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Best Lobster dinner in Boston?

phoenixhazard Jun 25, 2012 02:57 PM

I am visiting Boston and have never had a full lobster before, only a roll once. I'd like the full lobster dinner, steamed and not cracked for me. Any recommendations? Cheaper is nicer but i'm willing to spend around 30-40 to get the full deal.

  1. hotoynoodle Jun 25, 2012 05:48 PM

    where will you be staying?

    3 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle
      phoenixhazard Jun 25, 2012 10:03 PM

      In Brookline but anywhere in Boston is good

      1. re: phoenixhazard
        barleywino Jun 26, 2012 05:13 AM

        you're not far from Jo Jo Taipei in Allston; although they usually crack and saute the lobster, i'm sure they could steam it for you and leave it uncracked (they do steam whole fish, for example). You could probably get 2 lobsters there for the price of 1 elsewhere. As a bonus, you could order their famous soup dumplings ("mini steamed buns") on the side or some scallion pancakes w/ roast beef.

        1. re: barleywino
          Science Chick Jun 27, 2012 07:47 AM

          I *love* Jo Jo Taipei's lobster preparation....but they don't offer it every night. Best to call ahead!

    2. o
      oceans Jun 26, 2012 03:01 AM

      If No Name serves steamed lobster that would be my first choice. Perhaps others still living in Boston can provide more details. If you have a car, how about Kelly's on Route 1? These are both quite casual. I am not sure if they crack the lobster a bit for you. Enjoy.

      2 Replies
      1. re: oceans
        hargau Jun 26, 2012 04:58 AM

        Sorry, Noname is a disgusting,overprice tourist trap..
        Kelly has horrible frozen/tasteless/soggy lobster rolls (that some like for some reason) but no lobsters..
        I dont go out for traditional lobsters in this area so i cant give a recommendation for that. I have a hard time paying $30-40 for something i can get for $8 at the store and will be just as good. There really isnt a whole lot of prep/skill in steaming a lobster and melting some butter. You can get them already steamed even at market basket for $4.99/lb

        1. re: hargau
          Dave MP Jun 27, 2012 01:47 PM

          I went to No Name back in December, and posted about it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/824053 I did not think it was disgusting or overpriced.

          I thought the fish chowder was pretty good. And I imagine they'd be able to steam a lobster just fine, though I haven't tried it.

      2. o
        oceans Jun 26, 2012 03:04 AM


        Looks like No Name serves a boiled lobster. Would that be okay?

        6 Replies
        1. re: oceans
          C. Hamster Jun 26, 2012 06:14 AM

          No Name is an overpriced tourist trap. Kelly's is a brightly lit fast food roast beef place and their Rt. 1 location is forgettable, at best.

          I'm with hargau on that.

          Yankee lobster?

          Summer shack?

          Atlantic fish?

          1. re: C. Hamster
            barleywino Jun 26, 2012 06:40 AM

            some like the lobsters at Summer Shack but I found them to be tough and rubbery

            1. re: C. Hamster
              ac106 Jun 27, 2012 05:01 PM

              I understand calling the No Name an over-priced tourist trap is the default answer on chowhound but i just looked at their menu and nothing seemed remotely overpriced or even expensive. Can you point out what is overpriced specifically?

              1. re: ac106
                Madrid Jun 27, 2012 05:22 PM

                also, do tourists go there? they don't exactly have a big advertising presence.

                1. re: Madrid
                  Dave MP Jun 27, 2012 06:16 PM

                  When I went (granted, it was winter on a Tuesday), the place was full, but it didn't seem like any of the customers were tourists.

                  1. re: Dave MP
                    L2k Jun 29, 2012 01:42 PM

                    They get buses fairly regularly, but those are scheduled and don't interfere with locals trying to get tables. Last few times we've been there (over the past 15-18 months or so), I haven't seen any buses, but I'm sure they still get them.

          2. e
            eatntell Jun 26, 2012 07:07 AM

            A "best" lobster dinner should include "a best lobster" to begin with. For some of us, that means knowing the difference between soft shelled vs hard shelled, male vs female. You may find this thread of interest:


            Have you considered a lobster pound such as this:


            or a clam bake like this? That may be a treat you won't soon forget, but pricier though. You only live once. The price is far less than your plane ticket/hotel. When will you be back in Boston?


            3 Replies
            1. re: eatntell
              phoenixhazard Jun 26, 2012 09:38 AM

              i'm not there yet, i will be there in a few days for a week.

              Atlantic Fish seems to be the best bet so far from my research. Also Yankee Lobster, James Hook and Neptune Oyster seem to be good bets. What do you all think?

              1. re: phoenixhazard
                LeoLioness Jun 26, 2012 09:43 AM

                Neptune Oyster serves a terrific lobster roll but does not do the basic steamed lobster you are looking for.

                1. re: phoenixhazard
                  catsmeow Jun 26, 2012 10:11 AM

                  Atlantic Fish is very good. I have relatives that stay at the Mandarin Oriental or the Westin when they visit and we always go there for dinner after they check in. I love the corn pudding. Surprisingly, the best baked stuffed on I had recently is at Legal Seafood in Chestnut Hill. I assume their steamed ones are good as well.

              2. Niblet Jun 26, 2012 10:32 AM

                If this was my quest, I'd prefer the experience to be on the waterfront. And, anticipating flak, of course such venues also draw tourists but for what you're after I don't think that matters. So my top 3 picks in order of preference would be:

                Legals Harborside in the Seaport area near World Trade Center, 1st floor


                Joe's American, near the North End


                Tia's, attached to the Marriott Longwharf Hotel [note the food here is otherwise not good, but I have enjoyed the steamed lobsters here



                Not on the water, and a big tourist draw -- which can also be fun I think -- you may also consider the bars around Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market near (and including) the Purple Shamrock. These places always have specials on lobster dinners.

                EDITED to note: the Tall Ships will be in Boston this weekend, so the waterfront will be more packed than usual. May want to time your dinner on off-hours, or go with one of the above recommendations away from the harbor.

                1. Small Plates Jun 26, 2012 10:54 AM

                  My choice is the Mt. Vernon, which is steps away from the Sullivan Square T stop in Charlestown/Somerville. Their special is running at $10.99 for twin chix (1.25 lbs) right now, and we had them Monday - they were sweet and delicious! You cannot beat the price. Everything else is a la carte, but at this price, you can't go wrong.


                  1. c
                    Chrissyo29 Jun 29, 2012 04:11 AM

                    Yankee lobster, can't beet them, always have fresh seafood and the best lobster cause they get it right there at the dock

                    1. r
                      RoyRon Jun 29, 2012 02:31 PM

                      Having hosted litterly hundreds of foreign clients for lobster dinners in and around Boston and I really don't think you can wrong at any of the :Legal Sea Foods restaurants. Legal certainly serves enough lobsters each week to assure that the one you get will be good and fresh. I have never been served a soft shell lobster at Legal. The only problem might be the price but you can usually get a nice 1 1/2 lb steamed lobster for around $40.

                      1. BostonZest Jun 29, 2012 05:48 PM

                        I have to admit a soft spot for Tias on the Waterfront. They have a great deal on twin lobsters and if I'm not going to make them at home and serve them in in the most perfect form that I can produce, I enjoy them there.


                        They have singles or twin lobster specials and they do a decent job of getting a pretty good lobster on your plate. Add the North End and dessert close at hand, a harbor view, outdoor seating, and I think this might be a good place for visitors.


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