Ready for this claim to fame? Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in America, serving up mussels, chowders, lobster, and (of course) oysters in Government Center since people like Daniel Webster were alive and slurping back shellfish here. Its big, red rooftop sign lights the way like the North Star, a landmark in the neighborhood, leading people to this rustic, buzzy space, where the New England staples (or, as the menu states, "Ye Olde New England Favorites") are a must: steamers, clam chowder, boiled stuffed lobster, baked beans, and Indian pudding.
It’s impossible to cover Boston’s oldest restaurants without shining a spotlight on Union Oyster House. Founded in 1826, this charming Faneuil Hall-adjacent property is a true overachiever, serving as not only the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Boston—but the entire nation. As you may assume from the name, succulent seafood is the norm around here, with Fried Oyster Rolls, New England Clam Chowder, and Baked Stuffed Clams found on the menu. Beyond the cuisine, Union Oyster House has also played host to some fascinating historic characters as well. Politicians like Daniel Webster and John F. Kennedy were frequent patrons, and several decades prior to opening, the building served as a refuge for the exiled Louis Philippe I, a European royal who would later serve as King of France from 1830 to 1848.