Real talk: if you live in New Brunswick, Canada you know that one of the absolute best parts of living here is the number of options for fried clams. Especially if you live on the coast.
If you spend your summers along the ocean, from Cap-Péle to Shediac to Bouctouche – you know that the choices for fried clams are endless.
And if you’re visiting our beautiful coastal region and are lusting after fried clams, the options may seem overwhelming. So many fried clams, so little time. Not to mention, you obviously must try our lobster and our oysters too while you’re here.
So I took it upon myself over the past year to try as many local hot spots as I could, taking recommendations from family and friends so that I could share my thoughts on each, and maybe make your decision a little easier.
What I quickly discovered is that nearly every location has something about it that makes me want to go back, so while I’m not picking favorites or rating each restaurant – I’m not saying you won’t be able to guess my favorites by the end.
Now put on some stretchy pants and let’s do this!
CHEZ LEO, SHEDIAC BRIDGE
If I think back to my first memories of fried clams as a little girl, they were definitely from Chez Leo. Located about 10 minutes from Shediac and 20 minutes from Bouctouche, Chez Leo is one of the oldest and most legendary fried clam spots.
You can choose from a friend clam dinner or fried clams only. And the dinner comes with fries, coleslaw and a roll.
The clams are delicious and you get a heaping portion with the dinner. It would also be perfect for sharing. If you’re one of those crazy people who are nice enough to share your clams. I am typically not.
Known for takeout, they also have indoor and outdoor dining options to choose from, and the outdoor patio has a lovely view of the Shediac Bridge and bay. It’s a super cozy spot on a summer evening.
PIRATE DE LA MER, BOUCTOUCHE
OK, where do I even begin about Pirate de la Mer? A local favorite in the seaside town of Bouctouche, Pirate de la Mer is known for its fresh seafood (a go-to place for lobster if you want to double your culinary pleasure) and of course – its AMAZING fried clams.
You can choose from a fried clam dinner or fried clams only. The dinner comes with delicious home-cut fries and coleslaw. I cannot stress enough how delicious their home-cut fries are. And their clams.
Portion size is through-the-roof, so again, great for sharing, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Pirate de la Mer is mostly indoor seating and takeout, but they do have a few scattered picnic tables to enjoy your clams outside. What it lacks in atmosphere (no ocean views here), it definitely makes up for with its clams. TRUST ME on this one.
GOLDEN FRY, SHEDIAC
Golden Fry is a staple takeout spot in Shediac, known for its delicious fries, and we had several friends highly recommend we check out their clams. If you’re in downtown Shediac, leaving the beach, or just out for a Sunday drive to Shediac, Golden Fry is a fantastic option.
You can choose from a fried clam dinner or fried clams only. The dinner comes with amazing home-cut fries (they were D’s favorite) and a coleslaw. And you get a great portion size.
Golden Fry is outdoor seating or takeout only, so plan to visit on a nice day if you’re hoping to enjoy your clams outside.
FRED’S RESTAURANT, CAP-PÉLE
On to another classic fried clam spot, known around these waters for its clams – Fred’s Restaurant in Cap-Péle. And let me tell you – there is a reason they’re well-known.
What’s great about Fred’s is that you can choose from three sizes of fried clam dinners: Small, Medium, and Large. For reference, these photos are of the Medium dinner, which also comes with a fries, a homemade roll, and coleslaw.
Fred’s Restaurant offers indoor eating and takeout only, but it has a lovely dining room and fantastic service.
À LA DUNE, ABOITEAU BEACH
Ladies and gents – if you’re reading this list because you’re dreaming of enjoying fried clams with an ocean + beach view, THIS ONE IS FOR YOU.
Cap-Péle is known for several great fried clam spots, but let’s be honest here – it’s the two spots at Aboiteau Beach that are where it’s at. And first up, is the À La Dune Restaurant at Aboiteau Beach.
Aboiteau Beach’s portion of fried clams is out of this world, let’s just get that out of the way first. A heaping portion of fried clams doesn’t even begin to sum it up.
You can choose from a fried clam dinner or fried clams only. The dinner is just clams and fries, but honestly, the clams are so huge and so good, you won’t really miss the coleslaw or roll.
Lastly, you cannot beat these views while you dine on their outdoor second-floor patio. They do have takeout and indoor seating too, but I highly recommend you plan to visit on the perfect beach day or sunny evening.
QUAI ABOITEAU RESTAURANT
Last, but certainly not least – Quai Aboiteau Seafood Paradise Restaurant. Over the last ten years, this spot has always been one of my go-to spots to get my fried clam fix and with good reason. The portions are MASSIVELY AWESOME.
And really massively awesome doesn’t even begin to cover it.
At Quai Aboiteau, you can choose from a Small Clam Dinner or a Large Clam Dinner. We went with the Large and this was one clam dinner, I was not against letting D steal some of my clams. Your dinner comes with a delicious fresh roll and a large coleslaw.
They have an awesome rooftop patio with views of the wharf, the ocean, and the sand dunes, but you can also choose to eat indoors or get takeout too.
Simply put, on a sunny day in the summer, there’s a really strong chance you can find me on this patio with some clams 😎