Boston >Restaurants >
Seafood >Union Oyster House
41 Union St, Boston, MA | Directions 0210842.361276 -71.057001
Sun- Thurs 11am - 9:30pm
Fri- Sat 11am -10pm
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Central
The Union Oyster House, located on the Freedom Trail near Faneuil Hall, enjoys the unique distinction of being America's oldest restaurant.
This Boston fixture is housed in a building dating back to pre-revolutionary days and started serving food in 1826. The stalls and oyster bar where Daniel Webster was a regular customer are in their original positions. Today's politicians, celebrities and tourists still come in to enjoy the food.
We are the third family in nearly two centuries to own the Union Oyster House. (857) 264-2380
Go for the Chowda! It's the best and the original. – I have been here 2 times over the last year and stuck with the Clam Chowder and a Sam Adams. I've eaten at the bar every time. Based on the mixed reviews here, I haven't tried anything else. I want to keep going back here for the traditional New England Clam Chowder. It is made with the traditional ingredients and I haven't had anything else in Boston that comes close. It's thick and flavored just right. The clams have always been fresh. Note, the cornbread is downright horrible, so just stick to the basics of beer and chowda and you'll understand why this place is still around. Plus, the original side of the restaurant has some great history. Be sure to walk around. I love this place and will keep going back for the right reasons.
What a dump! – Located on a on a cobblestone street that smells of urine. Have they ever heard of a hose??? Waited 45 min. w/reservation. . Brought us to a table that hadn't been cleaned. Waitress came to clean it with a dirty rag. Floors /chairs were filthy. Thank god for my purell wipes!! The waitress had a horrible cold, and was blowing her nose. It was disgusting. We ordered appetizers, oysters (warm to boot) We didn't even touch them. The shrimp cocktail was soggy. Main dishes came out in two orders( there were 6 of us), and were cold. The waitress was obviously displease that we were not happy, and copped an attitude. We asked to see the manager, but she couldn't find her....Not really sure what all the hype is about this place, but it is clearly a dump! Don't waiste your time or money on this place.....
Historic place, must visit! – The Union Oyster house was one of the most interesting restaurants I went to on my recent trip to Boston. That it's filled with history goes without saying. The raw oysters were great, very meaty. Very reasonable priced and our waitress was funny and very attentive. Great experience!
Decent food but unacceptable service – We called too late to make a reservation, but were told if we showed up in the next 15 minutes we would have a half-hour wait for our party of 9. So we went ahead and put in our name, and ended up waiting 45 minutes. This in itself would have been fine, but once we were seated and had ordered, it took another 45 minutes to receive our appetizers, and then another 45 minutes after that to receive our entrees. All told, we spent about an hour eating and 2 hours waiting for service. This is ridiculous on a Tuesday night. On top of that, our waitress forgot one person's soda and we waited 30 minutes for that; she assumed that the child in our party would not want the cole slaw that came with her fish and chips; and the potatoes that were supposed to come with the Shore Dinner were completely missing. To her credit, when we asked about the potatoes and cole slaw at the end of the meal, she apologized and said she should not have assumed about the slaw, and offered to give us the potatoes to take home. These are small consolations for the obnoxiously long wait, though. The food itself was good, but nothing to write home about. Certainly not worth the prices nor the wait.
The country's oldest restaurant in continuous service lures touristy crowds with its fresh seafood and award-winning chowder. – In Short
Dating back to 1826, the Union Oyster House maintains a suitably old-fashioned tavern decor, with lots of weathered wood and a casual atmosphere. Tourists and locals rub shoulders to slurp down oysters and tuck into thick chowders and substantial pieces of grilled or baked fish. Bivalve lovers gather around the old-school raw bar to sample fresh cherrystones, littlenecks and steamers. Desserts include hot Indian pudding, homemade gingerbread and warm apple cobbler.
nice historic, unattentive seervice, BUT mostly poor food. – food was cold when served, steamed clams are not cooked enough this far south of maine,
chowder is too thick and can-like.
Great Fresh Seafood – We had Native Oysters (1/2doz.), Cape Cod Cherrystones (1/2doz.), bowl of Clam Chowder, grilled Native Swordfish, Sauteed Seafood Medley, and of course the corn bread.
FRESH FRESH FRESH yummy half shell, the clam chowder is creamy and chuck of clam, the sauteed seafood medley was full of tasty seafood big portion (tasty leftover for lunch tmw), and I want the recipe for the corn bread. The swordfish was over cook and dry, since the piece of swordfish that we have didn't have much of fat in it so it was tough to eat. Overall it was delightful and I would go back again and again.
Side notes on the service: I called to make a reservation 1 1/2 hour before (tuesday evening), and the reception said "it's ok just come in anytime!" so when we arrived we were told that we have to wait 20mins due to other reservation, so I'm guessing if you plan to eat here please make reservation a day in advance to avoid hungry tummy.
for the sake of history – went there two restaurant weeks ago. it was the ONLY place that i came out satisfied.
didn't have their fresh oysters & clams, although was little tempted. nice "coarse" corn bread. their seafood linguine was SO good. so much seafood (even for restaurant week menu!) that it's good for two meals. i think none but one at our table could finish. we all packed it home. lots of merchants only want to use promotional tactics (and i'm not just talking about restaurant week) to attract customers and then cheat them off (at least offering less-than-average portion or quality). i don't appreciate these shady practices at all. hence, i applaud for union oyster house's generosity and vision (that's how you get returned customers on regular days!).
however, couldn't applaud for the service. it was slow at best. first we had to wait for a table even though we made reservations--and it wasn't busy when we arrived. then waitress didn't seem too happy upon hearing that we're restaurant week customers. i mean, again, if anything goes wrong it's 90% management's problem. if you consider us "cheap" customers, then don't participate in restaurant week! if you want to have people try out your restaurant in order to attract potential future returns, then get your staff to appreciate their business at their first visit! as the saying goes: you don't have a second chance to make the first impression.
Go here – This is a great place to go for simple, good New England seafood. Lobsters are fresh and served hot; chowder is delicious; wait staff is great, nice bars with lots of room. As authentic an atomosphere as you could want. Very casual. good place to go with kids, or without. Oysters and clams were fresh and plump. nothing fancy on the menu -- just the basics, but lots of them.
Nice location, cozy bar and good food – Not sure about other people's experiences as my husband and I had a great time. We dropped in for dinner and had to wait 30-40 minutes. It gave us a perfect reason to hang out at the bar. Our waitress recommended a great local beer for hubby. I had a margarita; didn't expect much but was tasty. We were led upstairs to the dining room. The hostess reminded me of the boss lady from Monsters Inc. with the glasses and voice. We used our Boston USA card for a free lobster app. and started with a cup of chowder. We enjoyed the ravioli though wondered if that really was the usual portion. The chowder was good, very thick and flavorful. I did like the seafood chowder from Boston Chowda at Faneuil Hall a bit better. I had the shrimp and scallops stir fry. Scallops were a bit overcooked but fine. There was a mountain of rice pilaf, not a bed at all. With the sauce or without, the rice pilaf was fantastic complement to the shrimp/scallop. Hubby had Seafood Newburg, which he enjoyed. After the appetizer and dinner, we were stuffed. It's not a fancy place for new takes on classic dishes, but it's great flavors and comforting. We enjoyed ourselves.
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