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Best place for fried seafood/fisherman's platter?

We will be spending a weekend in Boston in June. For one meal, we want classic New England fried fish. Nothing fancy, but reservations are nice. We are staying near Copley Sq and would like walking distance or a short Subway ride. Been to Legal Seafood and didn't find it to be all that great. Salty Dog, maybe?


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  1. Gosh, I'd steer you away from the Salty Dog and towards Island Creek Oyster Bar which is in the other direction, but it is an easy walk or subway ride. You'll find terrific reviews of ICOB here and elsewhere, and you can take a look at their menu online. It is more upscale than the Salty Dog, but their food is much better.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mvi

      when did ICOB start serving a fisherman's platter? I've never been to Salty Dog, so can't comment on quality or execution.

      1. re: Bellachefa

        I was thinking more of the fried fish, I guess. They have also been wonderful about customizing things for us.

    2. ICOB is a great recommendation for fried clams or fish. Not sure they have a fisherman's platter on the menu but maybe they would do it for you. Atlantic Fish might be another option. It's funny I haven't noticed Fisherman's platters on very many menus lately. I also actually like Salty Dog. It's fun to sit outside and watch on the people walking by and they do a good job with fried stuff.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Pegmeister

        I really like Atlantic Fish Co. too. They do a good fry job with their seafood. On a nice day, it's fun to sit at one of their outside tables and watch the world go by. Located in Copley Sq on Boylston St across from Lord and Taylor/Prudential Center and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

        1. re: Pegmeister

          Atlantic Fish Co. is an excellent recommendation.

        2. I don't think ICOB has seafood platters but they have fish and chips.

          For VERY casual, no reservations you could got to Yankee Lobster. Love the lobster rolls.

          The Daily catch is a longer cab ride to Brookline but takes reservations

          And while I haven't been to either in years the tourists flock to both for fried seafood-The No Name and the Barking Crab

          6 Replies
          1. re: foodieX2

            there are three Daily Catch locations: North End, Brookline, waterfront. Not sure if a fisherman's platter is on the menu at all of them, but I would think they could make it. The waterfront location has a beautiful view. I've only been there once and had a great experience, but I have heard of service complaints.

            Barking Crab is near the waterfront Daily Catch. Last time I went to BC, food was horrible. View and food better at Daily Catch.

            1. re: Madrid

              I had heard the waterfront location was not great, service wise which is why I recommend Brookline. I have heard other negatives about food in the location Boston but from sources I don't really have enough confidence about to confirm. I have only been to Brookline.

              Good to know about the BC. It is always packed when I go by it but the last time I ate there was in the mid 90's after a Harpoon fest. I was too drunk to remember much about the food, lol.

              1. re: foodieX2

                I think Barking Crab depends on people not remembering much about the food.....!

                1. re: foodieX2

                  Agree on the waterfront location of the Daily Catch. I had the fisherman's platter there just a month or so ago after the flower show. Total disappointment, an over abundance of large rubbery calamari, haddock with skin on it, and underwhelming clams. I know why skin is left on haddock, but if you're a reputable restaurant, there should not be a trust issue. Nothing worse than losing half your yummy fried crust to a piece of gooey fish skin. I'm afraid my choices for a great fisherman's platter are well out of Boston but definitely wanting to steer you away from the DC at the Seaport.

                2. re: Madrid

                  I live near the one in Brookline, and they do indeed have a fisherman's platter on the menu, with shrimp, scallops, calamari, and fish (cod or haddock). I haven't had it though, so I can't vouch for the quality.

                3. re: foodieX2

                  You know, for a fried fish plate, the No Name isn't bad. I generally would not steer people there, but people generally don't ask specifically for a fried fish plate.

                  But Barking Crab? No. Never.

                  I'll also second steinpilz's other recs.

                4. I actually like Legal's and Salty Dog, other ones I'll suggest are No-Name, Dolphin, and Moulton's:





                  1. there's a fish shop in the south end called Morse Fish. Zero frills, plastic chairs and silverwear, but legit for fried seafood. No ressies required.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bostonfoodz

                      I've gotten fried clams at Morse twice. The first time they were one big glob of clams all stuck together. The second time the batter had a strong minty taste. Very weird. I also get a feeling that it's not the cleanest place. We won't be back.

                    2. My pick for fried seafood is always Courthouse Seafood in East Cambridge. Green line to Lechmere Station, then a quick walk from there along Cambridge st.

                      No reservations needed, closed on Sundays and half day Mondays.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Matt H

                        Ditto Courthouse for the fried seafood. Zero atmosphere, though.

                        1. re: Edokko

                          Well, there is an atmosphere, but it somewhere between nursing home day room and shopping mall food court. If you focus on the smiles of the family that runs the kitchen, it gets better however.

                          Courthouse is my 'go-to' spot for fried seafood. Close to home, fresh fish, and fresh oil now that I think about it, and a family that I simply like.

                          1. re: smtucker

                            I live close by as well, and I agree that it is a gem. Huge portions of the fish and chips on Wednesdays and Fridays. Fried clams are incredible. Nice people.

                      2. Hey 'hounds - What about the Sail Loft? I think that's a good bet there, no? Not talking about the full menu, but fried food. Haven't been in eons, but it used to be solid for a fisherman's platter...

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: rozziegirl

                          They still do a good job with fried belly clams and scallops. Offer a nice sized app portion of clams if you want to eat a little lighter.

