Legal Sea Foods - Kendall Square

4.4
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1738 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
The signature dish at Legal Sea Foods – really fresh fish.
It’s a scientific fact that seafood is the healthiest protein, so it’s no wonder that Legal Sea Foods located nearby MIT and a whole catch of biotech office buildings in Kendall Square would be such a popular lure. Our restaurant, steps from the Marriott Hotel and convenient to Cambridgeside Galleria shopping and the Museum of Science, reels in residents and tourists alike.

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 1738 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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W
New England
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great time with $ oysters at bar while waiting for business associate will plan this purposefully in the future

D
New England
35 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience4

You can always count on excellent fresh seafood at Legals and they never disappoint!
One appetizer that did disappoint however was the redesign of the smoked salmon. The smoked salmon itself, as always, was delicious. However, it now was described in the menu as Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast. This sounded yummy and I pictured their delicious smoked salmon with slices of fresh avocado, leno, capers and slivers of red onion. However, it came out as dry crsisp toast with some sort of thin layer of what the server said was "avocado butter" and capers. No lemon. No onion and very dry. This appetizer can be improved with fresh ingredients or I would ask Legal to go back to their tried and true smoked salmon appetizer with toasted brioche, lots of lemon, capers and shaved red onion.

K
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I loved the diversity on the floor. It's been awhile I've been to Kendal location. The last time I was there Summer 2018. A new chef was being trained to cook the shrimp casserole. My order was replaced , but still was the worst. Yesterdays, clam chowder was the best ($1.00 cup special), I took out a bowel. The next day it was just as great. I miss being able to purchase it at the 7/11 store two blocks away. The waitress was the best, I've had in a while. Doing an early lunch at Legal Sea Foods is a great idea.

c
New England
8 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience3

We've been coming to this location for over a decade, roughly 40 times a year I would say. We go to other sites as well, among them Legal on the Mystic and Downtown Crossing.

The kitchen at Kendall uses an excessive amount of salt. I say this as a reasonably good cook but I also find that it uses more salt than other locations we have been to.

M
New England
3 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Consistently good food good service, fresh fish! Server was friendly and attentive.

P
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall1food2service4ambience3

Oh dear, Legal Seafoods, what's going on?
After an absence of a little over a year, I come for lunch and the menu is scarce and when I ask if it's possible to have just the "whitefish" from your "crispy fried" section, as a starter, get grilled haddock instead; when I question the waiter about it, he says that I should know that's what whitefish means in MA. what?
Then I ask for a tuna burger with no fries and a side of broccoli instead, and the burger comes with fries. And the broccoli that then comes after is in massive undercooked cuts and smothered in butter.
Very disappointing.

E
New England
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice place for dating. The waiter has introduced a lot of fun facts about oysters to us and treated us with clam chowder. Recommended!

S
Los Angeles
46 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience3

Drinks were good, food was only OK. And the portions were way too large - not quite Cheesecake Factory levels, but far too much. Service was perfect.

MA
London
7 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The clam chowder was delicious. The lobster rolls with butter were nice and light.

SC
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Quiet evening perfect for a family dinner. Food took much longer to be served than expected, particularly given that the restaurant was so quiet, but the quality was high. Service was otherwise excellent.

R
New England
29 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were there on Christmas Day mid-day and it was quiet then. Probably when busy it is not so quiet. They were very accommodating and help re: my wife’s disabilities.

D
New England
13 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience3

We went for Christmas Eve dinner. They were clearly understaffed. Our meal was very good and so was our service and food but other tables were complaining so it made it an unpleasant setting. Waitstaff were clearly stressed and working hard to keep up with the tables. Either management should properly staff or just close for the holiday.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience3

Very disappointed overall, though it did end on a positive note thanks to the manager who stepped in and took full ownership. We were in Boston vIsiting our son for Christmas and expected Legal to provide a solid, reliable seafood dinner on Christmas Eve. It was such a train wreck that we even felt bad for the manager because he was obviously dealing with some staffing issues-both on the floor and in the kitchen. The service was painfully slow and our server, although nice, was perhaps a recently promoted bus boy on this day. After an hour and 15 mins, the food arrived cool, was not what was promised and one person’s dinner was completely forgotten. Our server had since long disappeared by this point. We had to flag him down for water refills and to order wine. Fortunately, the manager realized what was going on and required no prompting to make amends. He was very apologetic and made no excuses for the poor experience. He offered to bring us each another order and also offered to comp our dinner(less the wine). Although we spent a bundle on wine while waiting, the evening ended with warm food that was pretty tasty. It was an unfortunate experience, but we appreciate that the manager rescued the situation in the end.

v
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Crab cakes were moist and cooked to perfection.Accompanied by a flavorful salad that included farrow and currants.

