Travelers are generally agreed: road food is an essential part of a road trip adventure.
This is a “vintage” adventure that is being incorporated retroactively as part of “Operation Hometown Traveler,” but it’s still among my favourite discoveries. My friend Trish and I set out on a road trip loop of Southwestern Nova Scotia: Halifax to Yarmouth along the Atlantic Ocean (Highway 103), Yarmouth to Halifax along the Bay of Fundy (Highway 101). Aside from visiting friends in Yarmouth and other general road trip fun, we were focused on a mission: to eat the World’s Best Clams.
If you’re new to our shores, you need to know it’s easy to find great seafood in Nova Scotia. Abundant, delicious, and well-priced – from fine dishes prepared by talented chefs to hot, fried delights, we have it all here. The only Red Lobster you’ll find is lobster which turns red after cooking it in someone’s kitchen, after you bought it from the guy who probably pulled it out of the sea earlier in the day.
Tucked away on “the old highway,” Highway #3, in Hunt’s Point, Queens County, is Seaside Seafoods, or, as it’s also known, “World’s Best Clams.”
As a seafood fan, I’ve eaten my fair share of clams: fried whole, strips, bits, sushi, grilled in the shell, so it’s a bold, brave move to call something The Best. Of course, knowing Nova Scotian roadside restaurants, it was a safe bet they’d be pretty good, if not great. The parking lot was full, which is a harbinger of good, hearty food. I didn’t have a picture. Luckily, it was almost as busy the day the Google Street View vehicle went by. Thanks, Google Street View!
Seaside Seafoods is a road tripper’s delight: simple menu and decor, local colour, outdoor picnic tables. We placed our order and waited patiently as a steady stream of local customers made their way in and out of the hectic shop. It also has a plaque noting its seafood excellence.
When our order was ready, we grabbed a pile of napkins and headed for a picnic table outside in the breezy July sun. The verdict? Easy, it was heaven in a styrofoam takeaway container. The clams were well-sized and served up hot. There was no need for the side of fries, though they were fine, the serving of clams was so large and tasty, it easily served as a meal itself. Our joy was unrestrained. We clapped and cheered after opening the container. Oh yes, that happened.
With a meal like this, the real challenge is pacing. You really want to savour each bite, while fighting the urge to wolf them down. We ate in near-silence. A victory for World’s Best Clams. I’m not going to debate folks on whether or not Seaside Seafoods has the best clams in the world, but I can tell you this much: years later, I’m still talking about them and that counts for something.
Since it was such a lovely day, we skipped dessert and went for a quick walk on the nearby beach. When road tripping along the Atlantic Ocean, save your lunch or dinner break for Exit 20 (or Exit 20A) and Seaside Seafood – the World’s Best Clams.
Finding Seaside Seafoods, the World’s Best Clams:
Exit 20A, Highway 103, head west on Highway #3
Exit 20, Highway 103, head east on Highway #3
Look for Seaside Seafoods at 6943 Highway #3 in Hunt’s Point, Queens County
What kind of “bests” do you look for when you’re on the road? Is a road trip complete without an awesome roadside food stop? Share away in the comments!