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Charles Square - Legal Sea Foods - Charles Square, Cambridge, MA
0

Legal Sea Foods - Charles Square

4.3
4.3
1521 Reviews
$31 to $50
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.

Permanently Closed

This restaurant is permanently closed.

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, Oyster Bar, Fish

  • Hours of operation

    Sunday - Thursday: 11am - 10pm Friday & Saturday: 11am - 11pm Reservations are for indoor dining only, no patio-outdoor seating is available for online bookings.

  • Phone number

    (617) 491-9400

  • Payment options

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

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Private party facilities

    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. Depending on the size of your party, choose from the light-filled atrium or a dining area overlooking the courtyard. In the summer, our outdoor patio is popular for hosted classic clambakes. Private dining at Legal Sea Foods offers great food and hospitality and easy planning. Please contact our special events manager for further details.

  • Neighborhood

    Cambridge

  • Cross street

    Elliot

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 1,521 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.3
4.3 based on recent ratings
  • 4.3Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 4.1Ambience
  • 4Value

NoiseModerate

Sort by

Filters

  1. S

    Shillbay

    New England

    26 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on March 7, 2020

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    Very good fish (and meats and salads) prepared without too much fuss. Prices have crept up a bit but Legal is still a reliable option for family dinners and group events. Some nice surprises on the wine list and warm, friendly service.
  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Tampa

    22 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on March 6, 2020

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Nice way to end the trip to Boston with colleagues. The server was phenomenal, very knowledgeable, very accommodating and most of all professional.
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    vip
    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 1, 2020

    overall2food1service1ambience2
    Tuna served crazy overcooked. Service super slow
  4. MJ

    MarkJ

    New England

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 29, 2020

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    We did the leap day two lobster special and the staff was fine, handled the orders well, there was a slight wait at times when our wait person was serving others, not visible, but overall we were very happy with everything.
  5. KM

    KathyM

    New England

    22 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on February 29, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Leap Day Lobster was amazing!!
  6. KA

    KATHLEENS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 23, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Visiting from Ohio and THIS WAS OUR BEST meal while in the Cambridge/Boston area.
  7. TH

    TomH

    New York Area

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 22, 2020

    overall3food2service3ambience3
    The meal was a bit underwhelming - cooked well, but not much flavor.
  8. d

    departingdiner

    New England

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 22, 2020

    overall4food3service3ambience4
    The cuisine has become ordinary; the staff, over-taxed; and the noise level unbearable.
  9. LB

    LaurenceB

    New England

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 22, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We visit this restaurant once a year as part of a family trip to Cambridge to see the Hasty Pudding show. This year, as always, our meal was one of the highlights of the trip. Legal Sea Foods deserves its great reputation (earned over the years from a tough, New England audience) and we’ve eaten at many different Legals locations, but for some reason the staff at this location always makes it extra special. It’s tucked away, and a little hard to get to, but well worth the effort.
  10. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2020

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    Always delicious, always great service. A favorite!
  11. JS

    JohnS

    New York Area

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Love this place! Amazing food and service. Boston comfort food but also new items to choose from. Highly recommended!
  12. R

    Roberta

    New York Area

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2020

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    Good food and convenient location. Fairly pricey but it is in Harvard Square.
  13. a

    anonymouse

    Central Coast

    14 reviews

    3.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2020

    overall3food2service4ambience3
    Used to be much better. Friendly waitress. Small portions of very average seafood at fairly high price. Unlikely to return soon. Too bad because it used to be one of our regular spots.
  14. CG

    ClaytonGreyhound

    New England

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 9, 2020

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    We've eaten here numerous times, but this was the first Sunday brunch we have been to. Unfortunately, one item on the brunch menu was not available (encrusted catfish), but the substitute, crab toast with eggs and sauce, was excellent. One of the best meals (with guests) we've had there. The only sour note, as often happens there, was a malfunction with the flusher in the women's handicapped restroom; a perennial problem. My wife sent a separate complaint directly to Legal Charles Square.
  15. B

    Barbara

    New England

    6 reviews

    3.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 9, 2020

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    It’s just not what it used to be, on all levels (food and training of servers in particular). Wasn’t a bad evening, but for the money, we could’ve done a lot better elsewhere, especially in Cambridge.
  16. K

    Kathy

    New England

    20 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on February 8, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything was excellent, especially our server who was outstanding! She accommodated all our requests graciously (including separate checks for 6 of us!) & provided excellent overall customer service!
  17. c

    citichic

    New England

    40 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    40 reviews

    Dined on January 31, 2020

    overall3food3service2ambience3
    service and food at this location is getting very mediocre. Server basically ignored us unless we asked others to help us. This is a great location, and used to be one of our favorite local restaurants, but they really need management to up their game.
  18. NJ

    NicholasJ

    New England

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 17, 2020

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    I've eaten at Legal Seafoods many times. Once in a blue moon, you have a bad experience. Our birthday guest ordered fish tacos and asked for the fish to be substituted with shrimp but it didn't happen. We felt embarrassed that the guest of honor had to wait and eat last, once everyone else had nearly finished their lunch. And when her correct order came back, it was missing the avocados that were part of it. I ordered the salmon, which came with a farro and roasted mushroom salad. After combing through it, I found only one mushroom buried under the farro! At least, there were apologies from the maitre d and the waitress, whose fault it was not, may I add. Not a good experience this time.
  19. JK

    JimKay

    San Francisco

    13 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on January 16, 2020

    overall4food5service5ambience3
    Good experience and would use again for clients etc
  20. FL

