Calling all seafood lovers!
There’s nothing like the fresh flavors of the sea, whether they be raw, baked, fried, grilled, smoked or beaten with a stick of butter and enough garlic to ward off any potential friends in the area. But not all seafood restaurants will bring you the satisfaction you crave.
The best seafood restaurants are scattered throughout the United States and trust us, there are A LOT to choose from. So, if you’re on the hunt for the perfect seafood place, then keep reading because there might just be one in your city.
The Best Seafood Restaurants Around
What is it that gives a top seafood restaurant its status? Most would argue that the first thing you need is fresh-caught seafood — never frozen — such as that which can be ordered from crabdynasty.com. But as we all know, seafood doesn’t always travel well. So, sometimes it’s best just to go right to the source.
And by source, we don’t necessarily mean the ocean. A restaurant as close as possible will do.
On the search for the best seafood restaurants in the United States, we did our due diligence to bring you the seafood place of your dreams. So whether you’re traveling to eat, or can’t choose between the restaurants in your area, we’ve curated the list to help you narrow down your choices.
Now without further adieu, here are our top ten seafood restaurants:
1. Eventide, Portland, Maine
Self-described as the revival of the great American oyster bar, they definitely hit their mark.
This tiny yet busy seafood joint offers 20 varieties of oysters from the North East. But that’s not all — they serve up incredibly unique dishes such as a scallop crudo with blood orange and chili miso, and sides like kimchi and ginger ices. Of course, the house favorite is the brown butter lobster roll
Their menu changes based on what’s available each season, and you can enjoy their backyard picnic tables (perfect for a clambake) when weather permits. For the non-seafood lovers they over noteworthy dishes such as their fried chicken sandwich with pickled watermelon and house-cured corned beef. They’ve also got great tiki-style signature cocktails to complement every dish.
2. The Walrus and the Carpenter, Seattle, Washington
Incredibly fresh oysters plus killer cocktails equal one fantastic party at this seafood hotspot named for a Lewis Caroll poem. The atmosphere is that of an old shipping factory, open and airy and perfect for their house-smoked trout and fried oysters dipped in a chili and chive coating.
Did we mention they make killer cocktails? Their Elderflower Fizz is not to be missed unless you’re into craft beers and global wines — which they also offer.
3. Fiola Mare, Washington, D.C.
This beauty of this Italian seafood restaurant located on the Potamic River is reflected in not only its decor but dishes as well. Their lavish menu is filled to the brim with everything from crudo to smoked sea urchin. If you can’t decide what to eat, we’re sure their seafood platter will be a meal for both your eyes and mouth to feast on.
This is renowned Chef Fabio Trabocchi’s third production — and you’ll be hard-pressed to find another seafood restaurant in D.C. of its caliber. And trust us, you don’t want to leave without having dessert.
4. Middendorf’s Seafood, Akers, Louisiana
Home to the world’s original thinnest fried catfish, this lakeside establishment has been around since 1929, surviving multiple owners. It’s located just 45 minutes outside of New Orleans, and it’s definitely worth the trip.
You won’t find frilly cocktails here because it’s all about the food and local vibes. If you haven’t already guessed, you’re going to want to try that world-famous catfish, which is breaded and fried on a level you’ve never tasted. Of course, you’ll enjoy their softshell crab and broiled shrimp, but their catfish is what keeps people coming back time and time again.
They say that seafood restaurants in Lousiana don’t last too long unless they’ve got the right kind of mojo — and that mojo would be their fresh catfish steaks.
5. Hot Tin Roof, Key West, Florida
If you find yourself in Key West, there are three things you must do: eat, drink, and listen to Jimmy Buffet — although the third is optional. Sort of.
Located just off Mallory Square, this upscale eatery can offer you an incredible sunset view and a Pan-Latin twist on fresh seafood. This menu includes the traditional options of key lime fish ceviche, paella, and caramelized grouper, or you can design your own meal.
Here you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch, with their very own Bloody Mary bar and other signature cocktails. Of course, you’ll have to finish off your meal with their signature key lime pie with a cashew and graham cracker crust.
