Union Oyster House
Union Oyster House

Union Oyster House

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.unionoysterhouse.com/
  • Phone: 6172272750
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sunday - Thursday: 11:00am - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 11:0am - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Private Party Facilities: Private rooms are available for your convenience for cocktail parties, buffets and banquets. Each room has its distinct personality!
  • Private Party Contact: Dining Room Manager (617) 227-2750

Getting there

  • Public Transit: Two options: Take the Blue or Green Line to Government Center. Walk down the stairs along the side of City Hall and cross Congress Street. We are across the street. Note we are across from the New England Holocaust Memorial. Or, take the Orange or Green Line to Haymarket,left on Congress,left on Hanover,right on Union.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: We Validate Parking for the Parcel #7 Garage. Note that it is not clearly labeled as such (sorry). If the Union Oyster House is on your right, the brick building STRAIGHT AHEAD OF YOU is the garage. Drive towards it, make a quick left (Hanover St.) right (Congress St.) and right again (Sudbury St.) … in other words, around the brick building to the other side is the entrance. The fee after validation is 3.$ for 3 hours
A word from Union Oyster House
The Union Oyster House, located on the Freedom Trail, near Faneuil Hall, enjoys the unique distinction of being America's oldest restaurant. The Boston fixture, housed in a building dating back to pre-revolutionary days, started serving food in 1826 and has continued ever since with the stalls and oyster bar, where Daniel Webster was a constant customer, in their original positions.
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Union Oyster House reviews from OpenTable diners
412 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.8
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
83% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (179)special occasion (123)good for groups (94)hot spot (91)fit for foodies (85)great for lunch (83)kid-friendly (69)romantic (41)vibrant bar scene (39)scenic view (34)late-night find (19)great for brunch (15)great for outdoor dining (9)notable wine list (9)Show More
  • Food with a Historic Flair
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We ordered the lobster roll, clam chowder, broiled scallops and grilled cheese. The food was alright, the chowder was very tasty. I loved the crunchy exterior but soft interior of the bun for the lobster roll. The atmosphere was very lively and the service was great. It took a while to get our food but given how busy they were it was understandable. We went for lunch and made reservations but the wait time was only about 10 minutes. What I loved was reading up on all the history involved with the building on the back of the menu.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wait and service not up to par
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Perhaps because it was Head of Charles and BU Parents Weekend, but I found the almost 15 minute wait to order, 1 hour wait for meal and non-communicative almost surly waitress to be unacceptable for a restaurant of this caliber. Prior experience not like this. I'll give it another try on a less busy Sat night.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good clam chowder
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    This restaurant serves one of the best oyster clam chowder I ever have.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • CLHP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Great food and service. Kind of pricey for what you get. But we had a great time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Union
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The food was average. They were running the wait staff raged. Table spacing was tight. Noise level high. Once you have eaten there you can say it's off my list.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Overpriced lobster entrees. Too much stuffing. Not enough real lobster meat. Waitress talked us out of the lobster boil in favor of two other lobster entrees. Very disappointed. Had been looking forward to this as the historical high point of our weekend.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    I'm sure it would've been great, but the gas was down, so they had to close.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    We had a great meal here, the ladies were great but very rushed however they kept up the service levels & the smiles. We had the cooked oyster starter maybe the best way to introduce you to oysters. The mains were fantastic mixed seafood, lobster, mussels, clams, scallops shrimp need I go on, fresh & wonderful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great historic restaurant
    Faith
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    This restaurant has a great combination of atmosphere, great food, and history. A must see spot if you're in the Boston area. They were also very accommodating. My boyfriend and I had just gotten off a plane and were actually en route to another city when we stopped by and they kindly stored our luggage behind the counter while we ate. It is the oldest restaurant in America for a good reason.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ye olde
    BYreviews
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    oysters were great but at $3.00 each, tough to enjoy a belly full of them. had the scrod, it was very fresh and cooked to perfection, however couldn't have been more then a 4 oz filet. however the historical value, quality of the food and being seated next to the kennedy booth made the $190 lunch(no cocktails) for 4 very enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • donandcarol
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    Service was extremely slow. Didn't seem that busy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We were seated per our reservation at 7:30 p.m. on an upper level. Unfortunately there were several tables behind us celebrating a birthday or something and the party was very boisterous. This affected our ability to even talk to each other at the table. The food and service were good. This is our third trip to Union and we will return.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oyster only
    NoNickNameForYou
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    I've dined with my parents there. Unfortunately, other the the oyster we order as an appetizer, nothing else was outstanding. The lobster was bellow average, bland pasta. Filet was nicely cooked, but there nothing special about the sauce at all. Shrimp was average and also the crabcakes. Waiter was very confusing and somehow managed to put water on my glass of beer. No idea what was in her mind. I think this is mainly a place for tourism, not for a real nice dining experience. I won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Iconic spot
    Eldenette
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    This place positively oozes history and ambience. We went for lunch on Sunday and the place was mobbed, festive, and hoppin.' Our food was fine, and while you want the food to be good for sure, it's the history and ambience that draw you to this place. Enjoyed the raw oysters--yum. I had a lovely mixed green salad with grilled shrimp. My dining partner enjoyed the fish and chips. Truly a not-to-be missed Boston experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Famous spot worth a visit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    The wait can get long here but this is a classic spot with typical New England food. Definitely worth a visit
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historic Restaurant.
    BaltimoreVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Historic restaurant with a fun atmosphere. Sit at the oyster bar for an authentic Bostonian meal.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • mmalloy
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    food service ambiance...all excellent. felt like I had been going there for years...treated nicely.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    The food was very good, though I have had much better for the price. The service was excellent; cannot complain one bit !!! Overall though, the primary appeal of this restaurant is the long standing history --- being the oldest continuous eating establishment in America. The history in this restaurant is amazing, and it is definitely an experience to eat here ... and, as I said, you will also enjoy a tasty meal in the process.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great historic feel!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    I brought my 6 yr old son for chowder and fried seafood. We really enjoyed the ambiance and the food was very good! Our server was nice but pretty much non-existent. We lunched at 1pm on a Friday afternoon and is was crowded so, if you do not have a reservation, be prepared to wait awhile.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Okay on an off Night
    Randyontheglobe
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    This review is only for my most recent visit. This is the place for fresh fish, super lobsters and amazing local oysters. The lobster w shellfish stuffing my decadent favorite, but remember that it takes a while to prepare (remind your server, too, or the meal will have gaps). Their chowder is one of the best anywhere, so indulge. On my last visit, the server brought out the first plates too quickly, even serving my companion's chowder and Caesar salad at the same time. That created a very long wait for my lobster - about 25 minutes during which time our glasses were empty. An verbal apology was offered after the fact, but the wait had become a distraction and I was embarrassed because I had raved about the place. Lobster was tough, too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Well done
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Very enjoyable, very busy, with good food and great service. We did have to wait a bit after arrival because of the level of business. As a treat the kitchen sent out Lobster Ravioli for us which was wonderful.. They have been in business a long time and with this level of quality they will be around a lot longer.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SueP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    WE had a great meal celebrating my daughters 21st birthday. Our watress was outstanding! Enjoyed very much - it was out first visit, hope to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A conveyor belt for tourists
    RexH
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    As first time tourists to Boston we were attracted to this as the oldest restaurant in the US and booked a table accordingly. We don't regret going as it was on our list of places to visit. Although we booked for 7 pm it was not very organised and we stood around for 20 minutes which was OK by us. The ambience was fun and the waitress service was good but to be truthful, the food was a little disappointing; acceptable, but really quite average. What was surprising was the speed of delivery. We had appetisers, mains and desserts and a bottle of wine but we're on our way out of the place within 45 minutes! Not what you would call a leisurely Wednesday night dinner!
