Eat fishes near fishes. It is so cruel.
June 3, 2010 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Awesome seafood in Boston, near the Aquarium. (But not, you know, *from* the Aquarium.)

My boyfriend and I are going up to Boston tomorrow and staying at The Harborside Inn, which is near the Aquarium T. He is from New England and a seafood lover, especially lobster rolls. Bonus points if you can tell me where there is ice cream nearby.

We get in around 7 so I'd like to go somewhere nearby, since we'll have been on the bus for a while. A few stops on the train is okay as is a little bit of a walk—we're New Yorkers so we have high tolerance. I don't really want to haul all the way out to Cambridge or something.

Yes, I have seen this question.
posted by dame to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (26 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Other pros: chill ambiance, delicious drinks. And thnks!
posted by dame at 9:41 AM on June 3, 2010

Lobster rolls: James Hook.

Ice Cream: Emack & Bolio's.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:43 AM on June 3, 2010

Thanks, but it looks like James Hook will be closed when we get in.
posted by dame at 9:48 AM on June 3, 2010

The No Name. On the pier before the pier with the big tent. A few blocks walk from the hotel.
posted by Gungho at 9:52 AM on June 3, 2010

The best fucking lobster roll I've had in the Boston area is, HANDS DOWN, NO FUCKING CONTEST, at Belle Isle seafood, which is in Winthrop; you'd have to hop on the blue line to get there.

However, Yankee Lobster's is also serviceable, and that's only 1.3 miles away by foot.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:53 AM on June 3, 2010

I am not a huge fan of Legal Sea Foods, but there is one directly across the street from the Aquarium.
posted by briank at 9:57 AM on June 3, 2010

+1 for the No Name. I haven't been there in years, but the fish chowder (and everything, in general) was excellent.
posted by usonian at 9:59 AM on June 3, 2010

Wow, it has been a long time. I meant to say, the seafood chowder was excellent. According to their web site the No-Name is open 11AM 10PM every day.
posted by usonian at 10:02 AM on June 3, 2010

Barking Crab? It's just across the channel (although somewhat douchey, I think).

I work right near the Aquarium, and I can't think of one place that meets all of your requirements. For instance, you might go to Drink for great cocktails (or Lucky's for chillout hipster time), but I don't think either is known for fish.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:05 AM on June 3, 2010

Yeah, I'd go to the No-Name. It's nothing fancy, but if you want seafood in New England you don't want fancy. Decent fried platters and a lot less touristy than just about anything else near the aquarium.
posted by bondcliff at 10:05 AM on June 3, 2010

I'd recommend walking along the wharf over to the seaport district - the Barking Crab is awesome. The No-Name is pretty decent and if you'd like something slightly nicer the Daily Catch has really great seafood. :)
posted by floweredfish at 10:33 AM on June 3, 2010

Barking Crab? It's just across the channel (although somewhat douchey, I think).

Barking Crab is not douchey at all. You can take a City Water Taxi from Long Wharf (where the Aquarium is located) directly to the Barking Crab. You can pay onboard. It's a fun way to travel on the harbor.
posted by ericb at 10:37 AM on June 3, 2010

No-Name is open 11AM 10PM every day...

BTW -- City Water Taxi can also take you to the World Trade Center dock where No Name is located.
posted by ericb at 10:39 AM on June 3, 2010

Seconding the Legal right next to the Aquarium. It's a chain and thick with tourists but the quality is always high and I can attest that the lobster roll is solid. Boring, perhaps, but convenient and good.

If you want someplace with more interesting food (and more interesting people) Neptune Oyster in the North End is fantastic. It's supposed to have an excellent lobster roll but I've never tried it. One downside is it's small and doesn't take reservations (afaik) so it's a mob scene on weekend nights.
posted by otio at 10:40 AM on June 3, 2010

Ah, yes, Neptune Oyster! It's a 10 minute walk from the Aquarium to Salem Street.
posted by ericb at 10:47 AM on June 3, 2010

Another favorite for lobster rolls (and for B.L.T. with lobster) is B&G Oysters on Tremont in the South End. You can cross the street for ice cream at Picco.
posted by ericb at 10:51 AM on June 3, 2010

Neptune Oyster in the North End is fantastic....

