Legal Sea Foods - Charles Square

4.3
1325 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
The signature dish at Legal Sea Foods – really fresh fish. Located in the courtyard of the Charles Hotel, our restaurant evokes the simple style of the original Legal Sea Foods that was in nearby Inman Square, Cambridge. In warmer months our outside patio reels in those who choose the fresh seafood and fresh air combo.

We’ve received a boatload of accolades including “#1 Best Seafood Restaurant” (USA Today, 2013), “Most Popular Boston Restaurant” (Zagat, 2012/2013), “Best Seafood Restaurant” (Improper Bostonian, 2010), “Best Chowder” (Boston Magazine, 2010) and the honor of serving our legendary New England Clam Chowder at every presidential inauguration since 1981.

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Eat your heart out with us on Valentine's Day. We'll be offering our regular menus along with festive features. Reservations are highly recommended.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

What 1325 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.0
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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PD
New England
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed a fantastic fish meal
So delicious
The waiter outstanding
No rush
Could stay as long as you wanted
The dessert was perfect to end the meal
Sherbert tasty good
We will soon be back for another great meal

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J
New England
6 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

My wife and I like to make a meal of Legal's excellent starters. This time we had tuna sashimi, smoked salmon with brioche bread & steamed mussels, preceded by a margarita, accompanied by a glass of Sancerre and followed by pumpkin cheesecake & espresso. Altogether a very festive New Year's Eve dining experience.

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L
New England
9 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Another great server - Chloe.

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LR
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were in Boston for Christmas Day, away from home. The staff was attentive, kind and pleasant. Our meal from drinks to appetizers to entrees and desserts was delicious. We enjoyed our experience and we will definitely return.

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p
New England
25 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Delicious food. Same classic Legal menu unlike some Legal restaurants that have limited menus and no substitutions. Tried the new chestnut hill restaurant... but had to return here!

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LA
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Nice but cramped! Chairs knock tables;( but great food

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HL
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

Christmas Eve was very busy but service was ridiculous. Our appetizers and main dishes arrived all at the same time and there were missing drinks and food items

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L
New England
16 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great eatery. Gave us table we wanted and they did all the rest.

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L
New England
10 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Excellent new server called Autumn.
Manager arranged for table change in a better area.

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AE
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quality of food is consistent and tasty. I love that the music is not loud so you can actually hear your company’s conversations.

Thank you!

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H
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best lobster ever!

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MM
New England
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent server. Consistent Legal experience. Will go back.

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H
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent venue, friendly & great food! The service is fantastic!

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o
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great place to bring out of town guest. We brought a cousin from Inidana, where fresh fish is always questionable. We ordered Artic char, pan seared and grilled. All enjoyed excellent preparation of quality seafood. Legal also had a nice wine paring with a Jester Shiraz. Polenta was deliciuos with just the right texture. We'll be back.

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BB
New England
10 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 1

It was extremely hot in room even waiters were complaining. Spoke to manager. Seems they were trying to keep front area by door warm but it was awful I. The back

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R
New England
8 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been to this Legal Seafoods many times and have always had a great experience. The staff is friendly and very accommodating if a change is requested when ordering a meal. I like the atmosphere. At Christmas the courtyard on which this restaurant is located is beautifully decorated and lighted. Over all it is a pleasure.

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N
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was incredible. They've converted me to sea food with the most incredible swordfish, tuna, cod. Also, they had the best lobster I've ever had. The portions were great and well-matched to the price. A large majority of the menu could be made allergy-safe gluten-free. I felt very safe and cared for as a person with celiac disease. They had the most fantastic gluten-free rolls. Everyone in my party was very very impressed.

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r
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Appetizer and main course was great, but their dessert (key lime) was terrible.

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p
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The gold standard in seafood!

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T
St. Louis
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

I found the ciopinno rather uninspired, the service uneven (e.g. not bringing us the right utensils before food arrive, the timing of food, etc). I suspect the waiter was new.

