Union Oyster House
Union Oyster House

Union Oyster House

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.unionoysterhouse.com/
  • Phone: (617) 227-2750
  • 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
354 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.8
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
82% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (155)special occasion (98)fit for foodies (77)good for groups (74)hot spot (73)great for lunch (67)kid-friendly (51)vibrant bar scene (36)romantic (31)scenic view (24)late-night find (16)great for brunch (13)great for outdoor dining (8)notable wine list (8)Show More
  • The great restaurant for my guests.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/24/2014
    Thank you for your nice services. My guests really appreciate your delightful dishes in New England.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historic place but the food was sub par.
    DonBVIP
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    The chowder was delicious. The raw oysters were not that good compared to what else is offered in the area. The fried seafood platter was just ok. It's a cool historic place but the food needs some improvement.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • You have to go because it's historic
    GREAT
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    The Union Oyster House is a historic location in Boston therefore you have to go. The food is nothing special and highly overpriced and the service was mediocre. Hostesses will check you in, tell you to wait, but don't tell you that once your name is called you have to go upstairs and get very annoyed or will literally ignore you when you ask for help.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Back after 25 Years
    historybarbaz2014
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    I came here about 25 years ago and sat at the bar. The older bartender shucking oysters actually plopped one on my plate and then carded me when I ordered a glass of wine. All was done with a twinkle in his eye! I came back with a student a couple days ago. I never realized there was an entire upstairs! We sat across from President Kennedy's booth, and the host asked if we'd like our picture taken there. Our waitress allowed me to buy one oyster for my student to try. The cornbread was warm, copious, and delicious. Of course, we both ordered clam chowder. In my opinion, this is the best place in Boston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The reservations were not honored!! Food fair.
    Rick
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Our reservation was for 7pm but we arrived at 5:45pm from out of town. They said we could be seated in 10 minutes when we asked in 20 minutes they said 10 more minutes. Long story short they moved walk-ins ahead of us (at least 10 couples) and we finally were seated at 7:15pm. This was the biggest example of promises with no action. The food and service was only poor!!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The real deal
    Islander
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    If you are including Boston in your travels, include the Union Oyster House. It's the real deal and you'll know you are in an establishment that served as a meeting site for many of the country's early leaders and continues that tradition. Great food, great service, great ambiance. You will not regret the decision, especially if you are searching for fresh fish and shellfish. Oysters and cherrystone clams -- yum.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oyster Lovers Heaven
    Flamingo
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    My husband had 34 raw oyster and littlenecks the night we were there. We started at the oyster bar. The shucker is very knowledgable and friendly. He has been there a long time and shares stories. He served Julia Child oysters on her ninetieth birthday. My food was also very good. Sole is my favorite and happened to be the special. Oldest restaurant in Boston. My husband would also say "the best".
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent service at bar.
    Lynet
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Server somewhat lacking. She didn't ask about my refill on my drink, only my husband's.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Great food, great service and absolutely charming!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Had a great time!
    CarolCToronto
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Previous Boston visit was in 1991. Had to have that clam chowder again! Also had the lobster and some oysters. These were both great. Couldn't tell that the dipping butter with the lobster was real butter - didn't have any taste. Disappointing Boston Cream Pie - the sponge cake part was not the best. Wine was good. Would definitely go again and order everything but the Pie again. The server was really great - friendly, fast, thorough.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Seafood
    Teddy
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Every Seafood is high quality and nicely cooked, but plates are relatively big for Japanese people. Until foods come, we don't know how big are they.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historical Venue
    Eric
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    This place is great for lunch; it's got all your favorite seafood options, including lobsters rolls, that you can enjoy in one of the oldest restaurants in the US. I would not say the food was exceptional, rather just normal seafood. Good place for tourists, but since I live locally, I will probably go elsewhere for my good seafood experience.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing
    luv2dine
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    My boyfriend and I were visiting Boston and trying to decide where to eat. Through Google we found that the Oyster House was the oldest restaurant in Boston and a historical landmark so we definitely wanted to try it out. Everything about this restaurant was amazing. The food, the wine and the quant dining area. Our waitress recommended the meals that we ate and we had no complaints. She was also very funny and interactive which we loved. If you are visiting Boston or live there and never been to the Oyster House this is a must.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bostonbell
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Average for the food - too many potatoes in the clam chowder, few clams, cole slaw was "flat" - had little flavor - fishcakes were flavorful. Service was courteous and efficient.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Touch of the Old World
    Food4U
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    If you would like to experience a touch of "Old Time Boston" this is the place for you. As soon as you walk in the atmosphere conveys a step back in time. Its warm, cozy and fun to enjoy a drink or meal. The upstairs has a view of the street below and the ceiling has dark wood slats placed on the diagonal. The chowder and other seafood dishes were prepared perfectly. A wonderful place to enjoy a meal after sightseeing in this wonderful town.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overpriced for the value of food
    mstanton580
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    This is a well known tourist attraction as it brags that it is the first restaurant in America. The firs complaint I have is that it is an "oyster house" and it only provides one type of oyster. when they serve the oysters to you, they are room temperature which is not the way I like my oysters. Typically, they should be served on ice and at least be cool. Second, the food overall was not good though my husband said that the clam chowder was really good. Most of the seafood is fried and the crab cakes, oily. We went to Island Creek Oyster bar in Fenway and paid just a little more and had an EXCELLENT meal. My advice: save your money. There are much better restaurants in Boston.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just go to say you went. Avg food
    FBECVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Food is ok. This place is open because it's a tourist trap because if history.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Famous Union Oyster House
    Llioi
