Best clam chowder not in New England

Mo's Clam Chowder Restaurant Florence OregonMaine definitely has the lobster thing going for it. But when it comes to New England chowder, look to the left coast for the best around.

Mo’s clam chowder is what made the small family owned chain of seafood restaurants along the Oregon border famous. In 1946 Mohava Marie Niemi opened her first chowder house in Newport, OR.

Mo is gone now, but her grand daughter still runs the business with help from the great grandchildren. With six locations, we found a Mo’s in Florence after hearing an ad on the radio about their famous chowder. I remember reading that Bruce Springsteen once ate at Mo’s, so we just had to go!

Mo's Mochas at Mo's Florence Chowder RestaurantMo’s sits right on the dock overlooking the water and is replete with nautical relics. It was foggy and damp out, but when isn’t it here on the Oregon coast?

What a perfect setting for a hot bowl of chowder. But what I first eye-balled on the menu was Mo’s Mochas! Hot chocolate and coffee topped with loads of whipped cream warmed us up right away.

Maybe if we didn’t still have a ways to drive we might have opted for the “special” Mo’s with Irish Creammmmmmm…

Mo's Clam Chowder Restaurant Florence OregonThe menu was full of delicious sounding items – cioppoino, crab melts, fish and chips – but we came for the chowder. And boy were we glad we did.

Most clam chowders taste way too processed with clam and potatoes bits that are always to small. But each spoon of Mo’s chowder is a mouthful. Big, tender potato chunks you can sink your teeth into, and large flavorful clam strips make Mo’s the best in my book.

Served with a pad of butter and sprinkling of seasoning, one bowl is enough to fill you up. You almost don’t need the crackers and hot sauce Jim likes to add. But we added an order of garlic toast and fried clam strips to round out our meal.

Friendly fast service, a great view, and good food, what more could we ask for? We left satisfied without feeling stuffed, and wandered back out onto the drizzly dock with a warm belly and another great local dining experience under our belt.

7 thoughts on “Best clam chowder not in New England”

  1. We spent two weeks traveling along the coast in Sept 07. We stopped at every one of the Mo’s Restaurants, and one twice. My husband LOVES the chowder and I love the halibut fish and chips. We will probably go back in a couple years and do the same thing!

  2. Damn,
    We drove right past this place twice last summer and did not know it was there 🙁
    We will have to try it out next time we head that far north.


  3. Stop it already! You’re making me hungry! I love clam chowder and I would have to say that the best clam chowders I’ve had have been on the west coast.

  4. I love Mo’s!

    I once shot a documentary on Route 20 which culminated in Newport and specifically at Mo’s…really cool story there.

    Though I’ve only tented there, if you follow the road Mo’s is on inland a couple of miles there’s a nice little RV park right by the water with a really cool bar next to it, I think it’s called Mad Dogs. Great dive, great owners.


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