6. Mama’s Fish House, Paia, Hawaii
Just in case you needed one more reason to visit the beautiful island, this well-known mom and pop restaurant is exactly where you’ll be directed to for dinner ten out of ten times.
Nestled among lush flora and tall palm trees on the North Shore of Maui is where you will find Mama’s undeniably delicious macadamia-encrusted Mahi-Mahi stuffed with lobster and crab that you’ve ever tasted. Not to mention their Tahitian-style Poisson cru which comes served in a coconut and ‘black pearl’ chocolate mousse served in an artfully decorated pastry shell.
Their menu is printed with the fresh catches of the day, with detailed notes on each local fish. And, it doesn’t hurt that each dish comes with an exotic presentation — right down to the paper tiki umbrellas in their cocktails.
7. The Angry Crab, Chicago, Illinois
This is one place that’s worth the wait and the messy clothes. Disclaimer: It’s BYOB and you’re going to want to dress appropriately—and by that we mean don’t wear anything you don’t want stained!
Located in West Rogers Park you’ll find market-priced seafood with beyond-market flavor. We’re talking about their spice-encrusted Dungeness crab and juicy, tender, garlic-buttered shrimp. Here’s how it works: You choose your shellfish, sauce, spice level, and sides. Once you’ve placed your order, you’re going to want to make use of the bibs they give you and wait for your seafood to come out—swimming in your sauce of choice.
And when we say to make use of your bib, we mean it — your food will get plopped down in front of you in a plastic market-bag, and you can feel free to toss those empty shells around. It’ll be the greatest mess you’ve ever made.
8. Le Bernardin, New York City
French technique and classical — yet inventive flavors — come to life in this four-star (three-star on Michelin terms) upscale mecca of seafood. Picture this: striped bass accompanied by a green papaya salad, lobster tail with lemongrass consomme, and more creations of Eric Ripert.
This restaurant has survived much of the city’s significant shift in dining standards and still remains not just one of the best fancy seafood restaurants, but one of the most famous seafood restaurants within the states. This is thanks to Ripert’s taste, which reflects the flavors of the world — just take their raw Kanpachi topped with wasabi tobiko or scallop ceviche swimming in olive oils and greens, for example.
9. Roe, Portland, Oregon
If you’re in the mood for a seven-course chef tasting paired with the perfect beverage, then you’ll want to visit Roe the next time you’re in Portland.
Their menu is updated daily, bringing together both modern and Asian styles such as Swordfish confit with fried mushrooms a truffled ponzu sauce with parmesan dashi. If your mouth isn’t watering yet, they also have King crab over a bed of gnocchi floating in a sauce with flavors of bouillabaisse and kimchi.
The restaurant was closed for the better part of 2017 only to come back renovated to fit more people and more ingenuity, such as executive Chef Trent Pierce’s cuttlefish noodles and squid chorizo. Dining here essentially means eating art.
10. Coni’Seafood, Inglewood, California
Pescado zarandeado (grilled snook), and camarones borrachos (drunken shrimp), smoked Marlin, fish tacos, Micheladas, and more. That’s the kind of fiesta you’re in for at this Mexican-style seafood restaurant. The best part? Coni’s became the American dream, as it all began in owner Vicente “Chente” Cosso’s backyard in 1986.
Originally the “underground” restaurant became a mom-and-pop known as Mariscos Chente, and later Connie followed in her father’s footsteps opening the first Coni’Seafood restaurant. This hot spot brings you all of the oceanside flavors from Nayarit, Mexico with all of Chef Connie’s father’s classic backyard recipes. The restaurant may be minimalist in its decor, but it truly is a one-of-a-kind seafood place worth going out of your way for.
There’s Nothing Fishy About Loving Seafood
If our top ten picks of the best seafood restaurants in North America don’t make you want to pack your bags and take a foodie-vacation, then we don’t know what will.
Seafood not your thing? That’s okay, you can check out the rest of our blog for our other top ten restaurant picks and more.