    FridayLunchLetdown

    New England

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Jeremy provides excellent service.
  21. k

    kaycibi

    New England

    58 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    58 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2020

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    Julia the server was amiable & accurate on odd requests— mussels, steamers, drinks, broccoli, dessert . Given the order’s mixed stuff we’d ordered, she found assistance to make the timing perfect for both food and ambiance. We each had a fine time and so each son returned abroad to separate continents happy with Legal Thank you!
  22. TS

    TimS

    New England

    10 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on January 5, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Been eating here for twenty years ,just as good as it’s always been !
  23. S

    Shielaazad1

    New England

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 1, 2020

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    This use to be our favorite place to go out to eat, we had a reservation at 8:30pm on New Year’s Eve. There were hardly any people at the restaurant, but the service was extremely slow and bad. The quality of food has also gone down and the prices on the menu have increased. Overall, not satisfied and would not recommend.
  24. K

    Kate

    Philadelphia

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2019

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Everything was great except that the side salad I ordered with my trout was inedible. The cherry tomatoes were soft and didn’t taste right, the greens and cucumbers and other vegetables also didn’t taste fresh, and there was way too much overpowering dressing. When I mentioned this to the server, though, she and the manager came over immediately, apologized, and offered to replace the salad. By then we were finished, so instead, they offered to comp us desserts for the table. I was satisfied and appreciated their response.
  25. B

    Billn

    New England

    27 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on December 29, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love that cioppino!
  26. P

    Pand

    New England

    45 reviews

    5.0

    45 reviews

    Dined on December 29, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love this Legal Seafood location. We chose to sit and stay at the bar for dinner. Food and service top notch.
  27. J

    John

    Richmond

    18 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on December 27, 2019

    overall4food5service3ambience4
    Food was excellent. Dessert was kindly brought for child’s birthday.
  28. SB

    ScooterB

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 26, 2019

    overall2food3service2ambience2
    Is this part of the same Legal Seafood group that I ordinarily find to be a strong dining experience. Hard to believe it is related to the restaurant in the Seaport. Our party of 7 was wedged into a too small space when there was plenty of room in the restaurant. The fried clams were over cooked, the grilled scallops had grill marks but looked and tasted like they were poached in plain water. The steamed lobster looked over cooked. The sides were plopped on the plate like I'd expect at a high school cafeteria. The best thing that could be said is that the portions were plentiful, but that's not why we go to Legals and pay Legal prices. Come on Legal Seafood you can do better.
  29. C

    Carolina1

    New England

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 25, 2019

    overall2food3service3ambience1
    The bathrooms were cold, dark and dirty. The dining area is is old and dirty. The salad lettuce was very sandy and had not been washed before being served. We have enjoyed the Boston location before our dinner in Cambridge.
  30. LM

    LindaM

    New England

    5 reviews

    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on December 24, 2019

    overall3food5service5ambience3
    Christmas Eve at Legal's Charles Square is a longstanding family tradition. We love spending this special evening here with friends.
  31. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 24, 2019

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    It was great! Christmas Eve is always special. The guy with the nose injury was very nice but it definitely changed the mood! Ouch
  32. DB

    DutchBuck

    New England

    90 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    90 reviews

    Dined on December 22, 2019

    overall2food1service4ambience4
    Maybe it’s just because Legals are so consistently good everywhere else that the poorly prepared and presented dishes at the Charles Square Legals were so very disappointing. Onion strings so over cooked in the fryer that they we a solid dark brown mass on the plate. Vegetables cooked until they were reduced to a gelatinous ness, a Caesar salad dressing described in the menu at “creamy” arrived as a thin clear sheen of flavorless oil on the lettuce and in a bowl with 3 huge and partially burned croutons. OK, it was the weekend before Christmas so maybe the good cooks and/or the head chef were on vacation, but I really thought Legals had better quality control than that.
  33. K

    Keith

    Austin

    8 reviews

    3.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on December 22, 2019

    overall3food3service3ambience4
    Not very flavorful.
  34. M

    Minerva

    New England

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 15, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This Legal Sea Foods restaurant is tucked away behind the Charles Hotel, so it's a nice quiet location. The seafood was excellent, as always, and our server was friendly and attentive.
  35. MB

    MariaB

    New England

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on December 15, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food, comfortable atmosphere. One of our favorite Legals locations.
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 14, 2019

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Trout and scrod was dry.
  37. SB

    SteveB

    Orlando

    24 reviews

    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on December 11, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was great......as always.
  38. T

    Teal

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 6, 2019

    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!
  39. RK

    RonaldK

    Denver

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on December 5, 2019

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Delicious food and good location. Thanks.
  40. D

    Daly

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 3, 2019

    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!!

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

Legal Sea Foods - Charles Square is rated 4.3 stars by 1521 OpenTable diners.

Permanently Closed

This restaurant is permanently closed.

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Elliot

  • Neighborhood

    Cambridge

  • Hours of operation

    Sunday - Thursday: 11am - 10pm Friday & Saturday: 11am - 11pm Reservations are for indoor dining only, no patio-outdoor seating is available for online bookings.

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, Oyster Bar, Fish

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • 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.

  • Payment options

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

  • 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.

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (617) 491-9400

  • Private party facilities

    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. Depending on the size of your party, choose from the light-filled atrium or a dining area overlooking the courtyard. In the summer, our outdoor patio is popular for hosted classic clambakes. Private dining at Legal Sea Foods offers great food and hospitality and easy planning. Please contact our special events manager for further details.

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