Legal Sea Foods - Charles Square

4.3
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1458 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
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 1458 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
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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EU
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 1ambience 4

Great food. Poor service. Our waiter never brought the beer we ordered and I had to go up to the bar and bring one back to the table.

PD
New England
9 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Two small gripes. I have been eating Arctic Char there done medium rare for years. Waiter insisted it had to be well done. Not so tasty as usual. Did not like.
Also ordered the baked stuffed lobster medium size and got a tiny amount of meat and an excess of bread stuffing even though we asked for gluten free. Didn’t like also.
Not quite the top game I am used to at Legal. Will continue to dine there and see if it improves. Thanks for asking.
Phillip Devlin

f
Central Coast
8 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 2

Great food. I had the tuna. Service was good.

But I thought it was way too noisy.

PD
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our meal awesome
The manager came to see us and asked how our meal was
Services was great

BC
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Legal Seafoods is reliably very good and Monday night it didn't disappoint. Our primary wait person was a little spacy but friendly and responsive. Food excellent.

TT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 5ambience 3

Kids out for the night so made a last minute reservation. We have one daughter with a shellfish allergy so whenever we can, we go for fresh seafood. Tried to try a few new places but booked. Love legals so we said great. Arrived with a reservation and the entry way was packed and really no room to wait but understand the cambridge space dilemma. Fine, we waited. Finally reached reception and she was friendly and we said, we have a reservation. She confirmed. all good. fast forward, just waiting while they literally ran around - 3 people running and not seeming like any reason to it. Reservation at 7:30.
At 7:48 went up again and said we have a reservation. Oh, OK. then a little wait and we are getting you a table. finally, we thought BAR - open, attentive service, let's do it. So we did (before our table was ready). Will say first person at reception seemed clueless and overwhelmed - very distracted. Call came in and she took it instead of putting them on hold to deal with the person in front of her who was waiting. And, this is a pet peeve, but 2 large Dunks ice coffee containers on the ledge to the back of reception on top of what looked like a mess of menus, likely not clean (worked reception, waitress and bartender) - just cheezy for the price point - hide it and the mess behind the desk. Bar dude great BUT he only had one menu and the kitchen took forever but he rocked. Kept us informed, water filled, drinks filled, bread refreshed. Great.

DM
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I initially made a reservation for a party of four a day early. When I realized my error I called Legal and Cameron resolved my issue within two minutes. Nice!
I sat at the bar for a glass of wine as I was the earliest member of our party and I asked about a Sauvignon Blanc. The bartender had me try a Sancerre Rose that I did go with and our party had a bottle of it with dinner and it was well received.
We sat at a table near the open doors to the courtyard and we all got different meals with the wine.
The food was very good and the waitress was able to get out on time to walk to the A.R.T. show we were attending.
I do get to Legal when I go with friends to the Regatta Bar so its really a goto place for me in Harvard Square.

P
New England
33 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always delicious, comforting delightful

SP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Absolute chaos and no attention from our server. Didn't tell us the specials, left dirty dishes on our table, spoke so softly it was impossible to hear anything and we were there before it got crowded. We had to reach over another persons table to get our food. The absolute worst dinner in a very long time. Worst service in many years and unfortunately for him, he got the worst tip ever. When the person waiting on you, ignores you and not once comes to check on you and visibly locks eyes with you as you're trying to get his attention and then walks away...he's lucky he got a tip. A waste of money!

MC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Started outside sitting at the bar in the open. I ordered kettle one up shaken with a twist. It arrived in a paper cup, neat and room temperature. My wife ordered a Sancerre. She got a rose.
She, that is, the bartender was annoyed when told that Sancerre is white. We left and had a drink at the inside restaurant bar. Friendly, knowledgeable service. The table we had for 5 people was fine, with the waiter(s) being most attentive. The clam chowder was as usual the best ever. The fried haddock was dry and tasteless. I had to request lemon, but no big deal. Rolls are the best. My chilled striped bass appetizer was fantastic. The trout was great. Shrimp and broccoli was o.k., but excessively cheesy.

HS
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The spicy tuna was fabulous!

OT
New England
13 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good food, excellent staff, great location.

WB
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We consider Legal Seafoods to be a major treat. Did not disappoint —excellent food and thoughtful service again yesterday

AE
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and Service alwas great!

TS
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been eating here for over 20yrs , just as exceptional as it was the first time !
Love it at the Charles !!

S
New England
100 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

First time at this location. Comfortable setting. Very good food and service.

IC
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Solid quality fish and service. They are very friendly from the time you enter the restaurant.

A
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Wait service was erratic. A small point but rolls were not delivered. Fried clams were overcooked. Main course took a very long time to be served (and the restaurant was empty.) Requested seasonings were forgotten....I am a semi-regular customer and was terribly disappointed.

C
New England
17 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a nice experience! I love the layout and bar area at this place. Very attentive manager and wait staff. Great food. We got to Legal (different locations) quite a bit!

R
Tahoe
20 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a birthday celebration, food and service were fabulous

l
New England
15 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice evening out to celebrate a birthday - good was good, sat inside because of potential rain, but would sit outside next time in good weather. Will come back!

OT
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

No good No good

FT
New England
26 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We have been going to Legal Seafood forever. Sunday night's supper was perfect for us. The service was helpful and prompt. The food was delicious, prepared and generous portions. We shared a tomato salad to start. My husband had grilled shrimp with polenta and baby kale salad. Mine was the shrimp with jasmine rice and cheese bake. Excellent quality seafood with well thought out fresh sides.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

Request for quiet table led to our being seated in the bar area next to a table of 16. Wow. So much for attention to special requests via open table

L
New England
12 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our server Autumn was amazing as usual. We had a lovely birthday party.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

Poor service.

E
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

We enjoyed sitting in the courtyard away from the street noise on a beautiful evening. Our food was imperfect but having a nice location for outdoor seating and beautiful weather was charming and I imagine we'll do it again someday. Are oysters were not properly shocked so the meat was mud eating still attached to the shell. The trout was excellent. The muscles were well prepared but the broth was a bit lackluster. The 8dollar salad fit in a teacup. does local sweet sort of expect these things from legal but we went anyways for a glass of prosecco and a bit of seafood on a warm summer night in a lovely courtyard and a busy touristic area. For that reason when the weather's just right would be a nice spot to go again. Being able to reserve an outdoor table on open table is the main reason we chose the spot and it worked out great.

R
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Disappointing experience. Would not recommend and will not return.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The large lobster and steamers are the best!

EH
Amsterdam
6 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

The fish (almond crust) was extremely greasy and not well well seasoned.

H
New England
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was wonderful but was a little expensive. Service was fine, but not great.

CA
Cambridge
2 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent. I keep coming back. It's one of my family's first choices of place to eat, but I do wish they would validate parking.

OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Expensive but delicious!!

MH
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Extremely accommodative of - and attentive to - our special requests related to food allergies! Veggies and fish were delicious and fresh. Perfectly prepared!

e
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

No recommendation for a large party. Our service was slow and inaccurate.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 1ambience 5

food is awsome. Service is really sucks.

R
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere for reasonable price. Easily accommodated someone who was gluten-free.

OT
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good waiter... woman from Australia.

M
New England
14 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Meeting à Friends!!!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the burgers!

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Tweets by Legal Sea Foods - Charles Square