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
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Union Oyster House reviews from OpenTable diners
395 reviews since May 1, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.9
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
83% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (167)special occasion (128)great for lunch (91)hot spot (83)good for groups (80)fit for foodies (73)kid-friendly (67)scenic view (47)romantic (42)vibrant bar scene (31)late-night find (21)great for brunch (17)great for outdoor dining (11)notable wine list (6)Show More
  • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    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
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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.
  • Great clam chowder
    Tmj17
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Food was great and the history of the building was great.. The service could be more attentive young lady waiting on us was hard to find and drinks went empty with no refill.. Had to flag down a bus boy to get glass of water.. The food was great and worth the wait I say a must see in boston
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Seafood andreasonable prices
    nextmeal01
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    If you are into seafood, this is a great place. The ambiance and decor is also very nice, specially if you like the old pub house type scene. It is a busy popular place so expect to wait for a table, even if you have reservations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • GVdiner
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    must-do for Boston travelers. Swordfish was inedible -- tough, rubbery, and tasteless. Waitress was very hardworking and accommodating, switching out the fish for some delicious shrimp. no reason to charge diners for splitting meals. great cornbread.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • yummy
    Motheroftwo
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We started with the bluepoint oysters. All I xan say is melt in your mouth. I had the medium lobster. Cooked perfectly. Our waitress was fast but patient as we took our time deciding what we wanted.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Packed for a reason
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Great venue built in the 1740s. Yes, it's packed with tourists, but the food is very very good and it's the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the US. Book ahead!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Historical with character. Food OK
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I had been here about 15 years ago and remembered the visit fondly. When my son and I went to Boston for a long weekend, we decided to have lunch here. It still has all the character and charm you'd expect from the "oldest restaurant in America". The food, however, was not what I remembered. I had the baked scrod, which was slightly watery. The beans and potatos were lukewarm. My son had a burger and said it was also just OK - dry and without much flavor. I'm glad I took him just for the historical piece. I'm also glad we went at lunch when the food was cheapest. We had several other meals in Boston that were much better in the same price range.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historic place!
    boc0121
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    it's a great experience to have meal here. The vintage decoration and ambience took me back to the time in the past, not to mention that the food is as good as its reputation. Definitely I'll come to visit again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A part of history
    LA08
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    If you have never been you must go at least once! The building is a part of history and the staff will treat you with the upmost respect. As for the quality of food, well let's just say that I enjoyed the atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nterry
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    This was one of two places recommended as a "must eat" place in Boston for our recent trip there. We were seated exactly at our reserved time, service was excellent and the food was top quality! No complaints from our group at all.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historical place
    Pbocca
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    The location of the Oyster Bar is one of the my favorites, the halls of the restaurant ooze history from everywhere. The food is well prepared and well presented, but the hustle and bustle of the tourists (like me) belittles it's charm.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A must see historical restaurant
    TravelBugIng
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    It was our first time to visit restaurant. It was worth the historical experience but the food&service was ok. In fact, wait staff was below average.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A very good experience
    Paolo
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    I have been at Union Oyster House with family during vacation in United States, great dinner, vry good soup and fantastic lobster.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dinner with my daughter
    Dave
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    The Oyster House provides a varied seafood menu. The quality of the food is good - but not outstanding. The seafood soup that I had was hot, tasty, but lacked a lot of seafood (mainly broth and vegetables). The scallops that my daughter had were tasty, but there was nothing outstanding about them. The oysters we ordered were good, but not outstanding.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Magnifico
    Fabgrim
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Ristorante storico al centro di Boston. Cibo magnifico e servizio esemplare. Ci tornerò sicuramente
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great history/food; poor service.
