The Hourly Oyster House

4.5
456 reviews
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$30 and under
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Oyster Bar
The Hourly Oyster House is a vibrant and welcoming neighborhood outpost in the heart of Harvard Square, where guests can enjoy thoughtfully sourced and playfully prepared seafood and oysters from New England and beyond, as well as a carefully crafted selection of signature cocktails, beer and wine. With a focus on seafood, The Hourly serves up New England classics in a dynamic and airy space. Instead of traditional bread service, meals begin with fresh, homemade salt and vinegar chips and guests are sent home with taffy from Harvard Square neighbor, Cabot’s Candy.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Oyster Bar, American, Seafood
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Hours of operation
DINNER: Daily 4pm to 11pm

LUNCH: Monday through Friday 11am-4pm

BRUNCH: Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm

BAR: Daily until midnight
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Phone number
(617) 765-2342
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Phil Lewis
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Massachusetts Avenue
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Parking details
We validate parking at the Smith Center Garage across the street from the restaurant at 11 Holyoke Street. The cost is a $10 flat rate after 5pm, 7 days a week.

There is also on street metered parking
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Public transit
Just steps away from the Harvard Square T-stop on the Redline.
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Gift Card
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Ring in 2019 at The Hourly Oyster House! With celebratory Dinner Specials in addition to our regular Dinner Menu there’s no better deal in town!
The festivities will continue with the raw bar and regular bar open until 1am.
We will also be serving New Year’s Day Brunch Menu on Monday.

Monday, December 31, 2018

What 456 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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SP
New England
12 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were fantastic! Highly recommended.

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HS
New England
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Zeph was fabulous!! No rushing us out as we spent a couple of hours for a holiday luncheon while we did a yankee swap!

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D
New England
8 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The service is very careful and attentive. I introduced two fiends this week and they liked it too. I like the limited but full menu options. I thought the cioppino was very tasty but a bit skimpy on fish.

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MK
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely way to spend Sunday brunch. Friendly staff; outstanding service.

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NP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Loved the location, atmosphere, price. Thought menu was somewhat limited and hate the use of cheesy champagne type glasses instead of traditional martini glasses!!!

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

The service was okay. Crab cake appetizer was excellent. However I ordered the scallops and it was lackluster. The risotto was over cooked and had no flavor. Overall a nice restaurant and I definitely want to try eating there again

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RS
New England
33 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delightful. Very fresh seafood in a low-key atmosphere. Definitely one of the most enjoyable places for oysters in town. Went for a birthday lunch and had the Tale of Two Oysters and a Half Hourly (seafood tower). Both excellent and great portions.

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MM
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I always really enjoy The Hourly Oyster house. I go pretty regularly. I'm a vegetarian and they always have at least two vegetarian options. And my friends who like fish say the fish is great, and my buddy who really likes burgers really enjoys their burgers. They're always nice, good bar, and the seating while sort of close together also feels like each table has privacy. I'd really recommend it.

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AL
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Really good. We will be back (as we often are). The raw oysters were delicious.

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P
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good place, decent food and good menu selection. A lot of seafood and a few burgers and other options. Good assortment of appetizers. Have to try the dessert next time. Plenty of booze for those who drink, they are not pushy with trying to sell you booze for those who dont, which is good, and they give excellent service whether or not you order booze, which shows it is a first class place.

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l
New England
9 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant is beautiful, the food was delicious, and service was attentive and pleasant. I am definitely looking forward to another visit in the future!

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SJ
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was really good the octopus, mussels, and oysters were fantastic but the cod sliders are pretty fishy tasting almost like they weren't super fresh and I wouldn't recommend them.

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TF
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Hourly Oyster never fails to deliver a great experience. Great staff, helpful and friendly and efficient bartender. The shuckers are outstanding, and the oysters impeccably fresh.

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c
Washington DC
42 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, the freshly shucked oysters are a marvel. And the appetizers and entrées are splendid. We shared the bronzino and the shrimp scampi, both served piping hot and both very tasty. We topped off the meal with a scrumptious cranberry apple crisp with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

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D
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service delivering delicious food and drink. Oysters are fresh and well shucked.

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BW
New England
119 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Two of us thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. We started with oysters and shared 4 dishes -- charred octopus, tuna poke, oysters Rockefeller, roasted brussels sprouts. Everything was delicious, as were the complimentary homemade potato chips. Beware the parking validation. The Holyoke Street garage appears to be undergoing some changes, and they were charging $15 up front for an evening rate with no restaurant discount. The atmosphere gave us the creeps so we went to the University Street lot where we paid $14. I neglected to mention this to the restaurant.

