Union Oyster House America's Oldest Restaurant Est. 1826
Boston is more than just thick accents, tea parties, and baseball games at the park. O Ya, Uni, Asta, T.W. Food, Menton, Toro. The options to satiate your culinary appetite are endless. Traditional American cuisine, seafood, Mexican or Italian, Boston has it all. My question when visiting a new city - is it more important to go to the hot trendy restaurant or something tried-true, steeped in history?
In June of 2015 I jumped on a plane to Boston. Yes, the song by Augustana was on repeat during the flight. Just as it has been every other time I've visited Boston. Do we expect anything less than a little bit of nostalgia and cliché song choices? Sorry I'm not sorry. This time I was going with my mother for a friend's wedding in Scituate. Boston no longer has to fresh new wonder that it had when I first went my freshman year of college. I've been there more times than I can count. Walking from Back Bay to the North End is something that I can do without looking at a mask. Want to go see the "Make Way for Ducklings" statue in the Boston Commons? I can give you exact directions. Don't get me wrong. I love Boston, MA. The city is one of my favorites in the States, but it is now known to me.
Much to my dismay, the one thing that I had not yet experienced in Boston is fresh oysters. After years of visiting my best friend during college and my time living in NYC, we had never gone to a restaurant for oysters. Without much thought necessary, my mom and I knew that a trip to Union Oyster House would be a must. Located along the history Freedom Trail, just down a cobbled street close to Faneuil Hall, this restaurant has gone down in history as America's oldest restaurant. If you're a history buff like yours truly, Daniel Webster was a frequent customer.
The restaurant has become touristy over the years, as to be expected with such a title. A man dressed as Benjamin Franklin sits at the front door, waiting to welcome you to the establishment. Nautical and East Coast decor cover the walls. There is no empty space on the wall. Covered with years and years of history. My point to all of this, ignore the initial perceptions. We are here for the beer and oysters. Here is all you need to know about oysters:
- cocktail sauce
- squeeze of lemon juice
- slurp and swallow
A nice swig of beer to help wash it all down is clearly necessary. Not just any beer will do. Corona with fresh oysters? No way. Sam Adams brews a beer exclusively for Union Oyster - Sam Adams Union Oyster Colonial Ale. Hints of molasses fill your mouth upon tasting the beer - this is Sam Adams' way of paying homage to Boston's Great Molasses Flood of 1919.
After a dozen oysters and two glasses of Colonial Ale, you are nice and full, ready to continue along the Freedom Trail, getting your daily dose of American history.