Boston Seafood Scene: What to Know and Where to Go

summer shack boston

In a city famous for its seafood, Bostonians can feel a bit overwhelmed by options. Maine lobster tails, Rhode Island bass, fresh octopus, and a variety of oysters pulled straight from the Atlantic are just a handful of dishes readily available throughout the city. Fortunately, we’ve narrowed down a list of restaurants crucial to the Boston seafood scene. 

Neptune Oyster

neptune oyster boston seafood

Yes there will be a line. Yes Neptune Oyster is worth the wait. Offering an incredible menu packed with fresh seafood and daily specials, Neptune Oyster is arguably the best in Boston seafood. What to know: beat the crowds by taking advantage of their early opening times.   

Row 34

row 34 boston seafood

 The self-proclaimed “workingman’s oyster bar”, Row 34 provides an incredible array of seafood options and tasty craft cocktails. Looking for happy hour specials? Check out their Portsmouth location. What to know: Row 34 is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. 

James Hook & Co

james hook boston seafood

Affordable and casual, James Hook & Co is the spot if you’re craving a classic lobster roll. Family-owned and operated since 1925, this historic seafood hot spot offers a small menu with big views of Boston’s waterfront. What to know: order ahead if you’re in a hurry. 

Ostra 

ostra boston seafood

Craving something fancy? Ostra is the spot. Drawing inspiration from the Mediterranean, this upscale dining institution perfectly pairs European flavors with fresh Atlantic crustaceans. What to know: there is a dress code barring ripped jeans, hats, and  sneakers.

Mooncusser Fish House

mooncusser boston seafood

A hidden gem in the Theatre District, Mooncusser is a chic and relatively under-the-radar seafood restaurant. Led by Chef Carl Dooley, the menu is full of classic dishes with creative twists. Grab a nightcap at the downstairs Moon BarWhat to know: check out the incredible pre-fixe menu. 

Legal Sea Foods

legal sea foods boston seafood

Sure it’s a chain but it’s one that deserves a spot on our list. With 20 locations scattered around Boston—including several throughout Logan airport—Legal Sea Foods is consistent and classic. With par-for-the-course prices, Legal Sea Foods is a great option if you’re in a bind.

Summer Shack Restaurant

summer shack boston

Whether you’re in the mood for fried seafood or fresh sushi or sashimi, Summer Shack Restaurant is a must. Fun fact: more than 2,000 pieces of fresh shellfish can be found behind the raw bar case. Feeling tropical? Order the Moqueca—a Brazilian fish stew. What to know: Summer Shack has a food truck!

La Summa

la summa

Tucked away in the North End, La Summa boasts some brilliant Italian seafood dishes. Named after the owner’s grandmother, La Summa provides patrons with a warm, family-friendly atmosphere. What to know: this is a great place for groups and celebrations. 

Waypoint

waypoint

Craving seafood but stuck in Cambridge? Head to Waypoint. With dishes designed for sharing, go with a group and take advantage of the chopped clam pizza, the seafood crudos, and caviar service. What to know: Waypoint has one heck of an absinthe selection. 

Pier 6

pier 6

With 360-degree views of the water and an awesome selection of small plates, Pier 6 takes the (crab)cake for sunset seafood restaurants. Located near the USS Constitution in Charlestown, Pier 6 is a fantastic spot to refuel after a day on the Freedom Trail. What to know: accessible via foot, water taxi, and bus.