And, as such, there are numerous gelato shops nearby.
posted by ericb at 10:53 AM on June 3, 2010

Hey! Me and my boyfriend were at the Harborside Inn last weekend - you're 1 block away from Faneuil Hall, which, though touristy, has quite a few ice cream and lobster roll options. It was the top place I've stayed in Boston in terms of the location and value, have a great time!

PS - we walked from the Harborside Inn through the commons and public gardens over to Newberry St, about a 40 minute walk which might be too long for you - but was a great way to stretch our legs after a long car ride and get to a neighborhood with plenty of food.
posted by pants at 11:19 AM on June 3, 2010

Barking Crab? It's just across the channel (although somewhat douchey, I think).

Barking Crab is not douchey at all.

Really? The time I went, it was filled with a mix of drunken frat boys and drunken bankers (one of whom threatened to break a bottle in the face of my female friend, which was classy). It was nice to sit on the water, though.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:34 AM on June 3, 2010

I would definitely not eat at the Barking Crab. A friend of mine bartends there, and I've heard.. things.... yeah, just don't. Beers after work, yes, food, no. Emack and Bolio's for ice cream, definitely!
posted by hungrybruno at 11:44 AM on June 3, 2010

My experiences at the Barking Crab are totally differenct than yours. I've been going for years -- tending toward weekend afternoons and evenings when the crowd is comprised mostly of sailors/boaters and tourists. I, too, know the bartenders and have always had good food and drinks there.* As above, YMMV. To each his own, etc.

...filled with a mix of drunken frat boys and drunken bankers...

Since college is out and many of the bankers will likely be heading to the Cape and Islands for the weekend, tomorrow's crowd will likely be filled with tourists and locals.

* -- The Barking Crab won Best of Boston 2007, Best Seafood in the 'Weekly Dig' for 2009. Frommer's review.
posted by ericb at 12:36 PM on June 3, 2010

I was just reading a Chowhound thread on the Barking Crab (with pictures!), and it definitely steered me away from every going there.

I love Neptune Oyster as mentioned above, but it's small and there may be quite a wait on a Friday. Daily Catch might be a good choice (a more italian take on seafood), they have a location on the Fan Pier now.
posted by FreezBoy at 12:45 PM on June 3, 2010

Came here to +1 the No Name.
posted by chiefthe at 2:25 PM on June 3, 2010

First of all, Boston is tiny. From the Aquarium a $10 cab ride will get you pretty much anywhere downtown, so you shouldn't worry too much about being near the Aquarium.

I second the suggestion of B&G oysters. I love it there. It's cozy, the service is super friendly, they have outdoor seating in the summer when the weather's nice, and you can sit at the oyster bar if that's your thing.

The Barking Crab is a place to get fried food and beer with a great view. It's pricier than the food warrants, but you're paying for the view. On a nice day it's fun.

If you're willing to spend a little, my favorite place is The Oceanaire Seafood Room. The atmosphere is badass (old school converted bank, with marble columns, etc.). They make great cocktails. Their crab cakes are the best in Boston; not too sticky, lots of fresh meat. This is where I go when I want to impress somebody (client, girl, etc.).
posted by kryptonik at 5:50 PM on June 3, 2010

So, where did you guys end up going?
posted by ericb at 2:11 PM on June 6, 2010

We ended up taking the water taxi (so much fun!) to Yankee Lobster ... which was just closing, so we walked over to No Name. The boy loved it; I like my seafood more creative and less broiled-or-fried, but that's okay. Then Saturday we hit up the aquarium, James Hook, and Emack & Bolio's, and that was fantastic.

Thanks all.
posted by dame at 6:30 AM on June 8, 2010

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