It’s no secret that our fair city is a hot spot for seafood. While the local restaurants continue to excel at classic New England fare, there are also inventive new spots pushing the boundaries in exciting ways while staying true to what makes seafood so great. From a shack on the harbor to posh spots in the Back Bay, here are our picks for some of the seafood restaurants in Boston right now.
Select Oyster Bar
Chef Michael Serpa has been making his mark on the Boston food scene for a while, heading up the kitchen at Neptune Oyster starting in 2008 and garnering lots of local and national acclaim. He’s been focusing on his own ventures since 2015 and we couldn’t be more excited about his seafood endeavor Select Oyster Bar; easily one of the hottest restaurants in the Back Bay.
Select is adding a Mediterranean flair to fresh seafood, and their monumental plateauxs (towers) featuring local oysters, dressed Maine lobster, scallop ceviche and a variety of other delicious bites, are perfect for sampling. Starters, like the beet salad with toasted pistachios and whipped fennel goat cheese, are flawlessly designed to prep the palate for exquisite entrées like the Gloucester swordfish matched with fresh seasonal produce. No detail goes unnoticed on this incredible menu, and the quality of the seafood is sublime.
50 Gloucester St., Boston, 857-233-0376, selectboston.com
Mooncusser Fish House
Cheers to the 80 Thoreau crew in Concord for bringing their fine-dining chops to Boston. Mooncusser Fish House is a sleek spot in the Back Bay that’s offering a spectacular culinary experience led by their creative approach to seafood dishes. We love starters such as the chowder with fresh clams, smoked scallops and skate, and the smoked char terrine with Meyer lemon, fennel and crackers. And when it comes to entrées, the grilled whole fish with Fergola, baby carrots and tomato jam, is always a hit.
But the real treat at Mooncusser is their Tasting of Local Fishes, a special that comes with five courses prepared with the freshest local seafood. Offerings are diverse, and include lobster bisque, a halibut crudo with blood orange and pickled ginger, and our favorite – grilled tuna with sunchokes, oysters and pearl onions. This one is a dream come true for seafood lovers.
304 Stuart St., Boston, 617-917-5193, mooncusserfishhouse.com
Tucked away right off of Newbury Street, this new Back Bay spot is becoming one of our favorite places for exceptional seafood. It claims one of the largest (and most eclectic) collections of tinned seafood in New England, and with its colorfully-tiled interior, Saltie Girlis offering a Barcelona-inspired dining experience in the style of Spain’s coziest tapas bars.
If surf and turf is your thing, check out the Saltie Girl Burger topped with fried lobster. Or if you're in the mood for something off the beaten path, try the fried lobster and waffles with sweet corn butter and spicy maple syrup. It's incredible and can satisfy any craving with its perfect balance of sweet and savory. Pro tip: Saltie Girl’s cozy environment and no reservation policy mean tables are limited and waits can be long, so plan accordingly.
281 Dartmouth St., Boston, 617-267-0691, saltiegirl.com
Also featured in Back Bay's Saltie Girl Serves Up Tinned-Fish At Its Finest.
For years, Eventide Oyster Co. has been the premiere destination for oysters and modern seafood within Portland, Maine’s stellar restaurant scene. And we're so lucky that Boston gets a taste! Eventide Fenway is quickly becoming a sought-after destination for classic seafood guaranteed to satisfy foodies.
Eventide takes a fast-casual approach, where you’ll order at the counter and receive a text when your meal is ready. They're well-known for their brown butter lobster roll, served on a slightly sweet bao-style steamed bun instead of the traditional hot dog bun. And for good reason -- it's incredible! We also love the salmon crudo, which comes adorned with scallion-tofu purée, furikake, and citrus-infused yuzu kosho. And if you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss the brown butter soft serve for desert. Drizzled with bourbon caramel sauce and topped with maple pecans, it'll immediately become a favorite.
1321 Boylston St., Boston, 617-545-1060, eventideoysterco.com/eventide-fenway/
The Barking Crab
As the seaport exploded around it, this colorful seafood shack held steady. The Barking Crabcontinues to be a popular spot to grab traditional New England bites...if you don’t mind the boisterous ambiance, especially in the warmer months. The covered patio is the perfect spot to enjoy summer in the city while overlooking the harbor. But if the weather has turned cold, don’t worry – the shack is open all year round for your seafood needs.