                          1. re: 9lives

                            Summer Shack has the best fried seafood reasonably walkable to you and not a chain. Also gives those who might want raw bar options good choices.

                            1. re: teezeetoo

                              We find the Summer Shack's coating to be very salty and greasy.

                                1. re: C. Hamster

                                  Let's see: Atlantic Fish is owned by Tavistock which owns about 100 restaurants nationwide and is based in San Francisco. Summer Shack started with two restaurants and was Jasper White's follow-up to his more formal earlier place. I think it may be up to four. I think it's owned locally. I also think it's good. Which doesn't mean that Atlantic Fish is not. I prefer Summer Shack.

                                  1. re: teezeetoo

                                    I find Jasper a culinary letdown. Considering I own his chowder book, how is it possible that Summershack has mediocre tourist too creamy and not sea worthy chowder? And his greasy fried calamari is not RI style when it is soaked in a puddle of oil. The training of the shuckers has been proven on a few occasions to be negligent. I do like an occasional piece of fried chicken. But it's supposed to be a seafood joint.

                                    1. re: Bellachefa

                                      I had the calamari this Sunday, and while fried right, must agree its oily, and I prefer it served with aoli, not tossed in oil

                                2. re: catsmeow

                                  give the pan fried lobster a try; my favorite version of lobster and even better than lobster at Le Bernadin. IMHO. pretty good fried clams though not as good as ICOB.

                                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                    It's actually pan roasted lobster...not fried. One of my favorite lobster dishes too. It's pretty much one of the only things I like there though. Two years ago, I got a lobster roll and it was filled with chopped cucumber. It looked like a roll brimming with meat until you took a bite. It was brimming with chopped cucumber. I sent it back.

                                    1. re: catsmeow

                                      i stand corrected. had the fried clams which were very good and just a notch below ICOB's.

                                      1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                        We got them in Cambridge and in Dedham and thought they were very greasy both times.

                                        1. re: catsmeow

                                          I just had the clam roll this week, and I deem it solid, and the potato chips served with it pretty good too, I'd order it again

                          2. If you are up for a short taxi ride go over to Belle Isle seafood in Winthrop. Winthrop is close to Logan Airport and it would probably take about 20 mins from your hotel. They serve very traditional New England fried seafood and some say the best Lobster Rolls in Boston. Its a very casual place and has nice views over the harbor.

                            1. Best New England style fried seafood plate: Take the T to Wood Island and walk a couple blocks to Rincon Limeno. Order the jalea. You can also get some delicious ceviche to go with it.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Luther

                                Rincon Limeno is my favorite fried seafood plate but I wouldn't call it New England style.
                                I don't think they do fried clams, and I think they marinate the shrimp and calamari before frying.
                                Delicious though and worth the 20 mile trip for me to get there.

                              2. i'm not a huge fan of legal's. but i am a huge fan of legal harborside.

                                1. It's not close to Copley, but if folks are looking for a decent fried seafood platter in the 'burbs, I've always had a good meal at Out of the Blue near Davis Square. Their fried seafood platter's too big for me to finish and has never been greasy or oily.

                                  1. My current favorite is nowhere near there but if it was me i would find a way to make a trip out for lunch on a nice sunny day.. Kimballs farm in westford.. Excellent seafood platter that will feed 3 for around $25..They also have some of the best onion rings around. Plus great homemade icecream and the best mini-golf i have ever played/seen. I always recommend it to out of towners as a great new england destination.

                                    8 Replies
                                      1. re: hargau

                                        where I take the grandkids! alas, no where near Copley

                                        1. re: hargau

                                          And a good lobster roll as well.

                                          1. re: hargau

                                            Hargau, what a great lunch idea for visitors with cars who want to explore the Concord area (just 20 minutes away.) Excellent fried clams AND onion rings? can't wait :-}
                                            p.s. have you tried the Clam Box, and how do you think the two compare? thx much.

                                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                                              If your in the North Shore give Dube's in Salem a shot. Excellent fried seafood and onion rings.

                                              1. re: phatchris

                                                I would like to add that The Barnacle in Marblehead has a wonderful one. And if you can get a table out on the deck on a nice day or night, the setting is pretty amazing! It is right at the mouth of the harbor next to Fort Sewall, overlooking a beautiful, historic harbor. It's a no frills kind of place, and small, but they know how to prepare basic New England coastal food, as well as good drinks. Even their burgers are great. They have been serving the same traditional menu for more than 50 years, with a very loyal following. We go there all the time year round because of the beautiful view, from inside or out. When we want to dazzle visitors in the summer, we shoot for the deck. There are a few challenges. It's small, there is no parking, no reservations, they run out of stuff and they use instructional paper placemats. But if you nail it, it will blow you away!

                                                1. re: phatchris

                                                  Thanks for mentioning this place. Was in Salem this afternoon and tried it out, excellent! Perfect fry job, light, non greasy and fresh. The fries similar to McDonalds fries as well in a good way.

                                                  1. re: phatchris

                                                    My all time favorite in the North Shore area is Captain Carlo's in Gloucester. Harborfront views, good drinks, and massive amounts of really well prepared fried seafood... and one of the only places in that area that does a full clambake meal.

                                              2. Dry dock Cafe in Southie

                                                1. My favorites are Courthose, Yankee Lobster and Belle Isle. None really fit your geographic restrictions. I do quite like the fish and chips at Island Creek, but I wouldn't limit yourself to that if you went there - so many excellent things on the menu.