The Seafood Eater's Oasis: Boston Invites Diners to Enjoy Fresh Fish at Special Spots
By Jessica Polizzotti
Boston Local Expert
Boston is a seafood lover’s paradise. Located on the cold shores of the Atlantic, Boston is in a prime location to serve up succulent seafood treats. The increase in oyster harvesting, and the influx of waterfront development combine with Boston’s d classic place in the seafood world to vault Boston’s seafood scene to a new level of deliciousness.
Attempt to score a table at Neptune Oyster where you'll find a small ever changing menu of the best seafood in the city. Here, their clam chowder comes on the thinner side, their clams could be a full meal, and their lobster roll is overflowing with large chances of succulent meat and delivered to your table hot and buttered or cold with mayo.
Dig into succulent plates of oysters all around town but don't miss those served at Island Creek Oyster Bar and Row 34, where the Island Creek oyster is prominently featured on their menus and harvested by restaurant owners in Duxbury, MA where some say the ocean never warms too much allowing these oysters an advantage.
History buffs are in luck as they can incorporate exploring into their dining by making time for a meal at Union Oyster House, the small dark rooms are original, and the seafood served is fresh and well liked by those who make it a regular stop.
There's one thing you're sure to find at the each of 10best seafood restaurants- an excellent meal.
Union Oyster House
Established in 1826, this casual establishment is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the US and consists of a dark, pub-like dining room, oyster bar, restaurant, and drink bar. John F. Kennedy had a favorite booth here while practicing law in his early days, and you can now reserve it for parties of five or six. The place is said to serve the best clam chowder in New England, along with fresh seafood and excellent Bloody Marys. Oysters are delicious, and diners may choose to sit in cozy booths and order from the menu or find a perch at the popular raw bar. (617-227-2750)
A beloved part of the Boston dining scene since the late 1970s, Atlantic Fish sports an updated atmosphere these days. You'll find Atlantic Fish complete with an air of sophistication where stained wood, pendant lights, coffered ceilings and crisp white linens welcome you to their dining room. The menu, that has long been a favorite of Boston locals remains quite similar to that of its launch in the 1970's. Serving up kitchen timeless raw bar classics like shrimp cocktail, iced Littleneck clams and Blue Point oysters as well as clam chowdah', crab crusted haddock and lemon sole. Patio dining is available when the weather permits. (617-267-4000)
Mare lets you din in the North End without a plate of pasta. This seafood restaurant's focus on sustainable fishing sets it apart from other area eateries. With a raw bar that stands up to other area options, and a menu filled with unique offerings, Mare serves the influx of visitors to the North End as well as locals who can't get enough of their fresh fish. Rock Crab Spaghettoni and Zuppa di Mare are favorites for those who want a taste of Italy alongside their seafood, while the Grigliata di Pesce and Pan Roasted Halibut showcase the craftsmanship of the kitchen staff. Dishes are simply prepared to showcase the seafood, yet beautifully presented. Large windows allow diners to watch the world go by in this minimally decorated restaurant. The clean lines of the decor reflect the clean flavors found in the food they serve. (6177236273)
The Daily Catch
With three distinct locations (North End, Brookline and Seaport) you can almost find the fabulous eats The Daily Catch offers wherever you are. Family owned and operated, the Daily Catch's focus is on Sicilian style seafood. This well-loved Boston eatery makes a killer Fra Diavalo, amazing monkfish marsala, famous black pasta, and fantastic fried everything. Servers are friendly and the atmosphere homey and inviting. When dining on the waterfront, secure an outdoor table on their covered patio where you are protected from a stray shower and are able to enjoy not only your food but the action on the Harbor. (617-523-8567)
Summer Shack has consistently good food, excellent blackboard specials, stiff drinks and a seasoned wait staff. The laid back atmosphere is family friendly, but also offers a bar in another room for those looking to leave the kids behind. Excellent daily specials combined with a variety of classics make Summer Shack a place to return to over and over again. Not a seafood fanatic, the land lover's menu allows all an equally exciting dining experience, especially the fried chicken and corn dog. Kids are fans of Summer Shack as well, with crayons, write on table cloths, and special events on Sundays just for families (free Sundae bar and balloon animals while you eat), you can get your lobstah' fix while the kids are entertained. (617-867-9955)
Fashionably simple, Row 34 in Fort Point Channel, within the Seaport District, has quickly made a splash in the restaurant scene. Serving simple, fresh seafood, Row 34 churns out plates of seafood to be eaten with enjoyment. Row 34 has a focus on pairing their menu items, including raw bar favorites with beer. Start with a dozen of their crisp, clean, expertly shucked, local oysters alongside a pint of a craft draft or bottle of beer for a coupling you won't soon forget. The main course selection consists of the freshest fish they can find and cooks it up in every way imaginable: pan seared, roasted, grilled, baked, battered and fried. All served with carefully chosen accompaniments that will have you returning for more. ((617) 553-5900)
A sleek, stylish raw bar that owes its success to the visions of owner Barbara Lynch, who is quite the celebrity chef in the Boston area, is what sets B&G apart from the pack. The sub-level space is subtly (that is, unpretentiously) contemporary, featuring blue and gray tiles, stainless steel elements, and an open kitchen. The raw bar eats are fronted by fresh local oysters, clams, scallops and shrimp. Meanwhile, creative main courses like bacon-wrapped cod, wild striped bass with squid puttanesca, and Italian fish stew are themselves superbly done. Patio dining is available during the warm seasons on their own private oasis that is engulfed with greenery to make you feel extra special. (617-423-0550)
Island Creek Oyster Bar
Island Creek Oyster Bar has everything you want in a seafood joint: fresh fish prepared in creative ways while maintaining a connection to New England and the classic dishes Boston is famous for. You will find a mix of staples like seafood casserole and steamed lobster as well as a variety of seasonal seafood treasures. With a menu that changes daily, you know you are getting the freshest seafood available. Do not forget about the impressive oyster bar, with many to choose from be sure not to skip the Island Creek oysters --crisp, clean and briny these treasures and the Duxbury brand this restaurant is named for. (617-532-5300)
Legal Harborside, located in the Seaport District's Liberty Wharf, is the flagship location for Legal Seafood and is three floors of fun: floor one is the "go-to" for fresh, well prepped seafood, floor 2 is a high end dining room with a menu as different as the setting, and floor 3 is a lounge offering light snacks and excellent cocktails that goes from indoors on cooler days to open air when the weather permits. Those seeking to enjoy Legal's like the locals do will love the floor to ceiling windows, outdoor patio and the casual, fun, family friendly (avoid prime times with a young family), moderately priced menu offered on floor one. The basic New England selection of seafood is complimented with flavors from other cultures to create a menu that brings the past of Legal Seafoods into the present. (617-477-2900)
For the great seafood in Boston, head to Neptune Oyster. Home of an award winning lobster roll, served cold with mayo or hot with butter, Neptune does it right. Chunks of sweet meat cooked to perfection are served on a roll that is almost as good as what it holds. Beyond the lobster roll, Neptune offers a small menu of seasonal delights from the sea. Staples include Ipswich fried clams that explode in your mouth upon entry, and Steamed Wellfleet Littlenecks in the most magnificent wine sauce. The raw bar is impressive, serving east and west coast oysters, a variety of clams and other heavenly treats from the sea. (617-742-3474)
About Jessica Polizzotti
Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand. Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings. Although Jessica has been a world traveler since her teens, her favorite trip may always be her Italian honeymoon. Living in a city that allows her to experience a change in seasons equals an opportunity to enjoy a shift in activities. As the old New England cliché says, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.”
Read more about Jessica Polizzotti here.