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LM
New England
77 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at Hourly. We had the turkey dinner, which was delicious, and the pecan pie in a jar which was everything I hoped it would be! Delicious cocktails and excellent service rounded out a very pleasant meal. Recommend.

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MG
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Oysters were fantastic. Seafood pasta tasted great; but was small, cocktail shrimp, tiny calamari, and short shavings of chorizo.

It was Thanksgiving.

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OT
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Highlight of the day! Even open on Thanksgiving :)

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OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was great. Service was excellent. Fabulous evening!

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CG
New England
13 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We've been here twice within the past year or so, and have had good meals both times. This past Saturday our meals included the charred octopus appetizer, a selection of oysters from the raw bar, seafood pasta and salt-crusted branzini -- all were very good. The service was helpful and attentive. Would definitely make another trip here.

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AH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great list of aperitifs and knowledgeable waiter to help w/ the selection. The 2-crs prix fixe is a really good value. Excellent service, a charming room--simple, but the white tablecloths give it just the air of elegance the food deserves.

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BS
New England
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Small lobster tail tiny claw and tough tasteless steak. Noisy, waiter not knowledgeable about oysters.

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CB
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were pleasantly surprised that Management (Thank You, Beth!) gladly fulfilled our special request via Open Table! Selection and taste of oysters were great! Lobster Bisque was amazing! Our party had the Fish and Chips, Lobster Roll, and Cannelloni which were all fantastic.

More importantly, the service was outstanding!! Very attentive and friendly staff to make the night great!

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J
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great seafood, atmosphere, and service! This is a terrific restaurant in the heart of Harvard Square, right next to the satellite shop for Mike's Pastry. We found it to be vibrant, the server was great - efficient and helpful - and the food was terrific...appetizers, wine, main course, dessert, coffee, tea - it was all wonderful.

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BB
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

This was my third visit and first time for lunch. Food was not outstanding. Chowder was average with nothing to distinguish it. It came with half of a grilled cheese sandwich. The cheese was not completely melted so someone was asleep at the pass that afternoon . The service was neither good or bad - like everything else - just average. I’d recommend it but I wouldn’t say you should go out of your way to eat here.

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C
Orlando
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Table was too small for two people’s dinner. The lobster was very good, but the sea food pasta was just ordinary.

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MD
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We tried this place out for the first time while vositing on vacation this past weekend and loved it! The service was fantastic and the food was delicious! A fun, laid back but classy atmosphere. If we lived in town we would definitely visit regularly.

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ES
New England
20 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

You probably are going to Hourly for the oysters, as you should, but the burger I also had was simply spectacular. One of the best I have ever eaten!

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best oysters I’ve ever had. I would strongly recommend Cotuit, as that was my favourite oyster. I also had the clam chowder, crab cakes, and the grilled cheese that came with the banker’s lunch. Overall I really enjoyed this meal.

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OT
Denver
30 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent food. Great clam chowder! Wife had lobster roll and I had bankers special. Recommend! Mike’s bakery next door for pastries to takeaway

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LG
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Had dinner with family for parents weekend, nice room, good service, tasty food. Good spot to have a bite if you’re in Harvard Square.

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H
New England
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My son has been recommending the Hourly for a while now and it did not disappoint!! Lots of thoughtful adds along the way - (free) sparkling water option offered up front, free housemade chips to get started, terrific oyster presentation for sharing and delicious food all the way to dessert

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L
Nashville
13 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We had eaten at The Hourly a year ago and remembered it being outstanding! Not sure if the menu has changed but felt like it was somewhat limited this time for lunch when all we wanted was seafood. Or maybe the menu was just not what we had in mind. The oysters were good but everything else was just okay. We will definitely try again!

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D
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious meal, fantastic service.

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S
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Great food, slightly snarky service, however, that seemed annoyed by requests for such things as ice, and had to be requested three times.

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W
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Early dinner. My wife loved the oyster selection and fried clams. My fish and chips was huge and well prepared. Friendly service. I would come back next time in Cambridge

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OT
New England
24 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good experience in general.

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j
Seattle
106 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was excellent. Each seafood dish was very tastey. Recommended!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Delicious food

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