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Oak + Rowan raw oysters on the half shell with flowers
Photograph: Dawn Rabinowitz

The best restaurants in the Seaport District

It’s no surprise that Boston’s newest neighborhood has become a culinary hotspot

Jillian Dara
Written by
Jillian Dara
Written by
Eric Grossman
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Once upon a time, not too long ago, Boston’s Seaport bordered on deserted, void of grocery stores, chain coffee shops and trendy eateries. Today, however, the neighborhood has come alive and is now one of the city’s most vibrant and popular destinations, especially for dinner reservations. With much of the real estate stretching along the harbor, this district offers some of the best seafood restaurants and best waterfront restaurants in Boston—but you’ll find far more than just the best lobster rolls in town and expertly prepared fresh catch here, as our list of the best Seaport restaurants reveals.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Best restaurants in the Seaport District

  • Restaurants
  • Seaport District

Established on the island of Nantucket, this Asian-inspired seafood hot spot brings its menu to the mainland at Pier 4. Whether you’re kitchenside, waterside or at the bar, Nautilus is sure to impress with small-plate tried and true “old favs” like steamed pork buns and Indonesian chicken drumettes (you can also find these bites at its original ACK location), as well as what the restaurant refers to as your “new favs,” including spoon tuna chips and dips, and chilled octopus salad. It’s the perfect spot to stop for a craft cocktail and a nibble, or for an entire feast (the whole roasted Peking duck here is legendary)—either way, you can’t go wrong.

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Seaport District
  • price 4 of 4

Woods Hill Pier 4 brings farm-to-table dining to the Seaport, on the site where the iconic Anthony’s Pier 4 restaurant once sat. Kristin Canty and the team behind The Farm at Woods Hill create modern, seasonal dishes using ingredients that are organic, non-GMO, and come from local area purveyors. All meat comes from The Farm at Woods Hill and other local farms that raise animals ethically and feed from an organic grass-based diet.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

If you’re seeking out seafood, Row 34 is your solution. The restaurant’s industrial-style decor is warmed with an open shucking counter, as well as a long bar framed by a rotating beer menu so vast that it creates a kind of ever-changing wallpaper. Order up oysters on the half shell, a lobster roll and a pint of local or international brew—from brunch until dinner.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

Refined but approachable, Oak + Rowan tackles a menu of land and sea that spotlights its featured farmers, artisans, foragers and winemakers with every meal. Restaurateur Nancy Batista Caswell aims to welcome guests into an atmosphere that feels like home, while still providing the exceptional experience of a gourmet eatery. Menu highlights include prime steak, caviar and whole fish that’s seasonally prepared.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

The Seaports go-to Greek restaurant plays with Mediterranean spices and techniques to produce a contemporary meze menu (think artichoke moussaka, fried smelts, and salt-roasted beets, to name a few). The after-work crowd descends nightly to enjoy creative cocktails and wines from Greece and Lebanon. The weekend brunch is a singular surprise; nowhere else in town can you pair a breakfast gyro with champagne tray service. One of the neighborhoods largest patios proves popular when the sun's out.

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

The seasonal menu at this Seaport hot spot—named after the Massachusetts state bird—is Mediterranean-influenced, but features ingredients from local farms, markets and producers. The lunch menu focuses on pitas, while dinner offers more to explore. Pasta dishes are a highlight, with combinations like squid and sopressata, and finocchiona and fresh chickpeas. Innovative cocktails incorporate fresh ingredients, too—snap peas, roasted red peppers and jasmine, to name a few.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Seaport District

Lolita offers tasty Mexican-inspired cuisine—with a side of nightlife and waterfront views. On the inside, this Fort Point spot is a dimly lit, macabre masterpieceand on the outside, it’s a bright and airy waterfront paradise. The patio of this cocina and tequila cantina runs right alongside the channel, giving guests a front row seat to the Seaport as they pound queso and sip margaritas. Other menu highlights include Maine lobster-topped guacamole, spicy artichoke empanadas, Mexican fried rice and street corn cauliflower tacos. 

