Quincy Market, located in the heart of downtown Boston, is a culinary haven that offers an array of delectable dishes and vibrant atmospheres. Whether you’re a local looking for a new dining spot or a visitor eager to explore the city’s culinary scene, this complete guide provides all the information you need to navigate the diverse offerings at Quincy Market. From fresh seafood to international cuisines and iconic Boston specialties, prepare to embark on a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

A Complete Guide To Dining At Bostons Quincy Market

History of Quincy Market

Quincy Market’s origins

Quincy Market holds a significant place in Boston’s history and culture. Its origins date back to the early 19th century when it was named after the esteemed Mayor of Boston, Josiah Quincy. The market was designed to address the growing demand for a centralized marketplace for the city’s residents. Its construction began in 1824 and was completed in 1826.

Development of Quincy Market

Quincy Market’s development was guided by the renowned architect Alexander Parris, who envisioned a grand structure that would house a range of vendors and provide a bustling atmosphere for locals and tourists alike. The market quickly became a center of commerce, fostering a vibrant trading scene and contributing to Boston’s economic growth. Over the years, the market has undergone several renovations to maintain its historical charm while incorporating modern amenities.

Renovation of Quincy Market

Quincy Market underwent a major renovation in the 1970s, transforming it into a bustling food hall and shopping destination. This renovation preserved the original architectural elements, such as the Greek Revival fa├žade and the iconic Quincy Market Dome. The result is a harmonious blend of history and contemporary design, creating a unique and captivating atmosphere for visitors.

Exploring Quincy Market

Location of Quincy Market

Situated in the heart of downtown Boston, Quincy Market is conveniently located near many popular attractions. It is part of the larger Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which includes three historic buildings: Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall, and North Market. Its central location makes it easily accessible by public transportation, and it attracts millions of visitors each year.

Architectural design

Quincy Market combines stunning architectural design with practical functionality. Its iconic granite exterior, Corinthian columns, and majestic dome make it a visual masterpiece. Inside, visitors are greeted with a vast open space that houses an extensive array of food vendors, small shops, and entertainment options. The market’s design facilitates easy navigation and provides spaces for community events and performances, fostering a lively and engaging atmosphere.

Shopping opportunities

Quincy Market offers an impressive selection of shopping opportunities. From specialty boutiques to well-known retail brands, there is something to suit every taste. Visitors can explore a variety of shops offering unique products such as local crafts, apparel, jewelry, and Boston-themed souvenirs. Whether you’re looking for a keepsake to commemorate your visit or in search of a distinctive gift, Quincy Market has you covered.

Popular Restaurants at Quincy Market

Union Oyster House

The Union Oyster House, located within the Quincy Market building, is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the United States. Since 1826, it has been serving up delectable seafood dishes, establishing itself as a symbol of Boston’s rich culinary history. From their famous lobster bisque to the freshest oysters, dining at the Union Oyster House is a memorable experience that offers a taste of the city’s maritime heritage.


Fans of the popular television show “Cheers” won’t want to miss the opportunity to dine at the Cheers restaurant in Quincy Market. Step into the familiar bar setting and enjoy classic American pub fare, including burgers, sandwiches, and hearty appetizers. The Cheers experience extends beyond the food, as visitors can relive their favorite moments from the show and even purchase mementos at the accompanying gift shop.


With over 180 years of history, Durgin-Park is a true Boston institution known for its traditional New England cuisine. Located adjacent to Quincy Market, this iconic restaurant entices diners with an extensive menu featuring regional favorites such as clam chowder, pot roast, roast turkey, and Indian pudding. The rustic atmosphere and attentive service at Durgin-Park perfectly complement the hearty and comforting dishes.

Legal Sea Foods

If you’re seeking the quintessential Boston seafood experience, Legal Sea Foods at Quincy Market is a must-visit restaurant. With its commitment to sustainably-sourced seafood and top-notch quality, Legal Sea Foods has become synonymous with excellence in seafood dining. Feast on their famous New England clam chowder, lobster rolls, and fresh fish prepared to perfection. A meal at Legal Sea Foods is an opportunity to indulge in the flavors of the Atlantic coastline.

