Today is National New England Clam Chowder Day, but any day is a good day to celebrate this bowl of creamy goodness. When the temperature in Los Angeles rose above 80 degrees in the middle of January there was one thing to do: head to the beach, but not just any beach, Santa Barbara beach. This small beach town is the perfect getaway for Angelenos. Santa Barbara is laid back, the air is cleaner, the drive is beautiful and enjoying a bowl of clam chowder is a must.
Brophy Bros has received the best clam chowder award for more than 20 years and draws in a crowd of locals and tourists. The best plan of attack is to arrive at 11 a.m. when they open to avoid the long wait, grab a table in the patio area, listen to the calm ocean, breathe in the fresh sea air and enjoy their award winning clam chowder. If there is a long wait, grab a drink in the bar downstairs, enjoy the gorgeous view and your table will be ready in no time.
After you sit down and order, you'll be treated to a basket of freshly sliced sourdough bread. The bread is sour, but not overpowering. The crust is crunchy and the inside is sponge like, which holds up well to dunks in the chowder.
Every shot contains a freshly shucked oyster topped with horseradish, cocktail sauce, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce and grated Parmesan cheese. The heat and tang highlight the flavors of the oyster and the Parmesan adds a nutty richness. The heat level might be a little much for those more sensitive to spiciness. Just be careful, because once you've had one, chances are you'll have at least one more.
New England Clam Chowder
6.50 for a bowl
When the bowl of chowder arrives, toss aside the packet of oyster crackers and go for the sourdough bread to soak up the goodness. The chowder has a nice balance of clams to potatoes and the right amount of creaminess. It's fresh, hearty and comforting. Having tasted many bowls of clam chowder while living in Santa Barbara, this is definitely one of my favorites.
Brophy Bros is a great way to start the day in Santa Barbara. The atmosphere is relaxing and the decor screams beach town. The prices are reasonable and the location is unbeatable. After a few oyster shooters and a bowl of clam chowder, you'll have plenty of energy to take a stroll along the beach, go for a bike ride or even jump in a kayak. Don't miss this hot spot the next time you visit Santa Barbara.
119 Harbor Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
Private lot, free 90 minute parking