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Lobster Rolls and Chowder near Fenway Park

I am flying in from Calgary, Alberta for the Fenway Park 100th Anniversary game weekend vs the Yankees and was hoping to receive some suggestions of where to go near Fenway Park for lobster rolls and chowder. Also looking for any other "unique" unforgettable food stop suggestions near the Fenway Park area.

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  1. Your best option for Lobster Rolls and Chowder in the area would be Island Creek Oyster Bar. Personally I find that there are much more interesting items on the menu there though as it is arguably one of our best Seafood Restaurants in the city currently.

    Other options in the Fenway area:

    - Trattoria Toscana
    - Sweet Cheeks
    - Eastern Standard
    - Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar
    - La Verdad

    Check out the menu's and search the board for reviews to see if any interest you. Also as a heads up all the restaurants in the area fill up fast on Game Day, so reservations are recommended.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Matt H

      The big weekend is getting closer - thanks for the suggestions. Have been doing some further research - any opinions on the following:
      Lobsta Love Food Truck
      Coolidge Corner Clubhouse - lunch special lobster roll
      Mike's City Diner
      Jasper Whites Summer Shack
      Black Rose or Ned Devines - chowder
      Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen

      Peldog - Red Sox Nation Foodie

      1. re: Peldog

        Just to get it out the way, I have not had a chance to try the Lobsta Love Food Truck and only had drinks never food at the Black Rose or Ned Devines.

        Coolidge Corner Clubhouse is really mediocre in my opinion. I have been a couple times because I work near by and was drawn in by the Lobster Roll special. I found it to be a run of the mill Lobster Roll, not terrible but you can do alot better. As an alternative you could try Yankee Lobster or James Hook for an affordable Lobster Roll or Neptune Oyster for arguably Boston's best but higher priced.

        Mikes City Diner is great. Its basic diner fare, but done very well. I would say it is well loved throughout the board from what I have read.

        Summer Shack is decent if you know what to order. The Steamers and Fried Clams are solid and the Pan Roasted Lobster is amazing. Definitely a place with both hits and misses. As I mentioned above though, you could do alot better at Island Creek Oyster Bar.

        I have a really difficult time recommending Popeye's to anyone traveling from out of town, because it is a chain that is readily available in many cities. I do notice though that you are from Calgary and Popeye's has not expanded there as far as i know. Dont get me wrong I really do like Popeye's quite a bit and crave it every so often but it is definitely not in the "must hit" category in the least. Lets say you are hungry for a snack after the game to hold you over? Then it would be worth a stop for some chicken and a biscuit.

        1. re: Matt H

          Thanks for the heads up on Coolidge and Popeye's - I mentioned Black Rose and Ned Devines because i had heard they have won some chowder competitions over the year's - beers and chowder go well together, maybe I'll combine a pub,beer and chowder tour of Boston in between games - Mike's for breakfast -close to Fenway??? Summer Shack close to Fenway? i'll try your suggestions... How close to Fenway is Yankee & James Hook?

          1. re: Peldog

            summer shack is walking distance from fenway.

            james hook and yankee lobster are a hike -- they are in the seaport district.

            1. re: Peldog

              I understand wanting to stay close to Fenway before the game, but aren't you going to leave that neighborhood at all? Have T pass, will travel. Boston is small and easy to get around by foot or subway.

              I wouldn't call Mike's "close" to Fenway (but it's certainly not terribly far, either). Summer Shack is within walking distance. Maybe look at these places on a map so you can see their proximity to Fenway?

              1. re: LeoLioness

                Buying a T-Pass to get around - Any opinion on the Barking Crab Restaurant - was suggested as a possible place to check out...

                1. re: Peldog

                  Under no circumstances should you eat at the Barking Crab. Awful doesn't begin to describe it. It's possibly the worst restaurant in Boston.

                  1. re: Fly

                    Thanks for the warning... appreciate all the advice to help fine tune my Fenway weekend...

                  2. re: Peldog

                    Barking Crab is a tourist trap of the worst sort. Avoid. (And possibly, avoid further suggestions from that person!)