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    After seeing the place on Food Network, we decided to eat there thinking it was going to be good. It didn't disappoint. They took us right at our reservation time despite the 45min wait for walk ins. Dinner started with a great piece of cornbread that felt like a cake celebration before your meal. The oysters were the star of the show. For my first time eating oysters, I was so happy it was at Union Oyster House. The entre was good, not great but after the oysters it really didn't matter. I do recommend Union Oyster House!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dixiedines65
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The oldest restaurant in America, steeped in Boston history and legend could easily be tourist trap. It is not! We had great service from the moment we entered the door. Staff was very friendly and helpful. We arrived a little early but the table was almost immediately ready. Our waitress was attentive, and friendly with lots of good advice about the menu. The food was delicious and plentiful. It's been years since I was last hear, but will return much sooner.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • People were smaller
    Rowan122
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    People were smaller in Colonial times! If you are over 5'7" or a "big" guy/gal you are going to have a VERY HARD TIME squeezing yourself into the booths! Do yourself a favor and sit at the bar downstairs. The staff is friendly, it's a historic site, and the food is pretty good. I didn't get the seafood so I can't really speak to it but others in the party thought it was great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A national treasure
    Duke
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    If you are ever in Boston, a visit to the Union Oyster House is a must. This place drips history. They have saved every newspaper clip, every magazine article, every travel mention. To sit and eat oysters where the founders of our nation did the same is a rare and wonderful treat. The server was great. We had raw oysters, oysters Rockefeller, clam chowder, a seafood sampler and scallops. All were wonderful. We stuck around for an after-dinner drink to soak it all in. We were even tempted to go again another night, and that is saying something given the area's dining options. Go here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Must in Boston
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    If you want the total old Boston experience go here! Good food and service. make a reservation!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Union Oyster House
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Delicious seafood, very nice friendly service, attentive. Fun being in such a historic place that still serves great food. Will definitely go back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • MRLDGVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Clasisic Boston seafood. Served in efficient fashion very good server trying to satisfy every request food was exactly as presented. A place to eat for the authentic Boston expierience
    Special Features:
    hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Once a treasure
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We were sorely disappointed to find not all fish was fresh; some appeared to have been frozen. No more Oyster Stew. Cornbread was not warm - in fact, it was cold as though it had been in the 'frig. The Lobster Scampi, however, was terrific!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    CoveVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Thought we try it as we had not been in years. Service was slow from the kitchen and waitress needed 3 reminders for water for thr table. Sold out of steamers at 6 pm on a Saturday? Mussels were good. Overall not worth a return visit.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Worth a visit for a drink only!
    BluestoneRegular
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Total tourist trap. Menu was mediocre. Service was horrendous. For an 'Oyster' House, expected more than just bluepoints.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Good choice for oysters, very busy
    thewormthatturns
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    The oysters were delicious and there was a good selection of local species and a few from further afield. A few gems on the wine list, and excellent and attentive service. A bit noisy but we could talk without raising our voices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun historical bldng / delicious
    NCVisitor
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Very cool place because it's so old, and such an interesting quirky building! The cornbread is like cake!!!... delicious! The clam chowder is a must, even if you don't like clam! I'm not even a big seafood fan, but loved my Lobster Newberg. I don't do oysters, but my friends were raving over them. Wish the beers were micro-brew and not "standard" stuff you can get just anywhere. Not the place to come if you're expecting fine dining or fancy fish. But do come here if you want old school, cool experience, something historically significant about Boston and USA, and consistent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Historic and delicious
    CLEfan9
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Food was excellent! We had the Chef's recommended Swordfish and Scrod. Both were outstanding. We had a 9pm reservation but showed up almost an hour early and the staff was great at getting us seated in 20 min ( granted this was a Sunday but the place was still packed). The atmosphere is incredible as it truly does feel like going back in time. We will always stop here to eat when in town!!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    The food here was very good and it is a fun place to go for a place with lots of historic ambiance. My only complaint is that the tables are placed much too close together and so it was annoying to have to squeeze past other diners' chairs just to get to your chair. And once you were seated, the back of your chair was right up against someone else's chair. So I would encourage the Union Oyster House to move their tables a little further apart to make for a more pleasant dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historical setting - amazing food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We're out-of-towners and appreciated the total value of this amazing historical restaurant with fabulous food. Don't miss it!
    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.
  • Don't bother...
    JanetSFVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    I typiclaly do not go to super touristy places, but was told this was fun and something you had to try in Boston. Food was absolutely horrible. Oysters were barely edible and fish and crab cakes were just as bad. Service was extremely slow and while our waitress was nice- she seemed completely exhausted and just wanted to go home (we were there for lunch so it was not late). How can an establishment like this not be able to put out even mediocre food?
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food with a Historic Flair
    FoodAddict
    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.
  • We walked out before our food came
    Disappointed
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    This was hands down the wort service we have ever experienced. The first night we stuck out the bad service and had an amazing meal. The food is so good! The second night we had to walk out on our dining experience...something that we have never done in our life. Our waitress didn't come to our table so we ordered through another waitress after waiting for 15 min without being spoken to. Then our waitress proceeded to throw our drinks to us, served soup without crackers, got mad when we asked for bread (part of the meal). Then served us ice cold lobsters and proceeded to get mad and huffed away without any issuance of apology or explanation (like "I'll be right back with hot food" or "I'll put in a new order"). We walked out
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wait and service not up to par
    Substandard
    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
    tntraveller
    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.
  • Boston gem
    CarolynVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Was in Boston for the weekend and had a great lunch at the Oyster house. Lobster rolls were fantastic and the corn bread was excellent. The friendly service and attention we got from our server Stephanie was wonderful she made the lunch very special as she shared stories of the Boston and the historic restaurant with us!! It was Wicked awesome!!!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    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