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The best (non-tourist) seafood restaurants in Boston proper, please.

I'll be visiting Boston in a few weeks and I would like to know about your best (non-tourist) seafood restaurants in Boston.
I'm coming from Dallas (seafood deprived) and would appreciate your best recommendations.
Thank you.

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    1. To get the board favorites out of the way, Neptune Oyster and Peach Farm. For a very simple "authentic local" experience you might also want to try fried clams on the North Shore (e.g. Clam Box or Woodman's) or fish and chips at somewhere like Courthouse Seafood.

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      Peach Farm
      4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

      Neptune Oyster
      63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

      1 Reply
      1. re: Luther

        This is a really good idea. Get a car and take a drive up to Cape Ann on the N Shore...Clam Box, Farnhams's.

        You'll get great seafood and a really great taste of our area and the natural beauty.

        We can all suggest "in town" seafood spots and most are mediocro to very good but a triptothe N Shore is something you won't find at home.

      2. the best chinese fish in the tank restaurant; it is located in chinatown in downtown Boston.

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        East Ocean City Restaurant
        27 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

        1. I appreciate all your suggestions but, we're not looking for "Chinese" restaurants. We want to eat Boston's wonderful, locally caught seafood. Cod, scrod, halibut, flounder, etc, and whatever else is caught locally and simply prepared in the old Boston manner. Be it, broiled, sauteed or stuffed. And, which particular "old school" restaurants serving the Boston community that are best known for their seafood.

          8 Replies
          1. re: twinwillow

            What you're asking for doesn't really exist in Boston proper: there is little "locally-caught" seafood in Boston, because Boston is a shipping port, not a fishing port. The main fishing port nearby is Gloucester, about an hour up the coast on Cape Ann. There you can get locally-caught seafood. In town, not so much: mostly you'll get chains of the Legal Seafood/Summer Shack variety, who cater mostly to tourists who assume there must be a ton of old-fashioned seafood places in Boston.

            Myself, what I'd recommend is Dolphin Seafood on Mass Ave in Cambridge, heading out of Harvard Square towards Central Square. It's not touristy, it's quite old-fashioned, and it specializes in simple preparations.

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            Dolphin Seafood
            1105 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              Also, aside from shellfish, much in the way of finfish comes From Away, due to the collapse of the fisheries in the Gulf of Maine and Maritime provinces of Canada. There is locally caught finfish, but not nearly on the scale there once was when Boston's Fish Pier was the greatest in the Western world.

              1. re: Karl S

                Yes - I can remember eating haddock as a kid that was JUST caught. So fresh & delicious -out of this world (sigh - we got it for free, too, since my uncle had a welding & forging place near where Jimmy's Harborside used to be).

            2. re: twinwillow

              One more after reading your note, Durgin Park is a famous old-school restaurant with decent seafood, also down by Quncy Market and so also touristy:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durgin-Park

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              Durgin Park
              340 Faneuil Hall Market Pl, Boston, MA 02109

              1. re: steinpilz

                Thank you.
                I'm very familiar with Durgin-Park.

              2. re: twinwillow

                Haha what's with the scare quotes

                1. re: Luther

                  Where are the square quotes? Locally-caught?

                2. re: twinwillow

                  I take your point that you want french technique-taxonomy rather than chinese, but it's worth noting that these _are_, in many posters' apparent opinions, our restaurants that prepare food in the "old Boston manner." These restaurants have been around a long time and are part of Boston's history as much as, say, the Parker House.

                3. There are very diverse opinions about Legal Seafood on this board. Somehate it, others love it. Although tourists go there, they have several branches throughout the Boston area and I , as well as many people I know, go there regularly for a greeat variety ofthe freshest fish cooked in almost any way you want it-grilled, fried, broiled, sauteed etc. There is one near the Aquarium downton and another in Copley Place.Their oysters are pristine and most Legal Seafoods has 6 for 6 before 6 deal on oysters.You can also get a clambae, steamed lobsters, baked stuffed lobsters, and lobster rolls. Neptune Oyster is a board favorite and it is NOT Chinese (Peach farm is). Neptune is in the north End Italian section and is excellent but does not take reservations and has long lines. Now wait a minute for the Legal haters to tell you not to go there.

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                  Neptune Oyster
                  63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: emilief

                    Emilief, I'm with you on the Legal bandwagon. Particularly for what the OP asked for, solid, simple fish. Otherwise for seafood in Boston, most quality restaurants will have good seafood dishes on the menu. Eastern Standard is one which also has a strong raw bar (as well as cocktail bar), and a fun vibe. Wait till Island Creek opens next door, that may be the future best answer to the question (we all hope).

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                    Eastern Standard
                    528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                    1. re: emilief

                      Legals is ok for what it is. I've had some great dishes and some failed ones. I would probably opt for the Oceanaire instead. Although Oceanaire is also a chain I've had some fabulous simply grilled fish there.

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                      Oceanaire
                      40 Court Street, Boston, MA 02108

                      1. re: Pegmeister

                        We have an Oceanaire here in Dallas at the Westin Galleria Hotel. It's (arguably) the best seafood in Dallas and, my favorite.

                        1. re: Pegmeister

                          Thank you all so much! The recommendations and suggestions that were posted after my above post "clarifying" our needs have been most helpful. We're gong to explore all those possibilities and any others that will be posted along those lines.

                          1. re: twinwillow

                            But the funny thing is, your "clarifying" post seems to be asking for very touristy spots. "Non-tourists" know that you can get excellent seafood in most restaurants in Boston, since we are not at all seafood deprived. Frequently, it is actually better than most of the "seafood" places. Depending on how long you're here, you could have memorable seafood every lunch and dinner, and never hit a "seafood" place.

                            In fact, if you hit only seafood places, I would argue that your seafood experience here would be a lesser one, than if you purposefully avoided "seafood" places (except for Neptune).

                            1. re: Alcachofa

                              I understand exactly what you mean and, it makes a lot of sense. Actually, I got to thinking about the same thing yesterday. It's, Boston! We should be able to get excellent seafood in any good local restaurant! Right?
                              OK then, how about the names of some excellent (non-touristy) restaurants, please.

                              1. re: twinwillow

                                I wouldn't say you'd get good seafood in ANY restaurant - Boston has lots of restaurants, with some horrid ones along with the great. But the hounds here are great - we'll steer you in the right direction.

                                1. re: topwater41

                                  Moulton's freshness and quality at fair to low prices is unsurpassed - I love it and eat there regularly. That said, it is NOT Boston proper and it's bare bones at best with no tablecloths, limited beer/wine selection, and premade dessert options. With proper expectations, it can't be beat - get the lobster scampi or lobster pie!

                              2. re: twinwillow

                                We'd love to hear a report back! Non-bostoners particularly appreciated around here.