The Hourly Oyster House

4.6
579 reviews
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$30 and under
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Oyster Bar
The Hourly Oyster House is a vibrant and welcoming neighborhood outpost in the heart of Harvard Square, where guests can enjoy thoughtfully sourced and playfully prepared seafood and oysters from New England and beyond, as well as a carefully crafted selection of signature cocktails, beer and wine. With a focus on seafood, The Hourly serves up New England classics in a dynamic and airy space. Instead of traditional bread service, meals begin with fresh, homemade salt and vinegar chips and guests are sent home with taffy from Harvard Square neighbor, Cabot’s Candy.
What 579 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good choice for seafood if you don't feel like going down to the harbor. Enjoyed it.

OT
Denver
17 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 3

Average todo

NY
New England
33 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

This place has a few specialty items that are good—but the rest is food-service grade.

The lobster roll was very nice, buttery, and a lot better than at “Alive and Kicking.” The wine, a Soave Classico, was genuinely nice.

But everything else was meh. Fries were limp/sad. Candied walnut-strawberry salad used industrial candy-coated walnuts (old, sugary, no flavor) and bagged arugula. Oysters come with canned cocktail and bottles of hot sauce sauce in an age where many nice restaurants make their own. The dinner ends with saltwater taffy, but it’s flavor is that of a chemical factory.

The oysters were OK. Selection is big, but I suspect they fill their oysters with salt water. They all had identical table-salt flavor to them. There are better oysters at both Waypoint and Little Donkey.

Ambiance is dark and the tables, cutlery, etc on the cheap side. Hard surfaces makes it a bit noisy. My water glass tasted like dishwasher odor. Service is friendly but amateur. We will not be back unless we’re craving their particular lobster roll.

CK
New England
3 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Though I thought the lobster roll was overpriced, the food was very good to excellent. The service was as good as it gets and the ambiance made you feel like you were in a special restaurant. I'll be planning another visit soon.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great service. I liked everything except for the grain bowl which I thought was a little too creamy. The server was nice enough to take it off of my check. Everything else was fantastic and the oysters were delicious as always!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was outstanding our service was very good. The lobster and oysters were the stars. Make sure you get some oysters they are a bit pricey but very delicious.

SF
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Business dinner with coworkers. Yummy food and fit the per diem budget. Service extraordinary. Only complaint is it was a bit too warm

s
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 4ambience 5

the oysters were delicious!
i am not too sure about the presentation of the crab cakes though taste wise was ok.
don’t get the seafood pasta...
the burger was great too!!

definitely place to go to get the oysters!

S
New England
34 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Food was good. Loved the oyster choices. Our only compliant is that service was VERY slow.

OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The branzini was outstanding! I would order the same next time I go there!

LD
New England
3 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My daughter and I were delighted to celebrate National Oyster Day at The Hourly! We knocked back 2.5 dozen of four different varieties and were pleased with ourselves that we could actually determine subtle differences between them all!
Service was excellent, food was fantastic (strawberry/goat cheese salad & some kind of sliders), we were able to leave in time to get to our next event, and it was all just great.
Thank you!
Kendra & Libby

s
New England
15 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Celebrating National Oyster Day at The Hourly was perfection! The selection was outstanding across the board. Service top notch. While ideal for the holiday -- is also a gem year 'round for oyster lovers and foodies alike!

AA
New England
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the oysters. They were delicious and so fresh! My favorite oyster bar.

W
New England
45 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good spot for oysters in the Square. It's usually not as crowded as other nearby spots, perhaps because it is tucked away on Dunster Street.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I ate the fish that is cooked packed in salt, it was amazing!

OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate outside in their adorable courtyard with our dog and had a great meal!

CP
Caribbean
4 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The salt-crusted branzino is worth driving a long, long distance for! This was our second visit and it was every bit as good as we had remembered. Thank you!

LM
New England
5 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate outside with our puppy, The half-hour raw bar plate was excellent as was the lobster roll. Very friendly, efficient service. We will be back!

