Our 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Boston should serve as a helpful guide for both locals and tourists looking for the best seafood restaurants in the legendary city of Boston Massachusetts. As a seaport city, it is easy to argue that anybody can find some of the best seafood in the United States in the city of Boston. If you have never been to Boston but know somebody who has traveled to this breathtaking city, chances are you have heard them say how much they love the city of Boston. There is just something magical about this historical city.
We have spent a lot of time in Boston and know all the greatest places to eat. We have been on missions to find the greatest clam chowder in the city which we have argued multiple times is found at the Sail Loft. Nonetheless, there are so many more wonderful seafood restaurants in the city of Boston that we wish we could list here. However, we think you will be pretty happy with these ten magnificent choices.
# 10 – Legal Seafood – Downtown Crossing
Opening up our 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Boston is Legal Seafood in Downtown Boston. Legal Seafood is actually a big seafood restaurant chain in the state of Massachusetts. The chain has multiple small restaurants in many airports across the state as well full-size restaurants in the city of Boston and other cities throughout Massachusetts. I have been many mixed reviews on this chain of restaurants. While I have never been a fan of big chain restaurants, I really enjoyed the food and ambiance at Legal Seafood at Downtown Crossing.
Even though this is a chain of restaurants it’s pretty much an upscale chain of restaurants at least the full-size restaurants are. With upscale restaurants usually comes upscale food along with high prices. We never mind paying high prices as long as the food is good and for the most part, the food is very good at the Downtown Crossing Restaurant. The New England clam chowder is excellent. It’s not as good as the Sail Loft’s, but it’s still very good. There is nothing really distinct about it, it’s just good New England clam chowder fresh full of clams played safe. In fact, it would be a crime to serve mediocre clam chowder in the city of Boston. Legal Seafood does it right.
We would also recommend the Legal’s Signature Crab Cake for an appetizer. For a drop-dead “I can’t believe how good this is,” entree, go for the Cioppino plate which is filled with clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, calamari, whitefish and lobster in a tomato broth.
There are many better Seafood restaurants in Boston that didn’t make this list that we would choose over Legal Seafood. However, if you are visiting Boston, you are bound to run into one of these, so we figured we would review it to give you a better understanding of the quality of restaurants that define the Legal Seafood chain.
On the weekends it’s virtually impossible to get in because the place gets completely packed. However, it’s best to visit the restaurant during off-peak hours like a Tuesday afternoon. You will enjoy the ambiance much more when it’s less packed. We were there on a Tuesday and it was a wonderful experience. We couldn’t even get in the door on a Saturday evening. And they were a little snotty about it too. Two completely different experiences at the same restaurant. Good luck!
Address: 558 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111
Phone: (617) 692-8888
Hours: Sunday through Thursday – 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM
Friday and Saturday – 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM
# 9 – Neptune Oyster
Okay, so now, let’s get into it. Continuing with our 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Boston we turn to the legendary Boston Seafood Restaurant called Neptune Oyster. First off, you have to love a restaurant that quotes Ernest Hemingway on its website. The quote from Hemnigways’ A Moveable Feast, defines how Hemingway’s taste of the sea in the Oyster washed down with wine makes him want to live and continue making plans. It is the perfect quote to describe this amazing restaurant and its presentation of the ultimate prized seafood. While some may argue that the ultimate Seafood is Lobster, there are plenty that would vote for oysters. Fortunately, for Boston travelers and locals, Neptune Oyster specializes in both.
For an appetizer, we would recommend the Chatham Blue Mussels or the Spanish Octopus that would make Hemingway want to write another book. For a great fish entree, you can’t go wrong with the MA Bay Bluefin. But of course, Neptune Oyster is all about the Oyster Bar. You can order a platter or just pay the market price for individual oysters. The money should not matter when you have access to oysters as fresh as the ones you will find at Neptune Oyster.
