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The Best Clams In Chicago? Try New England Seafood Market

By Anthony Todd in Food on Nov 5, 2012 4:00PM

Photo by Mike Gebert.

It can be hard to find great New England-style seafood in Chicago. And since we don't really have a seafood style of our own (unless you count Asian Carp), we often crave a great clam chowder or a bowl of steamers. Well, Mike Gebert at Grubstreet Chicago has pointed us to the promised land.

Last week, he profiled Bob and Jeff Mazza, descendants of Boston fisherman and owners of New England Seafood Market in Roscoe Village. Bob went to school for finance but was drawn back into the family business in Boston. He came to Chicago for college, loved the city, and moved back here - and decided to bring his family business to us. They have a retail side, an eat-in area and will deliver you a live lobster via Grubhub.

The neighborhood reaction to a New England seafood shop? Wonderful.

I think of the people who are from the East Coast and know this kind of food and are thrilled. I had an older gentleman in an old Patriots jersey practically hug me, saying "I haven't had a meal like these fried clams in twenty-five years," that makes me happy. Then there's midwesterners who've been out east and know the food, and then there's people who don't know anything about steamed clams, but we teach them how to eat them and they love it."

The interview has some great tips. What fish makes the best fish and chips? Mazza claims that there's nothing better than Haddock. He also thinks that steamer clams aren't really a thing in Chicago - and now that we think about it, he's completely right. Well, just so you aren't confused when you try to eat some, there's a photo tutorial on exactly the right way to dismember your clams. Check out the entire interview and gallery.

The most tantalizing idea? The brothers are thinking about starting a lobster roll truck. We'd be lined up every day.

New England Seafood Market is located at 3341 N Lincoln Ave.