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You Have To See This Floating Restaurant In Southern California To Believe It

Picture a restaurant that isn’t on land, but floats on the water, offering stunning views and a unique dining experience. 

This hidden gem is not just about the food – it’s about the adventure. 

As you step aboard, you leave the ordinary behind and enter a world where every meal feels like a mini vacation. 

Ready to discover a floating restaurant in Southern California? 

Read on and find out why this is a must-visit spot that’s unlike any other!

Where Is It?

Don Barrett / Flickr

Welcome to The Chowder Barge, a one-of-a-kind floating restaurant located in Wilmington, California. 

Located in the Leeward Bay Marina, The Chowder Barge is the perfect spot for a waterside meal. 

Wilmington is part of the bustling Los Angeles Harbor area which makes it a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

You’ll find the restaurant itself floating on a barge on the waters between San Pedro and Long Beach.

Getting to The Chowder Barge is easy. 

Here’s the exact address: 611 Henry Ford Ave., Wilmington, CA 90744

If you’re driving, take the I-110 freeway and exit at Anaheim Street. 

From there, it’s just a short drive to the marina. 

You’ll find plenty of parking nearby and a short walk will lead you to this floating dining adventure.

Why You Should Visit

The Chowder Barge isn’t just a place to eat – it’s an experience. 

First off, the setting is amazing. 

You’re dining right on the water, with boats gently bobbing nearby and a refreshing sea breeze in the air. 

It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a meal with friends or family. 

The atmosphere is casual and friendly, making everyone feel welcome and at home.

Now, let’s talk about the food. 

The Chowder Barge is famous for its delicious clam chowder, rich and creamy with the perfect blend of spices. 

It’s a must-try! 

But that’s not all – they also serve up tasty burgers, seafood platters and hearty sandwiches. 

Whether you’re a seafood lover or prefer something more classic, there’s something on the menu for everyone.

The barge itself has a cool, laid-back vibe. 

Inside, you’ll find nautical décor, cozy booths and big windows to take in the views. 

There’s also outdoor seating if you want to get even closer to the water. 

It’s a great spot to watch the sunset or simply enjoy the peaceful marina setting.

The Chowder Barge is also known for its friendly staff. 

They go out of their way to make sure you have a great time, offering suggestions from the menu and making you feel like part of the family. 

It’s this warm, welcoming atmosphere that keeps people coming back.

This place is also pretty famous as it’s been featured in multiple TV shows over the years.

You’ll see The Chowder Barge in shows like Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, Wanted and many more.

Another reason to visit is the local wildlife. 

While you enjoy your meal, you might be able to spot seals, seabirds and even the occasional dolphin swimming by.

It’s like having dinner and a show all in one!

So if you’re looking for a unique dining experience that combines great food, a fun atmosphere and a beautiful setting, The Chowder Barge is the place to be. 

It’s not just a meal, it’s a mini-adventure!


At The Chowder Barge, there’s something tasty for everyone on the menu. 

Here’s a look at some of the best and most famous items on the menu.

Clam Chowder

This is the star of the show! 

The clam chowder is rich, creamy and packed with flavor. 

It’s perfect for warming up on a cool day or just enjoying anytime you crave something delicious.


The Chowder Barge also has some amazing burgers. 

The most popular is the “Barge Burger,” a juicy patty topped with cheese and all the fixings. 

They also have a “Chowder Burger” which is a cheese burger served swimming in a bowl of chowder.

It’s a big hit with both kids and adults.

Seafood Platters

If you love seafood, you’re in for a treat. 

The seafood platters are loaded with fresh fish, shrimp and more. 

The “Fisherman’s Platter” is a favorite, offering a little bit of everything from the sea.


For a quick and tasty option, try one of the hearty sandwiches. 

The fish sandwich and the grilled cheese sandwich are both top picks.

Fish and Chips

This classic dish is done just right at The Chowder Barge. 

Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, the fish and chips are a must-try.


If you’re looking for something lighter, the salads are fresh and tasty. 

The tuna salad and the shrimp salad are both popular choices.


Don’t forget to save room for dessert! 

The menu features sweet treats like ice cream that are perfect for ending your meal on a high note.

The Chowder Barge also has a great selection of drinks. 

From sodas and iced tea to beer and wine, there’s something to quench your thirst.

Whether you’re in the mood for a big, hearty meal or just a light snack, The Chowder Barge has you covered. 

The menu is filled with delicious options that will make your visit unforgettable.

Know Before You Go

Before you head to The Chowder Barge, here’s some important information to help you plan your visit.

Opening Times

The Chowder Barge is open every day but the hours vary.

Mon – Tues: 11AM – 3PM

Wed – Thurs: 11AM – 8PM

Fri – Sun: 9AM – 8PM


The prices are reasonable and won’t break the bank. 

Most meals range from $10 to $20, making it an affordable option for families and groups.


There is plenty of parking available near the marina. 

It’s free and just a short walk from the restaurant so you won’t have to worry about finding a spot.


While reservations are not required, it’s a good idea to call ahead if you’re coming with a large group or during busy times like weekends. 

This way, you can make sure you get a table without waiting too long.


Since The Chowder Barge is a floating restaurant, the experience can be different depending on the weather. 

On sunny days, you can enjoy the outdoor seating with beautiful views. 

If it’s chilly or rainy, there’s plenty of cozy indoor seating too.


Pets are welcome in the outdoor seating area. 

It’s a great spot to bring your furry friend for a meal by the water.


The Chowder Barge accepts cash and all major credit cards so you can pay however you prefer.


The Chowder Barge has a unique and fascinating history that adds to its charm. 

The restaurant first opened its doors in 1974 but its story starts even earlier.

Originally, the barge was built in 1934 to serve as a support vessel for the movie ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ starring Clark Gable.

Eventually, the barge found its way to the Leeward Bay Marina in Wilmington, California.

In 1974, the idea to turn the barge into a floating restaurant came to life. 

The goal was to create a fun and unique dining experience that couldn’t be found anywhere else. 

By transforming the old barge into a cozy restaurant, The Chowder Barge quickly became a local favorite.

The name “The Chowder Barge” actually comes from its most famous dish: clam chowder. 

This creamy, delicious soup became the signature item and helped make the restaurant popular. 

Over the years, the menu expanded but the chowder has always remained a star.

People from all around come to enjoy the food and the unique experience of dining on the water. 

It’s a place where you can relax, watch boats go by and maybe even spot some local wildlife.

The combination of great food, a unique setting and a bit of history makes The Chowder Barge a special spot in the Los Angeles Harbor area.

So next time you’re looking for a new dining adventure, be sure to check out The Chowder Barge.

Sophie Davis

Born and raised in the Bay area of California, Sophie is a California native. She joined our team in 2023 to create travel guides on California.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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