DR
New England
10 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

We enjoy this Legal Seafoods prior to attending the Christmas Revels. The ambience is nice. We were happy to learn that unlike some other Legal locations, thay still serve onion strings..

AC
New England
29 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

As usual, our party enjoyed an outstanding meal at Legal in Kendall Square.

Our server, Tristan, was obviously new to his job. He did well except for when it came to pouring wine>
He needs to learn to NOT pick up each glass by the bowl and pour.

I am NOT a wine snob but am VERY serious when it comes to wine service. Hopefully, someone takes him aside and trains him accordingly. Another more up-tight client may not be so kind.

BB
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, our lunch at Legal was phenomenal. The menu was lovely, had a few new things, a few things I'd wished they had but didn't. In the end, I got the oysters rockfeller and lobster bisque, and a coffee bonbon for dessert.
Keep up the good work!

G
New England
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was good, waiter delightful, love the cappuccino

d
New Orleans
3 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cherry stone clams with horseradish cocktail sauce were delicious. The 2 lb BAKED STUFF LOBSTER WAS AS GOOD AS I REMEMBERED 10 yrs ago!! The stuffing is to die for.!

F
Naples
16 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Wonderful Scottish salmon!

B
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Two mother in laws to be, taking the table for hours, Fernando & partner were wonderful - we can’t thank you enough, it was the first time we were alone for an evening since our children got engaged!

VL
New England
14 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice place to have lunch in the Square. Great food and very good service.

WC
Orlando
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

This was a Thanksgiving dinner and the staff was great. We were pleased that they declined a ridiculous/stupid to-go order of over 60 turkey dinners made that evening...something that should have been made over a week in advance.

OT
Pinehurst
2 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service.

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A
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall4food2service5ambience4

I took a friend from England to this Legal Seafood's for lunch and we were both very disappointed. They would not make any substitutions, and charged $9.00 to add 5 scallops to the fried clam dinner. The clam dinner was served in a cardboard box, with no plate. Both the clams and scallops were too salty. The salad was swimming in dressing which made the greens soggy and unappetizing. At least, the clam chowder was very good. They were apologetic and offered free dessert, which was very nice and made us feel much better about the restaurant. The desserts were very good. I am ambivalent about whether I would go back. If I did, I would ask more questions about whatever I might want to order before ordering.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service and food at Legal is consistently excellent. They were able to accommodate our party of 11 with no issues with just a couple of days notice. This remains our go-to restaurant in Cambridge.

f
Nashville
13 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience4

While the service was good, the food was very overpriced and overcooked. What wasn't overcooked was lack luster. We had a nice time in spite of the food, as the place was not very busy, but I would not return again.

OT
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Perfectly average

GM
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Legal Seafood has gone up in price and down in quality over the past several years. Portion sizes of appetizers (specifically, the Rhode Island calamari) have shrunk. They continue to have good service and help staff and the fish, in general is good but no longer are they the only place to get good fresh seafood. As a top tier, expensive restaurant, I think it has a hard time competing with other restaurants that deliver more for the money. Their wine list continues to be excellent and well thought-out. It is reasonably priced.

M
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The seafood at Legal is always excellent. This particular Legal See Foods in Kendall Square also has a very nice atmosphere and innovative decor (lighting shaped like boats, dining on several levels). It's always a pleasure to eat there.

D
New England
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always good--a well-run location! love Love LOVE the tuna ...

KM
New England
24 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

endive salad particularly nice

fine service, as usual

MA
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food is consistently good. Service was a little slower than usual, (kitchen was attending to an allergy-related order) but our server was friendly and attentive

OM
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The service was great, the food was excellent!

The Cajun Halibut was a great choice.

OT
Omaha
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We visit Cambridge from out of town about three times a year and always look forward to at least a few meals every visit at Legal in Kendall Square. The seafood and service is always outstanding!

p
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience2

Too loud to be able to relqx

m
New England
7 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was impeccable as always!
Food is wonderful as always too!

DL
New England
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Wonderful service- the waiter found us fish chowder! Food excellent as always. Too noisy.

SB
Miami
14 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Wonderful time here. The restaurant was very busy but it all went very smoothly.

NR
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall2food1service5ambience3

Food portions were very small and relative low quality to what we've encountered at other Legal Seafoods and local seafood restaurants. The stuffed shrimp dish was not large shrimp stuffed with crab stuffing, but tiny shrimp surrounded by stuffing. My neighbor who had shrimp as a side to their main course had much bigger shrimp than my main course shrimp. The burgers were not very good for our non-shellfish eaters. And they were sold out of 2 of 3 sizes of lobster. Overall, it was a terrible culinary experience. But our service was great. Do not recommend. If you have to go to Legal, go in Newton or Harborside.

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