5402 Post Road, Charlestown
(401) 364-7495

The Hitching Post is a clam fritter oasis along a stretch of Post Road between Westerly and South Kingstown that is mostly devoid of clam-based goodness.

That's right, we said "fritters," and that's what they've been calling them at the Hitching Post since 1950 when the business was started by Edward Duhamel and his son, Jerry Duhamel, Sr. Their reasoning? They figure the term "clam cake" is a regionalism, while "fitter" is understood by hungry road trippers from a wide geographical range. Maybe. In any case, we think if it looks like a clam cake and tastes like a clam cake, it's a (say it with us) clam cake!

The Hitching Post originated in the kitchen of the old Willows Restaurant, which was owned by the elder Duhamel. Folks liked their clam ca... er, fritters so much they would invade the kitchen seeking some to take home. This was both gratifying and annoying, mostly annoying, so Edward built a little shack to satisfy folks' taste for take-out fritters and chowder. That was in 1950, and son Jerry staffed the shack until he left to fight in the Korean War in 1952. Returning the summer of 1954, Jerry re-opened the shack (as he relates on the Hitching Post website):

...with a very limited menu under the name "the Car Hop." We employed a couple of young girls who went out to the cars and took orders from the patrons. About that time we began to think about a proper name for the "Car Hop." My brother and I had a riding stable and we would bring our horses down to the Hop and hitch them up and give them each an ice cream cone. Believe me every horse loves his ice cream! Because of this "hitching" of our horses to the post, my mother, Harriet Duhamel, said, "why don't you call it 'The Hitching Post'?" We took my mother's advice and the name has stuck to this day.

Business was good and the shack grew and changed accordingly. 1964 brought a new building and expanded menu, and a dining room and restrooms were added, and the kitchen upgraded, in 1982. For al fresco dining there are still picnic tables (including wee tiny ones for younger patrons) in a grassy area across the parking lot, and patio style tables in the lovely adjacent garden.

In addition to the fritters, the menu includes a Rhode Island style clam chowder, calamari, a selection of fried seafoods (flounder, clams (bellies and strips), scallops, shrimp), and rolls (lobster, whole belly clam, seafood, bay scallop). Hidden among the drinks you'll find coffee milk, and if you think that's kind of a weird complement to seafood, don't worry, you can always have it with a hot dog or a BLT or a grilled cheese. They also have ice cream basics (the three most common flavors, plus coffee) to make cones, milkshakes, or floats.

Clear chowder, fritters and fries, and a lobster roll.

Jerry Duhamel passed away in 2013, but his children, Jerry Duhamel, Jr. and Tammy Duhamel-McLellan, keep the place running today.

The Hitching Post is open daily, 11:30am-8pm, May through Labor Day.


  • Best Clam Cakes, Rhode Island Monthly's Best of Rhode Island, 1992.
  • Best Clam Cakes, Clamarati Clam Cake Crawl, 2017.

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