JR
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time trying lobster and I ordered the lobster roll. It was delicious. It is also the most I've ever spent on a single menu item (partly due to poor AUD value at the moment) so I will savour that experience. The waiter was very helpful with my difficult drink request and handled it no problems. Nice ambiance inside the bar, perhaps I little noisy but could still hear my own conversation.

CN
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 2

I have never experienced such rude service in my life. I was mocked and dismissed for asking an explanation on the oysters they sell. We were consistently ignored while the bar was empty. We were served the wrong beverage order with no explanation and no apology. After tipping generously we were virtually ignored as we departed the restaurant. I have eaten here several times, with great results, this was a virtual disaster. I will never return.

HT
Cincinnati
6 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service! Server and F&B Manager were knowledgeable and helpful on our orders .

a
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely atmosphere and fantastic oyster selection. Recommend the salt-crusted bronzini and the classic lobster roll.

JI
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This turned out to be a great spot to meet up with my Hubby's cousin and her Hubby. We all love seafood, though Dave prefers his raw seafood medium rare. He did however enjoy the clam chowder, and salt crusted bronzini. Hubby's cousin enjoyed the crab cakes. We were still fairly full after huge lobster rolls for lunch, so we enjoyed the grilled octopus and tuna poke.

I'm a bit of a grilled octopus snob. This one had a great flavor, but was a tad bit chewy. The presentation was lovely. The poke was among the best we've had! I wish with chef would share his secret!

Our service was great, as was the ambiance.

PC
New England
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hourly Oyster House is a gem of a place in Harvard Square. The food was tasty and very well prepared. The lobster roll that would rival any lobster roll in New England - big and lots of meat. The fries were extra crispy just the way we like them. The salads were fresh and flavorful. We are big poke fans and the poke is as good as any in Hawaii. The wine list is extensive and had one of favorites from the Cahors region of France. We love good gin and there was a nice section.

Our server, Elizabeth, was terrific - she explained things appropriately and had a very pleasant, upbeat manner.

We look forward to many more meals here.

MS
New England
13 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Limited menu but many unique and delicious items. Pasta with seafood had perfectly cooked squid ink pasta. Who's ever heard of tuna ahi BLT? Wonderful combo of flavors and textures. Lobster roll is the best. Great raw bar. This is one of my primary Harvard Square go-to places when friends or family visit. No one has been disappointed yet!

f
New England
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very good food, great atmosphere, great service. We'll be back!

VE
New England
3 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The seafood is very well prepared and presented. I had Halibut en Papillote: the fish was very fresh and tasty.

OT
Denver
10 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our experience was fantastic! Our waiter was so knowledgeable and delightful! Next time I am back in Boston, I will be going back again!

BH
Atlantic City
28 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Four of us shared five different entrees and two desserts and were overwhelmed by the distinctive and wonderful tastes. It was a humid evening and the A/C duct over our table dripped condensation on us but that was quickly remedied when they moved us, then sat a succession of others at that table, all of whom asked to be moved. It was a clown car scene unless you were the one dripped on. Management should have learned something but apparently didn’t. Right off the yard at H this is a go to place.

SD
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great service, ambiance and food! Lobster macaroni lacked flavor but everything else was great!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really great place. Raw bar is on par with any place in the city. Service at the bar was excellent. Terrific house made potato chips were gratis. Will return 100%

LK
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great service and really good food. Great lobster roll and oysters. I do not recommend the octopus. We visit every time we are in town!

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and incredible service from the manager bartender and head chef!

OT
New England
21 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is an absolute gem of a restaurant! The food, service, ambiance all combine to make it one of my favorite restaurants in Cambridge/Boston.

KD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service, fresh seafood. Loved it — so glad I went.

WL
New England
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite place in Harbard Square by far. Terrific for business and social dinners. Highly recommended.

LP
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Was a very nice establishment for a comfortable dinner. The oysters were fantastic ... I don’t really care for oyster but theses were sweet and the sauce was great. The scallops were tender and nice size portions. I would recommend this place. A return to Boston is a return to Hourly Oyster House.

W
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and awesome service!

BB
New England
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and excellent service! Will definitely be back. One of the best places we have been to in a long time.

LC
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious and fresh Island Creek oysters! Wonderful menu. Special of Fruit de Mar Paella was fabulous !

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