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K
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

Were seated right next to the bar, where some gathering of folks was underway who were incredibly loud and obnoxious. Service on the slow side. Food generally good, but nothing special.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was especially delicious that night!
It was so jam packed busy that evening and our waitress said they did not expect it to be that busy.
Despite this, the wait staff and servers were professional and on top of everything. Thank you!

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HD
New England
23 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I always get the crab cake combo with scallops and shrimp. A little pricey but dependable. That plus a glass of Sancerre and a Cappuccino plus tip runs $65.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Not up to regular standard of service and food. Something has changed and the experience was very disappointing .

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B
New England
26 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

Service is typically poor at this location but was worse than usual. Two hours to complete our dinner with an almost nonexistent server. In addition, parents let their toddler scream for more than 40 minutes. Diners near us asked management to speak to that party and they declined. Made for an unpleasant experience for many diners. The location is also in desperate need of a makeover- consistently unclean too.

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M
New England
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

Our server really tried to take care of us, but she could not make up for the lack of quality food and preparation, especially in light of the price point. The pricing is more in line with white table cloth fine dining, but you get a casual experience on paper place mats. Our "market price" items were significantly higher than the entire menu.

Many of the dishes seemed incomplete: plain steamed broccoli, plain white rice... No sauces unless you read the fine print on the menu that "allows" you to select your sauce. The kitchen should take care of this, not the diner. Complete the dish!

Main courses arrived via food auction, not by place number/diner; terrible, especially at a "better" restaurant.

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JE
New England
15 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great service, delicious food cozy for a family dinner on a holiday but overall a delightful meal and cheerful server.

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H
Los Angeles
20 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Thanksgiving dinner and perfectly happy we ate there. Had both the Seafood Casserole and the Ciopino. Great oysters, brilliant Ahi appy and perfect wine selection.

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4
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 5ambience 2

Great food and service but tables were placed too close together. We were practically sitting on top of neighboring patrons.

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OT
Los Angeles
33 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of three meals I had a Legal Seafood during my recent stay in Cambridge--I used to live there, don't anymore and miss it and Legal terribly. All the food was superb: my boiled lobster, swordfish and lobster roll were perfectly cooked. The lobster might have been the best I've ever eaten, and it was easy to eat, thanks to the chef's skillful sectioning. The swordfish was fantastic, and the lobster roll was a very generous, with a large amount of meat. Another thing I love about Legal is its large selection of wines by the glass, which are reasonably priced. The service was efficient and friendly; I never felt unattended or in need of anything. And although Legal accommodates groups of all sizes, I particularly appreciate the fact that single diners like me are treated well. Needless to say, I'll be back ASAP.

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KM
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always delicious! Great atmosphere snd attentive staff!

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MG
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

As always food was delicious and staff friendly and professional.

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KC
Cleveland
8 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Went for a family birthday. Large party but that did not impact our service at all. Waitress and staff very attentive. Food was good to very good with a dish or two great but at the price point would expect very good to great. ll that said, will definitely go again given, ambiance, service level and ability to host larger groups.

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ED
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great selection. We ordered crab cake with shrimp and scallops which was excellent.

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C
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food, reliably good. Not too noisy, so good for conversation.

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SL
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a good time at legals, food was tasty and the legal sangria taste better every time. Waiter was very nice as well.

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MB
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Probably our favorite Legal Seafood location. Seafood is generally excellent and the atmosphere is very comfortable - Good booths & bar seating is also great for informal meals.

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JC
New England
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Used to be better. Fried seafood is now heavier and saltier/ more seasoned. Quirky items unique to Legals are generally long gone (fried smelts, Shandong sauce, etc.). No longer offering choice of side dishes, though you can ask them to make substitutions and they'll do it happily. Service quite good and the room is appealing.

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SK
New England
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

I ordered a cup of lobster bisque. When it arrived the cup was just over 1/2 filled, there were miniscule its of lobster, no discernible sherry, and it was lukewarm. Definitely a disappointment and NOT a good value, especially since I had counted upon it and another appetizer to be my entire lunch. Disappointing. Also, I heard no 'raves' for the food from my 6 other guests. Bottom line: Not a showstopper of a meal.

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J
Denver
6 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great service! Excellent location. Good food.

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