As a Boston native living in Madison, I find myself craving foods that remind me of home -- lobster rolls from Kelly’s Roast Beef, oysters from Legal’s, and biggest of all, New England clam chowder. Adjusting to a new city isn’t easy, and when you move to the Midwest, seafood isn’t exactly abundant. Two months away from the east coast was too long to go without a taste of home, so I decided to go on the hunt for the best New England clam chowder in Madison.

The Surprisingly Short Search  

After a bit of research, I found that the dish is served, ironically, in a restaurant famously known for bringing you Wisconsin classics: The Old Fashioned. Renowned for their cheese curds and beer brats, I didn't expect the Old Fashioned to be one of the only establishments in Madison to serve New England clam chowder.

The Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned, which opened its doors in 2005, remains a famous Wisconsin staple in the heart of Madison, right next to the capitol. Upon opening up a menu, I became aware that cheese was definitely their thing. After sampling their cheese curds (worth the hype, by the way), it was time to try the New England clam chowder, which is a special only on Fridays.

The Clam Chowder 

Kayla Kornitsky

After one spoonful of the New England classic, I was pleasantly surprised. Who would’ve thought that I'd find the clam chowder I was looking for on the very first try. Being a "masshole" in the badger state isn’t always easy, but the Old Fashioned definitely nailed this New England dish. Any place in Madison that can give me a taste of Boston is surely worth a trip beyond campus, and I can say with confidence that I’ll be back for more.