Legal Sea Foods - Charles Square

4.3
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1483 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.

Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

We're open on Christmas eve and offering our regular menu along with festive holiday features! Take a break from the holiday rush and leave the cooking to us.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Day Special Menus & Offers

We've decked the halls and are open for Christmas! So eat, drink, be merry, and join us for a ho-ho-ho holiday feast. We're offering our regular menu along with festive holiday features. Sea-son's Greetings from our table to yours.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Good-bye, 2019. Hello, 2020. Join us on New Year’s Eve and make a new year's resolution to eat more fish. We're offering our regular menu along with special holiday features. The countdown begins!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

What 1483 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
4.3
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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T
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
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!

D
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
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
24 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
28 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
4 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

OT
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

There was a strong fishy smell upon entering. We considered leaving, but were unable to get a reservation elsewhere on short notice. We were sat at a table between the bathrooms and server area. The meals were left to be desired. For the price, definitely not
Worth it as we spent $200 for the four of us. The next day three out of the four of us were sick from the food. Won’t be going back again.

AG
New England
36 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

OK - We LOVE Legals. But beware Rhode Island Calamari now has Tomato sauce underneath it - and a lot! Order without or on the side. And don't forget the ice cream bon bons. The BEST.

R
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good fresh fish. Really appreciated the crab cake appetizer which was more like a regular meal. More “small plates” would be great.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Sorry that there was not a pot of decaf to help us warm up after a cold walk from the T.

If the chowder had been good and hot, it would have made up for no decaf.

Satisfactory lunch visit in a place my brother and I usually love to visit.

r
New England
53 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We frequent many of the Legal venues, although not usually Charles square. Food and service was excellent.

o
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

I miss the variety and the bluefish of the original LSF.
But the current version is very dependable for a quality seafood dinner.
And the ambience is more restrained than Summer Shack.

JB
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Comfortable, elegant surroundings, excellent service, reliably fresh and sometimes interesting takes on seafood.

BB
New England
11 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Your prices r getting higher and higher!
Been coming for years.

OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had the Grilled salmon and haddock. Simple but enjoyable dishes. Well prepared. Had reservations but decided to sit at the bar. Great atmosphere!

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience4

Food seemed to come out randomly. We had a large group. Waited forever for some people to get drinks, others to get food.

OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The waiter Dan was by far the coolest and most professional waiter I have had in ages! Well done sir!

JM
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Legal Sea Food accommodated our large group and the ebb and flow in number of attendees easily. The only issue was the main course did not arrive on time. But it was a busy night and several of our attendees were late. In summary, I would recommend it.

WT
St. Louis
25 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful dinner with friends at Legal seafood. Service was prompt and friendly, the manager visited our table twice to be sure we were well pleased. I had the cherrystone clams on the half shell as a starter and they were fantastic. The cocktails and wines were excellent. For an entrée I had the arctic char with Romesco sauce, polenta, and Sicilian style spinach. We were seated at wonderful window table. My only complaint is that there are no signs on the street directing you to the restaurant which is on a second story plaza off the street.

HA
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food!

EU
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food4service1ambience4

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
10 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

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
9 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience2

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

But I thought it was way too noisy.

PD
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall4food4service4ambience4

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
Overall2food4service5ambience3

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
Overall4food4service5ambience4

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always delicious, comforting delightful

SP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience1

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
Overall2food2service3ambience2

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
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The spicy tuna was fabulous!

OT
New England
13 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good food, excellent staff, great location.

WB
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and Service alwas great!

TS
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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

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