Legal Sea Foods - Charles Square

4.3
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1513 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood

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Casual
The signature dish at Legal Sea Foods – really fresh fish. Located in the courtyard of the Charles Hotel, our restaurant evokes the simple style of the original Legal Sea Foods that was in nearby Inman Square, Cambridge. In warmer months our outside patio reels in those who choose the fresh seafood and fresh air combo.

We’ve received a boatload of accolades including “#1 Best Seafood Restaurant” (USA Today, 2013), “Most Popular Boston Restaurant” (Zagat, 2012/2013), “Best Seafood Restaurant” (Improper Bostonian, 2010), “Best Chowder” (Boston Magazine, 2010) and the honor of serving our legendary New England Clam Chowder at every presidential inauguration since 1981.
What 1513 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LB
New England
5 reviews
Dined 15 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We visit this restaurant once a year as part of a family trip to Cambridge to see the Hasty Pudding show. This year, as always, our meal was one of the highlights of the trip. Legal Sea Foods deserves its great reputation (earned over the years from a tough, New England audience) and we’ve eaten at many different Legals locations, but for some reason the staff at this location always makes it extra special. It’s tucked away, and a little hard to get to, but well worth the effort.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Always delicious, always great service. A favorite!

JS
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Love this place! Amazing food and service. Boston comfort food but also new items to choose from. Highly recommended!

R
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Good food and convenient location. Fairly pricey but it is in Harvard Square.

a
Central Coast
14 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Used to be much better. Friendly waitress. Small portions of very average seafood at fairly high price. Unlikely to return soon. Too bad because it used to be one of our regular spots.

CG
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We've eaten here numerous times, but this was the first Sunday brunch we have been to. Unfortunately, one item on the brunch menu was not available (encrusted catfish), but the substitute, crab toast with eggs and sauce, was excellent. One of the best meals (with guests) we've had there. The only sour note, as often happens there, was a malfunction with the flusher in the women's handicapped restroom; a perennial problem. My wife sent a separate complaint directly to Legal Charles Square.

BL
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

It’s just not what it used to be, on all levels (food and training of servers in particular). Wasn’t a bad evening, but for the money, we could’ve done a lot better elsewhere, especially in Cambridge.

K
New England
17 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was excellent, especially our server who was outstanding! She accommodated all our requests graciously (including separate checks for 6 of us!) & provided excellent overall customer service!

c
New England
40 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

service and food at this location is getting very mediocre. Server basically ignored us unless we asked others to help us. This is a great location, and used to be one of our favorite local restaurants, but they really need management to up their game.

NJ
New England
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I've eaten at Legal Seafoods many times. Once in a blue moon, you have a bad experience. Our birthday guest ordered fish tacos and asked for the fish to be substituted with shrimp but it didn't happen. We felt embarrassed that the guest of honor had to wait and eat last, once everyone else had nearly finished their lunch. And when her correct order came back, it was missing the avocados that were part of it. I ordered the salmon, which came with a farro and roasted mushroom salad. After combing through it, I found only one mushroom buried under the farro! At least, there were apologies from the maitre d and the waitress, whose fault it was not, may I add. Not a good experience this time.

JK
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Good experience and would use again for clients etc

FL
New England
7 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Jeremy provides excellent service.

k
New England
48 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Julia the server was amiable & accurate on odd requests— mussels, steamers, drinks, broccoli, dessert . Given the order’s mixed stuff we’d ordered, she found assistance to make the timing perfect for both food and ambiance.
We each had a fine time and so each son returned abroad to separate continents happy with Legal
Thank you!

TS
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Been eating here for twenty years ,just as good as it’s always been !

S
New England
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

This use to be our favorite place to go out to eat, we had a reservation at 8:30pm on New Year’s Eve. There were hardly any people at the restaurant, but the service was extremely slow and bad. The quality of food has also gone down and the prices on the menu have increased. Overall, not satisfied and would not recommend.

K
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Everything was great except that the side salad I ordered with my trout was inedible. The cherry tomatoes were soft and didn’t taste right, the greens and cucumbers and other vegetables also didn’t taste fresh, and there was way too much overpowering dressing. When I mentioned this to the server, though, she and the manager came over immediately, apologized, and offered to replace the salad. By then we were finished, so instead, they offered to comp us desserts for the table. I was satisfied and appreciated their response.

