Although you can find decent seafood all over the U.S., some cities really take the cake when it comes to the fruits of the sea. Check out these four best places to live for fresh, local seafood.
New England is probably the first place that comes to mind for seafood — or at least chowder. Home to the oldest operating restaurant in the U.S., The Union Oyster House, Boston’s love for seafood is engrained in the city’s culture. Popular dishes include New England clam chowder, lobster, steamed and fried clams, and oysters. Some of the other best places to find these dishes include:
Neptune Oyster: Described as both a Parisian-style oyster bar and an upscale clam shack, this restaurant specializes in oysters and other raw bar options and always offers seasonal fish entrees.
Atlantic Fish: With more than 90 percent of the menu consisting of fish, this upscale dining destination caters to seafood lovers with a more refined palate. The menu features exciting options like Sea Bass Chowder, Swordfish Piccata, and Tuna Bolognese.
The Back Eddy: If you’re looking for a more casual dining atmosphere, this is the perfect place to catch the sunset while drinking a PBR and chowing down on the signature Stuffed Clams. The Back Eddy features all freshly sourced and cooked cuisine.
2. New Orleans
Situated right on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is no stranger to great seafood. Signature dishes like gumbo, crawfish etouffee, shrimp or oyster po-boys, and raw oysters are commonly featured at all restaurants, but several locations in the area get rave reviews:
Bourbon House: Located in the famous French Quarter, this restaurant specializes in local seafood and offers classic dishes like barbecue Shrimp and Louisiana oysters on the half shell.
Drago’s: This restaurant is famous for its Charbroiled Oysters. Although they serve other delicious seafood options like Fried Shrimp Po-Boys and Half-Stuffed Lobster, more than 900 dozen Charbroiled Oysters go out to lucky patrons every day.
Acme Oyster House: Even though this restaurant is no longer exclusive to New Orleans, the original still sits in the French Quarter and serves up all the New Orleans favorites like Seafood Gumbo, Seafood Etouffee, and, of course, all the oysters you can eat.
3. San Francisco
With a renowned tourist destination like Fisherman’s Wharf, it’s no surprise that this hot spot is home to some of the most delicious seafood in the country. This bayfront city features restaurants with priceless views, California’s oldest restaurant, and even sustainable and organic options. Some great restaurants:
The Beach Chalet: This restaurant sits at the end of Golden Gate Park, which means it features a stellar view of Ocean Beach. Sip on one of the beers offered from the on site brewery while you enjoy one of the seafood options like Bacon Seared Sea Scallops or Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut.
Tadich Grill: Originally opened as a coffee stand in 1849, Tadich Grill is the oldest restaurant in California. Some menu favorites include the Chilean Sea Bass, Seafood Curry, Dungeness Crab, and Crab Cakes.
SKOOL: With a clever name to mimic all the fish on the menu and its cutesy school-inspired interior, SKOOL brings a Japanese influence to its fresh seafood dishes. The restaurant opts for sustainable fish and features dishes include Uni Flan with Sea Urchin, Black Cod, or Rock Shrimp Risotto.
4. Key West
Key West is known for its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and rich history. However, it’s also home to some great seafood. These tasty creatures are hauled in from local fisherman daily. Take a seat at one of the following restaurants and enjoy a fresh catch.
Hogfish Bar and Grill: This hard-to-find restaurant is a local favorite reminiscent of old Key West. Enjoy some of the peel and eat Key West Pin Shrimp, Fried Hogfish, or go for the Cook Your Catch option. This restaurant even features live local music and delicious cocktails to make your Key West stay complete.
Nine One Five: For an upscale Key West dining experience, look no further than Nine One Five on Duval Street. This restaurant and wine bar features fresh seafood options like its signature Tuna Dome, Pan Roasted Swordfish, or Crispy Whole Yellowtail Snapper.
Half-Shell Raw Bar: Described as the original Key West Seafood restaurant, Half Shell has even been featured on Bizarre Foods for its conch ceviche. It has options like Stone Crab, Gulf Oysters, and peel-and-eat shrimp to satisfy your seafood cravings, and it even has a fish market across the street where you can grab your seasonal fish favorites.
When you’re in search of tasty seafood dining, you can’t go wrong in these four cities. Do you have a favorite city when it comes to seafood? Let us know in the comments.