                    1. re: LeoLioness

                      An employee I was talking to on the phone at Fenway about tickets/tours gave me the Barking Crab recommendation...

                      1. re: Peldog

                        If you want the "wow, I am sitting on the water (really, the Fort Point channel) eating fried seafood", BC will check that box, though not that well (unless a good bit of alcohol is involved) but if you want that, at least go to Legal Harborside.. better food, and if its warm, and the doors are open to the harbor, a really nice place for lunch. Of course, its no where near Fenway. I'd still aim for Island Creek.

                        1. re: grant.cook

                          You're right - on Sunday before I fly out I should make my way down to the Harbor - sit somewhere and have a few pints with some great seafood and a view...

                          1. re: Peldog

                            Or ECG for brunch if you need a hair 'o the dog.

            2. re: Peldog

              I think Mike's is closed for renovations.

              1. re: Guinness02122

                Thanks for the heads up - I'll ask around to confirm when in Boston...

          2. I agree completely W/ Matt . Big menu hits for us at Isl COB are: their lobster roe noodles dish, scallop dish and occasionally available razor clams, their table biscuit, their oysters. A big plus for ICOB is its large size and that it takes reservations (esp. when Fenway events cause crowding everywhere in the area.) I would reserve asap. If Open Table doesn't show seats for your desired time, call the restnt and they may have seats.
            a little more info (do a CH Search for more details.) :

            Trattoria Toscana small Italian chef-owned bistro. no reservations and very popular

            - Sweet Cheeks- new BBQ spot; well reviewed

            - Eastern Standard- a bit of French bistro style; big. right next to ICOB.

            - Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar- meat and seafood

            - La Verdad- authentic Mexican tacos and a fuller dining room menu.Terrific Tortas, fish tacos and carne asada tacos; some other fillings are less successful.

            For high end Asian/French fusion, Clio's is excellent and near Fenway.

            12 Replies
            1. re: opinionatedchef

              La Verdad sounds good - near Fenway - have to try it , ICOB and Trattoria Toscana out. Thanks for the feedback - can't wait for the Fenway and food weekend... and the odd beverage or two
              Any thoughts about:
              Canestaro Pizzeria
              Live and Kicking Lobsters - for lobster roll
              Samual Adams tour
              Doyles Cafe and Brendan Behan Pub

              Peldog - Red Sox Nation Foodie

              1. re: Peldog

                sam adams is all about marketing and is no longer a local beer, nor a microbrew. do a tour of the harpoon brewery instead. local and way better beer.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Thanks - I'll check out Harpoon while I'm there, good local beer???

                  1. re: Peldog

                    Very good local beer. If you're into craft beer, pick up anything by Pretty Things. They're out of Cambridge and make great beer. No tour sadly.

                    1. re: TheBostonian

                      Thanks for the local beer recommendations...

                      1. re: TheBostonian

                        I wholeheartedly second picking up some Pretty Things if you come across it!! If you're into craft beer, of course. Also White Birch

                        1. re: kubasd

                          Thanks for the tips - looking forward to trying many of your local beers...

                      2. re: Peldog

                        Try the Ipswich and Berkshire Brewing Co. lines of beer while you're here. They are some of the best in the area. Notch is a pretty good line and are all session beers as far as I know.

                        1. re: Guinness02122

                          Always looking for new local beer experiences - thanks for the suggestions - I'll give them a taste while there...

                    2. re: Peldog

                      Stay away from Canestaro; you'll be able to get in without a problem, which, on that weekend, should be a good indicator of its mediocrity. Stick with the classics at the Summer Shack and you should be able to get good seafood without having a huge wait.

                      1. re: ladym16

                        Thanks for the feedback - any word back there in Bean Town if DropKick Murphy's are playing anywhere during the 100th Birthday weekend... Is Summer Shack far from Fenway?

                        1. re: Peldog

                          DKM's have no upcoming local shows on their website. Wouldn't surprise me if they did a brief set at Fenway that weekend, though.

                          With Papelbon gone, we won't be hearing Shipping Up to Boston at the ballpark nearly as often now.

                  2. 3rd Island Creek - reserve seats at the back bar asap.

