Legal Sea Foods

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Are you a seafood lover looking for the perfect place to satisfy your cravings? Look no further than Legal Sea Foods! With a reputation for serving fresh, high-quality seafood in a welcoming atmosphere, this iconic restaurant chain is a favorite among foodies and seafood enthusiasts. Join us as we dive into the delectable world of Legal Sea Foods and discover why it’s become a must-visit destination for anyone who appreciates delicious cuisine from the sea.

Legal Sea Foods is a renowned restaurant group that specializes in serving high-quality seafood dishes. With over 60 years of experience, Legal Sea Foods has established itself as a top choice for seafood lovers across the United States. From its humble beginnings as a small fish market in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Legal Sea Foods has grown into an award-winning brand with multiple locations in various states.

History and Founding

Legal Sea Foods was founded in 1950 by George Berkowitz, who opened his first location at the Inman Square in Cambridge. With only one small room and a few tables, it started off as a fish market that also served chowder and lobster rolls. However, due to the increasing demand for its delicious seafood dishes, it later expanded into a full-service restaurant.

Quality and Sourcing

The success of Legal Sea Foods can be attributed to its commitment to serving only the freshest and highest quality seafood available. The restaurant takes pride in sourcing its seafood from local fishermen and independent small-scale fisheries along the East Coast. This not only ensures freshness but also supports sustainable fishing practices.

Menu Offerings

Legal Sea Foods offers an extensive menu with traditional New England-style seafood dishes as well as modern twists on classic favorites. Some of their signature dishes include their famous clam chowder made from a secret recipe that has been passed down for generations, Lobster Bisque, Fried Clams, Crab Cakes, Grilled Salmon BLT Sandwiches, among others.

Ambience and Service

Apart from their mouth-watering food options, Legal Sea Foods also boasts an inviting ambience with warm and friendly service. The décor is inspired by old fishing boats and features nautical elements such as ropes, anchors, and portholes. The servers are knowledgeable about the different types of seafood offered on the menu and are always willing to make recommendations based on customers’ preferences.


With its overwhelming success in Cambridge, Legal Sea Foods expanded to other locations throughout Massachusetts and eventually into surrounding states. Today, it has over 30 restaurants across the United States, including its flagship location at Park Square in Boston, which opened in 1968.

Legal Sea Foods continues to uphold its reputation as a premier seafood restaurant by consistently delivering high-quality dishes with unparalleled service. Whether you are a seafood aficionado or trying it for the first time, Legal Sea Foods is a must-try for anyone looking for an unforgettable dining experience.

Legal Sea Foods has a rich history that dates back over 65 years. The story of Legal Sea Foods began in 1950 with the opening of a small fish market in Cambridge, Massachusetts by George Berkowitz. He had a simple concept – to serve fresh, high-quality seafood at affordable prices.

At first, the business only sold fish and shellfish, but gradually expanded to include take-out food options such as fried clams and fish sandwiches. They quickly developed a reputation for their exceptional quality and gained a loyal following within the community.

In 1968, the first Legal Sea Foods restaurant opened in Inman Square in Cambridge, serving up its famous New England-style clam chowder along with traditional seafood dishes. With its success, Berkowitz saw an opportunity to expand further and opened more restaurants throughout the Greater Boston area.

However, it was not until Roger Berkowitz (son of George) took over the family business in 1992 that Legal Sea Foods truly made its mark on the culinary world. Under his leadership, Legal Sea Foods transformed from a local chain into an iconic national brand known for its commitment to sustainability and freshness.

One pivotal moment in Legal Sea Foods’ history came when they became one of the first restaurants to partner with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch” program. This initiative aimed to promote sustainable fishing practices and raise consumer awareness about their seafood choices. As a result, Legal Sea Foods only sources their seafood from reputable suppliers who comply with strict sustainability guidelines.

Additionally, under Roger’s guidance, Legal Sea Foods also implemented stringent quality standards for their seafood products. This included strict handling protocols from fishing boat all the way to table service at their restaurants.

Today, Legal Sea Foods boasts over thirty locations across seven states on the East Coast and continues to be recognized as one of America’s top restaurant brands for quality seafood dining. With awards ranging from “Best Clam Chowder” by numerous publications to “Best Seafood Restaurant in America” by Zagat, it is clear that Legal Sea Foods has become a seafood institution.

Legal Sea Foods’ history and success can be attributed to their commitment to serving the freshest seafood at affordable prices while promoting sustainability and responsible fishing practices. It is this dedication to quality and tradition that has made them a beloved brand among seafood lovers for over six decades.

The Legal Sea Foods experience is one that is truly unique and unlike any other seafood restaurant. From its humble beginnings as a fish market in Inman Square, Cambridge in 1950, Legal Sea Foods has grown into a beloved New England institution with over 30 locations across the United States. What sets Legal Sea Foods apart from other seafood restaurants? Let’s take a closer look.

