Union Oyster House

4.4
5213 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
The Union Oyster House, located on the Freedom Trail, near Faneuil Hall, enjoys the unique distinction of being America's oldest restaurant. The Boston fixture, housed in a building dating back to pre-revolutionary days, started serving food in 1826 and has continued ever since with the stalls and oyster bar, where Daniel Webster was a constant customer, in their original positions.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Seafood
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Hours of operation
Sunday - Thursday: 11:00am - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 11:0am - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(617) 227-2750
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Private party facilities
Private rooms are available for your convenience for cocktail parties, buffets and banquets.
Each room has its distinct personality!
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Private party contact
Dining Room Manager: (617) 227-2750
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
We Validate Parking for the Parcel #7 Garage. Note that it is not clearly labeled as such (sorry). If the Union Oyster House is on your right, the brick building STRAIGHT AHEAD OF YOU is the garage. Drive towards it, make a quick left (Hanover St.) right (Congress St.) and right again (Sudbury St.) … in other words, around the brick building to the other side is the entrance. The fee after validation is 3.$ for 3 hours
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Public transit
Two options: Take the Blue or Green Line to Government Center. Walk down the stairs along the side of City Hall and cross Congress Street. We are across the street. Note we are across from the New England Holocaust Memorial. Or, take the Orange or Green Line to Haymarket,left on Congress,left on Hanover,right on Union.
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Gift Card
What 5213 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
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Place was very old and cool on the inside. Some of the tables in certain areas had very weird and dark lighting, but it did add to the oldness of the building

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LP
Miami
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

One of my favorite Boston landmarks. Cozy, historic and great seafood.

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S
Baltimore
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Worst experience EVER! Made a reservation for 430p. Arrived at the restaurant at 420p only to be told we couldn't be seated until 5p and I shouldn't have been able to even make a reservation for that time. I showed my reservation confirmation and they still acted confused and didn't understand why it allowed me to make it. Ok so we proceed to wait and sit at the bar. We place our drink orders only to have the bartender drop the shot measuring thing into my drink, fish it out with her fingers and to continue on as if nothing occurred. Needless to say I declined the drink. After about 20 mins, my boyfriend calls the hostess that we spoke to upon arrival over and asks were we going to be seated (it was almost 5p) She says they have 10 5p reservations and she's not sure if there would be any sests available! What?! I say we had a reservation also and it wasn't our fault that their system obviously malfunctioned and allowed me to book an earlier time but we should be seated at 5p also. After some going back in forth, I ended the conversation and decided to just leave. The hostess was rude and not understanding or helpful at all. And to top it off, we were still charged for 2 drinks even though I declined mine! Horrible experience!

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G
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is an iconic Boston restaurant. The ambience is great and the service/hospitality excellent. The food was great. Would recommend for a nice cozy evening.

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TS
Charlotte
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The bartenders were awesome, don’t recall their names, but entertaining and knew their oysters! Kate, our server was awesome, asked our names and called us by name all night. Impressive! A great time was had by all!

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M
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They quick take us to the table and everyone in the restaurant was so kind and served us perfectly. Waiting for long time before the foods come to the table is very stressful but this restaurant gave us no stress on a waiting time. We would definitely recommend this restaurant to others.

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SB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Good food and great service. Expensive for seafood but on par with the setting.

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AH
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

Our waitress was very good. The food was mediocre. The chowder tasted industrial and the grilled oysters were non plus. And $40 for a small steamed lobster was ridiculous. Overall the meal was below average.

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FH
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Restaurant history is amazing, very good ambiance and decor . Only thing I was not satisfied was that I order a Seafood Newburg and only came with one tiny piece of lobster on it , besides being a small plate overall. For the price at believe it should been a better plate!

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OT
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family and I had a wonderful experience here, the staff were ever so helpful and after a short wait we were directed to our table. Megan was our waitress for the evening, she was very attentive to our needs throughout the night. The food was exquisite, my oysters were prepared beautifully as was my lobster, my daughter had the lobster scampi which she really enjoyed right down to the last morsel, my wife’s shrimp ravioli was flavoursome and she soon finished hers with licked lips. A wonderful celebration for our annual trip to Boston was highlighted by a great food de force at the Union Oyster House.

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G
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 5

Food was okay wateres was slow but we wanted to try it

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S
Toronto
17 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

The oysters were shrivelled up little things that looked and tasted awful. They did recover by bringing slightly better ones and didn't charge us. The crab cake was pretty good. Chowder was okay. Generally, a factory feel where there is a churn them in and churn them out philosophy. Overall, a meh experience.

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LC
New England
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The server Stephanie was amazing and the food was outstanding. We were seated right away and was able to relax and enjoy our dinner.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Bruins game

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f
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

I had dinner in other restaurants included in the list of best 18 restaurant in Boston, and Union Oyster is just famous but cannot be compared with others, bad welcome, bad service and also clam chowder not at the level of the fame

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OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Union Oyster House never disappoints!!

