clam chowder cook-off logo

40th Annual

Santa Cruz
Clam Chowder Cook‑Off REIMAGINED

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Advance Sales Only - Drive‑through Event

For its 40th year, the country's most popular and longest-running clam chowder competition has been REIMAGINED as a drive-through event with your health and safety in mind.

Which restaurant has the best Boston clam chowder in Santa Cruz County? Help us decide!

How to Participate

Clam Chowder Tasting Flights - February 20

  1. Pre-purchase your Clam Chowder Tasting Flight online and select time slot for pickup
  2. On Saturday, February 20, drive through the River Parking Lot (corner of Beach and 3rd street) to pick up your Chowder Tasting Flight
  3. Taste the delicious chowder! 😃
  4. Vote for your favorite chowder online (link provided with Tasting Flight)

Each Clam Chowder Tasting Flight is $12, and includes:

  • Six 2oz cups of clam chowder from pre-selected Santa Cruz County restaurants
  • Spoon and napkin
  • List of clam chowders featured in the tasting (with numbers corresponding to the numbers on the chowder cups)
  • Voting information
  • Complimentary Boardwalk parking coupon for 2/20/21
    • If interested, you are welcome to park in the Main Parking Lot (across from Neptune's Kingdom) and enjoy your chowder on the beach or a park bench.
  • A portion of all Tasting Flight proceeds goes to Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation
  • No event-day sales

Available for purchase soon

Also happening...

Clam Chowder Restaurant Week- February 15-21

Visit the Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation website for more information


Can I purchase the Tasting Flight on the event day?

Unfortunately no. All Tasting Flights must be pre-purchased online to ensure there is enough chowder prepared. There will be no sales available onsite.

How can I enter the competition?

This year's competition will only feature Santa Cruz County professionals/restaurants. Santa Cruz County restaurants can register for the competition and Restaurant Week at

Entry into the competition and the Restaurant Week is required to be considered for the Tasting Flights portion of this event. Tasting Flights participation is limited and will include a separate agreement. After team registration, you will receive a follow-up email with more information on Tasting Flights participation. 

Deadline to enter is January 31, 2021.

Who is competing?

This year's competition will only feature Santa Cruz County professionals/restaurants. There will not be an Amateur/Individual competition this year. A list of participating restaurants will be added to this webpage in Mid-February.

Can you watch the teams prepare the chowder?

This year all chowder will be prepared in the restaurants ahead of time. Teams will not have booths at the Boardwalk to prepare their chowder this year.

How do I find out which restaurant's clam chowder is in the Tasting Flight?

All of the tasting cups will be numbered with a corresponding list of the restaurants featured. In Mid-February the list of participating restaurants will be added to this webpage.

Where can I eat the chowder?

You have options! A complimentary parking coupon will be included in your Tasting Flight valid for 2/20. You are welcome to park in the Main Parking Lot (across from Neptune's Kingdom) and enjoy your chowder on the beach, park bench, or park tables (if they are available). Or you can enjoy the chowder in the comfort of your own home or vehicle.

How do I pickup my Tasting Flight?

  • When purchasing your tasting flight, you will be asked to select a pickup time.
  • On Saturday, February 20 within your pickup timeframe, drive to the River Parking Lot (corner of Beach/3rd Street in front of Logger's Revenge).
  • At the entrance to the lot, you will be asked for a copy of your online order (printed or on your mobile device).
  • You will be directed to drive-through the lot to pickup your Tasting Flight(s).
  • If you'd like to stick around to enjoy your chowder on property, you will need to exit the parking lot and park in the Main Parking Lot (across from Neptune's Kingdom)

What if I'm running ahead or late for my pickup time?

We prefer that you arrive during your pickup time to help with the flow of cars. However, if you cannot make it during that timeframe for any particular reason, we can accommodate you anytime between 11am-3pm. No need to notify us.

Where can I go online to vote for my favorite chowder?

The information on where to go to vote will be included with your Tasting Flight. All votes must be cast by 9am on Monday February 22.

When will winners be announced?

Winners will be announced on this webpage on Monday February 22.

Will there be merchandise sales?

Yes! This year's one-of-a-kind t-shirts, sweatshirts, and canvas bags will be available for sale at the River Parking Lot on Saturday February 20. 

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