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.
Continued
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Union Oyster House reviews from OpenTable diners
389 reviews since June 2, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.8
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
82% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (166)special occasion (115)good for groups (88)great for lunch (80)hot spot (79)kid-friendly (76)fit for foodies (73)romantic (40)scenic view (36)vibrant bar scene (36)great for brunch (17)late-night find (17)great for outdoor dining (10)notable wine list (10)Show More
  • Noisy, food was average at best.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    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
  • Oyster House
    ScubaRon
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    This place is dark close quarters eating. Upstairs is difficult to reach for anyone who's been walking all day. The men's room was out of order upstairs and to get to it you had to walk up a separate flight of stairs. The server was very pleasant and polite.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food and atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    The seafood dishes we ordered were both delicious. The place was very busy from the time we got there at 6:00 PM but serving staff was efficient. There was little time for the serving staff to exchange pleasantries, but they did a good job of looking after our needs and desires. The nature and design of the upstairs dining room makes it a very noisy place, but that may be part of the ambiance. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and our evening out in Boston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very disappointing quality food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    For a landmark restaurant both the service and food were very disappointing. The lobster casserole had nothing but claws with bread crumbs on top when menu stated lobster meat. Waitress was never available and when I asked her why it was not listed in the menu properly she said "I should have told you but it is always only claws." I certainly should have had a steamed lobster, they could not mess that up.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent!
    Joy4481
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    One of JFK's favorite restaurants & now one of mine too! Excellent all around!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Boston treasure for near 200 years
    StevefromBoston
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    A Boston must see that serves a wonderful variety of lobster dishes, many of which are unique. The New England bouillabaise with half lobster was incredible. There is plenty of other fresh seafood, but the lobsters are remarkably reasonable compared to another large famous chain. The wood and brick original ambiance is classic, and the noise level is MUCH lower than most other large spaces. Our server Karen was friendly and efficient. It is also notable that we were never rushed despite the full house. I live here and I am sorry too say I had not been there in decades. I will be there again soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • View
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    We ate in the upstairs part which was exactly what you would expect from an old historical building view.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good place to visit - once
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    The ambiance and energy of the waitress was entertaining. Food overpriced and average. Each person inthe party ordered something different and nothing was outstanding. Lobster ravioli - small portion, bouliabase - over cooked seafood, lazy man lobster - small portion too rich to enjoy. Cool place for the historical aspect. We had been looking forward to trying the Union Oyster House for a long time. Very disappointed. Too many great resturants in Boston to waste good money on overpriced mediocre food. Recommend going to the bar for a drink And eating somewhere else.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    I would recommend to a friend for the ambiance and history, but not for the food. Good place to get a beer and soup but that's it.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    historic restaurant, wonderful experience America's oldest restaurant
    Special Features:
    hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Almost bad
    DrZV8
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    As we were walking into the restaurant, we were struggling pushing in our stroller and a patron said this restaurant "wasn't for babies." She was unbelievably rude and clearly unhappy with her life, but the staff quickly turned our near bad experience at this restaurant into one of the highlights of our trip to Boston. The world if full of people who take time to complain about what they think is wrong with this or that, but I'd like to thank the staff here for the great dining experience and great food and recommendations.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Boston Tradition
    Chictrix
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    3 girls in town for conference, last minute reserv, not rushed, got time to catch up & service & food (free cornbread!) impeccable. Loved it! Had chowder, clams, salad, Seafood New urg great sauce, BUT scallops to die for!!! Loved it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historic Restaurant, Great Food
    CRPathinBoston
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Union Oyster House is a must when visiting Boston, we had a great experience, we missed our reservation by half an hour, and they managed to find us a seat in a full packed restaurant. Amazing service, great food, the Clam Chowder was great.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wouldn't go back
    CFS2
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Went for dinner at the Union, because that seems to be what one does in Boston. It was not worth it. The food was middle of the road at best, and overpriced. The building in interesting because of its age, but it has been crammed with tables and has lost a lot of its potential ambience. If you want good seafood, there are many other choices in town. Unfortunately the Union is relying on its age and location to draw in the tourist crowd...and then proceeds to disappoint with indifferently prepared $30 mains.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Quaint spot, pretty good food!
    LisaTVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    My mother, visiting from out of town, really wanted to go to Union Oyster House. We went at 4:30 PM, before she caught her plane home, and had a lovely time. It was quiet, and we quickly received warm cornbread from our friendly waitress. Our Seafood Newburgh was tasty, as was our Cesear Salad.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Does the Louvre have any good art?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    If you answered yes likely you will be impressed with the country's most historic seafood restaurant dishing out fresh catches prepared the most mouth watering way possible. If it's good enough for JFK and Daniel Webster and almost 200 years of satisfied customers, you might also find thus a safe bet.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ok
    MidWestMike
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    The food was average. Wanted our friend to get a bit of historical perspective while in Boston. The food was ok, it was average, nothing special, nothing to go out of the way for: bummer
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, bad service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Beutiful place, great lobster, but the service ver y slow and unfrendly
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrible service.
    HorrorVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The service was horrible! Our server took our order then after 20 minutes came back with a luke warm oyster appetizer and a room tempature beer. I was not happy at all because it was my mom's first time there with pouring rain outside. We waited for another 15 minutes then the waitress came with 1 entree. We had both ordered the Union special lobster! The waitress giggles and pretty much told us she had mistaken that we wanted to share 1 entree.. WTF?! Assume?? She then said if we wanted the other order it'll take another 20 minutes. That was it... Our evening ruin! Nothing was done for us. No manager came by, nothing!! They don't care. They know tourist will keep coming and they can charge $47 for lobster that didn't taste that good!!!!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Food- Can be EXTREMELY Noisy
    JimC
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    4 of us had dinner there. It's a large and rambling restaurant. Unlucky us-we got seated in an area where they seemed to locate only loud mouthed groups. It totally ruined our dinner. Most all the loudmouths didn't show up until after we were seated as were waiting for drinks. As we were on our way out, we noticed that other sections of the place were rather quiet, as are we. When we walked through to be seated, we noticed a lot of empty tables in the quieter areas. Insist on seating away from any loud groups. I had the Lobster Casseroe.While it had ample lobster, it was really top heavy with bread crumbs, which soaked up all the sauce in the dish making it very dry.My wife and other friend ordered fin fish which they thought was great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not That Great!!
    pshart
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The service was poor. Our food was cold and had to be reheated. We would not go back there again. We had to wait forever for our drinks and our food. We expected much better than we received. I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone else. Very disappointed!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Oysters 4 You
    Delicious
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Consistently good, great service, freshest oysters. The chef accommodated our request for Fried Haddock vise baked, which was nice. The backed lobster was juicy and not loaded with a lot of breading. Tried the cheeseburger soup for something different and it was delicious. Cheese soup with ground beef and a hint of pickle and spices. I've been coming here with family and friends for over 40 years and not once did I have an issue with the food or service. It kept its rustic charm and commitment to quality.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Enjoy the history
    Historicalfoodfan
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    A great historic spot. Make sure you get a reservation and ask for a booth upstairs to really enjoy the historic ambiance. Lighting is also "historic" so you may have to use your cell phone as a reading light. Apart from that a fun place with good seafood. The fish and chips are great. If you are on a budget the lunch menu offers almost all of the dinner items but for less cost. Booths are small -part of the historic charm -so might not be a good seating choice for large people. Four smallish people were a pretty cozy fit.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tourist trap
    JannieVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Very disappointing. Lobster roll Hardly any lobster. Frozen french fried. High prices. Very disappointing
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great find!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    Historic site! Found this restaurant in the hotel magazine. Excellent seafood; food was fresh and portions are appropriately priced.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good as a historical site
    Diner1
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    I feel the management at union oyster house are riding on the historical history of the place to draw customers. The food and presentation was poor. Either refine the current menu. It truly turn it into a tourist site and offer foods found during the period and dress your wait staff accordingly.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Historic Restaurant, Mediocre Food
    Love2DineOut
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    We went to Boston to celebrate my son's 21st birthday. Union Oyster House was on the list of places we wanted to eat. We had seen favorable reviews plus it's a historic landmark. The building and restaurant are really quite neat and the history is great. Their food is clearly not their claim to fame. It was fine, nothing was bad exactly, but nothing was great either. We had several of the fresh fish items, clam and fish chowder, and one of their specialties. All of it was just okay, and they are pricey, so I expected it to be really good seafood. Aside from that, it takes an act of congress to ever get refills on water or drinks. Go for a tour, but I wouldn't recommend dining there.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Icon, go!
