The Best Raw Bars Now Open in Boston

By Eric Twardzik
Select Oyster Bar

We love raw seafood all year long, but as the mercury rises, so does our craving for chilled seafood (and chilled wine). From an elegantly prepared crudo to over-the-top shellfish towers, the venues below feature our favorite raw bar selections in Boston.

Crudo from Saltie Girl

Raw delights are plentiful at the Back Bay gem, which has borrowed the patio from its sister restaurant Met Back Bay and now accepts reservations. The crudo section includes a winning King Salmon served with cucumbers, pistachio, and avocado oil; as well as Day Boat Scallop with jalapeño, lime, avocado, and caviar. Meanwhile, the seafood towers come in Petite, Grande, or Royale; the latter is an ambitious pile of 18 oysters, four littleneck clams, four top neck clams, four shrimp, Jonah crab salad, lobster cocktail, tuna poke, king crab, sea urchin, and a full 30 grams of Siberian caviar.

In addition to the Uni Clam Shack takeout window the Back Bay restaurant operates during lunchtime hours, Uni has launched an outdoor raw bar now open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m. The menu includes Aunt Dotty Oysters, Fresh Hopper Shrimp Cocktail, and Local Bass Ceviche, plus plenty of beer, sake, and rosé for pairing.

Row 34 has recently reopened its Fort Point patio, in addition to serving seafood shack-inspired takeout via The Window at Row 34. The big-ticket items may be Fried Clams and Creamy Lobster Rolls, but you can also score Shrimp Cocktail with homemade cocktail sauce, Chilled Lobster Tails, and unshucked Island Creek Oysters by the dozen with lemon, cocktail sauce, and mignonette. (Should you require a proper oyster knife and gloves, The Window sells those, too.)

Interior of Neptune Oyster

The tiny North End favorite has moved the action to a patio on Salem Street, giving seafood seekers the chance to savor crudos, caviar, and indulgent platters like the Triton Plateau—which includes oysters, cherrystone clams, shrimp, Chatham blue mussels, lobster cocktail, and blue crab cocktail—outside. You can also order the Maine Lobster Cocktail and White Anchovy Cocktail to-go.

Select’s patio is brand new, but the Back Bay spot’s emphasis on raw seafood, bright flavors, and cold Champagne hasn’t changed. Our favorites include the Faroe Islands Salmon Crudo with togarashi and pistachio oil, and the refreshingly minimalist Dressed Maine Lobster, which accents the meat with only herbs, lemon, and top-grade olive oil. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a dozen Island Creek Oysters served with cocktail sauce and pickled shallot vinaigrette.

Barbara Lynch’s South End seafood spot boasts a truly epic raw bar, best enjoyed on the sunken backyard patio. You can go a la carte or spring for one of two seafood towers named after local skyscrapers: Both The Hancock Tower and heftier The Prudential include an assortment of oysters, shrimp cocktail, littlenecks, cherrystone clams, smoked mussels, and crabmeat cocktail; the latter also includes blue cod ceviche. If you’re looking to carry-out, you can order a dozen unshucked East Coast Oysters to go, complete with lemon, mignonette, and cocktail sauce.

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