The Best Fried Clams on Nantucket

A visit to Sayle's Seafood
Sayle's Seafood's hot, juicy golden clams burst in my mouth. (Pat Brooks photo)

I like to take the ferry out of Harwichport to Nantucket a couple times a year and have lunch near the water. On my first trip to the Island this year I craved full belly fried clams.  

A friend of mine on the Island suggested a local fish market called Sayle's Seafood.

It's just a few blocks on the outskirts of downtown on the harbor.

It looks like and is a fish market where locals buy fresh fish to take home. It's very small and about as simple as it gets. 

There are a few tables on the front porch and a few in the side yard so you can either eat there or bring your food across the street to the beach.

The market carries a large variety of fresh local seafood and specializes in Nantucket Bay scallops, native Nantucket lobsters, Atlantic sea scallops and  "Home Made" Nantucket clam chowder.

The take out menu has a large selection to chose from: For the non fish eaters they offer BBQ pork ribs, and fried honey chicken.

After ordering at the counter I found a table on the small deck overlooking the bay. 

To start things off I had the clam chowder that came with the meal I ordered. A lot of clams were sacrificed to make this chowder and all that clam meat was gently seasoned and presented in a creamy broth. The “cup” of chowder was actually more like a good sized bowl

My entree was Fried Whole Belly Clams (Large size ($21) or huge ($25.50) market price the day I was there. The clams were the soft-shell ones with gray-sheathed feet hanging out. They were nutty, sweet and briny in perfect proportion and very lightly battered. The hot, juicy golden clams burst in my mouth. This large portion came with golden fried clams, a generous portion of French fries, home made coleslaw and Nantucket clam chowder. Top rated and best on the Island.

I sure wish they would open on the Cape. 

If you go:

  • Sayle's Seafood
  • 99 Washington Street Ext, Nantucket
  • Lunch & dinner 10am- 9pm
  • Open year round 
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