Best Seafood Restaurants in America

Best Seafood Restaurants in America

Americans don’t eat as much seafood as they should, according to federal dietary guidelines – but there is evidence that our per capita consumption may be inching up. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, we consumed 19.2 pounds of fish and shellfish per person in 2019, up 0.2 pounds from the previous year.

One factor in that increase, however small, might be the proliferation of high-quality seafood restaurants around the country, including some that buy directly from local fishermen or farm their own shellfish. (Be aware, though, that for reasons of both your health and the sustainability of fishing stocks these are the worst kinds of seafood you can eat.)

To compile a list of the best seafood restaurants in America, 24/7 Tempo consulted lists, ratings, and reviews from websites including Guide Michelin, Zagat, Gayot, Eater, Time Out, and Tasting Table, as well as local and regional sites. Sushi bars and informal seafood shacks will be the subject of future stories, so were omitted from the final results, though some of the restaurants listed may include sushi on their menu. 

Not surprisingly, it turns out that most of the country’s best seafood restaurants are clustered in coastal areas, in cities like Seattle, Miami, Charleston, San Francisco, and of course New York City. A handful of states contain about half of the eateries on this list, with four each in Florida and Massachusetts, five in California, and six in New York. 

There’s no one way to prepare fish. Multiple cultures eat it raw, in preparations such as poke, ceviche, crudo, and sashimi; and most of the restaurants here serve some form of raw fish or shellfish as a starter. A number of other places on the list specialize in fried seafood, while some integrate elements of cuisines including Chinese, Mediterranean, Mexican, Japanese, and Italian. (There are a number of seafood specialists on our list naming the best Chinese restaurant in every state.)

The best seafood restaurants in America range from laid-back waterfront joints to Michelin-starred establishments turning first-rate raw materials from the rivers and seas into creations of great sophistication.

Source: Courtesy of Doc's Seafood Shack and Oyster Bar Orange Beach via Facebook

Doc’s Seafood
> Location: Orange Beach, AL

Nestled on the sound side of Orange Beach on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, this friendly, no-frills seafood shack and oyster bar serves up heaping platters of fish, shrimp, and crabs (fried, grilled, or baked) along with Southern-style sides including hush puppies and green beans. Customers rave about the fried shrimp, the fried crab claws – a Gulf Coast tradition – and the seafood gumbo.

Source: Courtesy of Gloria C. via Yelp

> Location: Inglewood, CA

This Nayarit-style Mexican seafood restaurant started in the backyard of Nayarit native Vicente Cossio in 1987. His daughter Connie now runs two establishments in her father’s culinary tradition, serving up raw coastal specialties like ceviche and shrimp aguachile, along with whole char-grilled snook, fried tilapia, and smoked marlin tacos.

Source: Courtesy of Providence via Facebook

> Location: Los Angeles, CA

This upscale, chef-owned Hollywood establishment with two Michelin stars serves sustainably wild-caught seafood that comes mostly from American waters. The chef’s tasting menu includes six courses plus dessert and features delicately plated dishes such as uni egg with warm yolk and champagne beurre blanc, and Norwegian king crab with sweet pea, sea urchin, and aged ham broth. Visit with a heavy wallet, and you will not be disappointed.

Source: Courtesy of Dominic B. via Yelp

Angler SF
> Location: San Francisco, CA

Located on the Embarcadero waterfront with views of San Francisco Bay, this Michelin-starred restaurant is decked out in Nordic hunting cabin chic with taxidermy galore and a large wood cooking fire. A curated bar and cocktail menu accompany a seasonal menu featuring caviar, raw-bar fare, grilled vegetables, and hearty mains like whole grilled lobster, grilled bass filets, barbecued eel, and (just for a change of pace) dry-aged ribeye.

Source: Courtesy of Sherry S. via Yelp

Swan Oyster Depot
> Location: San Francisco, CA

A casual seafood counter located in a fish market, Swan Oyster Depot is a neighborhood institution that’s been on Polk Street since 1912. The cash-only, diner-like establishment serves the freshest raw-bar fare imaginable, as well as New England-style chowder, smoked fish, crab back, and seafood salads. An off-menu specialty is their Sicilian sashimi, featuring slices of raw tuna, salmon, and scallops enhanced with olive oil, capers, lemon, and onion.

Source: Courtesy of Regis K. via Yelp

Newport Seafood Restaurant
> Location: San Gabriel, CA

This Southeast Asian restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley serves Chinese-, Vietnamese-, Cambodian-, and Thai-inspired cuisine. The lengthy menu includes crab with black bean sauce, kung pao shrimp, elephant clam sashimi, and catfish with hot garlic sauce – but what almost everyone who comes is after is the house-special lobster, which is wok-fried and tossed with clarified butter, jalapeños, and scallions.