    liz33VIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Food was great. Their clams and oysters were very fresh, and their shuckers know how to do it right. Even found a pearl! Service was a little slow, so if you're starving, have a little something before you go. Shame on them for using magenta colored paper napkins! If you have to dab at a spot on your shirt, the color runs, not good. Would definitely go back, but ask for a cloth napkin. Would be a deal breaker for me.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Union Oyster House
    BostongirlVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    This was our first time here. Overall the food was good but not great. The clam chowder had great flavor but not a lot in it. The lobster roll was probably the most lackluster lobster roll I've ever had. It actually tasted very bland, like nothing, and the amount of lobster was very skimpy for a $23 sandwich. Also, the quality of the what little lobster was inside was not the best. However, the fish and chips and fried fish platter were good. The drinks and beer were cool, not cold. Our waitress was excellent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Don't do it
    Lmum27
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Super touristy and food was obscenely overpriced for the below diner quality food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • jojo
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We are from Germany und found this place on the internet. It was also recommended in several travelguids because of its outstanding food and ambience. Reservation was easy. Thank you for that great evening my friend and I had in your restaurant
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • History surrounds you
    ww13
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    Authentic old Boston charm in the building and furnishings, but history alone wouldn't have kept the doors open this many years if they weren't serving some really great meals, as well. I had the lazy man's lobster, which is similar to lobster pie. More than 4 lobster claws, several knuckle pieces and a couple pieces of lobster tail in a bread crumb topped casserole. Simply delicious! My husband had the bouillabaisse. He thought half a lobster, in the shell, made it more difficult to eat than he would have liked, but he enthusiastically ate every bite! Only fair service. I was freezing, and asked if they could turn down the ceiling fan. It took a long time to get it done. Staff wasn't that friendly or efficient, but the food was great.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oyster
    BanjoVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    Great time, had sampler of oysters, then had a medium sweet lobster. Wife had the clams, we truly enjoyed the outing.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • YUMMY Chowda
    David
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    This was I think the best Chowda in Boston. Great Oysters as well. We had such a kind nice waitress and the front seating staff was mind as well
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overpriced
    Andy
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    The food was mediocre at best. Outrageously priced for the type of food served. Wait staff seemed inconvenienced. I would not go back nor recommend this place to anyone.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tourist Attraction
    Bedaius
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    This place is kind of fun, however food quality quality more of a better diner. It's a fun place, however you find better sea food in other places. If you accept this, you will have fun with friends.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Likes2Eat
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Had a fantastic dinner during our weekend trip to Boston. Forgot the name of our waitress, but she was wonderful: blond woman with a very heavy Bean Town accent. She made the evening even better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • as expected
    aanycVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    based on reading previous reviews, we knew going in this would be a crowded touristy place with average service, so that was accurate. The roasted and fried oysters were very good, but the fish dishes I would avoid. Didn't try the lobster. We waited so long for beers to be delivered that we never bothered to order a second round. And it took at least 15 minutes for someone to pick up our credit card to pay our bill.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Classic Boston
    Food4me
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Great eating establishment to experience Boston history. Food was very good, but I was very disappointed they ran out of steamers.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Boston trip
    BCtil16visitor
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Food was great, service terrific, ambiance interesting!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.