                    1 Reply
                    1. while I also love Island Creek, and would recommend it...I have to say that in 4 or 5 visits the one "miss" I've had there was their chowder. It has too much bacon and not enough clams. I thought I was having potato-bacon soup, and not clam chowder the time I ordered it. So you should go there, but maybe not for the chowder.

                      I've heard there is going to be a new place in the Fenway area, called Happy's Bar and Kitchen, in the space on Boylston Street that used to be Burton's grill. it's being opened by Michael Schlow (Radius, Tico...) and is supposed to be an upscale diner. Not sure if it will be open by the time April rolls around.

                      And can I just add that I'm jealous...how did you score tickets to the 100th anniversary game? That was a tougher ticket than opening day this year!

                      P.S....you can get "Legals clam chowder" inside Fenway park...its not terrible, but its often not really hot which is a shame. Its rather good to have when you go to a cold, April game.

                      29 Replies
                      1. re: ChinaCat

                        Which would you rate better - ICOB or Neptune Oyster
                        I've heard that Happy's is opening April 23 - maybe they are trying to push up the date to be ready for the 100th birthday weekend...
                        The tickets - I got lucky in the Red Sox ticket opportunity lottery...
                        Is McGreevys a good pub to take in - other suggestions...

                        Peldog - Red Sox Nation Foodie

                        1. re: Peldog

                          For lobster rolls Neptune is a better option than ICOB by a wide margin.

                          1. re: Gabatta

                            Sadly the lobster roll at ICOB seems to have gotten smaller lately... you might consider getting your lobster roll elsewhere and getting a pastrami sandwich instead at the Bleacher Bar in Fenway...also i would avoid the pasta dishes at ICOB, which tend to be bland/ watery in my experience, with only token amounts of lobster or short rib (in the case of the lobster roe noodles) and no discernable egg (in the case of their "carbonara"), stick with fried clams or raw bar (e.g. shrimp cocktail) instead... also not a huge fan of Summer Shack, where I found the lobster to be on the tough side

                            1. re: Gabatta

                              By the sounds of it, I'll have to eat at Neptune before I fly out on Sunday evening...

                              1. re: Peldog

                                Neptune opens at 11:30 am and is easier to get into earlier than later. Late lunch also easier. The North End neighborhood is an old Italian location and fun to walk around. You've asked about Doyle's...it's a real, old Boston pub in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Standard to below average pub food, but great decor and atmosphere and full of locals. Live and Kicking in Cambridge not worth the trip. Enjoy your trip and let us know how it goes....we are an impassioned group here and you can tell how much everyone has enjoyed discussing your plans!

                                1. re: Madrid

                                  Thanks for the advice - I'll go exploring on Sunday, Neptune for sure...

                            2. re: Peldog

                              Neptune Oyster is good, but a long way from Fenway.. I'd hit ICOB - good and much closer. Are you wanting to stick close to Fenway all the time, or open to wandering?

                              If you can move around a bit, I'd hit up someplace in Chinatown - maybe Gourmet Dumpling House - unless Calgary has delicious Chinese food. Closer to Fenway, Elephant Walk is always tasty (French Cambodian). Or take a long hike down Comm Ave and get a bahn mi at Pho Viets in the formerly-super-88 food court for lunch..

                              Alive and Kicking is in Cambridge across the river - maybe if the weather is nice, but still a long way from the Fenway.

                              Oh - and save room for a Fenway frank.... its just a hot dog, but its part of watching a game there..

                              1. re: grant.cook

                                Is hitting Neptune on way to airport suggested - I eat plenty of great Chinese/Vietnamese
                                in Calgary - so looking for what I can't get here, and that's great seafood...
                                Is Alive and Kicking closer than Summer Shack to the Fenway area... A friend of mine said to check out the Luis Tiant Cubano sandwich outside Fenway Park... any other Fenway food musts at the game...

                              2. re: Peldog

                                I have to admit...I've never been to Neptune. Since I live in the 'burbs, I just don't go to Boston restaurants that don't take reservations.

