The 17th Annual Chowderfest in Saratoga Springs is taking place Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 11am to 4pm and once again I have put together a handy little map with all of the spots to hit up when doing Chowderfest with the kiddos! Click the map above to view it larger, and keep reading for my top tips on how to make the most out of this great (and delicious) community event!
First, stop by the bank and bring a bunch of $1 bills. Each chowder is a dollar to sample, so come prepared with cash in hand.
You can pick up a ballot at any participating location, and they will give you a sticker at each spot you sample. Complete your ballot form and pick up your official Chowderfest Long-sleeve T-shirt for $10. Valid ballots need 5 stickers from participating businesses and can be turned in to the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center (11am-4pm), the Saratoga Springs City Center (11am-4pm) or the Saratoga Downtowner Motel (from 2-4pm). Winners will be announced inside the Saratoga Springs City Center at 6:30pm!
Some lines can be looooong, especially at those places that have been top chowder contenders in the past, but you can easily find some not so long lines, including places that have room to pop inside to warm up like Comfort Kitchen. Treat it like a Scavenger Hunt for kids and have them collect their “Chowder Stickers” along the way. Some good warm up spots are Northshire Bookstore and the Children’s Museum. In general though the lines move pretty fast, these chowder guys are pros at dishing it out.
If you are choosing between a baby carrier and a stroller, I vote baby carrier ALL THE WAY! The sidewalks get pretty crowded and it can be tricky navigating a stroller through the crowds. Broadway is NOT blocked off like it is during Victorian Streetwalk, so everyone is out on the sidewalks, and that includes lines for some Broadway restaurants.
Not ALL participants are on Broadway! There are a bunch of other restaurants taking part in off Broadway locations, click here for the complete list.