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A colorful sunset over water in Quincy, Massachusetts, with docked boats visible in the water.
Sunset at Bay Pointe Waterfront Restaurant in Quincy
Bay Pointe Waterfront Restaurant/Facebook

The Guide to Waterfront Dining in Boston

Where to eat while enjoying the view

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Sunset at Bay Pointe Waterfront Restaurant in Quincy
| Bay Pointe Waterfront Restaurant/Facebook

A city built on the sea (and on a landfill), Boston is lousy with waterfront dining options. And no, they’re not all serving lobster rolls and oysters — though one can certainly find a decent lobster roll or a dozen oysters if one wishes.

There’s still some good weather ahead, so take advantage of it and eat a waterfront meal with a view.

This map was originally published on September 18, 2017; it is updated periodically, and the date of the most recent update appears above.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Kelly's Roast Beef

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The original, or get out. Since it opened in 1951, Kelly’s has been a staple on Revere Beach. Get a “super beef four ways” (barbecue sauce, lettuce, mayo, and cheese) and look out upon the vast expanse of the Atlantic.

Revere Beach at sunset, as seen from Kelly’s Roast Beef
The beach — and pavilions with some seating available — is right across the street from Kelly’s
Kelly’s Roast Beef/Facebook

If you’ve ever wanted to eat a bowl of cioppino while staring at the masts of the world’s oldest commissioned naval ship, Pier 6 in Charlestown is your spot. The menu is seafood heavy, but there’s a burger and a NY strip steak for all you land lovers.

Sunset over the water, with the edge of Charlestown restaurant Pier 6 visible on the right side of the image
The view from Pier 6
Pier 6/Facebook

If you’re into views of the Boston skyline, contemporary art, and locally sourced ingredients, Cambridge’s ArtBar might be for you. Grab some brioche French toast brunch while gawking at the restaurant’s art collection, or head out to the patio for those Charles River views. And if you’re still looking for something to do afterwards, the Museum of Science is right around the corner.  

Dusk on the patio at ArtBar in Cambridge
ArtBar’s patio on the Charles
ArtBar/Facebook

KO Pies at the Shipyard

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It’s not all seafood in Boston. At KO Pies in East Boston, it’s all about savory Australian-style meat pies. These hand pies are best served with a cold beer and the other view of Boston Harbor. Also available: a few Australian specialty items, like Milo or Vegemite. Head right into the Boston Harbor Shipyard to find this restaurant.

Shipyard vibes at KO’s Eastie location
Shipyard vibes at KO’s Eastie location
KO Pies/Facebook

Boston Sail Loft

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The Sail Loft provides dive bar vibes with excellent fried seafood and that famous dill-spiked New England clam chowder. Sit at the bar — or on the deck — and look at adjacent docked boats.

Waterfront views from Boston Sail Loft
Waterfront views from Boston Sail Loft
Boston Sail Loft/Official Site

James Hook & Company

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James Hook & Co., which has been around since 1925, is definitely known for its lobster rolls, and it winds up on just about every “best lobster roll in Boston” list for good reason. It’s simple — lobster meat, mayo, buttered roll — but simple is best when it comes to lobster rolls. Let that claw meat sing. James Hook is in the heart of the city, but it feels as though it’s in some small town in mid-coastal Maine. Grab a bit of outdoor seating or stroll along the Harborwalk or Seaport Boulevard for water views.

Lobster meat is piled into a hot dog bun, which sits on aluminum foil in a red and white paper holder. It sits on an aged picnic table outdoors, with more tables and chairs, as well as some greenery, visible in the background.
A lobster roll at James Hook
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The Barking Crab

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Turns out you don’t have to go to Ipswich for great fried clams (but still, try to go to Ipswich for fried clams sometime.) The Barking Crab is the perfect confluence of tourist trap and actually good restaurant. It’s situated on Fort Point Channel directly across from James Hook & Co. and right down the Harborwalk from Fan Pier Park. And as its name suggests, it’s got a pretty good selection of crab.

Outside view of the Barking Crab at night, featuring its distinctive red and yellow striped tent
Can’t get much closer to the water than at Barking Crab
The Barking Crab [Official Photo]

No Name Restaurant

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Leave the glitz and glamour of the other Seaport restaurants behind for the buoys, drop ceilings, and no-frills food at No Name. The Contos family has been cooking seafood for a century now, so they must be doing something right. No outdoor dining, but plenty of windows with water views.

The view from No Name Restaurant on Fish Pier
The view from No Name Restaurant on Fish Pier
No Name/Facebook

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

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Del Frisco’s is ridiculous. It’s ostentatious. It’s expensive. It’s packed with power lunchers and wannabe socialites. But it does have a view of the water and plenty of steak.

A plate of rare prime rib at Del Frisco’s, with jus and red wine in the background
Eat this meat while taking in waterfront views
Del Frisco’s [Official Photo]

Temazcal Tequila Cantina

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For waterfront dining, there are some acceptable chain destinations in the chain-heavy Seaport District. Part of a very small local chain, Temazcal is all about Mexican food and tequila. The menu contains a good mix of meat and seafood options (sorry, vegetarians and vegans — this probably isn’t your spot), and the bar features more than 250 different types of tequila.