Iconic Food and Drinks

Boston Clam Chowder

No visit to Quincy Market is complete without savoring a steaming bowl of Boston clam chowder. This rich and creamy soup, made with fresh Atlantic clams, potatoes, onions, and flavorful spices, is a beloved New England classic. The market’s various dining establishments offer their unique twists on this iconic dish, allowing you to sample different recipes and find your personal favorite.

Lobster Roll

For seafood enthusiasts, the lobster roll is a culinary delight that cannot be missed. Made with tender chunks of freshly cooked lobster, lightly dressed with mayonnaise, and served on a buttered and toasted bun, this dish is a true indulgence. Quincy Market boasts several restaurants that specialize in this delicacy, each offering their own variations to satisfy your lobster cravings.

Fried Clams

When it comes to fried clams, Quincy Market serves up some of the best in the city. These delectable morsels are coated in a seasoned batter and deep-fried to golden perfection. Whether you choose to enjoy them as a standalone dish or as part of a seafood platter, the crispy texture and briny flavor of fried clams are sure to leave you wanting more.


Quincy Market is not solely dedicated to New England cuisine; it also offers a variety of international flavors. One such delight is the samosa, a popular Indian appetizer. These crispy, golden pastries are filled with a savory mixture of spiced potatoes, peas, and sometimes meat. The market’s diverse food vendors provide an excellent opportunity to sample these delightful treats and experience the flavors of India.

Local Ice Cream

After indulging in savory delights, satisfy your sweet tooth with some locally-made ice cream. Quincy Market is home to several ice cream parlors that offer an assortment of flavors. Whether you prefer classic options like vanilla and chocolate or adventurous creations such as mint chocolate chip or salted caramel, there’s an ice cream shop to match your preferences. Treat yourself to a cone or sundae and continue exploring the market with a delightful frozen treat in hand.

A Complete Guide To Dining At Bostons Quincy Market

Best Time to Visit

Avoiding the crowds

Quincy Market tends to be busiest during peak tourist seasons and weekends. To avoid the crowds, consider visiting during weekdays and off-peak times. Early mornings or late afternoons are generally quieter, allowing you to enjoy a more leisurely experience without the hustle and bustle of large crowds.

Lunch vs. dinner

Timing your visit to Quincy Market depends on your dining preferences and schedule. Lunchtime is often a popular choice, as it allows you to explore the market while enjoying a midday meal. Restaurants may offer lunch specials or prix-fixe menus, providing an opportunity to sample a variety of dishes at a reasonable price. If you prefer a more relaxed and intimate dining experience, consider visiting for dinner, when the market takes on a vibrant atmosphere illuminated by the surrounding lights.

Seasonal considerations

Each season brings its own charm and ambiance to Quincy Market. Spring and summer offer vibrant outdoor seating options, allowing you to soak up the sunshine while enjoying your meal. Fall ushers in picturesque foliage, creating a scenic backdrop as you indulge in delectable autumn flavors. Winter brings a festive atmosphere, with the market adorned in holiday decorations, making it a cozy and enchanting destination for a meal during the holiday season.

Budget-Friendly Options

Food trucks

For those seeking a more casual and budget-friendly dining experience, Quincy Market is surrounded by an assortment of food trucks. These mobile eateries serve up an array of cuisines, ranging from international street food to classic American favorites. Whether you’re craving a gourmet burger, a tasty taco, or a flavorful bowl of noodles, the food trucks in the vicinity of Quincy Market offer diverse options to satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank.

Grab-and-go options

If you’re short on time or prefer to sample various foods on the go, Quincy Market has you covered with its grab-and-go options. Numerous food vendors offer quick and convenient bites, allowing you to indulge in a wide range of flavors without committing to a sit-down meal. From gourmet sandwiches and picnic-ready salads to freshly baked pastries and handheld desserts, these grab-and-go options are perfect for those looking for a quick and delicious snack.

Market specials

Keep an eye out for market specials and promotions, as many of the dining establishments within Quincy Market offer discounts or combo deals. These specials often allow you to sample multiple dishes or enjoy a complete meal at a reduced price. Checking the market’s website or social media pages can provide valuable information on current offers, ensuring you make the most of your dining experience while staying within your budget.

