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Neptune Oyster or something like it? Recos needed.

b
balthazar May 5, 2010 10:34 AM

I'm a Toronto CH and will be visiting Boston. I was hoping to have dinner at Neptune Oyster (lots written here, it sounds so good!), with 3 people on a Sunday night, around 8pm. I'm wary of the no reservations policy, though - we don't want to be waiting in line, hungry, for a long time. We won't have a car and will be in the North End (and don't know the city well) so easy to walk to is best, if we have to take the T-line that might be OK.

Is Neptune Oyster typically really busy at 8pm on Sunday? Are there other similar places (good raw bar, good, fresh, simple seafood, Bostonian) you'd recommend that are close and easy to get to? How does Kingfish Hall compare? (Not looking to go to Legal Seafood - I'd prefer a place that's not part of a chain). I'd go to Neptune in a heartbeat but am really worried about the no reservations thing. Thanks in advance.

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

Kingfish Hall
188 South Market Building, Boston, MA 02109

  1. p
    phabib Aug 4, 2010 09:07 AM

    I highly recommend B&G Oysters. Plus the atmosphere is great there and the south end is a great place to take someone from out of town and not as touristy as the North End.

    1. m
      Marisa23 Jul 25, 2010 05:57 PM

      Made it to Neptune Oyster tonight. It was an effort to get their since there is no parking really close by and some of the roads were closed due to a street festival. Once we finally hiked our way there, we only had to wait 5 minutes. I can't believe how small that place is, and be ready to make friends with the people next to you. It's a fun environment though.

      My mom loved the hot buttered lobster roll. She was so tired of trying the typical mayo lobster roll and not enjoying them. The buttered style suited her. The roll was amazing, and so were the fresh French fries. The oysters were so fresh, and I really enjoyed the tuna ribbons salad, Neptune's take on the Nicoise salad. I know I will be craving this light, fresh dish soon.

      I can't wait to go back to this place without my baby in tow. Too crowded for young kids.

      By the way, Kingfish Hall does not compare to this place in quality.

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

      Kingfish Hall
      188 South Market Building, Boston, MA 02109

      1 Reply
      1. re: Marisa23
        p
        phatchris Jul 26, 2010 09:49 AM

        Parcel 7 parking garage is just across the greenway for future reference, and certain North End businesses validate.

      2. m
        Marisa23 Jul 23, 2010 10:13 AM

        Monday is my birthday, and you have convinced me to make a special trip for lunch. Is there usually a wait a lunch time?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Marisa23
          p
          Pegmeister Jul 23, 2010 11:02 AM

          I've generally been able to walk in at lunch time, but it is summer so go a little early or around 2:30 and you should be ok.

        2. b
          balthazar Jul 22, 2010 06:20 PM

          Just posting back belatedly to say thank you to everyone for the recommendations, and especially to everyone who urged me to give Neptune a try anyway. OMG. I went. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Had to wait a bit (15 min. or so) in line on a Sunday night but that was OK. We ordered oysters on the half shell, then that oh-so-incredible lobster roll with, of course, melted butter! It was heaven! The lobster was wonderful, but even the BUN was terrific. Service was good that night too. I sent some friends from New York there the next day, and they said it was the best lobster roll they'd ever had, and they had had many.

          It was by far my most favourite meal while in Boston (I also managed to get to Durgin Park, Legal Seafood, Grotto, and a few other places).

          Thanks all! It's been a few months since I went there but I'm still fantasizing about Neptune Oyster. :)

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

          Durgin Park
          1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109

          1 Reply
          1. re: balthazar
            p
            purple bot Jul 23, 2010 05:37 AM

            Glad it worked out! Thanks for reporting back.