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Seaport District
  • price 2 of 4

As the flagship location within Legal Sea Foods' empire, Legal Harborside offers three floors of dining—all with fantastic fish-focused menus and sweeping views of Boston Harbor. On the first floor, crowds devour raw bar items and casual faves; the second floor is the epitome of elegance with its selection of upscale fare; while the third floor is reserved for private dining. After your meal, join the sea of people on its celebrated rooftop for a cocktail and the ultimate harbor views.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Seaport District
  • price 2 of 4

Fueling the creative minds that work in Seaport’s District Hall is Gather, an eatery focused on innovative, New American cuisine. Using local ingredients whenever possible, the kitchen turns out dishes like fried charred octopus, clam chowder (it’s award-winning!), the “big dill” flatbread and classic lobster roll. Creative cocktails and an extensive beer and wine list—not to mention the large patio with water views—make Gather a great place to meet for happy hour and beyond. Head there on Waffle Sunday to deck out your own waffle with everything from Oreos and Fluff, to pretzels and cheddar cheese.

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Seaport District
  • price 4 of 4

Situated on Liberty Wharf, Del Frisco’s offers one of the most visually striking locations in the Seaport. The lengthy, varied menu is packed with USDA Prime beef and fresh seafood. The impressive wine list boasts over 1,500 selections from around the world, or if you’re in the mood for something stronger, their dirty martinis with blue cheese-stuffed olives are made to perfection. The 14,000-square-foot, 400-seat restaurant has a 40-seat circular bar and lounge area, 70-seat outdoor veranda and three distinctive private dining rooms. In other words, it’s huge.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary Asian
  • Seaport District

This Seaport stalwart hosts celebratory groups and corporate types for festive cocktails and a crowd-pleasing, pan-Asian menu filled with favorites. Specialty nigiri and signature maki tantalize with interesting ingredients like marinated Chinese celery, wild Sockeye salmon and yellow pepper sauce. A highlight for sushi-lovers is the unlimited sushi menu available on Mondays starting at 5pm, when you can feast upon some of the most popular rolls, plus some smaller bites from the regular menu.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

Set right on Boston Harbor, this red-shingled seafood shack and open-air tent is party central all summer long for locals and tourists alike. Join the crowds at the picnic tables, beneath the glow of Christmas light-strung lobster traps. Traditional boils and fried fare help keep the beer-fueled festivities going. Summer is peak season, but The Barking Crab draws fans year-round to the Seaport with its stellar seafood and laidback vibes in the heart of the city.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Seaport District
  • price 4 of 4

With a prime location on the waterfront, Morton’s Seaport location is the place for steak and sights. The stylish interior offers panoramic views of the harbor from the bar, and a seasonal patio allows you to enjoy the salty breeze. With prime aged beef, signature steakhouse sides, an excellent wine list and elegant desserts, Morton’s has the classic steakhouse experience down pat.

  • Restaurants
  • Seaport District
  • price 4 of 4

Ocean Prime offers some of the city’s best seafood and steak, all within one of Boston’s hottest spaces. Amidst the raw bar and sushi offerings are top-notch, dry-aged steaks—from a bone-in filet to a 16-ounce ribeye—all seared at 1,200 degrees. Steaks come with “accessories” like black truffle butter or blue cheese crust, along with traditional sides like creamed spinach and asparagus with hollandaise. Add in a glam interior and impeccable service, and Ocean Prime goes toe to toe with the city’s more traditional steakhouses. Don’t forget the impressive cocktail list curated from seasonal ingredients.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

Tuscan Kitchen’s Seaport location offers a rustic Italian dining experience with handmade pastas and ravioli, freshly baked breads and house-made salumi. The open kitchen offers a glimpse of the action—sit at the kitchen bar for the best view. For real enthusiasts, grab a seat by the in-house aged salumi or hand-stretched mozzarella stations to ogle the artistry before you eat it. The extensive wine list makes for perfect pairings, and gelato made onsite offers a sweet end to a meal. 

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Seaport District

With patio dining and more than 250 varieties of tequila, the casually stylish Temazcal is a welcome escape in the Seaport. The dining room has floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the harbor. The elevated Mexican cuisine is bright and flavorful; house specialties include traditional favorites like empanadas, chilaquiles and grilled skirt steak. Unique offerings include a Veracruzana grain salad and adobo braised short ribs. Upscale margaritas draw praise, and extensive cocktail and wine lists enhance any meal.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seaport District

Bostonians needing to get their taco fix can find this no-frills, Mexican favorite in the Seaport at bartaco. Order up a street classic like pork carnitas or chicken verde, or opt for an elevated option like mushrooms with queso fresco. The spacious joint also serves up other South of the Border staples like street corn, as well as rice bowls and other dishes labeled as “not tacos” for anyone in your party who isn’t feeling that whole tortilla thing. Don’t forget to order up a margarita using only freshly squeezed juices from seasonal fruits and essential citruses.

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