                                Summer Shack will generally get panned on chowhound, and I know some have had bad experiences there. But I have eaten the pan roasted lobster at 3 different branches and loved it every time. I also like the fried clams, and the grilled clams with garlic butter. They do a nice job with oysters too (I don't eat them, but my husband always orders them there). So I agree with Matt, that its decent if you order the basics. I think they have pretty good chowder too, though I admit its been some time since I had it.

                                I don't know McGreevys. Game On is kind of cool, with good beers and loads of TV's, but the music is deafening. I like Boston Beer Works, although it tends to be very crowded. the bar at Eastern Standard is the best for cocktails, but also will be a zoo. Right next door is a new cocktail bar called the Hawthorne. I'm hoping to try that out sometime soon, but I hear there are lines out the door. I've never been to the Bleacher Bar, but I would definitely recommend that. you can actually watch batting practice from in there.

                                1. re: ChinaCat

                                  anyplace within spitting distance of fenway is always packed on game days and that weekend will be a special kinda zoo.

                                  mcgreevy's is owned partly by some members of the dropkick murphy's. all sorts of cool baseball memorabilia, but not someplace to eat.

                                  hawthorne and island creek are only open after 4:00. citizens opens at 5:00.

                                  neptune is a bit of hike from fenway, and is tiny. it will be tough to get in at all.

                                  1. re: ChinaCat

                                    Summer Shack here I come - how far from Fenway - Doing some pub crawling on Thursday night I think - any opinions on: Doyles Cafe/Brendan Behan Pub/The Baseball Tavern/The Sevens Ale House/The Purple Shamrock... other Pub suggestions?

                                    1. re: Peldog

                                      where are you staying? doyles, which i love, is nowhere near the sevens. you can totes skip the purple shamrock and the black rose. nobody eats there and only tourists and drunk townie kids go there.

                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                        Staying at Beacon Street Guest House - my buddy heard of some pubs one might check out while in Boston - Doyles, McGreevys, Sevens, Brendan Behan, The Corner Tavern - we are getting a T-Pass to get around - any suggestions for an evening pub crawl, or an area to stay within with a few pubs by each other...

                                        1. re: Peldog

                                          The pubs you've listed are pretty traditional, so if that's what you're looking for, you're good. Other places I'd recommend:

                                          Buokwski's, right by Summer Shack in the Back Bay - cash only but good selection. It's a bit dive-y, but in a good way.

                                          Publick House in Brookline. Best beer selection in the city, in my opinion.

                                          As for a pub crawl area, Back Bay is decent for that. McGreevy's is right by Bukowski's, Lir, Pour House, Solas, and a few other paces. There are a ton of restaurants/bars on Newbury and Boylston St in that area, so you won't run out of places to go. Down by Park St and the Financial District there are a bunch of places too, though bigger ranges in prices/quality. Stoddard's and JM Curley's are good and not terribly priced.

                                          I still vote for Publick House. You could easily spend many happy hours there. I think it's also near The Abbey, which is smaller but also good.

                                          1. re: TheBostonian

                                            Thanks for the pub suggestions - I'll pass them on to my friend as recommended weekend options...

                                    2. re: ChinaCat

                                      I ate at Summer Shack by Fenway last night.

                                      The bad: Two in our party had steamed lobster and it was overcooked. The lobster potstickers were bad.

                                      The good: everything from the raw bar was pretty damn terrific. The oysters tasted very fresh and were properly shucked with lots of liquor and no shell bits. The service was friendly without being intrusive.

                                      I didn't take the chance to try the pan roasted lobster. I wish I had. The lobster roll at Summer Shack is $22. And I didn't try it. I'm going to stick it to my fellow Minnesotans who whine about the price of a lobster roll from a truck in downtown Minneapolis ($18 for the king size, IIRC).

                                      I thought it wasn't bad. I'd like to try ICOB. Maybe tonight.

                                      1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                                        Thanks for the feedback on Summer Shack - I love my raw oysters - I was told their fried clams were worth trying along with the pan roasted lobster - anyone try the chowder?