Address: 63 Salem Street Boston, MA 02113
Hours: Weekdays 11:00 AM to 10 PM / Weekends 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
# 8 – Holy Crab
Next up on our 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Boston is the fantastic eatery called Holy Crab. There are two locations for this hot spot with one in Allston and the other in Lowell, Boston. What separates Holy Crab from many other Seafood Restaurants in Boston is that Holy Crab is all about serving their seafood cajun style. If you’re not in the mood for the traditional New England clam chowder or then the Holy Crab has a great cup of Shrimp Sausage gumbo that is simply sensational. Once you have started out your dining experience with a cup of Gumbo, it’s time for the Seafood Boil.
You get to choose your type of Seafood from lobster to crab, to shrimp to various iter seafood delights. You can make it a combo if you want. Once you have chosen your seafood for the broil, you pick your sauce. All the sauces mix cajun spices with either lemon, garlic, soy sauces, butter, or a combination of the condiments. It’s simply fabulous how you can mix it just the way you want it using their recommended guidelines. This was fun!
Address: 1098 Commonwealth Avenue Allston02215
Hours: Mon – Fri: 11:30 am -10:00 pm
Sat: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Sun: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
# 7 – Ivory Pearl
In the number seven spot on our 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Boston we highly recommend Ivory Pearl. The first thing that we love about Ivory Pear is that they call their appetizers snacks. You know what, for the most part, an appetizer is the size of a snack so it makes perfect sense. A great choice for an Ivory Pearl snack would be the Tot’s & Cavier or perhaps the Ivory Frys served with caviar mayo. Yeah baby!
If you are not in the mood for an Ivory Pearl snack, but still would like to order an item before the main meal, Ivory Pearl also has a nice raw bar filled with traditional selections of raw clams and oysters. For the entrees, one can choose from their small plate menu or their large plates. For a small plate menu item, we would recommend the Squid Ink Pappardelle or the Pan Seared Black Bass. From the large plate, selection go for the Peking Hamachi Collar. There are many great selections to choose from at this very original style seafood restaurant called Ivory Pearl.
Address: 1704 Beacon StBrookline02445
Hours: Sun—Tue 5—10 pm; Wed 6—10 pm; Fri, Sat 5 pm—12 am
# 6 – Row 34
At number six on our 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Boston is Row 34. Like Boston’s Legal Seafood, Row 34 is a small chain of restaurants located throughout Massachusetts. There are ones in Cambridge, Burlington, Portsmouth, and of course the city of Boston. Row 34 is a huge restaurant that handles a packed house all day and night. They would not be constantly packed if there were not good. Have a seat at the bar or a table. This is a fun place to socialize while enjoying their fresh oysters, clams, and other cold-served seafood delights.
Address: 383 Congress St Fort Point, MA 02210
Phone: 617- 553-5900
Hours: MTW / 5-9pm
Thu, Fri, Sat / 11:30am – 10pm
Sun / 11:30am – 9pm
# 5 – Saltie Girl
At the halfway point on our 110 Best Seafood Restaurants in Boston is the legendary Saltie Girl. How could you not love a restaurant called Saltie Girl? This amazing Boston Seafood Restaurant is a big favorite among Boston Locals. Once you taste their dreamy Fried Lobster & Waffles you will know why. Their snow crab toast will make you want to move to Boston. This place is extremely special.
Before your entree arrives make sure to order an Heirloom Tomato Salad that has a freshness that you have probably never experienced. On the entree list, you can’t go wrong with a Chalk Stream Trout Almondine prepared with rabe, Marcona almonds, green beans, fried maitakes and a sizzling lemon brown butter sauce. Yup, if you visit this restaurant, you are going to be moving to Boston. And hey, that’s not a bad idea, we love Boston
Address: 279 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11AM – 10PM
Friday: 11AM – 11PM
Saturday: 11AM – 11PM
Sunday: 11AM – 9PM
Weekend Brunch: 11AM-4PM
#4 – Atlantic Fish
Moving on to our number four spot on our 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Boston is the classic Atlantic Fish Seafood Restaurant. Boston is a city of legends, and the Atlantic Fish Co fits right in. Like all classic Boston Seafood Restaurants, Atlantic Fish Company features a wonderful Raw Bar. Yet, it’s their entrees that make this restaurant rank at the top of so many Boston Seafood lists. But before we get to those mouthwatering entrees, we need to talk about one of their big-time specialties. While most eateries in Boston feature a choice between New England Clam Chowder or Lobster Bisque, Atlantic Fish Company takes their soup selection to another level with their breathtaking Basque Seafood Stew.
