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Nov 15, 2012 06:14 AM

Time to Visit Neptune Oyster

I know Neptune Oyster has been written about roughly every week on the boards, but I was wondering about the best time to go. If this has been discussed before, I apologize!

I'll be in Boston this winter. Would it be better to go for lunch one day or just try to do dinner and live with the wait? I don't mind waiting a little, but the last time I tried to go the wait was over and hour and a half. Does it make any difference on how packed it is depending on the season?

Also, depending on which would be better, please offer any detailed time suggestions (i.e. - 11:30, 1:00, 6:00, etc.)

Any input is greatly appreciated!

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  1. It is definitely less crowded in the winter, but there will still be a wait at peak times. You can just leave your cell#, walk around the north end or grab a drink and they will call when your table is ready. This is the easiest approach for me, rather than trying to nail the exact right time.

    Otherwise you can grab a seat right when they open at 11:30a, though I have seen more people queueing at this time lately when in the area. Mid afternoon is usually a good quiet time to go with no wait. Expect to wait any time around dinner even in the winter.

    1. I've never had to wait having a late lunch, say 2-3 pm.

      4 Replies
      1. re: CapeCodGuy

        ccg, that has also been our experience in previous WINTERS but not in other seasons. Just a heads up for future visitors reading this. I do think that in winter, if you go at 5 (it's open straight through anyway) you have a chance of a non-wait. And you are always at an advantage if you are willing to sit at the counter( and yes, be jostled from behind).While consensus is 90% positive on their warm lobster roll and fried clams, I really encourage you to try their non-trad dishes- where Nick's talents are many (It's almost impossible for us to not order the vitello/sushi tuna sandwich and the scallop dish!)

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          Who is Nick? Their chef for the past few years has been Michael Serpa. You're right though, their other dishes are great too. I particularly enjoy the different crudos. I go for early dinner (5-ish) and usually don't have a problem.

          1. re: purple bot

            ha! michael. of course!such a nice guy.

          2. re: opinionatedchef

            If April last year was your first visit to NO, how many WINTERS or seasons could you experience?

            I had lunch here yesterday (Vitello Tonnato) with only a half hour wait at noon.

        2. My preferred window is more like 2:30-4:30pm on weekdays. That's not gonna work for everyone, obviously, but it's the only time it ever feels relaxed, unjammed, and it's busy sometimes even at that time.


          1. Recently (in the past few months) we've been rejected to even leave my phone number with them just slightly after 7pm during weekends because their list had already filled up.

            1. Thanks for all the advice and tips. I was wondering what else to try other than the lobster roll too, as I love scallops I might have to test out the scallop dish.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Lefty721

                If you get a chance to try our local bay scallops ANYWHERE, do so. They'll usually be called Nantucket Bays or Cape Cod Bays, Only available from Oct. to about March depending on supply. Sweet as candy.

                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                  Seriously, when those came in at the restaurants I worked at, it was a good day, barely had to cook the little guys, just a quick sear and then boom, done. Soooo tasty!