First and foremost, Legal Sea Foods prides itself on their commitment to quality and sustainability. They have stringent standards for sourcing their seafood, only using wild-caught or sustainably farmed fish and shellfish. This means that not only are you getting the freshest and most delicious seafood dishes at Legal Sea Foods, but you are also supporting sustainable fishing practices.

Another aspect that makes the Legal Sea Foods experience stand out is their dedication to traditional New England cuisine with a modern twist. While they may be known for their famous New England clam chowder, they also offer innovative dishes such as blackened tuna sashimi and lobster ravioli. Their menu caters to a variety of tastes while still staying true to their roots.

But what truly sets them apart from other seafood restaurants is their impeccable service and attention to detail. From the moment you step into any of their locations, you are greeted by friendly staff who go above and beyond to make your dining experience exceptional. Whether it’s recommending the perfect wine pairing or accommodating dietary restrictions, the team at Legal Sea Foods goes out of their way to ensure each customer feels valued and satisfied.

In addition, many of Legal Sea Food’s locations boast stunning waterfront views, providing guests with an unforgettable dining atmosphere. The combination of fresh ocean air and delectable seafood is hard to beat.

Furthermore, Legal Sea Foods has earned numerous accolades over the years for both its food and service. It has been voted “#1 Most Popular Boston Restaurant” by Zagat Survey since 1991, and has received high praise from esteemed food critics such as James Beard. These recognitions only confirm the exceptional dining experience that Legal Sea Foods consistently delivers.

The Legal Sea Foods experience is one that encompasses top-quality seafood, traditional New England cuisine with a modern twist, impeccable service, and stunning waterfront views. It’s no wonder why this seafood restaurant has become a beloved institution in New England and beyond. So next time you’re craving some delicious seafood, be sure to make a reservation at Legal Sea Foods for a truly unique dining experience.

At Legal Sea Foods, we take pride in serving the freshest and most delicious seafood dishes to our guests. Our menu is constantly evolving to incorporate new flavors and ingredients, but there are a few standout items that have become signature dishes over the years.

From our starters to our entrees, each dish is crafted with care and attention to detail, highlighting the natural flavors of the ocean. Let’s take a closer look at some of our most popular menu highlights and signature dishes.


For those looking for a light start to their meal, our Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail is a must-try. Served chilled with lemon wedges and tangy cocktail sauce, these jumbo shrimp are known for their sweetness and tender texture.

Another crowd favorite is our New England Clam Chowder. Made from scratch daily using fresh clams, cream, potatoes, and bacon – this hearty soup has been named one of America’s best by multiple publications.

Main Courses:

Legal Sea Foods is well-known for its lobster dishes, with customers often coming back just for a taste of our classic Baked Stuffed Lobster. This dish features a whole 1 1/4 lb lobster stuffed with brioche crumbs, scallops, shrimp, herbs and spices – creating an explosion of flavor with every bite.

For those looking for something unique yet traditional at the same time, try our Crabmeat Roll topped with avocado salsa verde. This twist on the classic lobster roll showcases tender crabmeat dressed in herb mayonnaise served on buttered brioche bun – perfect for indulging in during warmer months!

Our famous Wood Grilled Swordfish Steak is another must-try signature dish. This thick-cut swordfish steak is marinated in herb oil before being grilled over an open flame to perfection – resulting in a juicy and flavorful seafood experience you won’t forget.


Save room for dessert because our Key Lime Pie and Boston Cream Pie are not to be missed. Our tangy Key Lime Pie is made with fresh key limes and topped with whipped cream – a refreshing end to any meal. And our rich and creamy Boston Cream Pie, layered with vanilla custard and chocolate glaze, pays homage to the beloved classic dessert that originated in our home city.

At Legal Sea Foods, we strive to provide an unforgettable dining experience with every dish we serve. Come join us and taste these menu highlights and signature dishes for yourself!

At Legal Sea Foods, we are committed to sourcing our seafood in an ethical and sustainable manner. As a company rooted in the oceanic industry, we understand the importance of preserving our marine resources for future generations. That is why we have implemented strict guidelines and practices to ensure that all of our seafood is sustainably sourced.

One of the ways we maintain ethical practices at Legal Sea Foods is by working closely with our suppliers. We only source from reputable suppliers who share our values and commitment to sustainability. This means that they must adhere to strict regulations and standards set by organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).

Furthermore, we prioritize working with local fishermen and small-scale producers whenever possible. By doing so, we not only support local economies but also reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation of seafood. Our partnerships with these smaller providers also allow us to trace the origin of our products back to their source, ensuring transparency in our supply chain.