Source: Courtesy of Fiola Mare DC via Facebook

Fiola Mare
> Location: Washington, D.C.

Offering high-end Italian coastal cuisine with riverfront views of the Potomac, this Georgetown seafood destination is famous for its seafood towers, brimming with oysters, mussels, tuna, shrimp cocktail, lobster catalana, and more. The full menu features homemade pastas with braised octopus or blue crab, brodetto (Italian fish stew), and a rotating daily grill selection that may include prawns, branzino (bass), Hokkaido scallops, and calamari.

Source: Courtesy of Joe's Stone Crab via Facebook

Joe’s Stone Crab
> Location: Miami, FL

Open October through May (corresponding to fresh stone crab season), this cavernous South Beach restaurant started as a lunch counter in 1913, serving fish sandwiches and fries. In 1921, proprietor Joe Weiss began serving stone crabs – which have rock-hard shells and were considered inedible at the time – thus launching what is now a Florida tradition. In addition to massive stone crab claws and crab bisque, the full menu features conch fritters, coconut shrimp, grouper, seafood platters, and lobster rolls.

Source: Courtesy of Redfish by Chef Adrianne via Facebook

Redfish by Chef Adrianne
> Location: Miami, FL

After being nearly destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017, the classic waterfront Redfish Grill at historic Matheson Park got a makeover and reopened under celebrity chef Adrianne Calvo, who brought her “Maximum Flavor” philosophy to the kitchen. With an extensive raw bar and appetizer menu, Redfish is perfect for a date or for sharing a family-style spread. Menu highlights include the Positano-style seafood tower, ceviche tacos, and grilled butterflied branzino.

Source: Courtesy of Sea Salt via Facebook

Sea Salt
> Location: Naples, FL

This hip locale with patio seating on upscale Third Street features locally caught seafood direct from dayboat fishermen as well as local organic produce. Start with the ahi tuna tartare or pink shrimp ceviche then dive into a house made spaghetti alla chitarra with sea urchin, lobster, and smoked cheddar, or swordfish milanese with fried egg, jumbo asparagus, and lemon caper sauce.

Source: Courtesy of Hogfish Bar & Grill via Facebook

Hogfish Bar & Grill
> Location: Stock Island, FL

This open-air waterfront Florida Keys eatery with a laid-back vibe serves generous portions of fish-house standbys as well as an eclectic mix of crowd pleasers. Locals come for the hogfish sandwich, but the extensive menu also features tacos, ceviche, catfish sliders, a royal red shrimp roll, stuffed hogfish, and whole fried snapper.

Source: Courtesy of Mama's Fish House via Facebook

Mama’s Fish House
> Location: Paia (Maui), HI

On the north shore of Maui, this family-owned restaurant is so popular it is often booked as much as six months in advance. The rotating menu features locally caught fish bought directly from fishermen (whose names are proudly printed on the menu) and prepared with Polynesian flare. Starters include oysters with mango-lilikoi mignonette and macadamia nut crab cakes, while entrees include uku (blue-green snapper) baked with coconut, sweet potato, and charred pineapple.

Source: Courtesy of Shaw's Crab House via Facebook

Shaw’s Crab House
> Location: Chicago and Schaumburg, IL

Shaw’s Crab House works directly with farmers and fishermen to curate a menu that highlights fresh ingredients and lets their flavor shine. With a formal dining room and a 1940s-style diner section, guests can feast casually or fancifully on classics like oysters Rockefeller, Alaskan king crab, and parmesan-crusted haddock, or dine on a wide selection of maki rolls, sashimi, and poke bowls.

Source: Courtesy of Pêche Seafood Grill via Facebook

Pêche Seafood Grill
> Location: New Orleans, LA

This James Beard award-winning restaurant in the Warehouse District specializes in open-fire cooking inspired by the cuisines of South America, Spain, and of course the Gulf Coast.

Guests love the steak tartare with oyster aïoli from the raw bar, and the baked drum with mushroom broth and calas (rice fritters). Groups can order a selection of small plates, like spicy ground shrimp with noodles and catfish with pickled greens and chili broth, then dig into a whole grilled fish.

Source: Courtesy of Eventide Oyster Co. via Facebook

Eventide Oyster Co.
> Location: Portland, ME

A true New England-style oyster bar, Eventide offers a rotating selection of local Maine oysters, crab claws and clams on ice with all the fixings, and such fare as lobster stew, clam chowder, New England clam bake, and a famous brown-butter lobster roll. Some Asian-fusion items including steamed bao buns and tuna tartare with nuoc cham round out the menu.