                                        1. re: Peldog

                                          I've sort of given up on a lot of Boston chowders - WAY too creamy for my taste. I prefer the lighter Rhode Island style, if you can find it on menus. Legal usually does a decent version of it as the "lite clam"

                                          You are talking a lot of food. Fried clams can be pretty filling and decadent - a nice summer treat. Of course, the north shore is a bit of a hike from Fenway. Decide if you want the cheaper clam strips or the full-belly fried clams, wherever you go..

                                          1. re: grant.cook

                                            i don't get clam strips at all. battered rubber bands. blech.

                                            1. re: grant.cook

                                              Generally speaking, you never want clam strips.

                                              1. re: grant.cook

                                                I like the full-belly clams better than strips - any suggestions on the best fried full-belly clams...

                                                  1. re: LeoLioness

                                                    I second LL on Neptune for fried clams. Consistently great. Delicious home made tarter sauce as well.

                                                    1. re: LeoLioness

                                                      It sounds like i should have a seafood feed at Neptune on Sunday before leaving...
                                                      Does it have an outdoor patio...

                                                        1. re: Peldog

                                                          No patio, unfortunately. And it's pretty small, so factor in some extra time in case they have a wait. Definitely worth it, though.

                                                        2. re: LeoLioness

                                                          Thanks for the feedback - it looks like a lobster roll and fried clams at Neptune - with a pint or two - before getting on the plane Sunday...

                                                          1. re: Peldog

                                                            neptune's burger is total hangover food: it includes fried oysters on top.

                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                              Thanks - I'll check it out...love fried oysters, actually oysters any way...

                                          2. Skip the Fenway franks, they're gross.

                                            Get a sausage with onions and peppers and Doctor Pepper's special hot sauce at his cart outside by game on. You can bring it in with you.

                                            35 Replies
                                            1. re: C. Hamster

                                              First, Fenway Franks aren't gross. They're fantastic and traditional.

                                              Second, because there are about 8 sausage carts, it's important to note that Doctor Pepper's cart is the second cart from the corner on Lansdowne Street, counting from Brookline (the corner with Game On and the Cask and Flagon). He has a Yellow and Red sign, and it's called "The Sausage Connection", not to be confused with The Sausage King or The Sausage Guy.

                                              Edit: You have to ask for hot sauce. It's not available on the condiments table, lest someone get a nasty surprise. It's got a kick.

                                              1. re: Fly

                                                They dump them directly from the plastic pack into hot water ... sorry but that's gross. They are traditional, however.

                                                Good directions to the Doctor.

                                                1. re: C. Hamster

                                                  Isn't Speeds opening up near Fenway/Longwood soon? If the OP wants a Hot Dog, cant do much better.

                                                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                      Did it fall through for the Peterborough st "Brick and Mortar" Store or for him setting up his cart a couple days a week in the Longwood area? I heard about the former, but was hoping the cart deal was still on.

                                                      1. re: Matt H

                                                        According to the current schedule (starting next week, running to May 1), he's going to be in front of 140 Fenway, but only on Fridays from 3 to 9.

                                                        1. re: Matt H

                                                          How close to Fenway is the Longwood area - and should I try a Speeds Hot Dog...

                                                      2. re: Matt H

                                                        Is Speeds a famous Boston Frank??? and must I experience one - I had a great Chicago Style Hot Dog while visiting Wrigley Field this past summer

                                                        1. re: Peldog

                                                          Its very well loved and its awesome. The location that he will be at on Fridays (Thanks Jenny for the info) is about a 10-15min walk away from Fenway Park.

                                                          Here is the link http://www.bostonspeeddog.com/ Please note that the location on his site is not the Friday location we are speaking about, just didnt want to send you walking to Dorchester from Fenway.

                                                          1. re: Matt H

                                                            Thanks for the Speed Dog link - I'll show it to my friend tonight - looks like it would be worth the walk..

                                                            1. re: Peldog

                                                              Note - its huge.. its a really big marinated grilled dog with tasty toppings.. don't think of it as a snack. It will linger well into the next mealtime.

                                                              1. re: grant.cook

                                                                It's a foodie weekend - I think it will make a nice snack... and should soak up some of the alcohol consumed...

                                                      3. re: C. Hamster

                                                        I know how they cook them. But that's a hot dog. You may as well say they dump them directly from the plastic pack onto a grill.

