Union Oyster House

4.1
6669 reviews
$30 and under
Seafood
The Union Oyster House, located on the Freedom Trail, near Faneuil Hall, enjoys the unique distinction of being America's oldest restaurant. This 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.

Support Union Oyster House during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
Protective equipment
  • Waiting staff wear masks
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 6669 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.0
Food
4.2
Service
4.3
Ambience
3.7
Value
Noise · Moderate
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B
Beakman
E. Tennessee
22 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience4

Clam chowdah tasty, but only lukewarm temp. Cornbread is wonderful. Shrimp and scallops recommended as a favorite, average at best. Carrots as side dish were definitely underseaoned. Also, carrots tasted as if they Had been cooked in a microwave. Came with high expectations and delivers on an average level. Waitress was helpful snd attentive. We called ahead and they did seat us early as requested. Great. We also selected a specific table and when we arrived they stated unfortunately it was not available, due to prior reservation. HOWEVER, NO ONE was seated at the table requested from the time we sat down until we left. I understand if it had been used, but it sat vacant the whole time we were there. It is very historical in nature and could be so much more if only a little attention to detail was used going forward.

CM
vipCarolM
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience1

We ordered fried calamari. It was all breading. There was no calamari to be found. 2 of my guests ordered the whole lobster. It looked like a lot of the lobster had been removed and replaced with bread crumbs. Waitress never came back to ask how we were doing. Had to hunt her down for the check. Lots of great history to see. But have a drink and skip the food

R
Reba
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2Food1Service3Ambience3

Best clam chowder in the city but skip anything else including the cocktails.

CD
CarrieD
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We sat outside on a sunny yet comfortable Sunday. Server pleasant and knowledgeable, Oysters = perfection, and cocktails to brag about.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Tahoe
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience4

Was told this was a Boston staple and was a bit disappointed by the serving sizes based on price. Happy to enjoy some oysters and drinks and say we went but most likely won’t return.

ME
MEGANH
Detroit
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2Food1Service1Ambience4

We went because it's the oldest restaurant and it was cool to look around. The food was not great - especially with so many AMAZING restaurants in close proximity. Our waitress didn't want to be there...we even saw her roll her eyes when we asked for something. She ruined our experience for sure.

JW
JimW
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience4

Ambience and the ability to say you ate there are primary reasons for going. Food was good but not great. Clam chowder was lukewarm. Mashed potatoes were real and good. Scallops tasty but a bit gritty. Our server was very good. Glad I went but having done that I wouldn't go back.
.

ZN
ZakN
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Service was great and so was the food .A must stop off the Freedom trail .

MF
MegF
New England
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2Food2Service2Ambience3

The food and wine were subpar. The service was mediocre. The restaurant is riding on the coattails of the fact that it is the oldest restaurant in Boston.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall1Food2Service1Ambience1

Normally a big fan of this restaurant, but service was exceptionally slow and food very bland on our last visit.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on 16 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Fantastic experience!!! Lobster was amazing

K
Kathy
Charlotte
12 reviews
Dined on 16 September 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

Cool place to eat. Personable staff. Make a reservation.

DB
DickB
Palm Springs
3 reviews
Dined on 16 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Traditional old place. Lives up to its reputation. Menu somewhat limited.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on 16 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Phenomenal seafood with great service, always makes for a great time.

TM
TheoM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2021
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience2

The food was just Ok. The oysters and salad were fine but the fried seafood had too much batter that overwhelmed the other components of the fisherman's platter.
The table service was polite and efficient but there was a fat headed old irish (?) dude at the front entrance that was rude to us twice. He was in a prominent position in the entry way but was not helpful in answering questions on the way in or out. This jerk spoiled what was a nice experience. Overall this is a nice place to take your grandmother to, but I would prefer seafood at Legals or the fun of the North End.

MV
MatthewV
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2021
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Mickie our server was outstanding! She made our whole evening!

JH
JeffreyH
1 review
Dined on 14 September 2021
Overall1Food1Service2Ambience3

Looked at reviews that showed a solid place for seafood with a historic past.
Was expecting a great evening but was thoroughly disappointed. The overall quality of the food was horrible, from the apps to the main entrees. Even the NE Claim Chowder was bad-tasted like something out of a can. We basically sent everything back- way over cooked, over seasoned and very bad. Additionally, the prices were very high for the amount and quality of the food. The best things we ordered was the beer and salad.

Not sure if they had a new cook or what has changed but it was horrible food.
Would not recommend anyone to eat here!!!!

CB
ChrisB
1 review
Dined on 14 September 2021
Overall2Food1Service4Ambience2

I was told to come here and I’m honestly sad we did go because the food wasn’t that great and it’s more of a novelty restaurant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on 13 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Very nice staffs. Fast service. food came out fast and very fresh. love this place.

V
vipVince
Denver
66 reviews
Dined on 12 September 2021
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience5

Our clam chowder was warm and not hot. The butter was frozen solid. One of us ordered a pork chop that was a bit dry. Overall the experience was not worth the hype

J
Jernan
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 12 September 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

We loved the historical aspect of the Union Oyster House. We had the crab cakes, fried oysters and fish platter. The meal also came with some great cornbread.
Everything was very tasty and fun.

