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Ten Great Restaurants for Seafood in Boston

Where to Go for the City's Best Lobster, Chowder, and more

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There is, of course, no shortage of dynamic seafood restaurants in Boston. From popular chains like Legal Seafood and Skipjack’s to summer hotspots like The Barking Crab, seafood lovers have a variety of options where they can enjoy fresh fish, lobsters, and whatever fried goodness may be on the menu. Here are 10 great spots to check out.

1. Legal Sea Foods

Photo courtesy Legal Sea Foods
You won’t have a hard time finding a Legal within city limits. Legal boasts 10 Boston locations, two in Cambridge , and one at Chestnut Hill, and they include the fabulous Legal Harborside on the Boston waterfront, the rotating menu of Legal Test Kitchens, and four sites at Logan Airport . Legal’s clam chowder is the signature item, for sure, but don’t sleep on the double stuffed baked shrimp and the wood-grilled Mahi Mahi. It may be a chain, but Legal remains a Boston institution.

2. Turner Fisheries

This Back Bay favorite, located at the Westin Hotel, has been lauded for its chowder (named Boston ’s best by Boston Magazine) and was named Boston ’s best seafood restaurant by the Boston People’s Choice Awards. Daily deals include $1 oysters, and $19 “express” menus, which feature your choice of soup, entrée, and dessert.

3. No Name

A Boston classic, the No Name serves up a variety of broiled and fried seafood at rock-bottom prices. The relaxed interior isn’t anything special, but the bare bones atmosphere perfectly reflects what you should expect at No Name. It’s all old school here, where they serve up classic New England seafood dishes without even a hint of pretention.

4. The Barking Crab

There are few better summer scenes than an evening at The Barking Crab. The casual atmosphere encourages donning a lobster bib and getting sloppy while enjoying a super meal as the sun sets over the Boston waterfront. Fresh lobster, boil pot combos, sandwiches, and a variety of seafood dishes are on the menu, but really it’s all about the location. Not to be missed on a warm, sunny day.

5. Skipjack's

For a unique twist on local seafood fare, head to Skipjack’s, with locations in the Back Bay, Newton , and Patriot Place in Foxboro. Menu items include classic seafood fare, as well as original dishes like Baja fish tacos, BBQ scallops and bacon, and wasabi-crusted salmon. Be sure to go “Skipjack’s Style,” which is a bold blend of seasonings that is among one of the restaurant’s most-noted specialties.

6. Union Oyster House

Union Oyster House
Photo by Eric Wilbur
Yes, it can be a tourist trap, but much like all popular attractions in Boston , there’s a reason for that. America ’s oldest restaurant is a great destination for fresh oysters (obviously), shucked right at the bar. It’s an American institution that is a must for any Boston tourist – or local – to be sure to check out.

7. Atlantic Fish Company

This Back Bay establishment has been serving up favorite dishes since 1978. In the summer, it’s a popular destination for people-watching along Boylston Street, with fantastic outdoor dining. Menus are printed daily, featuring the freshest options of any particular day.

8. Neptune Oyster

A tiny raw bar in the North End, it’s no surprise that the Neptune Oyster is a big hit with locals for…well, oysters. The menu also features a healthy selection of entrees, sandwiches, and cocktails (including octopus and blue crab) and also includes daily specials for each day of the week.

9. McCormick and Schmidt's

A large chain, for sure, but a popular one in Boston, particularly with its two locations – one at busy Faneuil Hall, another Theater District. The restaurant is particularly popular for its Social Hour menu (happy hours, of course, are forbidden in Massachusetts), which boasts a good selection of cheap items including burgers, Buffalo wings, and stuffed quahogs.

10. The Daily Catch

The Daily Catch has served up Sicilian-style pasta and seafood since 1973. There are three locations – Brookline, the North End, and the Seaport, featuring a menu with delectable items such as fried calamari, squid ink pasta, and monkfish marsala.
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