Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.09mi
  2. Distance: 0.13mi
  3. Distance: 0.15mi
  4. Distance: 0.21mi
  1. Distance: 0.09mi
  2. Distance: 0.13mi
  3. Distance: 0.15mi
  4. Distance: 0.21mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.09mi
  2. Distance: 0.13mi
  3. Distance: 0.15mi
  4. Distance: 0.21mi
  1. Distance: 0.09mi
  2. Distance: 0.13mi
  3. Distance: 0.15mi
  4. Distance: 0.21mi

About Legal Sea Foods - Charles Square

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.

20 University Road
Cambridge, MA 02138
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Seafood, Oyster Bar, Fish

Hours of Operation:
Sunday - Thursday: 11am - 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am - 11pm

Cross Street:
Elliot

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(617) 491-9400

Website:
http://www.legalseafoods.com/Restaurants/Cambridge-Charles-Square

Entertainment:
Rock the boat at our downstream Terrace Bar in the lower atrium of Charles Square. It’s a popular lure in season, open daily mid-April to mid-October from 11am to 1am, with light fare available from 11am to 11pm.

Parking Details:
Our validation will net you savings at two area garages. Park before 5pm for discounted rates and after 5pm for a $11 maximum rate at the adjacent Charles Square Garage. Or park for $12 before 5pm on weekdays and $8 after 5pm on weekdays and weekends at the nearby University Place Garage, 124 Mount Auburn Street.

Public Transit:
Harvard Square (Red Line) "T" stop.

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Celebrate a special occasion or host a corporate event at Legal Sea Foods. We customize every menu and finishing detail. Here at Charles Square, our semi private dining rooms can accommodate up to 50 people for special functions.

Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Day Special Menus & Offers

Monday, December 25, 2017

Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Details

We're open and serving up yuletide cheer.

Christmas Day Special Menus & Offers

Monday, December 25, 2017

Details

Join us for a ho-ho-holiday feast.

Send a Gift Card

Buy now and send it instantly by email, or print a card to give in person.

Legal Sea Foods - Charles Square Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

4.4

ambience

4.1

value

3.9

Noise

Moderate

90% would recommend it to a friend

Good for Groups (18)
Great for Lunch (17)
Casual (15)
See All
Healthy (14)
Special Occasion (14)
Good for a Date (12)
Good for Birthdays (10)
Business Meals (10)
Local Ingredients (10)
Neighborhood Gem (10)
Authentic (8)
Pre/post Theatre (8)
Sunday Lunch (8)
Bar Seating (8)
Comfort Food (7)
Gluten Free Options (7)
Worth the Drive (7)
Good for Anniversaries (6)
Quiet Conversation (6)
Kid-friendly (5)
Fit for Foodies (5)
Notable Wine List (5)
Great for Outdoor Dining (5)
Cozy (4)
Fun (4)
Quick Bite (4)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Great Beer (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Romantic (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Great for Brunch (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Live Sports (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Seasonal (1)
Tapas (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Sort by
S
1154 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

vip
 (New England)·Dined 4 days ago

I don't eat fish - allergies - so when I go out with out of towners or fish lovers I usually get the chicken breast. That's not available at lunch, so I got a caesar salad with grilled chicken breast. one of the worst caesar salads I've ever had. The salad seemed to have been dressed the day before. The lettuce was so limp, I couldn't get it on the fork. I should have complained, but I was with a group for a celebration. It should not have been served in that condition.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience4
service4
value2

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 9, 2017

I had the Fish Chowder and Market Salad - both were delicious, but especially the chowder. It's a favorite! This was a last-minute rather impromptu dinner but we were seated quickly, service was nice, and we enjoyed our meal tremendously.

Tags: Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 6, 2017

Very old decor, felt like it was 1975.
Food was bland.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience1
service4
value3

 
·Dined on December 5, 2017

My husband and I celebrated our 52nd anniversary and we wanted to spend it in the area of our old stopping grounds. We both went to high school together in Cambridge and it brought back a lot of fond memories. Love the location and it was so festive with all the decorations for the
holiday. The food was delicious and they surprised us with a special dessert to celebrated our
anniversary. It will be fun to come back in the summer, when we can eat outside.

Tags: Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 5, 2017

Everything was fine excep music way too loud in a half full restaurant

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 3, 2017

This restaurant was going downhill (I even had some bad oysters), however my last experience was very encouraging. Did they get wind of the fact that they risked losing their reputation? It's important to me, because it is one of my neighborhood restaurants, I am a frequent flier, and because my wife has celiac disease and they are very good about this.