The view from Temazcal
The view from Temazcal
Temazcal/Facebook

Legal Harborside

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Right next to Temazcal is another destination for waterfront views. Legal Harborside is giant — 20,000 square feet — and the views of Boston Harbor from its third floor combination deck/bar are unmatched. The bulk of the third-floor menu is sushi, but you can’t go wrong with Legal’s classic New England clam chowder.

The Legal Harborside roof deck
The Legal Harborside roof deck
Legal Harborside/Facebook

Sullivan's

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Like Kelly’s, this is another classic that’s been open since 1951. Sullivan’s, on Castle Island, is a seasonal joint (open from the last weekend in February to the last weekend in November) serving up everything from hot dogs to fish and chips. The view of the Boston Harbor Islands is nearly unmatched, and the food is seriously cheap. It’s a bit out of the way — drive all the way to the tip of Southie to get there — but it’s a worthy hike. And don’t worry; the long line moves quickly.

Great Atlantic views from Sullivan’s, especially when Fort Independence is open
Great Atlantic views from Sullivan’s, especially when Fort Independence is open
Sullivan’s/Facebook

Venezia Restaurant

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Venezia’s expansive Italian menu and views of the Boston skyline make it Dorchester’s marquee waterfront dining experience. Go for the zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta, and stay for the gnocchi. It’s readily bookable for events, too, including weddings. Follow dinner with a trip to Boston Harbor Distillery or Boston Winery, each mere steps away from the restaurant.

Seafood towers and water views at Venezia
Seafood towers and water views at Venezia
Venezia/Facebook

Bay Pointe Waterfront Restaurant

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The North Shore got a shoutout with Kelly’s, so it’s only fair the South Shore gets one too. Quincy’s Bay Pointe Waterfront Restaurant has extensive brunch, lunch, tapas, and dinner menus, and like at any seaside New England restaurant worth its weight in gold, diners can slurp back as many oysters as they like. The views of the city aren’t so bad, either.

A colorful sunset over water in Quincy, Massachusetts, with docked boats visible in the water.
Sunset at Bay Pointe
Facebook

Kelly's Roast Beef

Revere Beach at sunset, as seen from Kelly’s Roast Beef
The beach — and pavilions with some seating available — is right across the street from Kelly’s
Kelly’s Roast Beef/Facebook

The original, or get out. Since it opened in 1951, Kelly’s has been a staple on Revere Beach. Get a “super beef four ways” (barbecue sauce, lettuce, mayo, and cheese) and look out upon the vast expanse of the Atlantic.

Revere Beach at sunset, as seen from Kelly’s Roast Beef
The beach — and pavilions with some seating available — is right across the street from Kelly’s
Kelly’s Roast Beef/Facebook

Pier 6

Sunset over the water, with the edge of Charlestown restaurant Pier 6 visible on the right side of the image
The view from Pier 6
Pier 6/Facebook

If you’ve ever wanted to eat a bowl of cioppino while staring at the masts of the world’s oldest commissioned naval ship, Pier 6 in Charlestown is your spot. The menu is seafood heavy, but there’s a burger and a NY strip steak for all you land lovers.

Sunset over the water, with the edge of Charlestown restaurant Pier 6 visible on the right side of the image
The view from Pier 6
Pier 6/Facebook

ArtBar

Dusk on the patio at ArtBar in Cambridge
ArtBar’s patio on the Charles
ArtBar/Facebook

If you’re into views of the Boston skyline, contemporary art, and locally sourced ingredients, Cambridge’s ArtBar might be for you. Grab some brioche French toast brunch while gawking at the restaurant’s art collection, or head out to the patio for those Charles River views. And if you’re still looking for something to do afterwards, the Museum of Science is right around the corner.  

Dusk on the patio at ArtBar in Cambridge
ArtBar’s patio on the Charles
ArtBar/Facebook

KO Pies at the Shipyard

Shipyard vibes at KO’s Eastie location
Shipyard vibes at KO’s Eastie location
KO Pies/Facebook

It’s not all seafood in Boston. At KO Pies in East Boston, it’s all about savory Australian-style meat pies. These hand pies are best served with a cold beer and the other view of Boston Harbor. Also available: a few Australian specialty items, like Milo or Vegemite. Head right into the Boston Harbor Shipyard to find this restaurant.

Shipyard vibes at KO’s Eastie location
Shipyard vibes at KO’s Eastie location
KO Pies/Facebook

Boston Sail Loft

Waterfront views from Boston Sail Loft
Waterfront views from Boston Sail Loft
Boston Sail Loft/Official Site

The Sail Loft provides dive bar vibes with excellent fried seafood and that famous dill-spiked New England clam chowder. Sit at the bar — or on the deck — and look at adjacent docked boats.

