For lovers of seafood, there’s no shortage of options on Boston’s legendary restaurant scene. From casual takeout joints to the most exquisite fine-dining restaurants this side of Paris, there’s something to please everyone. Whether you’re itching for a juicy lobster roll dripping in hot butter, a sliver of blini heaped with salty caviar, or thick, creamy clam chowder, bring your wallet and your appetite to anyone from our round-up of the best seafood restaurants in Boston for a truly unforgettable dining experience.
20. Select Oyster Bar
Where: 50 Gloucester St., Boston
Set in a stunning position in Boston's historic Back Bay, Select Oyster Bar showcases the best of New England’s seafood in an appealing, bistro-style setting. Described by UrbanDaddy as "A sexy little place chock-full of Mediterranean seafood pleasures. The kind of place a young Hemingway would have walked into and said, “I’ll have one of everything” there’s a lot to love about Chef Michael Serpa’s charmingly simple eatery, including the friendly service, the warm, inviting atmosphere, the sublime cocktails, and the inspired menu of delicately treated, exquisitely delicious seafood.
19. Yankee Lobster Co.
Where: 300 Northern Ave., Boston
For some of the freshest, tastiest takeout you’ll find in
Boston, you’ll find it hard to beat Yankee Lobster Co. whether you’re in the mood for lobster rolls, lobster club sandwiches, lobster mac-n-cheese, or crab cakes, you’re guaranteed to find something to tempt you on its extensive menu of affordable New England classics.
18. Boston Sail Loft Restaurant
Where: 80 Atlantic Ave, Boston
If the idyllic waterfront setting wasn’t enough to entice you, Boston Sail Loft Restaurant’s menu of affordable surf ‘n’ turf treats certainly should. Fresh, whole belly clams, fried golden brown and served with tartar sauce; Mussels steamed with white wine, garlic, and parsley; Boneless fried chicken tenders smothered in hot sauce and served with celery and a side of blue cheese; thick, creamy clam chowder served with oyster crackers… if you can’t find something on that lineup to tempt you, it’d be extraordinary.
Where: 1030 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
Come for the seafood, stay for the cocktails… with Waypoint, Chef Michael Scelfo has created a dining experience few will forget. The superb menu features hit after hit, while the signature cocktails, warm ambiance, and friendly service are no less exemplary. If money is no object, don’t miss out on the excellent caviar selection- it’s certainly not cheap, but you’re unlikely to regret the expense.
16. Union Oyster House
Where: 41 Union St., Boston
Union Oyster House may be an oldie, but it's still a goldie: the oldest restaurant in America has been keeping locals well fed since 1826, and there’s no questioning how its managed to survive so long: excellent, attentive service, classic seafood dishes, and a warm, inviting atmosphere. It may feel slightly overwhelmed by tourists at times, but if you can stand the crowds, it’s a superb dining experience.
15. Saltie Girl
Where: 281 Dartmouth St., Boston
Saltie Girl may be a relatively new addition to the Boston restaurant scene, but already it’s become something of a local institution. Chef Kyle McClelland’s contemporary take on New England classics is a treat to behold: dine from a menu that includes treats like Sea Urchin served with quail egg yolk, green onion, and caviar; smoked salmon heaped atop potato bread and drizzled with truffle wildflower honey, and snow crab served with avocado and pistachios. The fried lobster with waffles and spicy maple syrup, meanwhile, is fast on the way to achieving legendary status.
Where: 1 Charles St. S, Boston
While Boston’s variety of causal seafood joints is almost endless, its upscale options are somewhat more limited. Praise be, then, for Ostra, a romantic riverfront venue that truly puts the fine in dining. Chef/Owner Jamie Mammano and Executive Chef Mitchell Randall have looked to Europe for inspiration, and its shows in the attentive service, the sophisticated décor, and the Mediterranean style cuisine. The wine list is just as excellent as the food… although anyone who leaves without trying at least a few of the delicacies from the caviar selection is missing out.
13. Neptune Oyster
Where: 63 Salem St., Boston
For fresh seafood served with a smile, you’ll find it hard to fault the excellent Neptune Oyster. Granted, the queues may be almost as legendary as the lobster rolls, but once you finally get to tuck into that juicy lobster dripping with hot butter, you’ll be glad you joined the line. Obviously, no trip is complete without at least a few oysters, while those with an insatiable appetite may want to indulge in the Neptune Plateau, a $119 heap of oysters, crab, razor clams, and mussels.
12. Mooncusser Fish House
Where: 304 Stuart St., Boston
There’s a lot to like about the charming Mooncusser Fish House, as the reviews on Trip Advisor make very clear. “You should go here, now. At least tonight. This is an excellent restaurant. The menu is small, but that's how they make sure everything is exquisitely fresh. We will be very sad if Mooncusser isn't thriving the next time we visit Boston. Go here, eat well, give them money!” says one happy customer, while another enthuses ‘Mooncusser Fish House is probably the best restaurant I have visited in Boston. Really good product and better service.’
11. Legal Harborside
Where: 270 Northern Ave., Boston
For a first-rate dining experience and some world-class seafood, Legal Harborside doesn’t disappoint. Comprising of three floors each with its own theme (the first offers an informal menu of New England classics, along with an expansive oyster bar and a market; the second makes an ideal venue for celebrations and private dining events; while the third consists of a rooftop lounge that ranks as one of the best places in Boston to relax with a cocktail and some nibbles), the restaurant is unquestionably one of the city’s premier destinations for gourmets.
