SOCIAL MEDIA

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Life: Union Oyster House in downtown Boston, MA

One of my bucket list items was to visit the Union Oyster House (link) in downtown Boston.  While it's more known for it's New England seafood dishes, I was more interested in the history of the establishment.  Tell you more?  But, of course!


a honest and detailed review of the best seafood restaurants in boston

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Ye Olde Union Oyster House est. 1826


There is a lot of history in Boston.  So much so that it would be near impossible to explore it all in the 6 short days that we were in town.  To help save time and eliminate the hassle of parking in a city we chose to say at the Hilton Boston Downtown Faneuil Hall (link) hotel.  We chose this hotel because it was walking distance to most things we wanted to do, including the ye olde Union Oyster house.

a honest and detailed review of the best seafood restaurants in boston

Let's start with the Union Oyster House's first claim to fame.  This restaurant dates back to 1826 making it the United State's oldest continuously operating restaurant.  Impressive?  That's nothing!  The building itself dates back to 1704.  It was the home of the newspaper The Massachussetts Spy before being converted into a restaurant in 1826.

The Union Oyster House was frequently visited by the Kennedy family.  In fact, their regular table still has a sign hung above it labeling the space as such.  There is a dedication to JFK himself inside of the booth where it's claimed that this was his favorite table.  A nearby sign and picture is hung on the wall dedicated to Rose Carey, the first female waitress in the restaurant and ALL of Boston.  Finally, there is a dedication to the most surprising notable person of history to frequent the establishment.  A sign and bust of Louis Philippe, the King of France from 1830-1848, is also proudly hung on the wall.  The King was exiled from France and lived on the second floor of this restaurant for years where he made money teaching American women French.  Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is why I wanted to go there.

a honest and detailed review of the best seafood restaurants in boston

The Union Oyster House looks like it used to be a home.  There are ancient fireplaces, homey windows with curtains, and lots of dark wood furniture.  Despite the homey vibes, the restaurant had terrible lighting.  The dim lights weren't romantic.  They were just dark.  Where they lacked in light, they made up for with signs, pictures, and artifacts.

a honest and detailed review of the best seafood restaurants in boston

After we ordered our food which regrettably didn't include oysters because my husband wouldn't eat them, I left my family at the table to explore.  I read every sign on the wall and studied every picture.  A few minutes in, a waiter caught me snooping and offered to take me into the attic where they have a museum like set up.  I pushed my stranger danger to the side, and went up.  I'm so glad that I did because there was so much to see!  There was historical paintings, an original piece of the Freedom Trail, collages of artifacts organized by century dating back to 1700, and a stuffed 44 pound lobster carcass!


You probably want to hear about the food now.  Well, it was nothing special.  Although, did I mention that we didn't get the oysters!?  SMH..  The menu was full of regular New England dishes.  I had a warm lobster roll with a side of Boston baked beans.  It was OK, but not the best I had by far.  My husband ordered some sort of smorgasbord of fried fish that he also said was average.  But, the kids were all smiles as they ate their chicken fingers!

The service was great.  Everyone was kind, especially the waiter that let me step into the past on a whim.  The highlight of the night was the lovely, older couple that went out of their way to tell me how fabulously well behaved my children were.  Their compliments to our parenting was the icing on the cake of an already great night!  In other words, it made up for the lack of oysters.

Have you ever eaten out just to enter a building?

6 comments :

  1. That is one really old eating place!
    Oysters scare the hell out of me! But restaurants generally scare me... I know things.... you don't wanna know....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't tell me! It will get stuck in my brain forever. lol I do love me some oysters though. Although, I'm from Long Island, so they're our pride and joy. haha

      Delete
  2. I’m disappointed that the food was just ok, but I won’t eat oysters, mussels or clams, either! I do enjoy historic restaurants. Love the taverns in Williamsburg! I’ve also eaten at some of the historic ones in Ohio, like The Golden Lamb, which has been running since 1803. It was also an inn and has hosted a few presidents. It’s fun to learn the history of these places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that! I've been to Williamsburg as a child twice, but I was too young both times to appreciate it. Maybe that will be our next bucket list item :) The food was very disappointing. with the history it has, I really thought it would be amazing. It wasn't cheap either.

      Delete
  3. That's too bad that the food wasn't superb, but how cool they let you go on a little tour! And hurrah for parenting compliments. My kids are now grown, but I still remember how warm and fuzzy it made me feel to hear about their perfect behavior while we were out and about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I was very excited about the tour! I took lots of videos because there was just so much to see and so little time. Afterwards, I went through it all and read all of the plaques and signs on the walls.

      Delete

Spread a smile with a comment!