Boston is full of dynamite restaurants, each with their own theme, ambiance, and menu – but they all have one thing in common. Seafood! Lots and lots of seafood. Preparing for my trip to Boston, I researched where to eat, who has the best raw bar, top oysters.. and the list goes on. I am a sucker for seafood and have a special place in my heart for oysters, so I was really excited to visit Boston, dine around, then dish about my five best bites in Boston.
No Name Restaurant
No Name Restaurant is a fun place to grab a pint of Boston Lager, throw on a bib and order a delicious whole steamed lobster. Located right on the water (one pier over from where the Boston Seafood Festival took place), No Name Restaurant has been around since 1917! I discovered this place while visiting a friend who was born and raised in the Boston area and has been coming here with their family for years.
If you decide to check this place out, I highly recommend arriving early if you don’t already have a reservation. I also recommend going all in and ordering the whole steamed lobster! It’s by far their best menu item and you won’t be disappointed. Make your reservations here.
Select Oyster Bar
Select Oyster Bar is tucked into a charming neighborhood, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. The restaurant is quite cozy and intimate but fills up quickly as guests stroll in to get their seafood fix. We ordered up the dressed Maine lobster, a bunch of oysters (yet somehow it’s never enough!), and a dreamy yellowtail topped with mushrooms and cilantro flowers. This new restaurant won a few awards for being a top seafood and wine bar, and the accolades are absolutely well deserved. Everything that comes out of their downstairs kitchen is to die for!
Union Oyster House
Boston is known for its history – it seems like everywhere you turn, you are standing on or in front of some historical landmark, and the restaurants in Boston are no exception. Established in 1826, the Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in America! And it definitely plays the part with wooden walls, creaky stairways, and nautical harbor ambiance.
Lucky for us, the Union Oyster House also has the best clam chowder I have ever had! We also ordered up a half dozen oysters and nibbled on their house cornbread, which was delicious too. Inside the restaurant it can get crowded, I advise putting your name down early and grabbing a drink across the street at the Bell in Hand Tavern. This cozy tavern has been serving drinks since 1795 and has a great local beer selection.
The Union Oyster House is absolutely full of history, too much to babble on about in this post. Click here to learn more about the history of the restaurant, I promise it’s impressive!
Myers + Chang
After a long day, a quick trip to Myers + Chang was the perfect way to end the evening. My ‘party of one’ was sat at the bar overlooking the chaotic wok fire kitchen. The smells from the Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese influenced kitchen had me craving fresh seafood, deep spices, and bold flavors. I ordered the Mamma Chang’s pork + chive potstickers, the wok roasted muscles, and house pickled vegetables of the day (fennel, cucumbers, and jalapeños).
I watched from my seat in anticipation as the chefs prepared my order – I think I got the best seat in the restaurant! Or the worst seat depending on how hungry you are. When my bowl finally arrived, it was overflowing with perfectly cooked, tender muscles swimming in about two inches of spicy lemongrass broth. The pork potstickers were also so deliciously crispy and tender!
If you are coming on a Monday or Tuesday for date night, check out their fixed menu for two with rotating seasonal items.
Drum roll, please.. Neptune Oyster was my absolute favorite restaurant in Boston! Unfortunately it’s also all of Boston’s favorite restaurant. On this random weeknight, we arrived at 5:30pm and had an hour and a half wait for a table for two! But trust me, it’s absolutely worth the wait. Plus there are a few close bars, perfect for killing time while you wait for a table.
When it was finally our turn for a table, we were sat at the bar overlooking the oysters, crab claws, littleneck clams, and sea urchins. Just monitoring of course, making sure none of the live raw bar items made a run for it. We started our feast (like we always do) with a platter of oysters, shucked right in front of us while we sipped a glass of crisp sauvignon blanc. Our next course included a steamy bowl of clam chowder and crunchy yellowfin crostini with tuna tartare and citrus aioli – the perfect bites to hold us over between our oysters and entrees.
I was advised by a friend to order the seared Georges Bank scallops which came with sweet corn, smoked bacon, and a heirloom tomato vinaigrette. This dish was flavorful, salty, and textured with the meaty scallop giving the best mouthfeel! Yum. At this point, we had chatted, toasted, and casually cruised from course to course so leisurely that we soon realized we were some of the last people in the restaurant! Neptune Oyster is so cute, friendly, and delicious, we didn’t even notice everyone had left – what’s the rush?
This restaurant is an absolute must if you don’t mind the wait and you are looking for a fresh and intimate seafood restaurant. I can’t recommend this place enough!
I am also lusting for, but didn’t get to try:
Of course there are so many fantastic and noteworthy restaurants in Boston, I couldn’t dine at them all (although I did try). If you have any suggestions for new places in Boston to try, comment below. I would love to check it out next time I’m in town!