10. Row 34
383 Congress St., Boston
Even if the food wasn’t quite so good as it is, Row 34 would be worth the visit for the superbly chic, industrial-inspired interior alone. A favorite with young professionals, the vibe is funky, modern and vibrant. The food, meanwhile, is just as fresh and lively as the clientele, offering a great selection of dishes featuring a modern twist on contemporary classics. For those in need of a beverage to wash down all that great food, the range of craft beers is superb.
9. James Hook + Co.
Where: 440 Atlantic Ave., Boston
James Hook + Co. has been serving generations of loyal customers for years, and the experience shows: service is quick, efficient and friendly, the fish is so fresh it's practically still flapping, and their selection of lobster rolls and other New England classics is to die for.
8. Island Creek Oyster Bar
Where: 500 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
As you’d expect of a place with the words “Oyster Bar’ in its title, there a great selection of oysters on offer at the charming Island Creek Oyster Bar. Its delights aren’t limited to mollusks, however… the extensive menu is a celebration of all seafood and includes a lobster roll (served with coleslaw and kettle chips on the side) that’s worth the trip alone. Other standouts include Clam Chowder served with buttermilk biscuits and house-cured bacon for $11, and Salted Haddock Croquettes with herb creme fraiche and ICO caviar for $14.
7. Eventide Fenway
Where: 1321 Boylston St., Boston
With a menu featuring such delights as Brown Butter Lobster Rolls, Clam Chowder flavored with kombu and salt pork, and Chef Lars Taylor's Winterpoint Clam Buns, Eventide Fenway doesn’t disappoint. Situated just a few yards from the ballpark, it’s the perfect place to grab some lunch on the go: place your order from a series of flat screens at the entrance, then receive a text when your dish is ready to collect from the counter. With a service this quick, and with food this good, it’s little wonder Eventide is fast becoming one of Boston’s favorite seafood joints.
6. The Daily Catch
Where: 323 Hanover St., Boston
Family-owned The Daily Catch is one of the North End’s most beloved institutions- and for very good reason. Its outstanding menu of Sicilian-inspired seafood & pasta is as delightful as the portions are generous – however huge your appetite is when you arrive, be sure you’ll be full to the brim by the time you leave. The intimate setting and relaxed but attentive service, meanwhile, means it the perfect place to relax with friends for an informal mid-week dinner.
5. B&G Oysters
Where: 550 Tremont St., Boston
B&G Oysters offers a fresh, modern take on that old classic, the oyster bar. The menu is chic, contemporary and ever-changing, with a raw bar that’s as wide as it is impressive. Service is exemplary, the wine list is a joy, and the opportunity to take oyster-shucking lessons is unmissable. All in all, a stand out addition to Boston’s impressive restaurant scene.
4. The Barking Crab
Where: 88 Sleeper St., Boston
The candy-colored exterior of The Barking Crab is perfectly matched by a vibrant menu, a fun, relaxed vibe, and an informal (but never sloppy) service. This is no champagne and caviar joint, but for anyone looking to enjoy some truly divine seafood without the bells and whistles, it’s ideal. Standouts include a Bloody Mary garnished with cocktail shrimp, an award-winning New England Clam Chowder, and a massive Chilled Shellfish Platter heaped with Maine lobster, littleneck clams, jumbo shrimp, snow crab, local oysters. Prices are more than reasonable, and the new addition of a wood-burning stove makes it a cozy little haven in winter.
3. Bar Mezzana
Where: 360 Harrison Ave., Boston
Want to experience the taste of Italy without having to go all the way to Europe? Then head to Bar Mezzana, a stunning little restaurant that will leave you more than a little convinced you’ve been transported to the Amalfi coast. Chef Colin Lynch’s impressive menu combines exemplary pasta dishes with some of the tastiest seafood you’ll experience this side of the Mediterranean. The wine list is equally impressive, although those looking to treat themselves should skip the wines and treat themselves to a signature Negroni instead.
2. Alive & Kicking Lobsters
Where: 269 Putnam Ave., Cambridge
Alive & Kicking Lobsters is the kind of no-frills, informal little joint you wouldn’t glance at twice – unless, that is, you’ve already had the pleasure of sampling one of its iconic lobster sandwiches or legendary clam chowders. Their steamed clams, meanwhile, are fast becoming a Cambridge staple. If you can find a space, park yourself at one of the outdoor picnic tables for an alfresco lunch in the sunshine. Failing that, the restaurant offers a convenient carryout and delivery option for diners in a rush.
1. Atlantic Fish Co.
Where: 761 Boylston St., Boston
Since welcoming its first customers all the way back in 1978, the Atlantic Fish Co has become the Boston byword for fresh, locally sourced fish, treated with dignity and served with aplomb. It’s not the cheapest place to dine, but it’s certainly an experience you’ll not regret splashing out on: from the Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops served with cucumber-fennel slaw and a honey-citrus reduction ($18) to the Chilled Shellfish Platter ($65), the menu is a smorgasbord of fishy delights. If you’re celebrating, don’t miss indulging in a glass of wine or two from the impressive wine list- the restaurant group’s own proprietary label is said to be legendary.
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Written by Allen Lee
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