There are plenty of crab options, of course - the crab cakes being a real crowd pleaser. But we're in love with the hot crab dip that comes with homemade chips. And you can’t go wrong with the fried whole-belly clams. Lobster lovers rejoice! They have three variations on the classic roll, and it's not atypical to try them all in one visit.
88 Sleeper St., Boston, 617-426-2722, barkingcrab.com
Also featured in Five Of Our Favorite Boston Seaport Restaurants.
Puro Ceviche Bar
If you want to get a little more adventurous, try this new Newbury Street spot. Puro Ceviche Bar comes from the same team as the popular Greek restaurant Kava Neo-Taverna. And taking inspiration from Latin cuisine, the mouth-watering offerings are unique and a welcome addition to the local seafood scene.
Once you settle in to the contemporary atmosphere, with colorful murals splashed on whitewashed brick walls, you’ll no doubt be tempted by their impressive ceviche options, including red snapper, sea bass, tuna, royal red shrimp, and octopus. Order up! And we recommend you round out your meal with a diverse selection of tantalizing bocaditos, small plates. Splurge and get something new, you won't regret it.
264 Newbury St., Boston, 617-266-0707, purocevichebar.com
When you visit Neptune Oyster, you’re bound to wait in line, but that gives you plenty of time to evaluate the oyster options proudly on display behind the front window. Restaurants don’t always live up to their hype, but we couldn't be more pleased to tell you that this place has earned its spot on this list.
We love everything about Neptune Oyster, from their fresh local oysters to their famous buttery Maine lobster roll. But we recommend you partake in the more adventurous dishes, including the Neptune Johnnycake appetizer, a delicious sweet and savory mix of honey butter, Boston smoked bluefish and sturgeon caviar. The Oyster 'Piggybacks' appetizer is also a favorite; a twist on fried oyster sliders with pulled pork and sweet cream pecan butter. Delightful.
63 Salem St. # 1, Boston, 617-742-3474, neptuneoyster.com
If sushi is your favorite kind of seafood, Uni is your place. Located in Back Bay’s Eliot Hotel, this elegant spot, led by chefs Ken Oringer and Tony Messina, has a menu that is bursting with flavors from all over the world.
We love the inventive small plates inspired by global street food, and the innovative makimono, nigiri and sashimi offerings. And because it’s New England, there’s also a delicious Lobster BLT roll and a lobster fried rice. But it's the Uni Spoon that has stolen our hearts. This mouthwatering bite, presented with creamy quail egg yolk and osetra caviar, is truly a one-of-a-kind flavor experience.
370A Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-536-7200, uni-boston.com
The Daily Catch
The Daily Catch is a no-frills establishment, with another location in Brookline, that offers reliably fresh Sicilian-inspired pasta dishes that will please any seafood lover. And we can't get enough!
We recommend the stellar New England clam chowder, especially on a chilly Boston winter day. The fried calamari starter is a popular melt-in-your-mouth dish, and the specialty lobster Fra Diavlo is pricey but well worth the splurge. But our must-have is their homemade black pasta made with fresh squid ink that comes in three variations to please any palette: Aglio Olio, Alfredo, and Putanesca. YUM. Pro tip: This restaurant is cash only, so plan ahead.
323 Hanover St., Boston, 617-523-8567; 441 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-734-2700, thedailycatch.com
Also featured in Stay Warm With The Best Soups In Boston.
Atlantic Fish Co
Located in the heart of Back Bay, Atlantic Fish Co has been a local favorite since the 70s. The menu prides itself on fresh seafood straight from nearby waters, and the classy environment is guaranteed to impress everyone.
Simplicity is key here, and you really can’t go wrong with any of their dishes. The clam chowder is a classic, but we adore the sea bass chowder. And we've put a pin in the lobster risotto as is a priority for our next visit. For a sweet treat we recommend the peppermint ice cream cake. It's a refreshing and delicious way to cleanse the palate after a stellar meal.
761 Boylston St., Boston, 617-267-4000, atlanticfish.com
Boston’s Seaport has no shortage of great restaurants these days, and we love Row 34 for its lively atmosphere, modern industrial interior, and focused menu specializing in classic seafood with a a modern twist.
The raw bar is impressive if you want to feast on a variety of local oysters. And their selection of fried options, including the incredible Old Bay onion rings are nothing to pass up. (Because seafood only gets better when it’s fried, right?) Row 34 offers two versions of the lobster roll - hot buttered, and a version dressed with mayonnaise and creme fraiche. Both get rave reviews from us.
383 Congress St., Boston, 617-553-5900, row34.com