          2. p
            Pegmeister May 5, 2010 05:50 PM

            Not sure what Neptune will be like at that time on a Sunday, but If there is a line out the door, I would try Kingfish in the Faneuil Hall area. Neptune is superior, but I wouldn't hesitate to stop and have a meal at Kingfish. They have a good raw bar, and I actually like their lobster roll better than Neptune.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Pegmeister
              hotoynoodle May 6, 2010 08:42 AM

              i have had very good oysters at kingfish, with good shucking. the rest of the menu is very uneven and overpriced. neptune is worth the wait.

            2. d
              damneddemand May 5, 2010 12:18 PM

              What about B&G Oysters? They take reservations, and are (IMHO) similar in quality to Neptune. I know it has its detractors but I've always enjoyed meals there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: damneddemand
                hondodog May 6, 2010 06:12 AM

                Neptune has a better kitchen than B&G. And Neptune has a fry chef (a really good fry chef). And I think the atmosphere is better at Neptune. And the lobster roll is much better at Neptune. Not to say B&G is bad...it ain't. But Neptune is better. And, as another poster wrote, you can give your cell # at Neptune and take a walk around the North End. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

              2. s
                sakeandgin May 5, 2010 11:15 AM

                Mother's Day, College Graduation's. Celtic's at garden 3:30 PM, Yankees in town for Sunday night game......GOOD LUCK

                3 Replies
                1. re: sakeandgin
                  r
                  Ricardo Malocchio May 5, 2010 11:27 AM

                  I could not agree more. This weekend you need reservations, at least as a backup.

                  Others disagree, but I don't care at all for Kingfish Hall. Had one of the worst dishes of my life there and I cannot stand the Disneyland touristy atmosphere of the area. Yuk.

                  1. re: Ricardo Malocchio
                    p
                    purple bot May 5, 2010 12:42 PM

                    Do we know if the OP is talking about this Sunday? ('cause yeah, that could be tricky) It just says "a" Sunday night.

                    1. re: purple bot
                      b
                      balthazar May 5, 2010 01:13 PM

                      No, not this Sunday, sometime in the next few weeks. Thanks for checking!

                2. p
                  purple bot May 5, 2010 11:10 AM

                  Put your name in, leave a cell number, and take a walk around while you wait. It's worth it, and it won't be *that* long. Definitely try the fried clams, fish tacos (sunday special) and crab salad. Lobster rolls are good too. With 3 people you should be able to try a range of things.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: purple bot
                    b
                    balthazar May 5, 2010 11:15 AM

                    Thanks ljt064 & purple bot! You two are making my mouth water with all this talk of oysters, fried clams, beer and lobster rolls...

                    That is great feedback. We'll try for Neptune, and have someone get there a bit early to put our name in for a table. Much appreciated!

                    1. re: purple bot
                      t
                      twentyoystahs May 5, 2010 06:37 PM

                      I agree with Purple Bot ---if it were anywhere else it might be a big inconvenience to wait but the North End is probably the best neighorhood in Boston to people-watch and walk around in. Give them your cell number and then maybe grab a drink (and even an appetizer, if the wait seems like it will be really long.) It'll go quick --probably 1/2 hr -45 min max and yes, will be worth it.
                      Second the lobster rolls, esp the hot ones. Though you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu. Enjoy!

                    2. l
                      ljt064 May 5, 2010 10:55 AM

                      A Sunday night will be tough. On a nice night, even tougher. Neptune has very limited seating and it could be tight getting in at 8:00 without a wait. My favortie part of Neptune is to have a dozen or so of the oysters and several cold beers, then head to a good place for the main course (Tosca is one of my favorites). If Neptune is busy for that I got the Ye Old Oyster House for good raw bar and great atmosphere.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ljt064
                        w
                        winecafe95 May 5, 2010 07:34 PM

                        I'd vote a strong NO for Union Oyster House (**originally I read too quickly...too late at night and thought it was the same as Ye Old Oyster House...my apologies!**)...it's a tourist trap and have been rumored to pre-shuck oysters, unless you specifically ask (and then get attitude from servers who let you know it will be a wait)....I went once with out of town visitors looking for "typical New England" eons ago and never plan on darkening the doors again.

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