In addition, all of our wild-caught seafood is certified sustainable by either MSC or similar organizations. This means that it has been sourced responsibly without harming other marine species or damaging the ecosystem. Our farmed seafood also undergoes regular audits and inspections to ensure that all production methods meet ASC’s standards for responsible aquaculture.

We are proud to say that a significant portion of our menu consists of locally caught seafood, meaning that it has traveled minimal distances before reaching your plate. This not only guarantees freshness but also reduces carbon emissions – an important factor in combating climate change.

Moreover, at Legal Sea Foods, we take proactive steps towards reducing food waste by carefully managing inventory levels and utilizing as much of each fish as possible through nose-to-tail cooking techniques.

To further express our dedication to ethical practices and sustainability, we have also eliminated plastic straws from all of our locations nationwide and replaced them with biodegradable alternatives. We continually seek out new ways to reduce our environmental impact and improve the health of our oceans.

At Legal Sea Foods, we are committed to upholding ethical practices and promoting sustainability within the seafood industry. We believe that by working together with our suppliers and customers, we can make a positive impact on the environment while still providing delicious and responsibly sourced seafood for all to enjoy.

Expanding Beyond Massachusetts: Locations and Growth of the Restaurant Chain

Legal Sea Foods, founded in 1950, has become a household name in Massachusetts and beyond. The restaurant chain initially started as a small fish market in Cambridge, but over the years it has grown into a multi-location seafood empire with loyal customers around the country. From its humble beginnings to its nationwide success, Legal Sea Foods has expanded its presence through strategic expansion plans and partnerships.

Currently, Legal Sea Foods operates 35 locations across 7 states, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Washington D.C. Its flagship location at Park Square in Boston remains one of the most popular spots for fresh seafood lovers to dine. With such widespread popularity and demand for its cuisine and exceptional service, Legal Sea Foods continues to seek new opportunities for growth.

The first major milestone in expanding beyond Massachusetts was marked by the opening of their second location on Copley Place in Back Bay Boston. This move showed their commitment towards diversification early on. Since then, Legal Sea Foods has carefully chosen locations based on demographics and target audience appeal to ensure success.

One significant partnership that accelerated this expansion was with American Airlines. In 1989,
Legal Sea Foods became the first company ever contracted by an airline for food service aboard flights.
This joint venture led to rapid growth as more people were introduced to Legal Sea Food’s menu while
traveling at thirty thousand feet above ground level! Today, you can enjoy their signature clam chowder
on select American Airline flights from Boston or Philadelphia.

In addition to partnerships like these, some prime strategic locations have also contributed significantly towards Legal Sea Food’s expansion.
For example, the opening of multiple locations within landmark venues such as Logan International Airport,
Boston Harbor Hotel’s Rowes Wharf community near Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park,
Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort – all of which fall within a trendy and
happening culinary scene. Furthermore, Legal Sea Foods locations in Philadelphia and Washington D.C.
established its presence in two popular and high-traffic cities for both business and leisure travelers,
ensuring brand recognition far beyond the borders of Massachusetts.

Legal Sea Foods’ success has been fueled by persistently high demand from their loyal customers who crave fresh seafood offerings. With a strong presence in multiple states across the country, the restaurant chain is well-positioned for continued growth in the years to come. With each new location carefully chosen based on strategic partnerships and targeted demographics, Legal Sea Foods remains committed to expanding its reach while maintaining a high standard of quality and service that keeps customers coming back for more.

Legal Sea Foods has established itself as one of the most reputable seafood restaurants in the United States. With a commitment to serving only the freshest and highest quality seafood, it comes as no surprise that Legal Sea Foods has received numerous awards, accolades, and recognition from various organizations.

For over 50 years, Legal Sea Foods has been earning praise for its exceptional food and service. Some of their most notable achievements include being named “Best Seafood Restaurant” by Zagat Survey for four consecutive years and receiving a three-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide. In addition to these prestigious recognitions, Legal Sea Foods was also featured on Travel + Leisure’s list of “Best Chain Restaurants” in 2019.

Furthermore, Legal Sea Foods’ dedicated team of chefs has been recognized individually for their talents. Executive Chef Richard Routier won the title of “Best Chef – Northeast” at the James Beard Foundation Awards in 2001. He also led the team that represented Massachusetts at the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in 2017. Additionally, Corporate Executive Chef Rich Vellante was awarded “Seafood Ambassador” by Seaweb’s Sustainable Ocean Summit in 2010.

In terms of sustainability and environmental stewardship, Legal Sea Foods has been consistently praised for its efforts. The restaurant chain received an “A” rating from Greenpeace’s sustainable seafood evaluation program in 2021 and was named one of America’s “Top Ten Greenest Restaurants” by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2016.

Apart from industry recognition, Legal Sea Foods is also known for its philanthropic efforts. The restaurant actively supports local communities through partnerships with charities such as Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and the New England Aquarium Marine Animal Rescue Team.

