Boston's Top 10 : Spots for Seafood

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At 6:30am on weekdays, the catch from Boston-based boats is auctioned in 1,000-lb (453-kilo) lots from Fish Pier

  1. Barking Crab

    This colorful fish shack is most congenial in the summer, when diners sit outdoors at picnic tables. Most of the local fish – cod, haddock, tuna, halibut, clams and crab – are so fresh that they need only the most basic preparation.

    • 88 Sleeper St

    • 617 426 2722

    Barking Crab
  2. Legal Sea Foods

    Legal is a Boston chain where diners can always count on getting immaculately fresh local fish in a fine-dining setting. The clam chowder is legendary; raw clams and oysters are impeccable. Legal’s only shortcoming is that it doesn’t take reservations.

    • Long Wharf & other locations

    • 617 742 5300

  3. East Coast Grill

    Chef-owner Chris Schlesinger was among the first Boston chefs to perfect the art of cooking seafood with the smoke and heat of an open fire. Schlesinger is also an aficionado of hot spices, often perking up a more bland fish with a peppery basting sauce or toning down an oily fish with a citrus marinade. Should you be up to the challenge, try the Fries from Hell. The attractively simple, unfussy dining room allows the food to be the focus of attention. Reservations are not accepted so arrive early, and be prepared to wait .

    East Coast Grill
  4. Mare Organic

    Fine dining and health-conscious eating converge with spectacular results in Mare’s Italian coastal cuisine. Complex dishes, such as truffle-crusted skate with foie gras and figs, complement deliciously simple pasta tossed with seafood. There are good meat dishes available for carnivores.

    • 135 Richmond St

    • 617 723 4273

    • Closed lunch

  5. No Name Restaurant

    As Fish Pier’s only restaurant, No Name has an intimate relationship with the fishermen who both sell their catch to, and eat at, this bare-bones restaurant. The equally very basic menu consists mostly of fried fish. The great chowder is what fishermen call “trim” chowder – full of hunks of whatever has been boned and trimmed that day.

    • 15½ Fish Pier

    • 617 423 2705

  6. Turner Fisheries

    The elegant space in the street-level corner of the Westin Copley Place is for smart dining, with an emphasis on large portions of select fish in season. Start with a Caesar salad laden with anchovies, then tuck into a bluefin tuna steak so large it hangs off the plate. Opt for either the airy outer room with windows onto Copley Square, or the cozier lounge near the bar where there’s live jazz on weekends.

    • 10 Huntington Ave

    • 617 424 7425

    • Closed lunch Sun

  7. James Hook & Co.

    A family-owned business located right on Fort Point Channel, Hooks is primarily a broker that supplies lobster to restaurants throughout the US. However, they also cook lobster, clams, crab, and some fin fish on the spot. Take your order, sit on the sea wall, and chow down.

    • 15 Northern Ave

    • 617 423 5500

    • Closed evenings

  8. B&G Oysters

    The brainchild of star chef Barbara Lynch, this brightly lit underground seafood spot is half oyster bar – there are a dozen varieties ready to be shucked at any moment – and half seafood bistro. Lynch’s delicious dishes include the lobster BLT sandwich, roasted salmon with spicy Spanish chorizo, and tuna carpaccio with boiled quail egg and pickled shallot.

    • 550 Tremont St

    • 617 423 0550

  9. Summer Shack

    Boston celebrity chef Jasper White literally wrote the book on lobster, but he’s just as adept with wood-grilled fresh fish and delicate fried shellfish. Fabulous raw bar and colorful summer fish-shack atmosphere match well with the extensive beer list. Excellent place to bring children who like to crack their own crabs.

    • 50 Dalton St

    • 617 867 9955

    • Closed lunch Mon–Fri Nov–Mar

    Summer Shack
  10. Morse Fish

    Morse is principally a South End fishmonger. But they also cook fish to order for great sandwiches or fried fish dinners – and at a relative pittance compared to restaurant prices. There are a few tables in this cheery shop, or they’ll pack dinner for a picnic in nearby Blackstone Park. However, they do not sell lobster.

    • 1401 Washington St

    • 617 262 9375

    • Closed Sun

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