Seafood and summertime, the two go hand-in-hand! Mainly because we know you are planning that blissful beach trip for warm weather days with loved ones on the sandy shore or atop the deck of the fishing boat. No matter the favored activities for your stay, I bet you dream of the delectable seafood dishes you will be engulfed by the...Gulf?
With everything from lobster rolls to lightly fried crab cakes to New England-style clam chowder (oh yes, even in the seasonal heat) to fresh ceviche, it is safe to say that our appetites for under-the-sea creatures are just about to boil. Join us as we count down some of the most satiating and worth-the-wait items from the best seafood restaurants in America to visit on your next summer coast trip. From the favorite Pacific Ocean eats to Atlantic treats to cajun eats in the Gulf, hopefully, you can find something scrumptiously satisfying on this list!
Best Seafood in the U.S.
Saltie Girl in Boston, Massachusetts
A charming east coast establishment curated to distinguished seafood lovers, Saltie Grill is a must-try if you are in the Boston area. This New England staple graces the streets of Back Bay, a Barcelona-inspired seafood spot with signature dishes like fried lobster and waffles with sweet corn butter and whole fried belly Ipswich clams. Their raw bar and seafood emporium present a bound-breaking selection that will 'wow' even the most seasoned oyster-crazed foodies.
Saltie Girl also operates one of the largest tinned seafood collections in this famed American region. The restaurant recently established a 3% kitchen appreciation fee (based on food sales) to directly benefit the back-of-house staff, a massive nod to the under-appreciated and unseen humans that make the culinary magic possible.
Sotto Mare Oysteria & Seafood in San Francisco, California
A highly-rated North Beach established for some of the best fine dining the Italian and seafood worlds offer, Sotto Mare is a no-brainer if you are looking for a place to impress your date or pretentious seafood-loving friends. They pride themselves on serving the best and freshest seafood in town.
Highlights include fresh shellfish like oysters and clams on the half shell, clam chowder Boston-style, excellent entrees like their famous crab cioppino (feeds two), and their daily fresh fish specials, of course.
Mignonette Downtown in Miami, Florida
The Miami hot spot and oyster haven, Mignonette, is nestled in a totally refreshed 1930s gas station. Founded by chefs Danny Serfer and Ryan Roman, this beloved eatery boasts options for whatever type of fresh seafood you are craving. This Miami sanctuary is sure to delight whether you try the tastefully done crab cakes, a to-die-for lobster roll, lobster deviled eggs, or the seared scallops. On top of all that, the atmosphere here is extraordinary - the wonderfully quaint dining room will charm any vintage lover's heart.
Hama Hama Oyster Saloon in Lilliwaup, Washington
We will leave the famous Pike's Place seafood market in Seattle, Washington, to the actual culinary writers and focus on a dazzling gem of a seaside oyster bar called the Hama Hama Oyster Saloon instead. Gracing the shoreline of the gorgeous Hood River Canal, this 5th-generation family fun restaurant offers an authentic, fresh seafood experience.
Diners have the option of eating outdoors only. They are asked to dress for the weather to enjoy your one-of-a-kind experience. Their dedication to the craft shines with a focus on hard work and clean water. Also, as a working tree farm, Hama Hama will even ship their fresh shellfish straight to your door! If you cannot make the visit, order online.
Suppose you find yourself in the Hood River Canal of Washington State. In that case, a stop at this iconic seafood destination is a must.
Coni'Seafood in Los Angeles, California
An Englewood staple in a genre of food we absolutely love to see more of, Coni'Seafood is doing the world a good favor with their Nayarit-style seafood. Based on family recipes from the owner's father, Vicente "Chente" Cossio, the restaurant uses only the freshest ingredients from Mexico. This award-winning seafood establishment has wowed visitors since it opened its doors in 1987, and when you try the love-filled recipes, you are sure to agree.
Menu favorites include the Pescado Zarandeado and the Camerones Borrachos. Be aware that parking is almost zilch and that you may have to wait, but if you order correctly and do a little more research, it will be more than worth it.
The Ordinary in Charleston, South Carolina
Located in a bank from the 1920s, this historic building now houses an upscale seafood eatery that supplies some of the best of its kind in this east coast city. The Ordinary serves as a seafood hall and oyster bar with a southern twist. The restaurant prides itself on sourcing from local and regional fishermen, crabbers, and farmers and curates a delicious menu of taste-bud pleasing cocktails to pair with your fresh fish and seafood. Along with oysters and stone crab claws, the raw bar also offers caviar service and seafood towers.
Pêche Seafood Grill in New Orleans, Louisiana
A top-rated seafood restaurant in New Orleans, Pêche Seafood Grill boasts a sustainable sourcing model with the best of South America, Spain, and the Gulf Coast. Contemporary seafood dishes with rustic spins. With multiple awards under the establishment's belt, this James Beard-winning restaurant flaunts an epic locale in the Warehouse District. It is just blocks away from the best of the Big Easy! Menu favorites include the crawfish, catfish, the gumbo, and a top-notch raw bar selection.
Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine
With a location in the heart of Portland and a second location near Fenway Park in Boston, this Maine-bred classic is home to the famed Brown Butter Lobster Roll. This James Beard award-winning rendition of this classic Maine lobster roll is a must-eat if you find yourself in this seaside city haven.
We Have To Recommend ...
- Le Bernardin in Manhattan, New York City (Three Michelin Stars - order the snapper, the langoustine, or anything on the menu.)
- Brown's Lobster Pound in Seabrook, New Hampshire (Try the fried clams or the clam chowder!)
- Lobster Lady Seafood Market in Cape Coral, Florida (Order the lobster lady stack, the lobster bisque, or the stone crab)
- Fishing With Dynamite in Manhattan Beach, California (Get the Maryland blue crab cakes, the grilled fish tacos, the hamachi sashimi, or splurge for the Alaskan king crab legs)
- Bertha's Mussels in Baltimore, Maryland (Get the best Chesapeake Bay mussels cooked any way or the stuffed prawns)
- The Crab Shack in Tybee Island, Georgia (the famous boils are where it's at)
- The Schooner in Port Arthur, Texas (a quaint fish house with tasty gumbo and many combinations of fried seafood)
An avid adventurer and lover of all things outdoors and travel, Sydney Paschall has explored and discovered as many beautiful places as she can, with extra time spent in Oregon, Colorado, and driving up and down the west coast. Now based in Austin, Sydney focuses her time on writing, social justice and activism, living more mindfully, and staying active to optimize the mind, body, and soul. Instagram: @_sydshine
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