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AL
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Food was ok, nothing special. The clam chowder was only decent, nothing spectacular and definitely not worth the money. The best thing was the corn bread and our server who was very sweet.
Avoid the chocolate lava cake.
Nice ambiance.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service.

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B
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 1

The food was only average and not a good value. I would call the place a tourist trap, trading on its name and reputation, but not offering really good food.

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OT
Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was outstanding! Will be back!

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RM
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Wonderful waiting staff. Fun place to bring out-of-town guests!

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F
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Delicious chowder. Excellent wait staff.

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TS
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

So much history to take in and enjoy. Easy to see JFK sitting in the next booth.

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JD
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They had the best Boston clam chowder !!! We will be back

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

I went with my family to have lunch but I have a low sodium diet restriction. I’m understanding most mis en Place are already prepared with salt so when ordering at a restaurant I always ask about their flexibility preparing dishes without salt. As I wanted a boiled lobster I asked if they had unsalted butter. The answer was no. Having ordered a broiled scrod I asked if they could make me some French fries without salt. The answer was that salt already had been added and they could Not fry a small batch for me without added salt....go figure.... first time I experience suave lack of interest in working with a client limitations.

Go figure

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L
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Very disappointing. My haddock was dry and fishy tasting. The potatoes and veggies were boring.

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BM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Such an interesting place and so full of history. Everyone should go there at least once. Our waiter was accommodating and very attentive. I don't eat seafood but they made me a ceasar salad with grilled chicken for dinner which is usually just a lunch item. It was excellent. My husband and daughter thoroughly enjoyed their seafood entrees.

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H
Miami
24 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food historic environment

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server Megan was awesome! Food was delicious! Can’t beat the atmosphere. We loved it!

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YP
New England
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Beautiful, historical, American! But service is somewhat poor and spotty.

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MS
New England
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The last time we were at Union Oyster House was in 1978. My husband and I were in the city on personal business and decided to revisit this iconic Boston eatery. The Clams Casino, fresh cornbread, Seafood Medley, and Baked Haddock were all excellent. The ambience is authentic, historic, lively, and fun. The servers were friendly and attentive. My only complaint is that even though the restaurant was practically empty when we arrived, we were seated at a table right next to the server station, which was very, very noisy and distracting. (The two waitresses serving our section had naturally loud voices.) So while seating large groups near the serving area is fine, couples probably want a quieter spot.

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OT
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience as always. Only knock is failure of the restaurant to check us in on the reservation - creating the appearance of a no-show - which has resulted in additional effort to get credit on opentable for the booking

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JM
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

The service was phenomenal at Union oyster house! Everyone was very friendly and went out of their way to make our dinning experience a wonderful one. Also they gave us a piece of Boston Cream pie for our anniversary and that was to die for! Would definitely go back.

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B
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Wonderful place, full of history, It makes us feel back in 1800s.

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DB
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

We think the waitress was not really polite and impatient. For instance, she put the cup strongly on our table which kind of frightened us. There bread is good, but other foods are not amazing as we thought. Those are not value enough for their price. They have so many people, hence, the ambiance is not really ideal.

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

Union Oyster House is a must any time we visit Boston.
Felt very special to sit in JFK’s favourite booth whenever he would dine there.

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LL
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

We used to live in Boston, and would take out of town family members to this restaurant as a special treat. It's charming, historic, a bit touristy, but always has amazing food! Their Colonial Ale is my favorite Sam Adams, by far, and I definitely recommend going!

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

We were in Boston for the weekend and wanted to try Union Oyster House. Even with reservations, we waited almost a half hour. We ordered the Onion Soup and Clam c
Chowder. They were served with warm cornbread, all of which were very good. We ordered the Grilled Salmon for our entree. It was prepared with a tangy orange glaze with fried potatoes and baby green beans. This is where the problem started. The potatoes were chewy with little flavor and were barely warm. The green beans tasted like the water they were cooked in. They were undercooked and tasteless. The salmon had no flavor of the "tangy orange" it was supposed to have and was also pretty tasteless. I had higher hopes for this meal with this place being a "seafood" restaurant and l thought they would actually know how to cook seafood. The waitress we had was very good and we had no complaints about her at all. I would NOT waste my money eating at this restaurant again!!!

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d
New England
20 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I took out of town guests here because we were exploring the area and it is an historic site. I wasn't sure whether the food would be decent because it is touristy but it was. After we waited a long time for menus and service, we enjoyed a tasty seafood lunch.

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LR
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 1

Just ok...seemed popular for lunch...seafood was ok...a disappointment! We had fried oysters and fried clams--should have been wonderful!! Local parking garage (7th parcel...) on Blackstone St. was totally blocked off due to construction, I believe. Staff was totally unaware of this fact, and I'm sure the fences and blockades did not appear that morning....so no parking validation at all! In addition to the restaurant tab, you got to pay a lot for parking! Have not been for a few years--hoped to eat upstairs--will not return!

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