Source: Courtesy of Waterman's Crab House via Facebook

Waterman’s Crab House
> Location: Rock Hall, MD

This waterfront restaurant on Maryland’s Eastern Shore offers fresh Chesapeake Bay blue crab, rockfish, oysters, and more from the local waters, as well as an eclectic menu that ranges from tuna tacos to oyster po’boys to baked stuffed imperial flounder. Customers come for the steamed crabs of course, as well as the cream of crab soup, crab imperial, and hot crab dip.

Source: Courtesy of Neptune Oyster via Facebook

Neptune Oyster
> Location: Boston, MA

This intimate high-end oyster bar in Boston’s North End may draw long lines, but the wait is worth it. Start with a raw bar platter or perhaps a scallop crudo or johnnycake topped with honey butter, smoked bluefish, and sturgeon caviar. For an entree, choose between such offerings as spicy cioppino with shellfish saffron rice, whole mackerel with Basque pepper stew and fennel, or sea scallops with fava beans, pancetta, and kelp butter.

Source: Courtesy of Select Oyster Bar via Facebook

Select Oyster Bar
> Location: Boston, MA

A casual bistro in Boston’s South End, Select Oyster Bar serves quality Mediterranean-style fare with delicately curated flavors. There’s nothing plain about the champagne-poached shrimp cocktail or the hamachi crudo with passion fruit and crispy ginger. A selection of raw bar platters serve anywhere from one to six, and the mains include hits like arctic char served over leek ragout with frisee salad, bacon lardons, and pistachio dressing.

Source: Courtesy of The Seafood Shanty via Facebook

The Seafood Shanty
> Location: Edgartown (Martha’s Vineyard), MA

A harborside restaurant with a large, casual dining room and plenty of deck seating, the Seafood Shanty has been serving Martha’s Vineyard for over 50 years. Expect large portions of fish and chips, peel-and-eat shrimp, steamed lobsters, and of course lobster rolls. There’s even a separate sushi menu with specialty maki rolls, nigiri, and sashimi.

Source: traveler1116 / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

Lobster Pot
> Location: Provincetown, MA

This landmark restaurant with harbor views offers a huge selection of seafood preparations including raw fare – bivalves on the half shell, crudo, poke, and sashimi – as well as classic hot appetizers like scallops au gratin and oysters Rockefeller. Soups include specialty bouillabaisse, chowders, and bisques, while extensive entree options come blackened, grilled, baked, fried, stuffed, over pasta, and any other way you can imagine.

Source: Courtesy of Mancow M. via Yelp

> Location: Las Vegas, NV

With views of Wynn’s Lake of Dreams, this chic Vegas restaurant offers sustainably wild-harvested fish and seafood from around the world, including Hawaiian mahi-mahi, Ligurian octopus, and Mediterranean pink rock lobsters. Bring a date and enjoy a lake light show and other live entertainment alongside the best seafood in Vegas.

Source: Courtesy of Le Bernardin Prive via Facebook

Le Bernardin
> Location: New York City

With more James Beard awards than any other New York City restaurant, as well as three Michelin stars, Le Bernardin has upheld a tradition of excellence for over 20 years. Combining French culinary techniques with global influences (think thin-sliced yellowfin tuna layered with foie gras or baked striped bass with baby leek mousseline), the kitchen offers multiple seafood-based tasting menus and a wine list curated by one of New York’s top sommeliers, Aldo Sohm.

Source: Courtesy of Caviar Russe (New York) via Facebook

Caviar Russe
> Location: New York City

Choose between a sophisticated lounge for some small plates or brunch, or an opulent dining room at this multi-level caviar purveyor that specializes in hand-selected osetra caviar. A three-course tasting menu runs $175 a person, while the six-course menu is $475 and features not only delectable seafood but wagyu beef, foie gras, and rabbit tortellini.

Source: flickr4jazz / Flickr

Grand Central Oyster Bar
> Location: New York City

With its stunning self-supporting tilework arch ceilings, this Manhattan institution – which dates its origins back to 1913 offers a daily-changing menu of about two dozen oyster varieties from both coasts as well as shellfish stews and pan-roasts, Maine lobster from a live tank, and a substantial choice of fresh seafood prepared both simply (grilled mahi-mahi) and more elaborate (baked Chatham monkfish filet stuffed with artichoke and spinach over garlic mashed potatoes).

Source: Courtesy of Lure Fishbar via Facebook

Lure Fishbar
> Location: New York City

This Nolita bar and restaurant is decked out to look like the inside of a luxury yacht, complete with sparkling wooden walls and porthole windows. Serving lunch, dinner, and brunch, this popular upscale hangout has an extensive raw bar and sushi menu in addition to pastas, tacos, whole grilled fish, lobster rolls, steaks, caviar, and king crab.

