LONG BEACH — Capturing the crown in the chowder competition gives clout to the claim of serving ‘the best,’ and this year the title went to two Long Beach businesses.

The Chowder Stop and The Cove Restaurant tied for first place after a weekend of votes were tallied during the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival. Second place went to Castaway’s Seafood Grille.

“It feels good, this is one we wanted to win since we started the restaurant,” said Chowder Stop owner Casey Barella, who had previously won the Coast Weekend Readers’ Choice Award.

“We’re really happy to share the title with The Cove,” added Gail Barella.

Nearly a dozen different restaurants entered the competition, including The Salt Hotel & Pub, Galletti’s Spaghetti, Castaways Seafood Grille, Drop Anchor Seafood & Grill, The Chowder Stop, The Depot Restaurant, The Cove Restaurant, Lost Roo, Columbia River Roadhouse, North Beach Tavern and Sara’s Rusty Spur Bar & Grille.

In previous years the competition was hosted at the Long Beach Elks Lodge as part of the Razor Clam Festival, but due to elevated domoic acid levels, ongoing covid concerns and limits on mass gatherings, organizers arranged individual serving booths at each competing restaurant instead.

As people wandered through town, hundreds found their way to the booths where they were presented a 2-ounce cup of chowder. The Chowder Stop alone dipped up more than 200 servings.

“It was really different this year but a lot people came out and had a good time,” Barella said.

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