Perhaps one of Legal Sea Food’s most significant honors is being the official fish purveyors of the Boston Red Sox. The restaurant supplies fresh seafood to Fenway Park and has earned the title of “Official Seafood Restaurant” of the iconic baseball team.

Legal Sea Foods’ commitment to excellence in all areas has been consistently recognized by industry experts and consumers alike. From culinary achievements to sustainable practices and philanthropic efforts, the restaurant continues to make a positive impact on the community while setting high standards for seafood dining.

Behind the Scenes: Interviews with Chefs, Staff, and Customers

To truly get a glimpse into the inner workings of Legal Sea Foods, we sat down for exclusive interviews with their chefs, staff, and even some loyal customers. From behind-the-scenes secrets to personal experiences, these individuals provided us with valuable insights that shed light on what makes Legal Sea Foods such an exceptional dining experience.

Chef’s Perspective:

First up is Executive Chef Rich Vellante, who has been with Legal Sea Foods for over 25 years. When asked about his passion for seafood and cooking, Chef Vellante shared that it stems from his childhood in Revere Beach where he spent summers fishing with his father and eating fresh seafood. He also mentioned how Legal Sea Foods’ commitment to sustainability aligns perfectly with his own values as a chef.

In terms of preparation and menu development at Legal Sea Foods, Chef Vellante revealed that they strive to maintain a balance between tradition and innovation. They are constantly experimenting with new flavors and techniques while also honoring classic dishes that have been popular among customers for years.

Staff Stories:

Next, we spoke to long-time employees at various Legal Sea Foods locations. One common theme among all of them was the company’s strong emphasis on creating a positive work culture. All employees expressed feeling like part of a family rather than just another employee.

One server shared how she enjoys working at Legal Sea Foods because they prioritize customer satisfaction above anything else. She recalled instances where extra care was taken to accommodate dietary restrictions or special occasions for guests, making each dining experience truly memorable.

Customer Testimonials:

Last but certainly not least, we had the pleasure of speaking to some regular customers at different Legal Sea Foods branches. Mike Jones from Boston shared how impressed he is by the consistency in quality across all their locations – from Maryland crab cakes to New England clam chowder – everything tastes just as delicious every time he visits.

Another loyal customer, Sarah Smith, mentioned that she appreciates Legal Sea Foods’ commitment to sourcing sustainable seafood and supporting local fishermen. She also emphasized the exceptional service she receives from the staff every time she dines at any of their locations.

These interviews provided us with a deeper understanding of the people behind the success of Legal Sea Foods – dedicated chefs, passionate staff, and satisfied customers. Their passion for serving high-quality seafood in a warm and welcoming atmosphere truly sets them apart in the industry.

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the impact of human activities on our oceans, there is a growing demand for sustainable and responsible fishing practices. The legal seafood industry, like many others, has faced criticism for overfishing and detrimental fishing methods. However, with advancements in technology and a shift towards environmentally conscious consumerism, the future of legal sea looks promising.

One key aspect that will shape the future of legal sea is an increased focus on sustainability. Sustainable seafood refers to fish or shellfish that are caught or farmed in a way that ensures their long-term viability without depleting natural resources or harming the marine ecosystem. This includes using methods such as line-caught fishing instead of trawling, which can cause significant damage to ocean floors.

To meet this demand for sustainability, legal seafood companies are investing in more eco-friendly practices such as implementing stricter catch limits and using innovative techniques like aquaculture. Aquaculture involves farming fish in controlled environments rather than catching them from the wild, reducing pressure on wild fish populations while also providing a consistent supply to satisfy market demands.

Another trend set to shape the future of legal sea is technological advancements in fishing methods. For example, new tools such as electric pulse trawls have been developed to be less invasive than traditional beam trawls used to catch bottom-dwelling species like shrimp. These innovations not only promote sustainable fishing but also increase efficiency and reduce costs for fishermen.

Additionally, consumer awareness and desire for transparency are driving the adoption of traceability systems within the legal seafood industry. Traceability allows consumers to track where their food comes from and how it was caught or farmed. This creates accountability throughout the entire supply chain and promotes ethical practices among fisheries.

Furthermore, with concerns about plastic pollution mounting globally, there is increasing pressure on industries to reduce plastic use. Legal seafood companies have responded by investing in alternative packaging materials made from biodegradable or recycled materials. This not only reduces the environmental impact but also aligns with consumer values and expectations.

The future of legal sea is looking bright as companies respond to the changing landscape of sustainability and innovation. By implementing more ethical fishing practices, utilizing technology for sustainable fishing methods, prioritizing traceability, and reducing plastic waste, the industry is taking steps towards a healthier ocean ecosystem. As consumers become more educated and environmentally conscious, it is imperative that legal seafood companies continue to adapt and evolve to meet these evolving demands while also ensuring a secure food source for generations to come.

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