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 😎
PaulaMay 22, 2018 at 11:48 am
The burning question for me is always……do they have home made tartar sauce? Nothing ruins a good clam plate like those little packets of Kraft peel top tartar sauce.
crystalrichardMay 22, 2018 at 11:49 am
Unfortunately none of these places had homemade tartar sauce and I agree – nothing beats homemade tartar sauce. If you ever have the chance to go to Ossie’s just past Saint George I HIGHLY recommend it. Their clams are AMAZING and they have a homemade tartar sauce that is to die for! I just couldn’t include them in this post since they weren’t quite on the same coastal route ;)
RenéeMay 22, 2018 at 10:17 pm
They sure do at Chez Leo. You just did not ask for it!
Love Fried ClamsMay 22, 2018 at 10:33 pm
At Chez Leo, you can ask for the home made tarter sauce. It is available! Belair is also very good and plenty to share
MelissaMay 23, 2018 at 7:52 am
They have homemade tartar sauce at chez leo actually and its the best!
maria hardingMay 23, 2018 at 6:15 pm
As I read your article Chrystal, I couldn’t help but notice you obviously missed the BEST SPOT for clams anywhere on the east coast in my opinion. I, as you have went on a quest to find the BEST fried clams in N.S & N.B. I have eaten at every location in your post but 1. You really need to go to “Bel Aire” takeout in Cap Pele. They put those greasy stuck together clams all to shame!
crystalrichardMay 27, 2018 at 10:56 pm
Hi Maria! Thank you so much for the comment. I have been to Bel Air many times before, but didn’t make it last summer when research for this post began! Some of these are personal favorites of mine while others, such as Golden Fry, were ones that I tried for the first time in over 30 years of eating clams.
Gary VautourMay 23, 2018 at 6:59 pm
All these places have great clams but the batter they put on the clams is the best at Chez Camille’s in Cap-Pelé.
Carolyn Wicki DoucetteMay 23, 2018 at 7:19 pm
Chez Leo has a great homemade Tarter sauce!!!!
BRIAN J GOGUENMay 23, 2018 at 11:23 pm
Chez Leo? havent been there in forty yrs and i still remember the place. Aint nothing like seafood from home. I’ld post you what they got here but it would be an insult,believe me i feel like it every time the say fresh seafood. Whet if there so fresh do they not sell the whole clam.
yup thats right not even a whole bodied clam in 100 miles.
Pat JohnsonMay 24, 2018 at 1:00 pm
Chez Leo has homemade tartar sauce and those in the know request it – its not automatically provided!!!
SeanJune 6, 2018 at 2:27 pm
If you ask for it. Chez Leo has home made sauce. :)
ElaineJune 12, 2019 at 3:42 pm
Ossie’s fried clams are delicious!
crystalrichardJune 19, 2019 at 2:05 pm
They’re my fave :D
MiguelJune 4, 2018 at 2:01 pm
You missed one of the best clams location in NB.
In Bathurst NB at the Big D kind of like a drive thru but you park and they serve you at your car window. They also have amazing milkshakes!
crystalrichardJune 4, 2018 at 2:15 pm
Hi Miguel! This list is just one small part of the coast, but we’re hoping to get north this summer and will definitely remember to check this place out!
Carmen LeBlancMay 22, 2018 at 1:30 pm
Gasp! How did Bel Air Takeout in Cap Pelé not make it on this list?! That’s definitely our fave spot for fried clams! 😍🤤
crystalrichardMay 22, 2018 at 2:13 pm
I haven’t been in years and have always preferred the Aboiteau clams (both at the beach and wharf) but I should definitely give them another shot this summer :)
JessicaMay 25, 2018 at 7:37 am
At bel air I always take bar clams instead I enjoy them better maybe try that :) I love bel air but now you’ve got me craving to try the other places
crystalrichardMay 27, 2018 at 10:54 pm
I have had Bel Air a lot over the years, just didn’t make it there last summer when research for this post began! Hoping to this summer :)
Nicole MyerdMay 23, 2018 at 8:29 am
Agree 100% BelAir is the best!
Donald StilesMay 28, 2018 at 8:24 pm
I always loved Bel Aire for there clams but when they raised there prices or two people to about $80 for the same think that was $50 I said no way, other places didn’t raise theirs or if they did not like that. Its just not worth it.
crystalrichardMay 28, 2018 at 9:35 pm
Yes, I remember the last time I was there it was quite expensive! What I love about a lot of the places I have mentioned, they have several sizes and pricing options to choose from :)
DianeMay 23, 2018 at 8:31 am
We are really disappointed that they did not include us but i know we also have good seafood and we do have big portions also for people to share plates..!!! Ah well no stress but thaks for noticing and we can’t wait to serve you soon..
LissaMay 22, 2018 at 2:03 pm
I feel exactly the same way! I was just thinking this while going through this article. I’m always surprised and disappointed that they would serve vinegar tasting tartar sauce in a packet with their pride home made fried clams.
crystalrichardMay 22, 2018 at 2:14 pm
I know right? Maybe we all need to start leaving subtle hints this summer!
TinaMay 22, 2018 at 3:15 pm
The Loster Deck has homemade tartar sauce, come on down and try it out🙂
GMay 22, 2018 at 6:40 pm
Lobster Deck should be on this list too :) Always fresh and delicious seafood (clams, fish …and the shrimps are divine!) It’s never too greasy either. It’s one of my favorite place to go for my ‘summer fixes’ :)
Roma GiffordJune 12, 2018 at 3:43 pm
Our family ate at Lobster Deck on June 7th and it was delicious! I had clams & shrimp platter, my son had clams, haddock and scallops platter, my daughter small clam platter and husband had hamburger platter. The tartar sauce was delicious. We had enough left to bring home for the next day!
