The 16 Best Restaurants in Boston’s Seaport and Fort Point
Here's where to grab a bite or a beer—from a buzzy brewpub to clam shack-inspired neighborhood staples.
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Few Boston neighborhoods have changed as radically in recent years as the Seaport District, turning from a sea of pavement and parking lots to a seaside urban settlement of glittery restaurants, high-end retail, some green spaces for gathering, and plenty of high-end condos and office space. Now that it’s a (much more normal) summer in the city, the desire to kick back with a cocktail at a Seaport restaurant is back too—so here’s where to go, from modern brewpubs to clam shack-inspired holdovers from the Seaport’s storied past life.
The Barking Crab
The Seaport sure has changed since 1994, when the Barking Crab first propped up its famous red- and yellow-striped tent. But the boisterous seafood joint endures, serving up Old Boston character alongside its New England clambakes, lobster rolls, fish and chips, and of course, succulent crab claws with drawn butter. And even when the weather’s not warm enough to down oyster shooters and boozy lemonade on the open-air picnic tables, we can move inside by the cozy wood-burning stove. The loyal crowds aren’t going anywhere—and neither is the Barking Crab.
88 Sleeper St., 617-426-2722, barkingcrab.com.
You probably won’t stumble across Chickadee—it is, after all, located within a marine industrial park that is removed from the rest of the neighborhood’s other buzzy, recent entrants. But make a point to fly by. Chef John daSilva marries New England ingredients to Mediterranean inspiration, yielding rewards such as vadouvan-spiced roasted halibut with honeynut squash, while cocktail guru Ted Kilpatrick mixes up eclectic libations, including to-go cocktails like the Gold Rush of bourbon, honey, and lemon. Perhaps unexpectedly for such a chic space, it’s home to the best fried chicken in Boston, too.
21 Drydock Ave., 617-531-5591, chickadeerestaurant.com.
When a slew of Greek restaurants rolled into Boston a few years ago, Committee immediately came across as the most fashionable of the bunch: its industrial-cool interior is usually filled with pretty people mingling over inventive meze and creative cocktails like the Weird Al Greekovic, which combines hibiscus infused mastiha, a piney Greek liqueur, yuzu, pineapple, and melon to a delicious (if unfortunately named) result. And you know what? The place still feels fresh—especially during one of our favorite boozy brunch services, when the breakfast gyros and Champagne trays are just a few of the extremely excellent reasons to roll out of bed.
50 Northern Ave., 617-737-5051, committeeboston.com.
You have to hand it to the crew at Big Night Entertainment Group. The hospitality bigwigs know how to create a certain kind of clubby restaurant experience. Consider Mystique and Memoire, their flashy pan-Asian restaurant and nightclub, respectively, at the Encore Boston Harbor casino—as well as several similar BNEG concepts at Foxwoods Resort Casino and elsewhere. Empire fits squarely within that dinner-and-nightlife mold, buttressing its Asian-inspired plates—from sushi rolls to Korean-style sirloin—with party-pumping weekend DJs. And if you need a full-scale dance floor, you’re only a few steps away from the Grand, their sprawling Seaport nightclub.
1 Marina Park Drive, 617-295-0001, empireboston.com.
Kings Dining & Entertainment
Go ahead, raise your eyebrow. We get it. Kings, after all, is kind of Boston’s answer to the Dave & Buster’s chain of adult arcades—in other words, not a place you go expecting fine dining. And guess what? You won’t find it here, either. What you will find, though, are extremely tasty Buffalo wontons for popping in your hungry mouth, pulled pork- and cheese sauce-topped waffle fries, spicy “Boom Boom Shrimp” tacos, and oversized chocolate sundaes. It’s the kind of stuff you want to stuff in your face when you unleash your inner child over 16 bowling lanes, retro video games, pool tables, air hockey, and more—so lighten up, food snobs, and grab a joystick. Oh, and a craft beer from the Seaport location’s flatscreen-equipped “Draft Room,” too.
60 Seaport Blvd., 617-401-0025, kings-de.com/seaport.
The local-born (and still-local?) Legal Sea Food chain’s Titanic-sized harbor outpost has a lot in its favor: a sturdy knack for nailing fresh-and-classic seafood, a prime waterfront location—and one of the best roof decks in the city, a third-floor expanse with a retractable, four-seasons roof. The horizon views are stellar, and the place draws—well, a scene. (A suburban shopping-mall Legal, this is not.) Most importantly, the food keeps up standard Legal quality—so, high—from the casual, oyster-bar equipped first floor, to the more elevated second, to that stunning top deck.
270 Northern Ave., 617-477-2900, legalseafoods.com.
Lookout Rooftop Bar and Para Maria
While we’re on the subject of rooftops, let’s not forget the equally awesome view from Lookout, perched atop the Envoy Hotel. This one is oriented more cityward, to a rare, gorgeous look at the harbor-front skyline. (In the winter, reservable heated igloos do the trick.) It’s more about the urban eye candy, wine and cocktails here—though there are some small bites available from chef Tatiana Pairot Rosana, a two-time Chopped Champions champion. What you really want to check out, though, at least right now, is Para Maria, her Latin cuisine pop-up that has taken over the downstairs space that normally houses Outlook Kitchen. Para Maria is popping up there through the end of the summer, at least, to serve a smattering of delectable tacos—think chipotle portobello mushrooms and mojo pork carnitas—as well as ceviche, elotes, and small plates for sharing.
