by Nick Argires
As I made my way through Boston, I had one little, tiny, simple request: To find the best oyster of my life. Utter perfection is always a reasonable request, right? Although many a oysters were devoured, two places stood out: The Union Oyster House and the Haymarket Farmers’ Market. Both for very different reasons, one of which was pertinent to my mission of oyster world domination.
The Union Oyster House has been serving food since 1826 and is America’s oldest restaurant still in operation today. Think about that for a sec… The history of this place is something to be in awe of. Located on the Freedom Trail, near Faneuil Hall, The Union Oyster House has served some pretty big names in history, including JFK and Daniel Weber, who apparently couldn’t be torn away from the oyster bar. The oyster bar was put in in 1897 as is, of course, the center of the restaurant where patrons can belly up and watch their seafood be cracked, gutted, and shucked.
Haymarket Farmers’ Market did not disappoint and I’m happy to say served the best oysters I ever had. Wellfleet oysters from Cape Cod served by a shuckin’ veteran. The farmers market offers up the typical: fresh fruit, vegetables, and a lot of seafood. Honestly, most of the seafood didn’t look to great, but these oysters were something special. People lined up for the 4-for-$5 oyster or clam plate shucked by a man working the all-day shuck shift. Customers shuffled off to the side to eat their catch over the piles of empty shells from previous diners. A squeeze of lemon, horseradish, or hot sauce was available. Lemon was all I needed.
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