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Helpful Tips for a Cape Cod Clambake

Nothing says summer like a Cape Cod clambake —New England lobster, corn on the cob, steamer clams, mussels, potatoes, melted butter, delicious clam chowder… all to be enjoyed in the company of friends and family. After planning dozens of clambakes for our family and clients, we are excited to share this helpful guide to planning your own!


There are two ways to cook a Cape Cod clambake: pot-style or pit-style. Pit-style is the “real Cape way” using rocks, seaweed and wooden boxes all seamed under a canvas tarp right on the beach.


Clambakes can take place any time of the year, but the summer season is the most popular. From our experience, being outside on the beach with sand between your toes as you dig into a fresh lobster makes for a memorable experience.


You’ll need to decide between cooking and preparing the food yourself, or if you want to get this fun summer bash catered. A clambake can be anything from a word-of-mouth backyard party where you collect the seaweed and rocks for a traditional bake to a catered event that includes table linens, servers and even mailed-out invitations.

If you choose to cater the clambake—sit back, relax, and eat up! The catering company usually takes care of everything, including the clean-up. If you choose to host your own traditional Cape Cod clambake, make sure you don’t burn yourself on the hot rocks used in the sand to steam your meal. The sand also gets very hot, so make sure you give it enough time to cool off. Sometimes hosing down the sand and rocks or splashing water on them can help speed up the clean-up process.


For the perfect clambake, you will definitely need to plan ahead. Order seafood from the local fish market (ask us for recommendations) and make sure you have all the essential tools to have a successful event. If you want to have your clambake catered, do your research on catering companies and book them ASAP. Some catering companies book up a few months in advance.

Whichever route you choose, a clambake on Cape Cod is a great way to celebrate the summer and spend time with your loved ones. Through Fini Concierge’s Cape Cod Vacation Services, we can help make it a fun and memorable event for everyone– including you.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.