2,000 Gallons of Chowder at Boston Harborfest

Boston’s 4th of July festival features an annual Chowderfest to determine Boston’s Best Chowder.

In the 32nd Annual Chowderfest, Boston restaurants will compete with their best New England clam chowder recipes.

While many cities empty out for the 4th of July weekend, Boston combines the holiday with a festival that celebrates its historic roots that are so closely tied to America’s independence.

Boston Harborfest, a six day festival July 2 through July 7, began in 1982 with only 35 activities. This year, there are over 200 events spanned throughout the week.

“It used to be that Boston locals would exit the city for the 4th of July holiday and head up to the Cape or elsewhere,” said Liz Pashley, a spokesperson for the festival. “Boston Harborfest was started in order to attract local attention to the historical significance of our city and bring people in to celebrate.”

Events include historical reenactments, walking tours, sunset harbor cruises, free noontime concerts on City Hall Plaza, fireworks, a Children’s Day, and the Chowderfest.

The Chowderfest is a competitive New England clam chowder cook-off between Boston’s top restaurants, all vying for the title of “Boston’s Best Chowder.”

Over 2,000 gallons of chowder will be served at the City Hall Plaza on Sunday July 7 to the thousands of tasters who show up and vote on their favorite. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for children under 12.

Last year, Anthem Kitchen + Bar won best chowder against competitors Hyatt Harborside Grill, Ipswich Clambake Company, Wyndham Beacon Hill, and Waterline, among others.

Chart House, a three-time winner, will also be serving its Hall of Fame recipe.

The family-friendly festival attracts over 2.5 million people who want to step back in time and appreciate Boston’s specialties in one of the most historic and patriotic cities in the country.


“Boston Harborfest is the only festival that will give you a true feel for what independence meant to our country back in 1776 and how that translates to our current lives,” Pashley said.