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
410 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.8
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
83% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (178)special occasion (121)great for lunch (93)good for groups (92)fit for foodies (80)hot spot (79)kid-friendly (79)romantic (43)scenic view (42)vibrant bar scene (36)great for brunch (19)late-night find (18)great for outdoor dining (12)notable wine list (9)Show More
  • 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.
  • Wouldn't go back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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
  • 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.
  • Pleasantly Satisfied
    Jlavs
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I've lived in MA all my life but had never been to the Union Oyster House (though I knew about it). I wanted to bring family from the Midwest there. I had to change our reservation 3 different times (over Labor Day weekend nonetheless) and they were able to accommodate each time. I was worried that the food might be lacking since it's such a tourist-y spot and occasionally the food is sacrificed over gimmicks, but I was very pleased with my meal, as was everyone else I was dining with. The prices are high, but I suppose that's to be expected at a popular tourist restaurant in the middle of the city. The downstairs has a neat feel and ambiance, but the dining room upstairs where we ate had less. Overall I was quite happy!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I felt young!
    Jannie
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Well, if you want history, the Union Oyster House is the place! It is steeped in Colonial history, which is very cool. We chose to have lunch during Dine Out Boston week, but after looking at the special menu for that, we decided to order off the regular menu. The special menu looked good, but you had to order an app, an entree and a dessert. We didn't want that much food for lunch. So we went with lighter fare; which was very reasonably priced anyway. The cornbread was absolutely delicious as was hubby's clam chowder. His baked fish was very good, but the sides were pretty bland. I had the popular mini-cakes...one lobster, one crab and one fish. They were outstanding, but again the sides were less than inspired.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • authentic
    eggs
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    good food and great servers Special beers too! The servers all have thick Boston accents so you know you are in the oldest restaurant in Boston
    Special Features:
    hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Old Charm
    Taprooter
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Takes you back in time a little. We had excellent service and the food was great.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Of historical note only
    Calalilyuf
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The food would be good except for its price and service that accompanied it. Not worth it. Also be prepared to bring your own water bottle because you'd die of thirst before getting a refill.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Historic
    Elaina
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    The restaurant is pretty cool. Be prepared to wait for your table because it's very a busy place filled with a lot of tourists.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Go for the history not the food
    FoodProf
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    A spot with lots of history (both the building and famous past diners) and a sizable seafood menu but only ho-hum service and fair food (not worth the price). It is a must visit spot for history buffs but that can be done over drinks... leave the dining for somewhere else.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • overpriced and anydisappointing
    SethM
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    The legend of the rude and uncaring Boston waitress is not suited to legendary Oldest Restaurant in America where lunch is $30-40/person. But when the management shares these traits, it is inexcusable. If you must visit the Union Oyster House, buy a drink at the bar, or an overpriced hamburger, and save you money to spend at one of Boston's truly fine eating establishments. This is not one of those. Our waitress couldn't be bothered to refill the pepper mill so I could have cracked pepper on my $8 Cæsar Salad. The mussels came to the table cold, and the Indian pudding a LA mode was served up a sloppy mess in a cup, instead of a bowl. Discussing it with the manager as we left, he made excuses, or said "that's how we do it." AVOID THIS PLACE
    • Food
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    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always lots of fun
    WestonerVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I try to hit the Union Oyster House every time I'm in Boston. Not only does it have great food, but the historical significance is important. To be in a restaurant that many of our founding fathers ate at, is pretty cool. We started out with a dozen oysters and cherrystones washed down with a couple bloody marys. We made our way upstairs for lunch and had their mixed seafood grill. Very nice indeed. I've been coming here for 25+ years and the chowder is still the best. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OTTIMO
    Davide1976Milano
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Ristorante antico ma sistemato ottimamente, con un'atmosfera antica e caratteristica della Boston di altri tempi; cibo ottimo, cucinato benissimo e con una buona collezione di birre. Da provare assolutamente: non rimarrete delusi.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Historic Union Oyster House
    Grif
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    This is a great place to feel the history of the USA! The mood of the restaurant takes you back to the olden days. Hard to believe this restaurant has survived for so long. The food is wonderful. Clam chowder and cornbread is outstanding! Everything on their menu is good. It is a little pricy but it is worth it! Service is outstanding and so friendly. They made you feel right at home. I would definitely rank this as the one restaurant you have to go to if you are in Boston.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good, bad & ugly.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Great history, good menu, poor service. An experience to be there, with a fine bar, but upstairs in the restaurant the service falls off badly. Mistakes, indifference, slow,.......
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    One if the memorable places on my first trip to Boston! The food was phenomenal! I have never had oysters so fresh and delicious! I had my first lobster roll and authentic clam chowder! I can't wait to come back to Boston and will make Union my first destination when I return!!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.