A Complete Guide To Dining At Bostons Quincy Market

Fine Dining Experiences

Top-tier restaurants nearby

While Quincy Market offers a diverse range of dining options, those seeking an elegant and upscale experience don’t have to look far. Adjacent to the market, you’ll find a plethora of top-tier restaurants that specialize in fine dining. These establishments feature exquisite menus, impeccable service, and sophisticated atmospheres that cater to the discerning palate.

Quincy Market’s upscale options

Quincy Market itself is not devoid of upscale dining experiences. Several restaurants within the market offer refined settings and elevated cuisine, perfect for special occasions or those who want to indulge in a luxurious meal. These upscale options provide a fusion of exquisite flavors, culinary creativity, and a touch of elegance, ensuring a memorable dining experience that showcases the best of Boston’s gastronomic scene.

Vegetarian and Vegan Choices

Plant-based restaurants

Quincy Market recognizes the growing demand for plant-based dining options and offers a variety of venues that cater specifically to vegetarian and vegan diets. Whether you’re a committed vegan or simply looking to explore healthier options, you’ll find restaurants serving entirely plant-based menus, providing a satisfying experience while aligning with your dietary choices.

Vegan-friendly menu items

Even if a restaurant doesn’t specialize in vegetarian or vegan cuisine, many dining establishments within Quincy Market accommodate these dietary preferences by offering vegan-friendly menu items. From creative salads and vegetable-forward dishes to plant-based protein substitutes, there are plenty of options available. Don’t hesitate to ask the restaurant staff for recommendations or modifications to ensure your dining experience is both delicious and aligned with your dietary needs.

Family-Friendly Dining

Kid-friendly eateries

Quincy Market is a fantastic destination for families, offering plenty of dining options suitable for younger palates. Numerous restaurants within the market provide dedicated kids’ menus filled with classic favorites such as chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese, and mini burgers. These eateries often feature relaxed atmospheres and child-friendly amenities, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable dining experience for the whole family.

Interactive dining experiences

In addition to traditional restaurants, Quincy Market offers interactive dining experiences that can captivate the imaginations of both children and adults alike. Some establishments feature live cooking demonstrations, allowing diners to witness the culinary magic firsthand. From the sizzling flames of a teppanyaki grill to the skillful creation of a stone-fired pizza, these interactive experiences provide entertainment and engagement, making them ideal choices for families seeking a unique dining outing.

Must-Try Local Delicacies

Boston cream pie

A visit to Quincy Market presents an opportunity to sample Boston’s iconic dessert – the Boston cream pie. This delectable treat consists of a layer of delicate sponge cake, a rich vanilla cream filling, and a luscious chocolate ganache topping. Quincy Market’s various restaurants and bakeries offer their own spin on this classic dessert, allowing you to savor the sweet flavors that have become synonymous with the city.

Fenway Frank

For sports enthusiasts and hot dog aficionados, a Fenway Frank is a must-try local delicacy. Named after Boston’s iconic Fenway Park, home to the beloved Red Sox baseball team, a Fenway Frank is a grilled hot dog served on a New England-style bun. Top it with mustard, relish, onions, and even a sprinkle of celery salt for an authentic Bostonian experience.

Mussels and fries

With its coastal location, Boston is known for its fresh seafood, and mussels are a popular delicacy among locals and visitors alike. Combining tender mussels, steamed in a flavorful broth, with a side of golden, crispy fries, this dish offers a satisfying and savory experience. Quincy Market’s seafood-focused restaurants serve up their version of mussels and fries, allowing you to enjoy this classic pairing in a vibrant and historic setting.

Quincy Market stands as not just a vibrant marketplace but also a culinary haven in the heart of Boston. With its rich history, diverse dining options, and exceptional shopping experiences, it caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences. Whether you’re a history buff, a food enthusiast, or simply seeking a memorable dining experience, Quincy Market promises an adventure that is sure to leave you satisfied and eager to return. So, embark on your culinary journey to Quincy Market and indulge in the flavors that have shaped Boston’s gastronomic landscape.