Boston Seafood Restaurant Where You Crack Lobsters with a Rock
by Travis D.
Barking Crab restaurant in Boston
Question: I'm looking for the name of a Boston seafood restaurant where they give you a rock to crack open the lobsters. My friend ate there last year and said it was lots of fun and it's near the water, but she doesn't remember the name. I'm coming to Boston in July, and hope to try it. Do you know where that would be? Thanks! - Travis
Susan's reply: That sounds like the Barking Crab. I added the above picture of it. It's at 88 Sleeper Street, in the South Boston Waterfront area. It's very easy to get to from the Financial District/South Station area of downtown Boston - just walk across the Moakley Footbridge, which spans the Ft Point Channel, and you'll see it.
As far as I know, Barking Crab is the only Boston seafood restaurant where you're given a rock to crack open the lobster claws when you order a whole steamed or boiled lobster. The restaurant is sort of like the city version of a shore-side clam shack, and a lot of fun. I worked nearby for awhile and would occasionally stop by with colleagues for lunch if it wasn't too crowded. In addition to lobster, they have lots of other casual seafood dishes - excellent clam chowder, lobster bisque, fried calamari, fried clams, lobster roll, fishermen's platters, and other seafood dishes.
Barking Crab gets really lively at night, especially when they have live music. It's close to a lot of popular attractions - the Children's Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, the Greenway (on the city side of the Channel), and not too far from the Bank of America Pavilion and the Boston Convention and Expo Center. Views are nice too - in addition to the Ft Point Channel (which is what you can see in the above photo), you can also get some views of Boston Harbor, and of course, the city skyline.
If Barking Crab is too crowded (which sometimes happens) and you want another casual seafood option, especially for lunch, head back across the Moakley Bridge to James Hook Lobster. In addition to live lobsters and other seafood, they have some terrific carryout options such as chowder and maybe the best value for lobster roll in the city (so affordable that it's on my Cheap Eats list!). There's a picnic table or 2 where you can sit and eat, but if these are occupied, just walk over to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, where you'll find lots of benches and low walls where you can sit and eat.
If you want something slightly less casual (cracking open lobster claws with a rock and munching on lobster rolls at a picnic table isn't everyone's cup of tea), Jasper White's Summer Shack, located next to Prudential Center in Back Bay, is always a good bet. It's also modeled on a clam shack theme and combines casual seafood and sides like corn on the cob with a very fun atmosphere.
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