What To Eat With Clam Chowder

Clam chowder has become an iconic part of San Francisco’s food culture and is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. With its access to fresh seafood and local ingredients, the city has become renowned for the best clam chowder. with countless restaurants and eateries offering their own unique takes on the dish. In addition to being a beloved comfort food, clam chowder has also become a symbol of the city’s history and connection to its maritime roots. Whether enjoyed on a chilly day at Fisherman’s Wharf or in a cozy restaurant overlooking the bay, clam chowder remains a beloved staple of San Francisco cuisine and a cherished part of the city’s cultural heritage.

Are you wondering what to eat with clam chowder? We get it, there are a lot of delicious options to choose from. You can go for oyster crackers, warm sourdough bread, salad, french fries… the list goes on. This tasty soup is packed with clam lumps and tender potatoes. It is not only filling and indulgent – but quite easy to make. Although there are many types of chowder, we think the New England clam chowder is by far the best. Regardless of the type, clam chowder tastes very good, especially when paired with the perfect side dish to make it that much better.

You probably already have your clam chowder recipe if you are searching for what to eat along with it, but we couldn’t help but share our favorite recipe here just in case you are open to trying a new one.

So are you wondering what is good with clam chowder? Given below are a few of the best side dishes that pair well with clam chowder.

clam chowder



We start off with our most simple and obvious food to pair with clam chowder – bread! When cham chowder is served in a bowl of bread, it tastes fantastic and makes it that much more fun to eat. However, if you would like to keep it simple, go for some buttery and soft bread rolls. Then, tear off a piece of bread and dunk it into the hot chowder and let it absorb all the cream.

Fluffy dinner rolls are best when they have just been taken out of the oven and perhaps layered with butter.

We especially recommend sourdough bread pairing due to the unique sour taste and special texture that pairs best with the thick creamy chowder. Drooling yet?

Best clam chowder with crackers

Oyster Crackers

Apart from the dinner rolls, you can consider some savory and crisp oyster crackers. The combination of crunchy crackers along with this tender and thick soup is fantastic.

Oyster crackers are small and empty inside and topped with a bit of salt. They are similar to a saltine cracker but in a different shape. When you put them on top of your hot clam chowder these crackers get perfectly soft, yet also stay crunchy, without overwhelming the chowder since there is a lot of empty air space inside.

chowder and salad


If you pair cham chowder with a simple salad, you can never go wrong. You see, cham chowder is quite rich, and so it has to be balanced with something light. Consider either a Kale salad, Caesar salad, or coleslaw. Shy away from action-packed salads with things like nuts, cheese, avocado and other fatty ingredients since they compete with the heaviness of the clam chowder. Stick to light lettuces with simple ingredients for the optimal pairing with this dish.

Roasted  Vegetables

Since clam chowder is rich, it should be balanced with something light; veggies can be a great choice. The flavor is subtle, and so there won’t be any possibility of dominating the main dish. It would be better if the vegetables are roasted for a caramelized flavor. Carrots, beets, tomatoes, mushrooms, and artichokes would be fantastic choices. You can also simply steam the vegetables to keep them simple and not competing with the flavor of the chowder.

Corn On Cob

When it comes to just pairing, cham chowder and corn on the cob is a great idea. It not only goes well with this hearty soup, but it is also easy to prepare as well. Depending on what you prefer, you can either roast, boil, bake or grill it. Also, adding flavor to the nutritious called is quite simple. Some salt and butter, and that’s it.

french fries

French Fries

Cham chowder already has potatoes. Therefore it makes sense if you add more potatoes to it. Then, just add some crispy fries. If you are really feeling fun you can even dip your French fries into the clam chowder for a decadent treat. Being a finger food, this side dish choice gives a fun eating experience between bites of chowder with your spoon.


Bacon can make everything better, including cham chowder.  Now a bowl of juicy clams, potatoes, and chunks of bacon is a perfect mix. Rather than being a side dish, bacon is more of a topping or ingredient in the chowder. Regardless of the technicality bacon is an incredible addition to a bowl of clam chowder.

Cornmeal Pancakes

This is yet another tender and soft side dish that goes well with clam chowder. The best would be to go for cornmeal pancakes infused with pumpkin sauce that would perfectly balance the richness of chowder.  Most important of all for those with gluten sensitivities, these are gluten-free.



These can turn the dinner into a seafood meal. Mussels have a mild flavor and can perfectly fair with cham chowder. Together these can form a harmony of textures and flavors that can highly satisfy the palate.

Calamari - paired with the best clam chowder


This side dish is the most popular of common seafood starters for a seafood meal like the best clam chowder. Yes, it is fried and decadent, but typically the same palate that loves clam chowder also loves fried calamari. And who wouldn’t? Delicious coated and fried rings of calamari served with lemon for a fresh lemon squeeze and cocktail sauce. Yum!


While salmon is typically a more filling larger entrée dish, we still recommend it with clam chowder because they are both typically eaten sea side. If you do wish to eat salmon with clam chowder, we suggest just a cup of clam chowder since it is very filling.


No matter what you eat with clam chowder we know it will be delicious. Clam chowder is a beloved comfort food that has become a staple in San Francisco cuisine. With access to fresh and local seafood, the city has become a hub for clam chowder enthusiasts who are constantly seeking out the best version of this classic dish. Among the many options available in San Francisco, Fog Harbor Fish House stands out as a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best clam chowder in the city. With its commitment to quality ingredients, authentic preparation, and breathtaking views, Fog Harbor Fish House offers a unique and memorable dining experience that is truly unparalleled. Whether you are a longtime clam chowder fan or simply looking to try this iconic dish for the first time, Fog Harbor Fish House is the place to go for a truly unforgettable culinary adventure.

If you found this piece helpful, check out our recommendations on what we suggest you eat with crab!


Clam Chowder at Fog Harbor Fish House

Fog Harbor Fish House won the People’s Choice Award for Best Chowder at the Wharf Fest Chowder Competition. Our chowder is the Best Cup in San Francisco.

We can’t wait to welcome you into Fog Harbor Fish House for an unforgettable dining experience. 

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