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food but reservations poor
    TheSaint
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Reserved a table through Oyster House website. When we arrived the restaurant could find no booking but we were told that restaurant upstairs would have us on their list. The receptionist told us she would phone the restaurant and sort it out. After a 15 min wait I asked again and we were finally seated 20 mins after the booked reservation time. Despite our irritation over the booking we did enjoy the meal. The Chowda was tasty and both our main courses were fresh and well presented. The atmosphere in the restaurant was inviting and friendly and our waitress was helpful and attentive. Sort the reservation system out, or at least pull out all the stops to resolve the problem quickly, and this would a great dining experience.,
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Historical House
    Gigi
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Wonderful clam chowder and lobster roll. I saw many people dining on whole lobsters. The restaurant is cozy (crowded). Make sure you have a reservation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and history
    goodforus
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Always great food and the history and charm of this restaurant is amazing. Booked 4 or 5 days in advance and still had to wait 20 minutes for our table, but the service once we were seated was wonderful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Joann
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Was sceptical after reading the poor reviews. Walked in for lunch on a weekday and say immediately upstairs. Service was a little slow but not painfully so. Cold lobster salad was perfect for lunch. Nothing too fancy but perfect for a quick lunch date. Left feeling happy and satisfied with the experience
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Poor Service Attitude
    Emily
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    We asked one waitress the market price for the lobster. It was 12 dollars more than Atlantic Fish, but I thought we should try it, so we ordered. The lobster was a little bit over cooked, and other dishes were fine. So, we had a great time dinning. However, when the bill came, the lobster was 7 dollars more than what the waitress told us. So we asked another waitress (the original one just didn't come over), she said, "The price went up last week! She didn't know." And we insisted to talk to the original one, and she said, "If you want me to take it off, I will, if this is what you're asking for." We felt pretty insulted, because it was not just about the price but about their honesty and attitude. They never apologized.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fun "Old" place
    EmptyNestersNow
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    We went on the wife's birthday for lunch at the recommendation of our niece. She was glad to be around something older than her (ha ha). Had to wait a bit, even with reservations. Enjoyed our experience and even though the food wasn't outstanding, it was good and appropriate for Boston.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tavern and Oysters
    CVW2VIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Back into history , great fried oysters, Lobster , services was fast . Typical New England atmosphere .
    Special Features:
    scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Visiting Australians
    DisappointedAussies
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Very disappointed. We could only order one drink at a time, i.e. Could not order a beer and wine for same person at a time, this doesn't make sense and makes it unique in the world for weird policy. Noise level was excessive, seating impossibly cramped, food was cold and staff from reception to seating to wait staff are obviously not happy. First restaurant in America we have not tipped!! Overall we felt the restaurant was very tired and is obviously trading on first timers because there are enough tourists moving through Boston to continually fill with first timers. Anyone with any restaurant experience would not visit a second time. The overall experience does not do Boston justice and you need to totally review every aspect of dining.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • JE11
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Food is so-so. Cool old building-otherwise, skip it.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Historic must do
    dfs495
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Yes it has a gift shop. Yes it is a tourist destination. But it still has more character than all the "famous" seafood places in Boston.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Popular
    Effortlessg
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Fantastic food (Newburgh sauce to die for) A little too successful to be ideal. Crowded, busy (we had to wait 20 minutes for our table even though we has a reservation) go out of season or out of regular eating hours.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Boston classic
    Sewanean
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Oldest restaurant in the US; reeking of history. A favorite place for us on our, unfortunately, rare visits to Boston. Feels like dining at a table next to Daniel Webster, making up words. Good seafood.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great place!
    SbSuzanne
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    The food, service and experience were excellent. The freshest, best tasting lobster and oysters I've ever had!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AVisitorVIP
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    This restaurant should be visited mostly for historic interest. Fried foot was not hot enough.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historic...but that's about it.
    Historic
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    The Oysters Rockafeller had pieces of shell in them, so we told the waitress, and she didn't know what to do about it. When we finished our meal, she told us she would just remove the oysters from the bill. The rest of the food was so-so. Certainly not worth what you paid. The place was like an old tavern, a nice piece of history, which is why we chose it. However, I don't think I'll ever be going back, at least not for food anyway. The waitstaff was nice, but seemed overworked. My friend hated her burger and fries. I had a fish sandwhich, it was just ok, nothing special. I would reccomend going in for a drink because it's on the freedom trail and a piece of history
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • pros and cons
    Samsmom
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    We chose this place because of its historic nature and ratings. We had to sit upstairs for lunch but were pleased when we were seated across from the famous Kennedy Booth. After being in Boston 4 days and sampling clam chowder every day, this was the best. However, I ordered the fish and chips and was drinking water all day - way too salty.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Noisy, food was average at best.
    Avi8er
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    I was expecting a lot more quality. Quaint is one thing but old and dirty is another. Food was barely warm. Only bright spot was the hostess as she was working off the open table reservation list and got us seated early. Boston baked beans were nothing special.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall