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Aug 31, 2007 10:42 AM

Lobster near the docks?

My parents are going to be in town and (as midwesterners) feel that the thing to do is have lobster near the ocean in Boston. I don't want to disappoint them by not honoring their request, but I also want to find someplace that my wife and I can eat without feeling like we're surrounded by tourists. Any suggestions?

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  1. I like the Lobster Pool up in Rockport. Lobster in the rough, paper plates, picnic tables, BYOB, gorgeous view.

    1. anthony's pier 4 would prob fit the bill

      3 Replies
      1. re: joth68

        Except that they'll be surrounded by tourists. It's a tougher request than it should be.

        1. re: Joanie

          Considering that it is labor day, I think most places are going to be mobbed with tourists.

          If you don't care about ambience and don't actually need to see the water while eating than yankee lobster could be a good choice.

          1. re: joth68

            I like Yankee and stopped in today for some lobster bisque..Their chowder is good too..and it's located perfectly for my bike ride break..:) If I were coming from the Midwest, I think I'd be disappointed in the ambience and view of Northern Ave.

            I'd recommend NoName, Sail Loft (my new trick is to have them cut the "too thick" with clam broth), or barking Crab over Yankee.

            If you have the time to get out of Boston proper, Barnacle/Marblehead is a great spot..or Lobster Pool in Rockport or lots of the other Essex/Ipswich clam shacks.

            Chauncey Creek in S Maine is a 75 ish min drive but a beautiful spot..worth the trip if you have the time.


      2. If you are willing to drive, I'd say The Landing up in Marblehead out on the deck.

        1. If lobsta is the thing, then you have more choices than the usual Chowhound-approved ones. It's a simple meal that a decent kitchen can turn out, so places that otherwise have a challenge preparing more complex dishes can turn out a lobsta just fine.

          So for lobsta on a dock, Barking Crab fits the bill perfectly. It's a bit off the beaten path for tourists, and on a weekday night you're going to be surrounded by more people who work in the local offices. On a dock beats near the docks. And I think that their basic seafood preparations are pretty good.

          No Name is another restaurant that does the basics very well, on Fish Pier (is that dock-y enough?).

          Legal Seafoods at the Aquarium is more touristy at lunch. There are fewer around there later in the evening. Anthony's Pier 4 is also big with tourists (and not as good as the other options) but because of the size of the restaurant it should be peaceful enough.

          And for your consideration, the lobster roll at J. Hook & Company and a bench on the Harborwalk makes a pleasant afternoon. They'll also pack lobster to take back to the Midwest.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kbw18

            Well, we delayed a little to help avoid crowds and are all going to the Barking Crab tonight. I'll post here afterward on how it goes!

          2. The Sail Loft on Atlantic Ave serves lobster, and it's right on (over?) the harbor. I suspect it can be touristy, but it wasn't too bad the couple of times I've been there. The bar does become a meat market, so maybe an early dinner is a good idea.

            Not great food, but the lobster is fine and the view is nice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: erwocky

              The Sail Loft is actually a good rec, and one that I never really think of when I hear of lobster requests, but should.
              It is right on the water, and if you stick with the basics, lobster, fish and chips, chowder, apps, etc. the food isn't half bad. Plus they have free oreos in glass jars up at the bar (or they used to!) Plus, I don't think it's that touristy at all and it's a great way to see the waterfront area of Boston. In fact, I have a friend who grew up in Boston, and I always think about how when she went for a meal with her grandma (who also was a Boston-native), this is where they more along the lines of a "boston institution" than "tourist trap."
              I also think the Barking Crab is a good rec, but it's more "lobster in the rough-ish" with picnic tables and very casual dining, less of a sit-down sort of affair. Sail Loft is not formal by any means but Barking Crab is a just a notch down. Depends what you're in the mood for. Both fine for what they are.
              Best suggestion of all would be to head out of Boston, somewhere on the North Shore. The previous rec of Lobster Pool in Rockport is certainly a good one, plus there are clam shacks in Essex like Farnhams, Essex Seafood, even Woodman's --that all have their fans. Again, just depends on what you're up for. Enjoy!