New England Dining: Christie’s, Lynn MA

Christie's Restaurant
17 Lynnway, Lynn, MA
(781) 598-1122

I am a fiend for fried clams — so when I heard that food writer Ed Levine had recommended a top place that was relatively close to Boston, I raced over there to have some.

I'm not sure I agree with Ed that Christie's, which has been around and run by the same family since 1903, is that the best thing about it is the proximity to the airport — these fried clams, and the fried scallops — OH… MY… GOD… the scallops, are the best I have had anywhere. And once you get your clams in the bag, you can drive around the circle on Lynnway and look out onto the water, eating fried seafood over the hood of your car while you get a nice sea breeze. That's totally priceless in my opinion — I could care less that Christie's on the inside looks like its been through the wars. Well, because it has.

Christie's is the archetype of New England clam shack places, and its been around for 103 years.

The Christie's Menu.

A fully functional circa 1950's ice cream soda fountain setup.

Christie's uses basket fryers that were custom made for the restaurant.

Fried Shrimp, in paper bag.

Fried Ipswitch belly clams, Fried Shrimp and Fried Scallops, poured onto a paper plate from paper cartons. Christie's makes its breading from scratch using flour and uses no commercial seasonings. The seafood is fried in pure vegetable oil.

A half-eaten large box of clams.

Fried Scallop

Owner George Dean. His grandfather, Christie, opened the restaurant in 1903.

George making a "Frappe", which is their term for a Ice Cream shake.

A black and white Frappe, made from Hood's ice cream, a New England-based company.

Christie Dean.

The view across the circle from the Christie's parking lot.

Christie's as seen from the opposite side of the traffic circle.

An ideal view for eating Fried Clams al Fresco.

10 Responses to New England Dining: Christie’s, Lynn MA

  1. Booklyn says:

    How completely can you trust a man who asserts that “[t]he fried clams are good” at Johnny’s Reef, without even noting that they’re not clams, but clam strips? (Or has this changed after all these decades?)

    Try Bigelow’s the next time you head out to Lawn Guyland to visit relatives.

  2. dennis says:

    The No Name (Fish Pier in Boston near that new US courthouse the Daily Catch is in) was better for belly clams. I used to talk to the owner when I lived up there. He went into how they fried them as non-greasy as possible. Plus the No Name has the best tartar sauce and coleslaw. Tartar sauce with the highest pickle to mayo ratio I’ve seen. And not gooey mayo but stiff. The slaw was clean too.

    I love their fish chowder. Milky thin broth not creamy. better than 99% of clam chowders but I’ll admit I’m prejudiced against creamy chowders. This chowder has character!

    I ate at the old Daily Catch in North End (1970s-1980s) and they probably are somewhat responsible for spreading fried calamari and squid ink pasta (putanesca)

  3. Larry C says:

    Another great “shack” nearby (for your next trip!) is Kelly’s Roast Beef. Roast beef sandwiches & fried clams to die for. Nice review of Kelly’s here:

  4. Morgaan says:

    Well, these guys have been feeding me for the two years I’ve been here studying at Harvard, and now I have to leave. I’m going to miss my burgers badly … they make a great one! They also make fantastic salads, incredibly fresh, crispy and delicious, with fantastic dressing. No matter what you get, it’s wonderful. And these are also just such good people. It’s relaxed, laid-back, completely unfussy, with great food, and wonderful goodness all around.

    Maybe they’ll open up a branch in Southern California sometime. If they do, I’ll be the first person through the door.

  5. Pete Hodges says:

    I was born in the North Shore area of Boston, and have traveled all around the country and part of the world and have lived in about 6 or 7 states and no where can you find better top quality food than in the Boston area…I dont care what it is these people know how to cook in the Northeast…Spaghetti & Meat Balls the Best, The Hilltop Steak House, the Best, Cristies, Kellys on the Beach, and a lot of Claim shacks along the coast the Best…they know there stuff…currently I live in Florida and my wife cooks better Spagetti than the Olive Garden and some other places down here…Submarine sandwiches Lena’s,
    and cheese steak sandwiches Steffys is the place in Lynn…Roast Beef Sandwiches Bill and Bobs Roast Beef…those are just a few of the very best places you can eat.. Chocolate Frappes Boston area is best…Hell I use to Soda Jerk when I was a kid in High School and man could I make that stuff…People in Florida Get excited about Dairy Queen, that stuff is kids stuff..and New England clam Chowder in the Boston area is the real macoy, in Florida they had fish and onions and other stuff and call it original Clam Chowder thats bull Real New England Clam Chowder has that clam taste all the way through it and specially mixed with potatoes and a creamy sauce prepared only the way New Englanders can do it..Christies is a great place …I ate there off and on for 40 yrs and my daughter grew up on Clam Chowder there when she was 5…Today she is 34 and still loves Clam Chowder and recently went back there especially to eat at Christies and Steffys Sub Shop…she to lives in Florida…and she to has eaten all over, as we lived in Calif., Texas, Ariz, Oklahoma, Penn, Mass, and of course Florida…Many places in Florida try to duplicate New England Sea Food… Some are sucessful, most fail..As for New Yorkers….well what can you say about people that eat Mahattan Clam Chowder…GIVE ME A BREAK…

  6. Pete Hodges says:

    thank you offthebroiler for that interesting comment about Manhattan Clam Chowder a great ghistory lesson for Monday morning…Cheers Pete

  7. Elissa Chakonas Clark says:

    Enjoyed the pictures of Christie’s and the beach. Thanks! I grew up there…going there this sunday for lunch…World best fried clams and onion rings! I now live in PA. :( Miss those great eating places like Christies, Kelly’s roast beef and Steffy’s. Even the chinese food is better in Mass, than in PA, sad to say.

  8. says:

    January 21 2011

    Bill of Cambridge
    Everything at Christie’s is good and a good value. I love the Fraps/milk shakes and the hamburgers

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