Buffalo may not be next to an ocean, but we can still enjoy excellent clam bars. Our area boasts a handful of places to score some delicious clams. Whether you like to slurp them from the half-shell or eat them crispy from the fryer, this list has got you covered. Now is the time to make the most of the season by enjoying a meal — or two or three — that is quintessentially, and oh-so-perfectly, summer.
1. Marotto’s Restaurant
3365 Delaware Ave., Kenmore
716-873-0551 / marottos.com
Marotto’s Clam Bar is open May 1 through Labor Day. They feature a super cute, weathered, oceanside-looking shack in front of their restaurant with stools where you can sidle up to the window or sit and one of the few picnic tables. There, you can feast on all things clams, to include clams on the half shell, oysters Rockefeller, steamed clams, fried clams, hot clam bisque, clams casino and shrimp cocktails. You can also get a side of fresh Eden corn as well as French fries and drinks.
2. Old Man River
375 Niagara St., Tonawanda
716-693-5558 / oldmanriverwny.com
The beautiful thing about this spot is that you can enjoy the breeze coming off the Niagara River while eating your clams, as it’s located right across from Niawanda Park. The open-air restaurant features plenty of outdoor seating right in front of the “Seafood Shack” located in the back of the eatery. You can order clams any way you like: raw, steamed or casino, as well as mussels, shrimp, calamari, fish fry and crab cakes. Basically, if you want casual seafood, this place has got you covered. Sides include salt potatoes, corn on the cob, baked beans and cole slaw.
3. Steve’s Clam Bar
1488 Hertel Ave., Buffalo
Steve’s Clam Bar is a hidden gem newly relocated to 1488 Hertel Ave. at the corner of Sterling Ave. This tiny, cash-only establishment offers a simple menu highlighting clams. This includes clams raw, steamed, casino or “Cajun casino.” They also serve oysters raw, steamed or Rockefeller. Additionally, you can also order crab legs (snow, king or dungeness), mussels, lobster and seafood cocktails. Heat lovers, rejoice: They make their own hot sauce with marinated peppers sourced from around the world. They caution: “Full flavor and full throttle.”
4. Remington Tavern and Seafood Exchange
184 Sweeney St., Tonawanda
716-362-2802 / remingtontavern.com
Remington Tavern is an exceptional spot to go for a nice occasion, but if you love clams and oysters, that’s reason enough to check out this place. It’s earned a reputation for terrific seafood and shellfish, but IMO they do plenty more precisely right. They feature a killer raw bar offering oysters shucked to order and clams, along with housemate cocktail sauce and freshly grated horse radish. Unlike other establishments, here they will tell you where your “Today’s Oysters” are sourced, be it Massachusetts or Cape Cod or New Jersey, which is pretty cool. They offer specials each night of the week, including an oyster night on Tuesday. Be sure to check their menu out beforehand.
5. Boston Hotel’s Steak & Crab House
5555 Genesee St., Lancaster
This casual, family-owned restaurant serves up some stellar clams. They offer a number of surf and turn menu items, along with terrific clams and oysters. This includes fresh raw or steamed clams and clams casino. They also offer fresh oysters, baked oysters, “Captain Jack” oysters (with hot cause, bacon, cheese and Jalapeño) and oysters Rockefeller. Also on the menu are shrimp, crab cake and mussels.