What’s better than clam chowder? Clam chowder in a bread bowl. I hate to say this, but some of the best clam chowder I recently had wasn’t from the East Coast. Instead, some of the best clam chowder/bread bowl combinations I can remember came from two spots out in California.

Restaurant: Splash Cafe – 491 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, California

Serving up more than 30,000 gallons of clam chowder a year, Splash Cafe‘s chowder has received awards from both Gourmet Magazine as well as Bon Appetit Magazine.

Clam Chowder at Splash Cafe
Clam Chowder at Splash Cafe

For only $6.95, you can get a piping hot bowl of clam chowder. Even better, Splash offers “Chowder Toppers” – clams, bacon, seafood, cheese or green onions to add on top. Get the chowder with the seafood topping. You won’t be disappointed with this rich and hearty chowder filled with lots of clams and potatoes.

Restaurant: Boudin Bakery and Cafe – Pier 39, San Francisco, California

The appointed king of San Francisco bread bowls, Boudin Bakery is coined as the original San Francisco sourdough. Since 1849 the Boudin family has been cranking out some of the best sourdough around.

Clam Chowder at Boudin Bakery
Clam Chowder at Boudin Bakery

The clam chowder at Boudin is good, but the sourdough bread bowl is where it’s at. We’re talking about a mild sour and tangy taste permeating bread that takes a little muscle to pull apart. Delicious.

The Verdict

Short and simple. Go to both Splash Cafe and Boudin Bakery for their clam chowder in bread bowls. These hearty chowders are extremely rich (don’t think about the calories) and the bread bowls take them over the edge. The bread packs a punch full of taste and is the perfect way to soak up every last drop of chowder. 

Splash Cafe & Artisan Bakery on Urbanspoon

Boudin at Fisherman's Wharf on Urbanspoon