The Hungry Clam
San Juan County
San Juan Island
130 First St.
Every day 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Located just half a block from the San Juan Island ferry lines, the Hungry Clam is by necessity as close to fast food as can be found in San Juan County. Unfortunately this connotation does the joint little justice.
The food is prepared in plain view, and patrons wait in line to pay then seat themselves, but the Clam is aesthetic worlds away from McDonald’s or Burger King. For one thing the fish & chips are extraordinary, the best on the islands outside Vern’s Bayside Restaurant and Lounge on Orcas. The fish is tender with a wonderfully balanced crunchy exterior and the fries are cut fresh and served by the basket.
The rest of the faire is also quite good, and includes a variety of burgers, the island’s ubiquitous chicken strips, and Americanized Mexican selections. None rate at the level of the fish & chips, but all are quite acceptable and will hit the spot if the mood is right. The Clam also offers up a good deal more ambiance than one would expect from such a perfect grab-a-sack-of-burgers-and-hit-the-ferry location. If you have the time the sidewalk tables offer a wonderful vantage point from which to assess the eccentric hustle and bustle variations of islanders and tourists, though beer (domestic, including Alaskan on draught) must be consumed indoors.
While waiting for your number to be called it’s not at all a waste of time to consider the many fishing voyage-related photographs on the walls, many of them depicting local youngsters in what is rapidly becoming a tradition relegated to historical contexts. Many of the photos are quite witty, and diffuse any lingering concerns that you’re really just in another burger place.
The feel is casual, the food can be excellent, and the help keeps an eye on the ferry schedule for you. Daily specials ensure that the Hungry Clam won’t be a budget buster.
From the ferry landing take Spring Street a block into town. Turn left on First Street, and find the Hungry Clam a half-block down on your left.
Kid Friendly | Beer and Wine | Dinner | Espresso | Lunch | Outdoor seating
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San Juan Islands