Tags: Business Meals, Seasonal, Notable Wine List, Healthy, Local Ingredients, Gluten Free Options, Kid-friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 23, 2017

Special Thanksgiving dinner was everything we expected.

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on November 22, 2017

As always, we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. The oysters were fabulous, as was the bay scallops appetizer. Meghan, our service, was attentive without crowding us. Main course fish dishes were very tasty, and the hot pudding chocolate cake dessert was delightful as always.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Casual, Bar Seating, Romantic, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 20, 2017

Legal's is reliable yet boring. This location is 5 years past a remodel.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4

 
·Dined on November 18, 2017

Straightforward menu supported by world-class food. The food choices are classic but the execution is flawless.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Great for Lunch, Romantic, Hot Spot, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Gluten Free Options, Good for Groups, Authentic, Paleo Friendly, Comfort Food, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Dinner with high school classmates -

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 14, 2017

Very disappointing food. Appetizers were gummy deep fried shrimp and cauliflower. The main course (which unfortunately 3 of 6 at our table ordered) was Mahi-Mahi with "pumpkin puree" or some sort of pale bland squash sauce topped with a huge jolting glob of cranberry sauce. None of us could finish it. I grew up in Boston and always looked forward to meals at Legal Seafoods, but I won't go there again.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience3
service3
value1

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on November 14, 2017

The seafood was excellent service was very good seating was good we had a booth
The only problem is the lite Chowder would not recommend it to any one please take it off the menu it does not belong it should not be served to anyone it is dishwater

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Our server, Roger, was extremely attentive and took great care of us. The food was excellent - typical of Legal Sea Foods but worth mentioning nonetheless - and our experience was great. 5/5.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Great food, as usual, but a little loud because of a large party with two seating areas and people bouncing about table hopping! They needed a private dining area! For those of us who eat out often, it’s a little pricey! How about two affordable dinner specials every day?

Tags: Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Tasting Menu, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service5
value2

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on November 9, 2017

The worst fried clams ever. Very disappointing for being in business all these years.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service4
value2

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 2, 2017

As always. Good food. Pleasant staff. Good go to

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 2, 2017

Nice lunch here 2 days in a row. Ordered same dish each day. I guess I'm a creature of habit. Jasmine Special - a shrimp, rice & cheese dish was tasty both days.

The preparations varied slightly when it came to the melted cheese (first day, golden brown and nutty from being under the broiler, I presume; second day, runny and gooey).

Also, on the second day, something got lost in translation and my request for brown rice went unheeded.

Regardless of prep and type of rice, delightful dish.

Tags: Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value4

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

Oysters were TOO salty and not as fresh as the ones at Henrietta’s Table and Benedetto. Scallops were too well done.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service3
value2

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

Waiter and ambiance were terrific! We had heard wonderful things about the food and decided to try during our visit to Boston. Food was not very flavorful so disappointing. The crab cakes were yummy but cod and scallop special were boring.

Tags: Cozy, Great Beer, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 27, 2017

We have never been disappointed with Legal Seafood. A colleague and I dined there this Friday, en route to the opening night of the Harvard & Radcliffe Gilbert & Sullivan play PIRATES OF PENZANCE. We had great and plentiful meal (fish) and then attended a spectacular show.

Tags: Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 26, 2017

The decor is a bit tired, but the fish was very good, and so was the service. For the prices, though, the atmosphere should be a little better. Good location, close to Harvard Square.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 25, 2017

The shrimp scampi was terrible. The 4 shrimp were overcooked and rubbery and laid in a thick dry bed of broken up Ritz crackers - the crab meat in this "crab meat stuffing" was non existent. for 30 bucks it was a complete rip off.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience4
service4
value1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 21, 2017

The reservation was easy to make through Open Table, and the restaurant host was expecting our party and seated us directly, even though some of the group hadn't arrived yet. The food was excellent, perfectly cooked vegetables and rice and everything seasoned exactly as one would want. We had 2 appetizers which were delicious, especially the BamBam Cauliflower (I think that was the name!). Spicy enough to have a pleasant zing but not mouth-burning hot. Every entree was raved about, and one guest with allergieswas particularly relieved that there's a nut/allergy manager on site who certified that meal to be nut-free. That brought enormous peace of mind. The only thing I will change when I return will be to request the flame-grilled salmon be cooked well. For my taste, the serving I had was slightly undercooked. Otherwise, I heartily recommend this restaurant and staff. Thank you.