The only reservation that we would have with UOH is that most of the food is fried. That was fine for this meal but it was more limiting than we expected.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 11 September 2021
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience2

Visiting Boston for the first time

S
vipShellym
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on 11 September 2021
Overall2Food2Service2Ambience2

Poor service. Brought us the wrong wine. Our food was cold. It seems everything on the menu is fried. It has really gone downhill since I was there 6-7 years ago. I can’t recommend it.
Michele M.

BH
BruceH
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on 11 September 2021
Overall3Food3Service2Ambience4

Disappointed is the first word that comes to mind. After the rude ‘get in line’ order outside, the indifferent staff inside did not improve our impression.
30 years ago, my experience was very good and that is why I booked this for our two couples before leaving California.
We planned on ordering two bottles of wine but were told ‘that’s it’ when requesting the real wine list when holding the ‘by the glass’ list. The same waiter clearly wasn’t told that the soup course comes before the entree either as it was only produced on request when we already had received our main courses.
My wife liked the Lazy Lobster dish but the others were unremarkable. Having dined twice at Legal Seafood twice in the days prior, this location is not in the same league. History of Union Oyster House is undeniable but it doesn’t mean anything if the experience of dining falls short.

M
Michelle
Indiana
10 reviews
Dined on 11 September 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

Oysters at the oldest oyster bar. Does life really get much better?

RL
RodolfoL
1 review
Dined on 10 September 2021
Overall3Food2Service4Ambience4

The food wasn’t bad but I thought it was gonna be better

W
Winston
Austria
5 reviews
Dined on 10 September 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Great atmosphere for historic dining. Excellent food. Good service. Too expensive.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on 9 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food in an iconic restaurant! Our server, Linda, was fabulous! Thank you. See you next time we are in Boston.

MJ
vipMiltJ
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on 5 September 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience3

Great food and service, very crowded on a holiday weekend. Fortunately we had open table!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on 5 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great service! Had the clam chowder, baked beans, oysters, hot lobster roll with mashed potatoes. Baked beans were very good. The hot lobster roll had a pickle on the side, lobster was nicely cooked. Best clam chowder in Boston!

KP
vipKathyP
West Palm Beach
3 reviews
Dined on 4 September 2021
Overall3Food3Service1Ambience3

Lousy service

OT
OpenTable Diner
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on 4 September 2021
Overall2Food1Service3Ambience2

First table was next to the very loud kitchen door. Moved a couple tables away. Don’t order the scallops, they are breaded & not worth the cost.

LB
LynnB
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 4 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

My son starts school at Emmanuel College!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 3 September 2021
Overall1Food1Service3Ambience3

Not worth the money. We were told by multiple people about how great the food was here so I booked reservations for our 10 year anniversary. My wife got the clam chowder and the stuffed clams for an appetizer. The chowder was cold and the clams were not well cleaned and thus very sandy. My wife then got the “Lazy Mans Lobster” and she didn’t think it was worth the calories to eat. The lobster was very fishy, the breadcrumbs were bland and she couldn’t figure out where the cream sauce was that it was supposed to come with. As a non sea food person, I got the sirloin steak, and I can say that I’ve had better steak at a Ponderosa buffet. It tasted like there was no seasoning on it at all and the demi glaze was tasteless. Neither one of us ate half our meals. Only plus is I will give our waitress credit. She took the clams off the bill after I complained about them being sandy and when she could tell we weren’t happy with our main dishes, she tried to offer a free dessert. We didn’t take her up on her offer though as we were both so disappointed that we just wanted to leave. Maybe we just ordered bad but for the 150 dollar bill I payed, I expected at least one thing to be decent.

k
klre
Birmingham
7 reviews
Dined on 3 September 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great establishment w/ lots of ambiance. every dish at our table came out fresh & hot. Whosked inside exactly at our reservation time.

HR
vipHeelnR
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on 1 September 2021
Overall3Food2Service3Ambience3

Sad to say this restaurant continues to go downhill .
The restaurant has seen better days .
From stale cornbread at the beginning of the meal to overbreaded crab cakes the food was marginal at best .

JP
vipJP05
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on 1 September 2021
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience3

More about the hype than the food. It was ok but not sure if I would come back.

SR
StevenR
Atlanta
10 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2021
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

Like most people from out of town you want to go to some place with meaning and history in Boston. I had low expectation for the food, but was pleasantly surprised. While Haddock does not have a ton of flavor it was cooked perfectly. The clam chowder was good if you like the creamy style. The server was very good without being overly attentive, which made for a relaxed meal.

N
Nettie
Detroit
15 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Clam chowder is the best!

RC
RobertC
New England
3 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Enjoying a meal at the very, very historic Union Oyster House (billed as the the nation's oldest continuously operating restaurant) is a tradition for Bostonians and a must do for those visiting Boston. It is located in a lovely area of Boston with ample parking nearby. The food is excellent, and the service is prompt and friendly. Request the booth that was JFK's favorite and, if it isn't already occupied, you'll have a real historic treat. Their clam chowder has won numerous awards, their raw oyster bar is great and their fried oysters are delicious. The building that it is in is about 250 years old. Daniel Webster (1782-1852), noted congressman, constitutional lawyer, orator, senator and Secretary of State, was a regular customer. He was known for enjoying six brandies with the 3 dozen oysters he would eat when there.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Union Oyster House using the Order Online button. Union Oyster House also offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at (617) 227-2750.

Union Oyster House is rated 4.1 stars by 6669 OpenTable diners.

Union Oyster House does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://swipeit.com/product/1493/union-oyster-house.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.