An upside to the gray days and chilly nights: You have all the more reason to warm up with a bowl (or mug) of clam chowder. This is the time to sample the greatest hits from the summer chowder festivals and discover new favorites—all so good, you might find yourself thinking, “I could eat chowder every night of the week.” I’m with you.

Bobby ByrnesMONDAY
On nearly everyone’s least favorite day of the week, give yourself reason to smile. Bobby Byrne’s - with locations in Mashpee and Hyannis - has been a local treasure for over four decades, thanks to the convivial atmosphere, crowd-pleasing menu, and chowder (a past WCOD Cape Cod Chowderfest champ) that is thick and creamy enough to cure any case of the Monday blues.

Let’s call it two-sday. Head to the Skipper Restaurant and Chowder House in South Yarmouth for lunch, and take your pick between the triple-crown classic chowder (winner of Cape Cod, Newport, and Boston festivals) and the fried-and-gone-to-heaven version, made with deep-fried chowder cakes in a panko breadcrumb crust. Go to nearby Hyannis for dinner at the Black Cat Tavern, where the ship-shape surroundings and house-made chowder (another WCOD Cape Cod Chowderfest multi-year winner) will warm your seafaring heart.

Halfway through the workweek! Raise a glass at Captain Parker’s Pub in West Yarmouth. If you’re one of those who swears you would travel to the Cape solely for the Hall-of-Fame chowder here—hailed by the Food Network, Rachael Ray, and even Jeopardy—it feels the same way about you: The restaurant will ship its clam broth base (iconic mug, too) anywhere. Consider your entire holiday shopping list done.

What is it about Thursdays in winter that always seems to call for a cozy night out fireside as a couple or with friends? Either way, you’re in luck at Thoreau's, a warm and intimate tavern at the waterfront Wequassett Resort in Harwich, where the clam chowder - made with fried clams, crispy pork belly and confit onion - will take your chowder obsession to entirely new heights.

Quahog Republic

Free at last! Head straight to the Quahog Republic Dive Bar in Falmouth (or their sister pub the Quahog Republic Leeside in Woods Hole) for a twist on the everyday: The quahog chowder made with applewood smoked bacon and red bliss potatoes repeatedly tops readers’ polls and is always worthy of a Friday night. Wash it down with a pint of Quahog Grog, but don’t be surprised if last call here inspires another round: of chowder.

It’s date night. Class it up at the Dan’l Webster Inn in Sandwich, where the lobster chowder and cozy fireside dining is sure to win his or her heart. And if for any reason this isn’t the case, simply look deep into your bowl of creamy, lobstery goodness and ask yourself: Could I even love anything more than this chowder?

Sooner or later, everyone lands at the Chatham Squire, which makes the Main Street icon the perfect place to end the week. On winter Sunday evenings, the famous chowder tastes even better to the Irish fiddles of Rose Clancy and friends. This much is true: Either the chowder or the music will make you want to get up and dance.