                                                      4. re: Fly

                                                        I like my heat - Sausage Connection sounds like a plan - just before my Luis Tiant Cubano sandwich and Fenway Frank - any other Fenway Food suggestions...

                                                      5. re: C. Hamster

                                                        Thanks for the recommendation - any other Fenway food suggestions one should not miss...

                                                          1. re: barleywino

                                                            I hear that sandwich should be accompanied by a side of their fried Dill Pickles - what local beers would you suggest in the Bleacher Bar...

                                                          2. re: Peldog

                                                            Skip the ballpark frank. Stop by Lower Depths for a very good beer selection and a fenway frank for a dollar before the game. 476 comm ave.

                                                            1. re: Bellachefa

                                                              Thanks for another great pre-game suggestion - I think the day will start early on Friday - when can they officially pour the first pub pints on Friday morning near Fenway... 100th birthday celebration starts with a good local pint... and some good food... which pub near Fenway should I start in???

                                                              1. re: Peldog

                                                                can't help you with early morning libations, but the best beer at Fenway is Harpoon IPA at the stand at Yawkey Way outside- better atmosphere then the indoor concessions.

                                                                1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                  Can you tell me where a good place near Fenway is to eat breakfast Friday morning - want to stay connected near the park pre-game...

                                                                  1. re: Peldog

                                                                    while undoubtedly not the cheapest, you could eat breakfast at Eastern Standard. I've never had it (though I have been there for brunch), I imagine its very good.

                                                                    1. re: ChinaCat

                                                                      breakfast is very good there and they can start serving booze at 8:00! lol. many of the places closer to the park won't open til 11:00.

                                                                      1. re: ChinaCat

                                                                        Had a Boston weekend planning session last night - watched the PBS special Inside Fenway Park - An Icon and had a few Sam Adams - looked up some Friday morning Breakfast stops - (coming from Beacon Street Guest House) thoughts on:
                                                                        Eastern Standard
                                                                        Thorton's Fenway Grill
                                                                        Trident Booksellers and Cafe
                                                                        Other options???

                                                                      2. re: Peldog

                                                                        The Busy Bee on Beacon Street (@ Carlton Street) is a coffee shop that hasn't changed since I first ate breakfast there in 1978. It's about a 5 min walk to the park. Save your money for the beer and the oysters.

                                                                        The bars around me are open at 9 am.

                                                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                          How does the Busy Bee compare with: Eastern Standard/Thorton's/Trident - just looking for a good solid start (quality comfort food) to a long day... and are all the local pubs open and pouring at 9:00...

                                                                          1. re: Peldog

                                                                            Busy Bee is like the Greek Diner on Sat Night Live if you are old enough to recall that. Basic cheap pancakes or eggs, etc. Linoleum and vinyl.

                                                                            Eastern Standard is much more upscale and if you want to start drinking at breakfast you can there. Pretty spendy.

                                                                            Trident is a cool place,though I havent been there in years. Casual but more sophisicated than BB.

                                                                            Not been to Thornton's

                                                                            1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                              I'm old enough to remember the Greek diner - teacher getting close to retirement - don't need upscale - will check out BB... any suggestions on which pubs around Fenway are open and pouring early on Friday...

                                                                              1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                trident is a small cafe inside of a kind of crunchy-granola bookstore.

                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                  Thanks - I think the Busy Bee might be calling me...

                                                                                  1. re: Peldog

                                                                                    Go to the Bee on Saturday for breakfast - closed Sunday- recommend the corned beef hash. Sunday mornings O'Leary's Pub at 1010 Beacon serves a very decent brunch starting at 10.

                                                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                      Thanks for the suggestions - am definitely going to the Bee, sounds like a great place - and I'll pass on the recommendation to my friend about O'Leary's on Sunday... all you Chowhounders have been a great help in giving fine detail to the ultimate Red Sox/Fenway/Boston/food/beverage experience - can't wait...

                                                                          2. re: Peldog

                                                                            peldog, email me at hotmail dot com

                                                                            I have a story for you

                                                                            1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                              is it bellachefa at hotmail dot com