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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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.