2006 Editor's choice for Best of Connecticut: Fried Clams. "Located on the flood tide of the Mystic River in a former Carvel ice-cream stand, for the past 20-odd years Sea Swirl has served up perfect sunsets and subtle deep-fried crunch in equal measure. Clam-diggers in the know claim the "Squirrel's" whole-bellies are best, but the clam strips are succulent too, whether you prefer them in an appetizer of fritters, on a toasted roll, as a side dish or dinner-style with fries and slaw."
~Connecticut Magazine September 2006

"One time Carvel stand between Route 1 and Kelly Tires, it's Connecticut's best-know shack. "Milk or broth clam chowder" on the board. Teens slurping soft cones with sprinkles or Buck's mud ice cream at picnic tables by the water. But really, why would anyone order anything but the hot, fat, sweet, crispy fried clams?"
~Connecticut Magazine July 2006

Rachael's lunch stop: Sea Swirl. Rachael enjoyed a hearty cod fish sandwich, "a classic roadside delicacy," she noted. "This is the perfect New England seafood lunch and I can totally taste why locals eat here... it is fabulous and if everyone had prices like Sea Swirl, I could eat on $20 a day. People line up for flawlessly fried seafood."

~Food Network Channel, Rachael Ray's $40 A Day, Summer 2004
"Sea Swirl might seem like an unlikely place to find four-star food. But, for many years now, it has sustained a deserved reputation as one of the finest places this side of Ipswitch to eat fried clams, especially the whole-belly variety."
~Roadfood.com, Michael Stern, July 2000
"A stroll on the boardwalk at Ocean Beach or an ice cream cone from Sea Swirl in Mystic provide memorable moments too..."
~ Connecticut Magazine, June 2004
"Sea Swirl is one of Phantom's "Great Ate" for Fried Clams."
~ Phantom Gourmet, 2002
"The Best: Crunchy Fried Clams. Sea Swirl hasn't changed much since moving into an old Carvel stand in Mystic, CT. Luckily for fried-clam lovers everywhere, this ice cream stand also serves the delicious, whole-bellied Ipswitch variety. The unassuming décor is no indication of the quality of these meaty splendors, which are browned to a perfect crunch. Add a soda and the ocean breeze to the mix for a satisfying summer treat."
~The Phantom Gourmet, 2002
"Sea Swirl is among the crowd-pleasing indoor-outdoor shrines to seafood..."
~Connecticut Magazine 2003
"Sea Swirl in Mystic is an old-school ice cream stand that also attracts crowds for its fried clams. Sea Swirl is another classic of its kind, an old-school, slant roof ice cream stand that sidelines great pints of fried clams."
~The Boston Globe, Travel, Ted Weesner, Jr.
"If you're talking to someone from Indiana, they won't know what a clam shack is," said David Blaney, owner of Sea Swirl, a clam shack housed in an old Carvel ice cream building on Route 1 in Mystic. "But New Englanders understand."
~The New York Times, August 3, 2003
"In Mystic, Sea Swirl has long been a favorite of ice cream lovers in the region. And ice cream isn't all; as the sign out front says, 'Fresh Seafood ... Famous for Clams ... Ice Cream. We're at the point where parents who came here with their babies ... those babies work for us now," says David Blaney, who has owned the place with wife, Kathy, for the past 20 years."
~Marketplace, August 2002
"In case you never noticed, the Sea Swirl season precisely parallels the major league baseball season ..."
~Marketplace, August 2002
"A summer classic: Lightly fried whole-bellied clams at Sea Swirl in Mystic...extra tartar sauce, please!"
~Mohegan Sun Legends Magazine,
50 Things to Love about Connecticut this summer, Summer 2002
"... Then I discovered the Sea Swirl. Nowhere have those delicious little tidbits (clams) tasted so fine as this walk-up diner on U.S. 1 in this seafaring village. The tender mollusks that set my taste buds atingle come from the chilly waters off the northeast Atlantic coast. Similar roadside stands dot the New England coast, but my heart (make that, stomach) belongs to the Swirl."
~Paula Crouch Thrasher, Palm Beach Post-Cox News Services
"Where people are happy as clams..."
~The Day
"Now let's talk about the best of the best: the Sea Swirl. This place has a combination environment: it's smack on Route 1 but the picnic tables front on a cove where the kids can get seaweed all over their sneakers and make your car smell like kelp for weeks. For us, Sea Swirl is by far the best. Celebrate the beginning of summer by diving into the briny delights of ... the clam shack."
~Lee White, The Day, Week of May 27 - June 2, 1993
"Many years ago we did a serious taste-test of clams up and down Yankee shores, and at the time Sea Swirl took the prize as Connecticut's best. We haven't done another formal study, but each time we revisit this former soft-serve ice cream stand on the far side of Mystic and pluck a plumpie from its traipezoidal basket, we call out: "Yes, here is the crème de la crème of clams!"
~Jane & Michael Stern, Connecticut Magazine,
Kings of the Road-Roadfood Heaven
"The fried clam bellies at the Sea Swirl in Mystic, CT"
~Esquire, July 2002, 67 Things Worth a Detour #23

Closed for the 2016 season. See you in 2017!

Located at the junction of Routes 1 & 27 • 30 Williams Avenue, Mystic, Connecticut 06355
Contact us at (860) 536.3452 or email Info@seaswirlofmystic.com

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