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
414 reviews since July 3, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.8
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
83% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (185)special occasion (122)hot spot (93)good for groups (89)fit for foodies (86)great for lunch (82)kid-friendly (68)romantic (41)vibrant bar scene (40)scenic view (31)late-night find (19)great for brunch (15)great for outdoor dining (9)notable wine list (9)Show More
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.