Tags: Good for Groups, Authentic, Casual, Healthy, Local Ingredients, Gluten Free Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Legal Sea Foods - Charles Square is a "must do" every October when we are in town for the Head of the Charles Regatta. The menu offers something for everyone and it is all good. Well-trained servers who provide great suggestions.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Casual, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 21, 2017

Food was excellent, service was slow, but this was during a major Regatta so there were a ton of people in town.

Tags: Tapas, Comfort Food, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 19, 2017

Again I was very disappointed with my meal at legal seafood. I hadn’t been there for months after it I relatively bad experience with poor service and poor food I Decided
to give it aNotherchance. I think that’s the last time I will go to this legal seafood. I have had good experiences at the legal seafood in Chestnuthill

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 16, 2017

Dependably very well prepared fish. From basic to creative preparation, never had a bad meal. Perfect atmosphere and noise level for conversation without straining to be heard. Service is always friendly and professional.

Tags: Good for Groups, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on October 16, 2017

Legal is the premier place for seafood. Their clam chowder is exceptional and the combos give you a taste of the best the ocean has to offer. The quality is worth the price. The Charles Square venue has more of a neighborhood feel and is a great place for solo repasts at the long bar.

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 16, 2017

I had an unusual special request. My server was very helpful.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Sunday Lunch, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 16, 2017

Hi,

I had the grilled haddock, it was considerably undercooked. On the other hand the service was very attentive. First poor meal I have experienced in a Legal.

G

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on October 9, 2017

parking stamp value $2 only

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 7, 2017

We were a group of 15 for a family celebration. They went out of their way to accommodate our size and modify arrangements. The dinner was excellent - best crab cakes I've had since leaving Baltimore. All enjoyed their dinners and the ambiance and casual pace.

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Good for Groups, Casual, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 7, 2017

Been going to this Legal for many years. Lately it has gotten more and more rundown. Tables and seats worn as to be uncomfortable let alone unsightly.
This last visit, however, was the worst. Took far too long to see a server. At least 10 minutes for a glass of water. My wife's swordfish was baked, not grilled as requested.
No excuses.
Be a real long time if ever that we will be back
Photos of seat and table 😱

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service1
value2

vip
 (New England)·Dined on September 30, 2017

Lovely Saturday lunch.

The one unfortunate hiccup: my husband's salmon, which he requested medium-rare, arrived well-done. When the waitress finally returned to the table, he noted this to her. The waitress looked at the salmon, agreed it was overdone and stated she would let the chef know, but never addressed it in any fashion again - e.g. saying the chef regretted overcooking the salmon, sending the manager over, offering complimentary anything (meal, coffee, dessert). On our way out, the host/manager, did inquire how everything was, my husband (who rarely provides feedback on meals), noted a second time that his salmon was overcooked to no particular fanfare. Odd customer service, especially given that we are regulars. We still like the place and the food, but certainly did not walk away feeling as though the guests were the establishment's number one priority.

Tags: Healthy, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on September 28, 2017

Three of us enjoyed an early dinner at an outdoor table. The Chef's Choice, fried clams and swordfish were all excellently prepared. Our waitress was personable and attentive. We all found a wine to our liking. We look forward to dining again at Legal Seafood next time we are back in the area.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on September 24, 2017

We go mainly for oysters and champagne!
Best champagne value in All of USA.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Quick Bite, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4
value4

 
·Dined on September 24, 2017

The clam chowder is consistently outstanding. I ordered a seafood casserole , simply delicious. My son ordered the baked stuffed lobster and was delicious as well. Deserves future visits .

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlantic City)·Dined on September 17, 2017

Enjoyed my crabcake combo... Wife thought the rainbow trout lacked any flavor... clam chowder was good... experience was good, not great!! Expected alittle more...

Tags: Business Meals, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on September 15, 2017

The booking with Open Table blocked out 6-730. So I made a 545. So when I get there it is empty. Crazy rule to block out as I almost didn't go. Steak was not up to usual standard for some reason and was a disappointment.
Rest of the presentation was fine.

Tags: Healthy, Kid-friendly, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Quick Bite, Neighborhood Gem, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.