Waterfront views from Boston Sail Loft
Waterfront views from Boston Sail Loft
Boston Sail Loft/Official Site

James Hook & Company

Lobster meat is piled into a hot dog bun, which sits on aluminum foil in a red and white paper holder. It sits on an aged picnic table outdoors, with more tables and chairs, as well as some greenery, visible in the background.
A lobster roll at James Hook
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

James Hook & Co., which has been around since 1925, is definitely known for its lobster rolls, and it winds up on just about every “best lobster roll in Boston” list for good reason. It’s simple — lobster meat, mayo, buttered roll — but simple is best when it comes to lobster rolls. Let that claw meat sing. James Hook is in the heart of the city, but it feels as though it’s in some small town in mid-coastal Maine. Grab a bit of outdoor seating or stroll along the Harborwalk or Seaport Boulevard for water views.

Lobster meat is piled into a hot dog bun, which sits on aluminum foil in a red and white paper holder. It sits on an aged picnic table outdoors, with more tables and chairs, as well as some greenery, visible in the background.
A lobster roll at James Hook
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The Barking Crab

Outside view of the Barking Crab at night, featuring its distinctive red and yellow striped tent
Can’t get much closer to the water than at Barking Crab
The Barking Crab [Official Photo]

Turns out you don’t have to go to Ipswich for great fried clams (but still, try to go to Ipswich for fried clams sometime.) The Barking Crab is the perfect confluence of tourist trap and actually good restaurant. It’s situated on Fort Point Channel directly across from James Hook & Co. and right down the Harborwalk from Fan Pier Park. And as its name suggests, it’s got a pretty good selection of crab.

Outside view of the Barking Crab at night, featuring its distinctive red and yellow striped tent
Can’t get much closer to the water than at Barking Crab
The Barking Crab [Official Photo]

No Name Restaurant

The view from No Name Restaurant on Fish Pier
The view from No Name Restaurant on Fish Pier
No Name/Facebook

Leave the glitz and glamour of the other Seaport restaurants behind for the buoys, drop ceilings, and no-frills food at No Name. The Contos family has been cooking seafood for a century now, so they must be doing something right. No outdoor dining, but plenty of windows with water views.

The view from No Name Restaurant on Fish Pier
The view from No Name Restaurant on Fish Pier
No Name/Facebook

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

A plate of rare prime rib at Del Frisco’s, with jus and red wine in the background
Eat this meat while taking in waterfront views
Del Frisco’s [Official Photo]

Del Frisco’s is ridiculous. It’s ostentatious. It’s expensive. It’s packed with power lunchers and wannabe socialites. But it does have a view of the water and plenty of steak.

A plate of rare prime rib at Del Frisco’s, with jus and red wine in the background
Eat this meat while taking in waterfront views
Del Frisco’s [Official Photo]

Temazcal Tequila Cantina

The view from Temazcal
The view from Temazcal
Temazcal/Facebook

For waterfront dining, there are some acceptable chain destinations in the chain-heavy Seaport District. Part of a very small local chain, Temazcal is all about Mexican food and tequila. The menu contains a good mix of meat and seafood options (sorry, vegetarians and vegans — this probably isn’t your spot), and the bar features more than 250 different types of tequila.

The view from Temazcal
The view from Temazcal
Temazcal/Facebook

Legal Harborside

The Legal Harborside roof deck
The Legal Harborside roof deck
Legal Harborside/Facebook

Right next to Temazcal is another destination for waterfront views. Legal Harborside is giant — 20,000 square feet — and the views of Boston Harbor from its third floor combination deck/bar are unmatched. The bulk of the third-floor menu is sushi, but you can’t go wrong with Legal’s classic New England clam chowder.

The Legal Harborside roof deck
The Legal Harborside roof deck
Legal Harborside/Facebook

Sullivan's

Great Atlantic views from Sullivan’s, especially when Fort Independence is open
Great Atlantic views from Sullivan’s, especially when Fort Independence is open
Sullivan’s/Facebook

Like Kelly’s, this is another classic that’s been open since 1951. Sullivan’s, on Castle Island, is a seasonal joint (open from the last weekend in February to the last weekend in November) serving up everything from hot dogs to fish and chips. The view of the Boston Harbor Islands is nearly unmatched, and the food is seriously cheap. It’s a bit out of the way — drive all the way to the tip of Southie to get there — but it’s a worthy hike. And don’t worry; the long line moves quickly.

Great Atlantic views from Sullivan’s, especially when Fort Independence is open
Great Atlantic views from Sullivan’s, especially when Fort Independence is open
Sullivan’s/Facebook

Venezia Restaurant

Seafood towers and water views at Venezia
Seafood towers and water views at Venezia
Venezia/Facebook

Venezia’s expansive Italian menu and views of the Boston skyline make it Dorchester’s marquee waterfront dining experience. Go for the zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta, and stay for the gnocchi. It’s readily bookable for events, too, including weddings. Follow dinner with a trip to Boston Harbor Distillery or Boston Winery, each mere steps away from the restaurant.

Seafood towers and water views at Venezia
Seafood towers and water views at Venezia
Venezia/Facebook

Bay Pointe Waterfront Restaurant