B
New England
12 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love that cioppino!

OT
New England
36 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love this Legal Seafood location. We chose to sit and stay at the bar for dinner. Food and service top notch.

J
Richmond
12 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food was excellent.
Dessert was kindly brought for child’s birthday.

SB
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience2

Is this part of the same Legal Seafood group that I ordinarily find to be a strong dining experience. Hard to believe it is related to the restaurant in the Seaport. Our party of 7 was wedged into a too small space when there was plenty of room in the restaurant. The fried clams were over cooked, the grilled scallops had grill marks but looked and tasted like they were poached in plain water. The steamed lobster looked over cooked. The sides were plopped on the plate like I'd expect at a high school cafeteria. The best thing that could be said is that the portions were plentiful, but that's not why we go to Legals and pay Legal prices. Come on Legal Seafood you can do better.

C
New England
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food3service3ambience1

The bathrooms were cold, dark and dirty.
The dining area is is old and dirty.
The salad lettuce was very sandy and had not been washed before being served.
We have enjoyed the Boston location before our dinner in Cambridge.

LM
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food5service5ambience3

Christmas Eve at Legal's Charles Square is a longstanding family tradition. We love spending this special evening here with friends.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

It was great! Christmas Eve is always special. The guy with the nose injury was very nice but it definitely changed the mood! Ouch

DB
New England
77 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall2food1service4ambience4

Maybe it’s just because Legals are so consistently good everywhere else that the poorly prepared and presented dishes at the Charles Square Legals were so very disappointing. Onion strings so over cooked in the fryer that they we a solid dark brown mass on the plate. Vegetables cooked until they were reduced to a gelatinous ness, a Caesar salad dressing described in the menu at “creamy” arrived as a thin clear sheen of flavorless oil on the lettuce and in a bowl with 3 huge and partially burned croutons. OK, it was the weekend before Christmas so maybe the good cooks and/or the head chef were on vacation, but I really thought Legals had better quality control than that.

K
Austin
6 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Not very flavorful.

M
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This Legal Sea Foods restaurant is tucked away behind the Charles Hotel, so it's a nice quiet location. The seafood was excellent, as always, and our server was friendly and attentive.

MB
New England
8 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, comfortable atmosphere. One of our favorite Legals locations.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Trout and scrod was dry.

SB
Orlando
11 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great......as always.

T
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

While I did not personally mind it, my friend was somewhat bothered by a light high above our table that kept flickering (like in a disco!). The waiter said that staff had been aware of it earlier in the day, but that nothing could be done about it. Also, when I tried to order the baked cod, I was told it wasn't available; haddock was suggested instead. Ideally, we might have been told at the outset what was and wasn't available that day. Overall, very satisfied, though. The haddock was delicious!

RK
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Delicious food and good location. Thanks.

D
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall2food1service4ambience3

Cocktail tasted like gin flavored water. We both ordered the mixed seafood grill & it was very bland & covered with butter, perhaps to improve the taste. Both the mushrooms & brussel sprouts were cold & lacking flavor. Perhaps the downtown location matches the hype we had heard, but this location sadly was a huge disappointment. Sadly, the best part of the meal was the wine!!

D
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always delicious fried clams and crab cakes. Perfectly shucked oysters and great service.

JG
New England
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Chef went extra distance that night on substitution!

LB
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

This was our Thanksgiving fallback when our host got sick. An old favorite, and open on the day, and plenty of room. It was a lovely day, the waiter was terrific, and the food was very good - we avoided the turkey plate and all had different kinds of fish & some very good grilled veggies. Good honest food. Great service. Nice atmosphere. Thank you, Legal, for saving the day.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From entering the restaurant,I was treated well. The waitstaff was pleasant and attentive without being aggressive. I didn't feel like I was being rushed out the door eventhough I was alone and it was Thanksgiving.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a pleasure in every way. We love Legal Seafood!

SC
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My favorite restaurant. Food is delicious and highest quality and the service excellent.

OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Delicious food and best service.

PD
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall1food5service1ambience1

Carissa #228107
Wort server we ever had
Disappeared after we got our dinner served never came to ask how our dinner was or fill our water glasses had to find another server to give us more water and find a server to take our dinner plates and give us a dessert menu
Extremely poor serves
Rosemary & Paul Dulac

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