6 Chowders to Sample on the East Coast

One of the best things about traveling is the ability to try different foods. Right in the very locations they were founded. Meaning you’re in for some delicious flavor – straight from those who know how to best whip up their ancestors’ dishes. And when heading to the Northeast, there’s perhaps no better example than chowder. (Or if you’re visiting Boston, chauw-dah.) How can you go wrong? The area is right there in the name – meaning New England clam chowder, along with many other chowders, should be directly on your radar. Yes even if it doesn’t feel like soup season. After all, the locals aren’t going to stop eating it, so neither should you! Make your way to the Northeast and try these incredible dishes.

New England Clam Chowder

As stated, this is a must-try. Creamy, full of fresh clam, and brooding with veggies, it’s a dish many could eat every day. Better yet, try multiple times throughout your trip for different versions on a local favorite. Add in cheeses, spices, and more to find your favorite concoction of a regional favorite. Locals insist on adding crackers or croutons, too. A simple way to add texture and flavor without sacrificing chowder quality.

New England Clam Chowder

Turkey Chowder

Perfect for those who don’t eat seafood, the turkey chowder is a close cousin, and still among Northeastern ranks. Full of creamy goodness, this version comes with plenty of juicy turkey, which gives the entire dish new (but still delicious) flavor. Most recipes also come with onions and celery, as well as a small kick of cayenne powder. Try a sample with rice for a more filling variation – great for substituting a Thanksgiving dish!

Photo by: Mccormick
Photo by: Mccormick

Corn Chowder

This soup is actually more popular throughout the United States (and likely the most popular vegetarian chowder version – when made with dairy-free milk), but should still be given special treatment in the Northeast. It’s most often made with bell peppers, potatoes, and all types of corn – some even use both fresh and frozen to add layers of corn flavor. Certain dishes even call for a kick of flavor, turning up the heat with hot sauce or Old Bay Seasoning to give each kernel that little extra pop. Top with onions to help enhance flavors even further. Or, if visiting in the fall, try pumpkin corn chowder for a taste that screams autumn.

Corn Chowder

Scallop Chowder

Much like its clam predecessor, but using scallops instead. Some eaters prefer scallops as seafood as they’re softer and offer great flavor (or just a different flavor). They also come in smaller pieces, leaving less work for the chef. No matter the preference, however, opting for scallops vs. clam provides some variation in the chowder world, without losing flavor. Pair with chicken broth and leeks for a version known as Irish chowder that’s still packed with flavor.

Scallop Chowder


It might not be chowder, but cornbread has long since served as a chowder side. It helps enhance the taste, while soaking up each drop of delicious broth. There are even variations here to help eaters get the most of each meal, including breads that are salty, sweet, and even with crispy edges. Be sure to try at least one slice when traveling east – though we strongly recommend a hunk of bread with each meal!


Chef’s Choice

Really, the idea of chowder is one that can be extremely universal. Some add bacon or grains, others drop in herbs and spices to add a completely different flavor. No matter what the change, however, it allows them to adjust the flavor and make it their own. Meaning you’re in for a treat, getting to try an old favorite with a completely new twist. For as many times as you’re willing to order said meal. Give it a go – sometimes these are the best dishes of them all!

manhattan clam chowder

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