Once you get past the Raw Clam Bar and those amazing soups, it’s time to dive into an entree of Crab-Crusted Haddock surrounded by spinach, tomato, roasted fingerling potatoes, lobster basil sauce. You will also love their Housemade Lobster & Scallop Ravioli or perhaps take a sea ride with George’s Bank Seared Scallops servers with Peruvian potatoes, green beans and herbed brown butter. This is a restaurant that you will be going back to every time you visit Boston.
Address: 761 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116
Monday – Thursday
11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
#3 – Union Oyster House
In the number three spot on our 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Boston is one of the oldest restaurants not only in Boston but in all of the United States. And for that point alone it is well worth your time to visit the Union Oyster House. It’s a pretty straight-ahead menu at the Union Oyster House. This is not about fancy dishes, it’s about simple and fresh flair. From clams on the half shell, fresh oysters, stuffed clams, and crabcakes to all the typical fried fish favorites, the Union Oyster House serves it all at fair prices in a historic setting that you’ll never forget.
Address: 41 Union Street, Boston
Phone: 617-227- 2750
Hours: Sun – Thursday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Fri & Sat 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
# 2 – Mooncusser
Just off the top spot on our 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Boston is Mooncusser. It’s not just one of the best seafood restaurants in Boston, it’s one of the best all-around restaurants in the city of Boston. One of the big reasons this is one of the best restaurants in the city of Boston is the chef. Mooncusser brought in top Chef Carl Dooley to take this fabulous restaurant to the next level. Who wouldn’t want to eat in a restaurant manned by a Top Chef?
There is nothing really that fancy about the ambiance at Mooncusser. At this restaurant, it’s all about the food. Isn’t that really what it should be all about? We recently visited this spectacular restaurant and enjoyed their ninety-five dollar price fix menu. That was a good move. On the price fix, menu is three rounds of stunning entries on which you have choices at each round. In round one you could pick from either a Beer Battered Soft Shell Crab with a Cucumber salad along with Raita and mango hot sauce or perhaps you would rather have the Yellowfin Tuna Crudo with cantaloupe ginger sauce, Szechuan chili oil and toasted pine nuts. That’s just round one.
For round two we went with the glazed local scallop wth a piperade sauce, roasted tomatoes and Marcona almonds. It was so good we felt as if we were being lifted off the ground in a powerful flight of sheer happiness. When food makes you feel like your flying, you know you have chosen the right restaurant for dinner.
Address: 304 Stuart St. Boston
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday 5:30-10pm / Friday and Saturday 5:00-10:00pm
# 1 – Sail Loft
In the number one spot on our 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Boston article is our favorite Boston restaurant called the Sail Loft. If you read our previous article on finding the best clam chowder in Boston, then you would know that this is our absolute favorite restaurant in the city of Boston which is one of our absolute favorite cities in the United States. First and foremost if there is one thing that you were going to have on your visit to this stunning restaurant it has to be their clam chowder. I have never tasted clam chowder as good as the one that the Sail Loft serves. They have their own secret recipe will that will leave you wondering just what they’re putting in there to make it taste so good? In fact, their clam chowder is so good, they ship it nationwide.
Nonetheless, it’s not just about their clam chowder at the Sail Loft. This is a restaurant that serves all the traditional seafood dishes including a monster plate of muscles, clams, and of course lobster. There featured dinner item “Sauteed Seafood Portofino,” which is filled with Lobster meat, scallops and shrimp sautéed with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, scallions and roasted red peppers in a garlic white wine sauce over a bed of linguini will leave you breathless. The restaurant is located right on the water. It’s old school all the way with wooden floors, a wooden bar, and more. It has a vibe about it that is distinctly old time Boston.
Address: 80 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02110
Phone: (617) 227-7280
Hours: Restaurant 11:30 AM-10 PM / Bar closes at 2:00 PM
For more on the Sail Loft, as well as some other fine restaurants check out our article
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