Source: Courtesy of Marea via Facebook

> Location: New York City

This Michelin-starred, award-winning restaurant on Central Park South is packed with financiers and the corporate elite. Serving elegant Italian fare since 2009, Marea is famous for its crudo and antipasto, as well as its house-made pastas including fusilli with bone marrow and octopus and squid ink lobster ravioli.

Source: Courtesy of ZZ's Clam Bar (New York) via Facebook

ZZ’s Clam Bar
> Location: New York City

An intimate and trendy Michelin-starred hotspot in Greenwich Village, this reservations-only raw bar has only four tables and a small counter, but serves some of the best cocktails and crudo around – if price is no object. Trout roe toast, caviar, and a selection of oysters and clams on the half shell highlight the succinct menu.

Source: leeco / Flickr

Jake’s Famous Crawfish
> Location: Portland, OR

A landmark restaurant for well over a century, Jake’s Famous Crawfish features fresh seafood flown in daily, a bustling happy hour, and a classic fish house menu that includes some Cajun-style dishes. Customers love the crawfish étouffée, parmesan-crusted steelhead, seafood fettuccine, and crab-and-shrimp-stuffed salmon.

Source: Courtesy of Vernick Fish via Facebook

Vernick Fish
> Location: Philadelphia, PA

Located in Logan Square at the Four Seasons Hotel, this high-end oyster bar by James Beard award-winning chef Greg Vernick serves ingredient-driven fare with a focus on seasonal vegetables, global flavors, and of course the freshest seafood from around the world. Craft cocktails accompany a selection of raw bar offerings, inventive small plates, and fish-centric entrees like mushroom-crusted fluke with morels, peas, and spring onion butter.

Source: Courtesy of Matunuck Oyster Bar via Facebook

Matunuck Oyster Bar
> Location: South Kingston, RI

This waterfront farm-to-table restaurant features a huge open-air patio and raw bar fare sourced from an on-site shellfish pond. Traditional New England style seafood is served alongside jambalaya and po’boys, and some novel twists like passion fruit oysters with cucumber and salmon roe – and the customer favorite, lobster pizza on naan bread with mascarpone, arugula, and prosciutto.

Source: vanhoosear / Flickr

167 Raw
> Location: Charleston, SC

A bustling modern eatery with a patio and a cozy bar – complete with happy hour – 167 Raw serves crudo and raw-bar fare along with tacos, po’boys, and a selection of favorites including lobster rolls, tuna burgers, and swordfish pastrami. It’s a great place to celebrate or splurge on wine and shared plates with friends (167 also has a sushi bar across town).

Source: Courtesy of Hai Cang Harbor Seafood Restaurant via Facebook

Hai Cang Harbor Seafood Restaurant
> Location: Houston, TX

A casual but elegant Chinese restaurant that offers a huge selection of seafood, Hai Cang is set up to serve large parties, with numerous special, family-style menu spreads good for eight to 10 guests. Customers love the ginger scallion lobster, soft-shell crab with butter, spotted prawns with tamarind sauce, and razor clams with basil leaves.

Source: Courtesy of Merroir via Facebook

> Location: Topping, VA

A rural, riverside restaurant near the mouth of the Rappahannock River, this oyster tasting house has plenty of outdoor seating and cold beers. Known for their locally raised oysters and Chesapeake Bay crabs, Merroir serves only raw and outdoor grilled seafood – small-plate style, and perfect for sharing.

Source: Courtesy of Bubba's Seafood Restaurant and Crabhouse via Facebook

> Location: Virginia Beach, VA

This waterfront restaurant and crab house began as a bait shop over 30 years ago. With a large deck, boozy beach cocktails, and great views of passing boats, Bubba’s is a local favorite for she-crab soup, crab cake burgers, crab-stuffed flounder, and a daily selection of fresh fish straight off the boat.

Source: Courtesy of Rock Creek via Facebook

RockCreek Seafood & Spirits
> Location: Seattle, WA

Located in Fremont, RockCreek features a rustic, chalet-like dining room with two levels and a patio, and serves brunch and dinner with a daily happy hour at the bar. The menu contains sustainably sourced seafood from around the world, dressed up in eclectic global flavors. Multiple visits may be required to fully experience the scope of RockCreek’s dozen small plate options, raw oysters and oyster shooters, and wide spread of delectable fish entrees.

Source: Courtesy of The Walrus & the Carpenter via Facebook

The Walrus & the Carpenter
> Location: Seattle, WA

With a wide selection of local oysters and house cocktails, this fishing-pub-meets-new-American restaurant is a popular spot in Ballard for post-work meet-ups. Customer favorites include fried oysters with cilantro aïoli and grilled sardines. No reservations means that it can be hard to get a table, so show up on the early side or be ready to wait.

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