    TheChuckster
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    On our recent trip to Boston, I looked forward to taking the family to dinner at the Union Oyster House, having been there myself several years ago and remembering how historic it felt eating there and how good the food was. The atmosphere and food were again excellent, but the service was really horrible. Fortunately, we were not in any hurry, but it was still annoying to be virtually ignored by our waitress and to have to sit and watch diners who arrived after we did get their food, finish eating, and be gone while we were still waiting. There seemed to be plenty of wait-staff, so it seemed to be just a problem with our particular waitress who would disappear for long periods of time and would not stop by our table when she was visible
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unimpressed by service
    DiningInBoston
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    I traveled from Connecticut and was sadly unimpressed by the dining experience; in particular the service.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • better oysters in California
    dine2live
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    I was told by everyone to go here for amazing oysters, I was excited when I saw the guys opening them downstairs... When they got to the table they did taste fresh which was great... But I didn't really enjoy their flavor... I do think this is a good place to finish for historical purposes, but a foodie must, no. Plus you can hear all the conversations of the employees around you... I was very excited for the experience due to all the hype, it didn't deliver... The atmosphere though is great, they have an awesome small (I'm guessing handmade) replica of a nice boat which is beautiful (flag is absolutely wrong flag for the time)
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Non top
    marc
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    À lot of complaintes:schedule non avaiable, high price , expensive
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Historic site & ust to dine
    SuzeQ2
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    The building & the restaurant are quaint. The inside is full of history and the lobster was wonderful. It was a full house and recommend getting reservations in advance!!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Special
    Quincy76
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    It's not every day that you get to eat in such an historic restaurant ! Raw Oysters from the Oyster Bar, Lobster and more. AND sat next to the famous JFK booth.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • touristy
    coronaandline
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    It was a tad more touristy than we normally like but still good. I think our waitress forgot about us for a good 30 minutes. We wanted more drinks and then didn't order because she never came by. Had the Newbury and the sauce is delicious!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Reserved but
    Travelerofworld
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I reserved but had to wait for 30min until table is available.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A tourist trap in decline
    DisappointedVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    This place was always a tourist trap, but, much like Scoma's in SF, one with terrific food. This was my first time back in three years and I must say that it has gone WAAAAY downhill. My guess is that there must be new ownership, because the people see to have largely turned over and the food is about as insipid as it could be. Ingredients seem fresh enough, but there is absolutely no flavor. Also, the menu appears to be more limited than I recall and with almost no kid friendly options if your kid is over 12. All that with premium prices... A shame, really, but I would certainly never go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tourist trap
    Welltraveled
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The union oyster house was just ok. It was a clear tourist trap . The food was ok and the prices were too high for what you received. Better choices in the area .
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yummy Seafood
    aabrode12
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    I have been here before, and when I got to Boston I had to come again. It is GREAT, but I STRONGLY recommend a reservation before you go, because there is ALWAYS a line! However, if you don't, you can try to sit at the raw bar and have some raw delicacies, and a drink! And actually since that's what we were there for, we got a bunch of raw stuff for appetizers, and then shared a bowl of chowder, each got a salad, and then shared an entree of broiled fish, which was fantastic. It was a great idea overall; that way I was able to get all the raw goodies in, in the beginning. As well, we had my first piece of Boston Cream Pie. There's was delicious. It's a bumpin' place, so do NOT come here for a romantic dinner. It's great though!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • expensive and overcooked
    DL8280
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    The Cherrystones on the half shell were delicious. The bloody mary's were delicious. $35 dollars for a 1.25-lb lobster is severely overpriced, but we splurged anyway since we had a gift certificate. It was very disappointing when the lobsters came out very overcooked. The meat was very dry and was stuck to the shells because it was so overcooked, making it nearly impossible to get the meat out.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food could be better
    Reded
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    It is an exciting location and the restaurant has tremendous history and ambiance. The service is good but the food is only fair.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bland food
    Foodie
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Boiled cod and seafood Newburgh entrees were very bland, and overpriced. So disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Es un icono en la Ciudad
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Puedes visitar este lugar por ser un punto de interes en Boston. Buena comida del mar langosta y Ostras principalmente. Muy concurrido y apretadito. Pero puenso wue puedes obtener lo mismo en otro sitio mad tranquilo y con un servicio mejor por no ser un punto turistico tan importante.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good'
    CathQc
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Was nice to be at the Oldest restaurant in Boston! The service was really friendly.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.