The Barking Crab is a waterfront seafood joint located in Boston’s Seaport district, with beautiful views of Boston’s harbor and downtown area. This popular tourist destination offers dishes such as clam chowder, crab dip, lobster mac and cheese, and lobster rolls.
The Barking Crab
Overall Rating: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Address: 88 Sleeper St, Boston, MA 02210
Perfect For: Tourists looking for open-air picnic-table dining with waterfront views
Hours: Sun – Wed 12pm – 9pm, Thu – Sat 12pm – 10pm
Parking: Garage parking
Links: Website, Menu
Cost: $45 per person (food only)
I arrived for lunch on a Friday at The Barking Crab. There are two seating areas: the main building and a distinctive yellow-and-red striped tent addition. I went into the main building, and the server asked me to pick my own table. There were plenty to choose from, as there was only one other party seated at the time. I chose a seat by the window with picturesque waterfront views.
Note that this restaurant doesn’t offer reservations, so I can imagine that it can be hard to secure seats during peak hours in the summertime. Plan accordingly.
The interior is busy and whimsical, filled with signs and decorations. The tables and chairs are purposefully mismatched with different colors and textures. This place has a very casual and relaxed vibe (e.g., shaky tables and plastic silverware) that is almost at odds with the upscale prices on its menu.
Their menu offers a wide variety of seafood dishes, from lobster rolls to crab cheeseburgers to king crab legs. They also have a separate menu for specials, which included appetizers like lobster corn fritters and zero-proof cocktails.
I ordered a traditional lobster roll, which had cold lobster meat tossed with a small amount of mayo, diced celery, and lemon on a toasted bun. I appreciated that the lobster roll included sides such as french fries, coleslaw, and a pickle.
The good: The lobster meat was delicious and well-executed. The bun was the perfect amount of toasty on the outside yet soft and fluffy in the interior. The french fries were freshly prepared and tasted great.
The not-so-good: The bun was on the small side, and was probably one of the smallest lobster rolls I’ve had. The lobster meat was sitting on top of the roll, and not also inside. In fact, underneath the lobster roll was a lot of lettuce that was propping up the lobster meat, giving the illusion that there’s more meat than there actually is. Consequently, the value of this meal was very low, given its cost. Places such as James Hook offer a lot more lobster for a smaller price tag.
Overall, I enjoyed the meal and I thought that all components of it were delicious. The price is high, but that’s what you’re paying for to get the classic Boston wharf experience. Service was friendly and prompt, and my food arrived quickly. I would consider returning to try the lobster mac and cheese, fish and chips, or hot crab dip (when I’m not making my own version — see recipe).