SophieMay 22, 2018 at 6:52 pm
What about chez Camille in Cap Pelé?
crystalrichardMay 22, 2018 at 10:23 pm
I haven’t been in forever, but would love to try it this summer! :)
AngMay 23, 2018 at 7:50 am
Chez Camille is the best year after year.
MichaelMay 24, 2018 at 12:29 pm
It’s my favourite above all, listed.
Florent landryMay 24, 2018 at 9:10 pm
Chey Camille for me the best
RSBMay 26, 2018 at 8:55 am
Chez Camille has been my favorite for years, Enjoy the clams with less batter.
NatalieMay 22, 2018 at 8:13 pm
All great places. I highly recommend Chez Camille! Homemade tartar sauce and fantastic food. Their clams are by far my favourite!
Joline MelansonMay 22, 2018 at 9:44 pm
Chez Leo used to have homemade tartar…you have to ask for it! ;)
BillMay 23, 2018 at 10:10 am
Summer hasn’t begun for my friends and I until we grab the “Combo” – fried clams and scallops – at Chez Camille…
Linda MacQueenMay 23, 2018 at 5:21 pm
Chez Leo has the best fried clams I have ever had… it is not summer without a trip there… and I love Kraft Tartar Sauce!!!
CarolineMay 23, 2018 at 6:13 pm
Definitly Chez Camille is missing on this list!! But really you could have just put Cap-Pelé period on this list, too many good spots! Although not in the coastal area, but I really like the fried clams at Skipper Jacks in Moncton!!!
Jerry TurnerMay 24, 2018 at 10:41 am
I just read the article and now my iPad is all wet from my drooling on it. Fried clams are my absolutely favorite seafood. I always tell people that if there was lobster and clams served to me the clams would be the first one to eat. I wasn’t planning a trip this summer but I think that you have sparked some interest in a maritime trip. Being this far from the ocean, in Montreal, there is no, what maritimers call, good seafood.
One last thing and I know this piece is about New Brunswick but if you are in the Halifax area the place to go for fried clams is John’s in Dartmouth.
crystalrichardMay 27, 2018 at 10:59 pm
Hi Jerry! I hope you have water damage coverage on the iPad for all that drool ;) Thank you so much for the comment. We are so lucky to have amazing seafood here. I haven’t been to John’s in Dartmouth but have heard amazing things. Will add it to my list for my next trip to Halifax :)
StevenMay 24, 2018 at 12:20 pm
La Terrasse à Steve : Mice place to be and eat ! MISCOU
crystalrichardMay 27, 2018 at 10:59 pm
Hi Steven! We are hoping to visit Miscou this summer – I will make a note :)
Mike AubeMay 24, 2018 at 5:32 pm
Grew up in Moncton, now living in Ottawa. Boy do I miss eating fried clams, every year I can’t wait to get back home and eat at BelAir but after reading this review I will have to include a few more restaurants to my list.
Dawn ChavarieMay 24, 2018 at 5:45 pm
My favorite place for fried clams is lobster deck ,they are awesome
PeeeejayMay 25, 2018 at 6:42 pm
Great Article!!! Always wanted a run down on fried clams as everybody has a favourite spot… well done and if you missed a spot or two that is also great….. it leaves it up to us to decide and to figure out. Hope you will do much more of these over the summer…. thanks.
crystalrichardMay 27, 2018 at 10:54 pm
Thanks PJ! I totally saw the opportunity for a run down and I’m so glad I could help :) I’m really hoping to get out to a few of the suggestions that have come in since publishing this post!
KarenMay 25, 2018 at 11:55 pm
Nice article and great pictures , made me hungry . I have had some of the above and agree !! We just had our first feed of Clams on the long weekend , holiday Monday at the Fundy Take Out in Alma . It makes a little day trip and they have tasty ones !!
crystalrichardMay 27, 2018 at 10:53 pm
I have never tried Fundy Take Out’s clams but very interested to try them now :)
MarcelMay 26, 2018 at 6:56 am
After reading all the comments now I’m hungry. Lol . I’m from this area and to me they all deserve to be tried out this summer.
crystalrichardMay 27, 2018 at 10:52 pm
If you’re hungry, my job here is done. Thanks for reading Marcel :)
Michelle LangisMay 26, 2018 at 11:10 am
Homemade tartar sauce is a must! I love all these spots. I’m surprised Paturel did not make the list. I think that is my all time favorite. :)
Michelle LangisMay 27, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Homemade tartar sauce is a must. Chez Léo does have it. Personally, Paturel is my favorite.
crystalrichardMay 27, 2018 at 10:51 pm
I’m definitely asking for their homemade next time I go! We didn’t realize Paturel was still open! Good to know! :)
Bob ClinchMay 27, 2018 at 3:01 pm
Make an extended trip to Charlotte County where we also have excellent fried clams. Ozzie’s in Bethel (just west of St George), Comeau’s in Pennfield, Birches in St George, Clam Digger in Chamcook are but a few.
crystalrichardMay 27, 2018 at 10:51 pm
Thanks Bob! I have added all of these to my list (except for Ozzie’s – it’s already a fave for that part of NB!) :) Thanks for reading!
Kayla AkerleyMay 29, 2018 at 10:31 pm
Oh man… NB girl living in Alberta and this article has my stomach growling! I miss sitting outside on picnic tables in the salt air chowing down on clams. I spent summers at my Gramm’s across from the Fundy Takeout in Alma and have eaten many a clam dinner there. Check them out next time you’re down that way!
crystalrichardMay 30, 2018 at 11:30 am
They are definitely on my list for this summer :)
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