hails from the Granite State and a regular favorite and award winner in the Portsmouth NH Chowder Festival. They finished in 2nd place in 2016 and are looking to bump off the defending champion.

 "Traditional" Clam Chowder:
(reserved for Rhode Island (clear) and Manhattan (red) clam chowders only)
348 Oyster Bar in Fairfield CT is new on the scene but with Chef Fernando at the helm, the 2014 Chowdafest champion for his Manhattan clam chowder, they got a real shot of winning this category as a rookie!

This is Crave 52's second year in the competition but Chef Rigo's sixth with two championships to his credit, both for his New England clam chowder but just like Dunville's, purists swear his Rhode Island clam chowder is his best. No doubt defending champion Donahue's Clam Shack will be put to the test!

Donahue's Clam Castle from Madison CT enter's their second Chowdafest competition as the defending champion.
Their Rhode Island clam chowder is just one of their chowders that makes their historical clam shack so popular.  

Dunville's in Westport CT, is one of the most decorated restaurants in Chowdafest and according to most,
have never entered their best chowder they make and they will be entering their Rhode Island clam chowder this year!

Morgans Fish House from Rye NY will be jumping in our all-New England competition because after all, we should give a New York restaurant the chance to defend Manhattan clam chowder. Will this be the year the title of best Traditional chowder goes to NY? 

Creative Chowder:
The Blind Rhino in Norwalk CT may be new to the competition but Chef Jamie has won this category
several times for the Ginger Man restaurant and looks to add the top prize for The Blind Rhino too.

Bobby Q's Cue & Co in Norwalk brings a hint of BBQ country with their smoked chicken & corn chowder to Chowdafest.  A champion of our sister event, the Great Mac & Chili Challenge, Bobby's wants to "steak" a claim as one of the best at Chowdafest

Crabby Al's Seafood Restaurant is a wonderful landlocked gem found in Thomaston CT. It's the kind of place the locals don't want you to know about, it's that good. Well, word is out and their crab inspired chowder might catch this category by surprise!

Harbor Harvest of East Norwalk CT is new and fresh to Chowdafest just like their food. For the first time in the competition,
we'll not only have a salmon based chowder but an oyster based chowder as well.  They're working with sponsor Copp's Island Oysters for this fabulous entry

Hub & Spoke is a new American tappas restaurant in the trendy Black Rock section of Bridgeport CT. In their first year, they finished fourth and Chef Lou knows how to win at Chowdafest as he did when he owned the SoNo Brewhouse. Never sleep on these guys!

The 2017 Mystic Chowder Champion enters Chowdafest with high expectations.
With their award winning bourbon bacon corn chowder, The Irons in the Mystic Hilton has every right to be.

The two-time defending Chowdafest champion and two time VT Fish Chowder champ will be back for a threepeat.
Our House Bistro is becoming a Chowdafest legend in just a short period of time.

Rothbard Ale & Larder will be bringing more than just their hometown crowd of Westport CT to Chowdafest this year.  They'll be bringing the talents of Chef Jon and will be bringing his central European flair to his creative chowder!

Sometimes a great chowder comes from the most unexpected places.
Sam the Clam's Pub & Grub entry has a much character as their name. Expect to be rocked by their Caribbean clam chowder!

Tarry Lodge is the first to enter an Italian inspired chowder in the competition. Chef James has been perfecting this chowder since his Montauk days. Will this put Mario Batali's chain of family friendly restaurants on the map? There's a good chance!

Soup & Bisque:
Chef's Table is one of the most recognized soup mavens in the state of CT and a Chowdafest fave!
Chef Rich is entering is ultra popular Seafood Gumbo which he hopes will move him up the podium yet again!New Paragraph

One of Chowdafest's most decorated restaurant,  The Crab Shell from Stamford will be looking for an unprecedented fourth championship!

Geronimo of Fairfield CT will be back as part of our popular Chowda-Mex section with their award winning chicken tortilla soup!

Harbor Harvest, the delightful market in East Norwalk has doubled down and entered Chowdafest in two different categories.  They have a wonderful zucchini bisque that they believe will take the competition!

J. Timothy's Taverne is an award winning restaurant tucked away in Plainville CT. Foodies travel from all over to experience their famous chicken wings. After their rookie year in our competition, they may be attracting chowdah lovers from all over too.

Knot Norms of East Norwalk CT is new on the "twisted" culinary scene with a menu featuring locally sourced seafood and more.  They enter the competition in our new vegetarian category with the twist they're "norm" for!

Mr. Crab is part of the hot culinary scene known as the Black Rock section in Bridgeport.  The restaurant is new but the owners aren't new to the seafood business and will put this category to the test

Rory's of Darien is in the Chowdafest Bowl of Fame for good reason. Their a crowd favorite and their New England clam chowder is among the best in New England but this year they're entering their equally popular lobster bisque in hopes of knocking off the reigning champ.

With another year under their belt now, Sam's American Bistro from Stamford
has a good grasp on what it takes to win especially placing 3rd in 2016 with his chocolate desert bisque

​One of New Haven's seafood hot spots and sister restaurant to Geronimo,
Shell & Bones are turning the tables in this category with their their divine shrimp and squash bisque.  

South Norwalk CT has produced some of the best chowder in the state and Saltwater Restaurant hopes to follow in this tradition

Vegetarian Category:
Bailey's Backyard is a critically acclaimed "farm-to-fork" restaurant from Ridgefield and entering for the first time representing the Ridgefield for the first time as well.

We're so thrilled to have Chef Gus and the Harvest Wine Bar entered. With three locations in Greenwich, New Haven and Westport CT, Harvest is on the short list of acclaimed farm-to-fork restaurants with a wonderful following that will likely grow once you try them!

Chef Pat Tennaro of Old Post Tavern in Fairfield CT won 2nd place last year with his decadent truffle mushroom bisque in the soup/bisque category. It was a vegetarian entry when there wasn't a vegetarian category so he may be the inaugural champ.

The popular TruNorth Tavern and Table, part of the trendy culinary scene that is Black Rock in Bridgeport CT has entered the competition with high expectations. They're talking some good smack but can't they back it up. If you tried their menu, you know the answer is yes
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