Fodor's Expert Review Union Oyster House

$$$ Government Center Seafood

Opening its door in 1826 and earning a place on the National Historic Landmark list, Union Oyster House is Boston's oldest restaurant. Dine like Daniel Webster (alongside his nightly hangover-heavy tumbler of brandy and water) and order oysters on the half shell at the ground-floor raw bar in the oldest part of the restaurant. For a heartier meal, head to the dark and low-ceilinged upstairs via a narrow staircase (very Olde New England) to find “The Kennedy Booth,” the president's favorite. Small tables and chairs (as well as kitschy nostalgia) are charming, as is the simple and hearty portions of Yankee-style seafood and steaming bowls of chowder. The Shore Dinner is a New England feast of clam chowder, steamers or mussels, live lobster, native corn, red bliss potatoes, and gingerbread or Indian pudding. Sinking your teeth into more than you can handle? You aren’t the first. The toothpick was first used in the U.S. here. On weekends, make reservations or risk enduring waits of historic proportions. One cautionary note: locals hardly ever eat here.

Seafood Lively Lunch Dinner $$$

Quick Facts

41 Union St.
Boston, Massachusetts  02108, USA


Known For:
  • Oldest Boston restaurant
  • Long waits on weekends
  • Oysters

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