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Union Oyster House - is it worth it?

We are coming to Boston for the first time and meeting up with some old friends. Already made reservations at Union Oyster House, but seemed like a tourist trap? Is it a must for the first time Boston visitor or are there any other "must" places to eat? Dinning w/ a 7 yr who eats anything and will be in town for 4 nights...need suggestions. Thanks!

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Union Oyster House
41 Union Street, Boston, MA 02108

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  1. Sadly, Union Oyster is definitely a tourist trap. Neptune Oyster on Salem St is the place for oysters. That said, it's a small place, and not sure how child friendly it is. The only reason I say that is I don't believe I've ever seen children there. Another option for a raw bar or seafood might be Kingfish Hall in the Fanueil Hall area. I like it a lot, but their are others on the board who wouldn't agree. It's a much larger place, and I know they are child friendly. Hopefully others will chime in.

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

    Kingfish Hall
    188 South Market Building, Boston, MA 02109

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pegmeister

      second Kingfish Hall. Would not go to Neptune with a child.

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      Kingfish Hall
      188 South Market Building, Boston, MA 02109

      1. re: emilief

        Another vote for KH, but book a table upstairs, mabye one of the banquets. Downstairs is loud & crowded & the floor was really sticky around the bar.

    2. Sadly, UOH is firmly in tourist trap territory with poor food.

      The only worthwhile thing to do at UOH is eat raw bar at the old, historic oyster bar downstairs. I would put that close to a "must" for visitors but avoid everything else.

      2 Replies
      1. re: 9lives

        If you go during slow times to enjoy some oysters at the old bar, the history, and Jimmy the shucker's personality, then it is worthwile.

        1. re: LStaff

          If "Jimmy" is the red-headed guy, then I agree!

      2. Your gut feeling is right. It is a tourist trap.

        If you MUST go to a Boston restaurant that is very old and not duplicated elsewhere, I would suggest Durgin Park, which is nearby. Some people on this board do not like it - it is certainly not fine dining - but I think it is a fine place for a perfectly decent meal that will fit a variety of tastes and features old-fashioned Boston-type food on the menu. The prime rib is a winner, they do oysters, and the Indian Pudding is a great regional dessert that nobody makes at home any more.

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        Durgin Park
        1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109

        2 Replies
        1. re: PinchOfSalt

          Wholeheartedly agree wiith POS's assessment. Fish Chowder at Durgin Park is pretty good, ditto oyster stew.

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          Durgin Park
          1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109

          1. re: PinchOfSalt

            Late reply, but jeepers, the one time I've been to DP the meal was horrifyingly expensive for what you get. It was a birthday party; when the birthday boy requested the same location the following year, the group unanimously refused.

          2. But did you see that Union Oyster House is where James Gandolfini chose to eat lunch the other day? Anyone know what his taste is like?

            http://www.boston.com/ae/celebrity/ar...

            Q

            1. The Herald and Globe routinely run these "celeb dined here" items, and 80% of them seem to be Legal Sea Foods. Most of the rest are head-scratchers: you think, "I know you can afford to dine anywhere, and some concierge steered you to that mediocre place?" I'm reminded of the time Dan Quayle came to town to dine with his Boston-school-attending daughter, and they famously went to Ciao Bella. Grub Street Boston collects them here: http://grubstreet.com/tags/boston/cel... Puzzling.

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