Top 5 Must Try Clam Chowders

Chowder connoisseurs know that the succulent clam mollusk contains the nectar of the Gods, (as the natural juice from clams is appropriately called nectar). So, we decided it was time to survey the Tillamook Coast from north to south, to find the very best offerings right here on our bountiful coastline.

Buttercup Ice Creams and Chowders

Located in Nehalem. Boasts delicate razor clams, smoky bacon, red potato, onion, celery, carrot, rich cream, milk, spices, fresh thyme and red pepper butter in their traditional chowder. All ingredients are clearly listed on their chalkboard, with most sourced locally.

Old Oregon Smokehouse

Old Oregon Smokehouse in Rockaway Beach, has received impressive reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp for their delicious chowder made with an abundance of clams, potatoes and celery cooked in clam juice, half and half, and additional heavy cream for richness (no water). Their sign declares they have the best chowder on the coast. Try a bowl yourself and see if it lives up to their claim to fame. You can even order yours in a bread bowl!

Park Side Coffee House

The large sign displayed on the front of Park Side in Garibaldi reads “Fabulous Homemade Clam Chowder.” They make a silken chowder with the perfect consistency (not too thick or too thin), using heaps of clams and Pacific Oyster as one of their local sources. Their hot cup of chowder comes in a vintage motif Campbell’s soup mug, but you can be sure it didn’t come from a can, even though it is “mmm, mmm…good!”

Downie’s Café

Downie’s Café in Bay City uses a homemade recipe that has been passed down through three generations, creating a tradition that began with their 97-year-old grandma! The secret ingredient in this recipe is surely love. With such fabulous flavor, it may even become a tradition for you after you’ve tasted it!

Pelican Pub

Pelican Pub in Pacific City has an award-winning chowder made with a small dice of peppery bacon, onion, celery and potatoes. Into the pot it all goes with real butter, heavy cream, juicy clams, clam base, salt and pepper. You can even find their recipe online, reduced for use in quantities at home!

Honorable Mentions:

Fish Peddler – Bay City

Terra Cotta – Manzanita

Grateful Bread – Pacific City

Pacific Restaurant – Tillamook

Schooner Restaurant – Netarts

Brandon Parmley
Brandon Parmley has been providing culinary content on the Oregon Coast for the past 5 years. He is a food enthusiast, adventurer and proud parent of 3. When it comes to cuisine, Brandon enjoys experiencing the cultural influences on today's take-out.

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