Clam chowder is a must when you visit New England and even more so, when you visit Martha’s Vineyard. At (almost) any time of year, you can find these restaurants open and serving up some of the best chef-made clam chowders on island and today I’m sharing my top three clam chowders served on Martha’s Vineyard. If you’re searching for “best clam chowder on Martha’s Vineyard“, you’ve found them! Where to Eat Best Clam Chowder on Martha's Vineyard, MA

I get dozens of emails during the spring and summer, of people that find my blog and are planning a trip to Martha’s Vineyard and have a few questions about the island. No matter what kind of trip they are planning, the question that is always asked in these emails is: “where can I get the best clam chowder on Martha’s Vineyard?”. To help future travelers and reduce the amount of emails, I’ve put together my top three clam chowders served up on Martha’s Vineyard: where you can find them, what’s in them, and why these are my favorite chowders will all be explained.

If you’re wondering how I went about this process of tasting clam chowders and deciding which was “the best”, see below:

  • During the winter of 2018-2019, I called 14 restaurants on island that had clam chowder on their menu. A simple, “do you make your clam chowder from scratch?” received a variety of replies and that narrowed down the list, because I wanted to only taste freshly made chowders, not anything from a bag.
  • From there, I visited a few of the restaurants that did make clam chowder from scratch and alongside my husband, a guy that’s had hundreds of cups of chowder since he loves it and is from Cape Cod, tasted these chowders.
  • We judged the chowders on: ingredients (how traditional/modern was it), cookery of said ingredients (were the potatoes raw/overcooked/mushy), the texture of the chowder itself (too thin/too thick), and overall flavor.
The Wharf Pub, Edgartown

One of the first chowder loves I had on this island, was the clam chowder from the Wharf Pub in Edgartown. They’ve won awards for their chowder, that is made in house and is quite delicious. A very traditional chowder, made with the classics like bacon, potatoes, cream, and clams. The thickness is just right and in my opinion, pairs so well with a few splashes of Tabasco green pepper sauce.

Clam Chowder from The Wharf Pub-4

Offshore Ale Company, Oak Bluffs

Next up, another restaurant made chowder that is similar to the Wharf’s chowder, but with clams that aren’t as chopped up, so big clam pieces make up this chowder. It also has the traditional ingredients, plus celery which I don’t encounter in a lot of traditional chowders but it made this one quite flavorful.

Offshore Ale, located in Oak Bluffs, also has a fun and inviting atmosphere. When you come in you get a bowl of peanuts in the shell that you snack on while you wait for your meal and throw the shells on the floor. Unless you have a peanut allergy, this place is really fun and the clam chowder is delicious.

Clam Chowder from Offshore Ale-11

Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company, Oak Bluffs

Last and certainly not least, my favorite chowder on island is at the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company! I was shocked to say this because I’ve known this chowder for a while now, knew it was gluten free and a bit less traditional than the others, but the flavor in this cup was unlike the others, which made it a clear winner. It has no gluten and no pork product, yet somehow became a quick winner. The potatoes, celery, and onions, along with the clams, are cut small which makes for a delicious eating experience. There is a secret blend of herbs and spices in this that is impossible to discover, but I do think there’s thyme and rosemary, and someone once told me there’s marjoram as well in it.

This is also the only trademarked chowder on island, so the name “Martha’s Vineyard Clam Chowder” is now a trademark!

Clam Chowder from MV Chowder Co. -22

Now it’s your turn, in the comments tell me who makes your favorite clam chowder and what makes it so delicious!

Where to Eat the Best Clam Chowder on Martha's Vineyard, MA

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  1. I have visited MV 4 times since 2017 and Menemsha Fish Market chowder is my favorite, but I also love the chowder from Steamship Authority Galley when heading to MV. I plan to return in October pending travel restrictions.

  2. Bill Locke says:

    I’ve tried several clam chowder on the Vineyard, and I think the best, by a mile, is at the Menemsha Fish Market. It has silky texture. Amazing flavor, all the traditional ingredients and, thank goodness, no celery. How could you even consider a chowder that contained celery….the non-food?!

  3. I think the Galley in Menemsha makes a really tasty chowder chock full of clams and less creamy/more broth-like in texture. It has a pleasant briny taste of the sea which I like. So many chowders I have tasted have way too much cream and few clams.

  4. Brian Murray says:

    Good job Marnely!!