HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Dining near the Aquarium?

Sel de la Terre? Somewhere in Faneuil Hall? Sportello? Looking for a decent place which is walking distance between the Aquarium and South Boston/Broadway Bridge. I don't know the North End very well, and my previous visit to Sel de la Terre was not fabulous but it was a few years ago... and advice?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Legal Seafood is right there, and a friend who often stays at the Long Wharf Marriott likes the restaurant there. I've only been that way once so I can't be of much help.

    1. sdlt can be hit or miss and there is nothing worth eating in faneuil hall. nothing. ok, wait, bertucci's pizza doesn't suck.

      flour bakery has an outpost down there for sandwiches.

      easy walking distance to north end for neptune oyster or pizzeria regina and equally easy to chinatown for peach farm.

      1. Or back to Southie for Franklin Southie (next to Broadway T stop) or St. Alphonzo's Kitchen (A St. behind Amrhein's).

        1 Reply
        1. re: mtm7654

          wonder if the op means lunch or dinner?

        2. Joe's Bar & Grill is close by but that's kind of a tourist trap. If you kept walking north along the sidewalk there for another minute you'll come upon Boston Sail Loft, which is a quaint sea shack right on the water on the border of the north end. I went there the other day on my lunch break and had the best chowder ever! Prices are reasonable, atmosphere relaxed.

          2 Replies
          1. re: dirk

            I had lunch today at the Sail Loft. I like their chowder but find it a little thick..nothing a few ice cubes won't cure..:) Their fried clams were excellent; med bellies and a perfect fry job and the appetizer portion with the chowder made for a perfect lunch.

            I'm not as hard on Joe's as some here. Good for a burger or French Dip sandwich and I've recently had a great piece of prime rib (Fri/Sat only). They use the same meat as they use at the higher priced Abe &Louie's. Full disclosure, Ms 9 works and we live on that wharf and are in there pretty often and may get better treatment; but they do seem to treat everyone pretty well.

            1. re: 9lives

              You know I may have to give the Sail Loft another look. I had an unpleasant experience with an extremely rude hostess the one time I planned on stopping in. Never even made it to the table, just turned around and walked out. In fact, I think that's the only time I ever remember doing that. By now, I'm sure that hostess is long gone.

          2. Kingfish Hall for oysters and a lobster roll is a good option IMO. I also like the Oceana restaurant at the Long Wharf Marriott, especially when the terrace is open for oudoor dining and great views.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Pegmeister

              last time i had oysters at kingfish (last month) they were full of broken bits of shell. shucker was all thumbs. it sucked because they were delicious.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                That's a shame because I had some kumomoto (sic) that were shucked perfectly just a few weeks. Guess you never know. I generally stop in there during the lunch hour. I wonder if that's the difference.

                1. re: Pegmeister

                  Thanks for the many suggestions... we are looking for dinner, never thought of Sail Loft or Oceana so thanks for the suggestion. Trying to avoid the tourist traps and the last time we ate at the Legal Seafood near the Aquarium I had difficulty believing that it was part of the chain! Poor service, very dirty and disorganized. I always seem to make poor choices in the North End so perhaps it will be St. Alphonzo's, always a great experience. Many thanks to everyone for the help.

                  1. re: truro

                    If you go to Sail Loft, stick to the simpler dishes. Their fried fish, scallops or clams, chowder, broiled scrod are good.

                    Avoid anything much more ambitious.. dishes like blackened/Cajun tuna. They buy their tuna from a vendor that I no longer patronize..due to a long downhill alert.

                  2. re: Pegmeister

                    had oysters there last night and they were great. warehams and wellfleets -- pristine. the rest of the dinner was meh fer sure, and the server had the personality of a doorknob.

              2. I really like SDLT myself. I was just there this past weekend. I usually get the steak frites and baked goat cheese salad, they're very reliably good. Although I have to say, my daughter's grilled cheese is usually the best thing on the table (they have the BEST grilled cheese - I should just order it myself sometime).

                1. If you intend to walk to the Broadway Bridge, it's a hefty walk, almost two miles and Amrheins is right there at A St. Not a great place, but after a long walk, I'm sure you'll appreciate it. On the other hand, give Sel de la Terre another chance. It's the best place in that area unless you want to try the newly remodeled seafood restaurant at the Boston Harbor Hotel. I tend to spend most of my time at the bar there, but the restaurant looks very nice and I think it's moderately priced.

                  1. I like the original Sel pretty well, though better at lunch. Sportello is good, but rather pricey considering the whole package: it's a brightly-lit, cramped, loud, diner-like setting. The Franklin Southie has the best food in that side of South Boston, I think, but it's quite a haul from the Aquarium, and not a nice walk at night.

                    The North End has reasonably close options that are reliable, like Prezza, Taranta, and Marco. If you're in a splurging mood, O Ya and Locke-Ober are only a ten-minute walk away.

                    Chinatown is within easy reach, too, though more like a 15-minute walk. I had a really fine meal of Sichuan and Beijing cuisine at the new New Shanghai, which boasts a two-headed kitchen these days. White tablecloths and very good food for pretty short money, plus beer/wine.

                    Incidentally, I tried the new Sel de la Terre at the Mandarin Oriental recently, and it suffers in the same way that L'Espalier does in that location: the room is far less charming than the original, kind of dark and generic-hotel-like. Food holds up, but I will take the trouble to get to the Waterfront next time.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      Thanks for all of the suggestions and think that I will give Sel at the Waterfront another shot... We did end up in Chinatown at Kaze ShabuShabu and had a fun meal, though it was shabu shabu as I have never seen before, more Asian fusion than traditional Japanese. The food and the service was excellent and the broths were very tasty. The lobster sashimi pieces were a nice touch and I felt as though I was back in Japan when there was movement from the antennae!

                      I look forward to trying New Shanghai and hope to find a good place for dim sum in the upcoming weeks. Thanks again for all of the help.

                    2. Intrigue in the Boston Harbor Hotel has changed to I think Sea Grille. They've also expanded their menu. I've never had anything bad out of their kitchen and if it is nice day/night you can sit outside. Warning though, if you are interested in night time dining, the hotel offters free music and movies and it tends to get very crowded. You don't need a table to enjoy the festivites so people just stand or sit on the steps.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kate used to be 50

                        The former Intrigue is called the Rowes Wharf Sea Grille now, and is run by the Meritage chef. It was very favorably reviewed by the Phoenix and the Herald recently.


                      2. I have been consistently happy with that SDLT location as it is close to my office and a place I frequent. The food is typically well exectuted and just what I am expecting when I order.

                        1. In case you don't already know the Harbor Walk now extends all the way to Gillette buildings near the Broadway Bridge. From the Aquarium follow along the harbor and then cross over the Northern Ave bridge and pick it up again near the Barking Crab. You'll end up two blocks from Franklin Cafe.