70 Sleeper St., 617-338-3030, outlookkitchenandbar.com.
Nautilus Pier 4
One of the hottest restaurants in Nantucket is now one of the hottest in Boston. Nautilus looks to New England for its global small plates meant for sharing—think charcoal-grilled prawns with roasted chili paste, fried garlic, and coconut vinaigrette—as well as some large-format feasts such as whole roasted Peking duck. There are streams of sake to wash it all down, not to mention Nautilus’s new brand of canned rosé wine.
300 Pier Four Blvd., Boston, 857-957-0998, thenautilus.com.
There are quite a few seafood-and-steakhouse joints packed into the relatively small footprint of the Seaport, offering (not exactly dissimilar) high-end chain experiences. They all scratch a certain power-dining itch, to one degree or another—but Ocean Prime might be the most reliable exemplar of the genre, thanks to all that excellent turf (prime filets enhanced with Béarnaise or black truffle butter) and surf (say, butter poached lobster tails with red pepper cream). Fine cocktails flow. Ah, the sound of the Ocean: clink!
140 Seaport Blvd., 617-670-1345, oceanprime.com.
Besides being one of the best places for pizza in Boston, Pastoral is simply one of the most consistent dining options when you’re in the Fort Point area. Chef Todd Winer’s Neapolitan-style pies are rounded out by a bit more wood-fired cookery—from fresh-baked seasoned breads to antipasti of salads with fire-roasted croutons.
345 Congress St., Boston, 617-345-0005, pastoralfortpoint.com.
What began its life as the younger, Seaport sibling to Kenmore Square’s iconic (and sadly, now-closed) Island Creek Oyster Bar is now a veteran in its own right. Part of the first wave of restaurants that accompanied early, major new developments in the neighborhood, Row 34 remains a formidable force in its own austere-industrial-cool kind of way. The place still takes plenty of pride in its eclectic craft beer list, not skimping on categories like wild and sour ales. And chef Jeremy Sewall is still a master of seafood prep, whether he’s dealing with whole roasted fish or little, crispy oysters in lettuce cups—a longtime menu favorite.
383 Congress St., 617-553-5900, row34.com.
The Smoke Shop BBQ
Our reigning title-holder for Boston’s best barbecue continues to grow its red-hot empire: chef Andy Husbands opened his fourth location in Harvard Square during the pandemic, and there will also be a small station at Hub Hall when that highly anticipated West End food court debuts. Honestly, we’d take one on every street corner if we could, so much do we love the award-winning pitmaster’s juicy brisket, outstanding burnt ends, and tasty sides, such as pimento mac ‘n’ cheese. We’re not exactly crying about the extensive whiskey selection, either.
343 Congress St., 617-261-7427, thesmokeshopbbq.com.
Esteemed restaurateur Barbara Lynch was the first major name to bank on the then-burgeoning Fort Point-Seaport area when she opened Sportello—as well as its neighboring cocktail den, Drink—in 2008. A couple years later she rolled out Menton as well, a fine-dining stalwart that survived a pandemic and is back to serving $175 chef’s whim tasting menus. While both restaurants have attained anchor status in the area, Sportello is still the sibling that keeps us coming back the most for superlative house made pasta, from classic tagliatelle bolognese to decadent duck agnolotti, plus other Italian trattoria-inspired dishes in a modern space with a spiffy, counter-style setup.
348 Congress St., 617-737-1234, sportelloboston.com.
Trillium Brewing Company
When the super-popular brewery opened its Fort Point taproom, it probably could have coasted on the strength of its craft beers alone; Trillium’s rep pretty much guaranteed the place would be a hit. But the big brewpub hardly held back on the food: there’s grilled octopus with Basque-style Vizcaina sauce; composed oysters, served on ice with a chili crisp and wild ale mignonette; uni linguini with flecks of wasabi; and more. (If you can lift those glasses and forks on the roof deck, meanwhile, even better.) Pro tip: For something entirely different, check out the pizzas and more wood-fired fare offered at Trillium’s just-opened, massive taproom and restaurant in Canton, too.
50 Thomson Pl., 857-449-0083, trilliumbrewing.com.
Woods Hill Pier 4
This brand-new addition to the Seaport inhabits arguably the most storied address in the neighborhood. Once upon a time, after all, it was home to Anthony’s Pier 4, a decades-spanning restaurant where countless Bostonians celebrated special occasions (as well as a rare dining destination in a then-underdeveloped area of the city). Now the site is where you’ll find this spinoff of restaurateur Kristin Canty’s Concord hit, Woods Hill Table. The Pier 4 location imports the same devoutly farm-to-table ethos, though chef Charlie Foster’s menu is a bit more urbane, with super-seasonal dishes like line caught striped bass with summer corn fondue, grilled hake with English peas and fiddleheads, pork belly with chili-marinated bok choy, and more.
300 Pier 4 Blvd., 617-981-4577, woodshillpier4.com.
This no-frills seafood shack is an area institution, not to mention a must-visit whenever you’re checking out a summer concert at the neighboring concert pavilion. The cold mayo-dressed lobster roll is a classic, the lobster bisque and clam chowder offer just the right amount of creaminess, and you’ll want to crack into the bucket o’ crabs for a fresh and flavorful communal feast. The 1950-founded joint also sells live lobsters, fish filets and more from its market, so you can take a taste home.
300 Northern Ave., 617-345-9799, yankeelobstercompany.com.