No matter where you are in the United States — even in the most remote regions — tasty seafood options aren’t far away. Once you decide to forgo the national chains, get off the beaten path, and take a chance on some local favorites, you’ll have the chance to reel in the greatest food the sea has to offer. We scoured reviews and rankings by expert food writers and countless hungry customers to find one of the best seafood restaurants in each state.
Note: Many of the restaurants on this list are fully or partially reopened in addition to offering takeout or delivery.
Contemporary coastal cuisine is cooked up in three kitchens at Cobalt. This is true waterfront dining — the restaurant offers docking for guests arriving in boats, up to medium yacht size.
Bridge Seafood, an Anchorage icon, spans an urban salmon stream called Ship Creek. Guest can even dine while watching anglers reel in their own dinners.
In the heart of the city, Mariscos Chihuahua blends classic American seafood with traditional Southwestern and Mexican fare. Among the restaurant’s trademark dishes are ostiones en su concha (fresh-shucked oysters) and the signature camarones culichi (sautéed shrimp).
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Powerhouse Seafood & Grill was voted best in Northwest Arkansas for two decades. Live music across all genres lends a celebratory vibe for visitors, who indulge in a range of specialty seafoods and dishes from the oyster and shrimp bar.
The Pacific Beach Fish Shop partners with local breweries to offer one of the best craft beer menus in Southern California, but it’s the food that keeps the place packed. The 1-2-3 menu is so simple, it’s brilliant: choose a fish, choose a marinade, choose a style.
Denver-based magazine 5280 has named Jax Fish House as one of the restaurants that has “most influenced the local dining scene over the past quarter-century,” and it’s not hard to see why. Founded in 1994, Jax stands out for using fresh, sustainable seafood in a landlocked state, so much so that chef Sheila Lucero has even represented the seafood industry in sustainability talks in D.C. On top of that, the menu offers a wide variety of seafood, from oysters to Mississippi catfish to Spanish octopus.
Diners at The Place sit on tree stumps instead of chairs and listen to the crackle of clams roasting on an open fire — seasonally. The Place has roots dating back to open-air Connecticut clambakes in the 1940s, and the tradition continues with a wood-sign seafood menu that starts at $5.50 (for a half-dozen shrimp) and tops out at $19 for everything except steak and lobster.
Known for the best steamed crabs not only in tiny Delaware, but in the region, Sambo’s has a half-century of tradition in this town on the Leipsic River. The crabs it serves seasonally come right off the dock out back.
In the Jacksonville area, you can and must visit Safe Harbor. The restaurant serves up fresh, local seafood, some caught during deep-sea dives, in a sometimes stunning waterfront setting.
Locally owned and operated for 40 years, The Shrimp Factory stands out even in its hometown, the seafood mecca of Savannah. There’s no shortage of locals who believe the place is haunted, but even more who come back anyway for the fine dining restaurant’s relatively affordable menu.
Arguably the best sushi and seafood in the Hawaiian islands is served up at Banzai. The restaurant partners with local fishers and a network of organic farms on the North Shore to bring unrivaled freshness to diners.
When you think of seafood, Boise, Idaho, might not come to mind — but Chandlers could change that, with a quality statement on the menu that promises all seafood is flown in fresh, with lobster tail, abalone, Alaskan halibut, and more choices on the menu.
In the same location since 1968, this neighborhood haunt is known for its king crab legs, jumbo shrimp, and fried catfish. Don’t be scared off by the landlocked location — some reviewers call the king crab the best they’ve had anywhere.
The Chubby Trout in Elkhart boasts a seafood menu focused on perch, a European cousin to walleye called zander, salmon, and, of course, trout, complemented by a comprehensive beer menu with plenty of local brews.
Catfish Charlie’s doesn’t stop at catfish — fried oysters, jambalaya, and bourbon salmon all grace a spicy Cajun-inspired menu.
The Wichita Fish Co. claims the largest variety of seafood in the state, and the menu suggests it’s true, with options of tilapia, pollock, catfish, scallops, shrimp, and oysters — just to name a few.
Simple fried seafood sandwiches are a specialty at Charlie’s, which also maintains a huge selection of frozen seafood for take-away. Try the catfish dinner or whitefish sandwich special for $11 and cocktail sauce made fresh on site.
Aker and Slidell
Middendorf’s has been in this town just north of New Orleans since 1934, serving celebrities from football’s Manning family to the Prince of Monaco. The restaurant’s specialty is thin catfish, but since you’re in Louisiana, there are also local specialties such as frog legs.
Maine is more closely associated with lobster than any other place on Earth, so it’s hard to pick one seafood house as best. The understated Billy’s Chowder House, however, makes a strong argument with its Famous Platter — a full pound of fresh-caught seafood for $34. And its chowders and stews are meals by themselves.
Home state of the greatest blue-claw crabs the planet has to offer, Maryland gives seafood lovers a lot of options. Only one, however, is home to the Crab Bomb, 10 ounces of spiced and baked crab: Jerry’s Seafood.
The spoon-floating thick chowder at J.T. Farnham’s Seafood & Grill might be the best in a state famous for great chowder. The golden fried clams have also brought plenty of acclaim.
Streetside Seafood is dedicated almost solely to the sea (and a bit to rivers and streams), with only five land-based menu items (including a green salad and coleslaw). Look for four types of oysters, soups of lobster, crab, and clam, as well as pricier entrées from whitefish to lobster.
Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes — and some of the best stuff to come out of those lakes winds up on the tables of the Sea Salt Eatery. Baskets include catfish, oysters, shrimp, and fish, and there’s also a full po’ boy menu, seafood tacos, and crabcakes.
While the New Orleans branch of this restaurant may be more familiar, Felix’s has made a name for itself in Mississippi for Cajun favorites such as crawfish po’ boys, turtle soup, and oysters on the half shell. Shrimp cocktail, crawfish pies, and even king crab are on the menu, too.
How can the coastal seafood at Peacemaker taste so fresh? The answer: A fresh catch is flown in every day. A 130-year-old stone oyster trough is the focal point of the establishment, which serves up lobster as Frito pie as well as in rolls and boils.
At Tupelo Grille, shrimp and crawfish cakes, shrimp and grits, and Southern bayou catfish are all on the menu — and that’s just the appetizers. Can’t decide? The Zydeco Combo makes a whole bunch of hard choices for you.
Respect to Plank Seafood for its oyster bar, but also for the Prince Edward Island mussels. And the crispy alligator. And the potato crusted calamari. And the buttermilk clam strips.
There’s more to Vegas than the Strip, and if you’re up for a bit of a drive, dinner at one of the city’s buzziest restaurants is unlikely to disappoint. Where other Vegas restaurants are cavernous, this one is intimate — it only seats 45 — and it’s housed in an unassuming strip mall. But there’s no need for any gimmicks, because the food is indisputably the star of the show. After starting off with waffle fries and spicy tuna tartare, diners can face-plant into the raw bar’s mouth-watering selection of oysters, sushi, sashimi, and ceviche.
Dover Point and Concord
New Hampshire is in lobster country, and Newick’s excels at crustacean cuisine. Founded in 1948 by the family that still runs the place, Newick’s offers a few dishes for land lovers – but the rest of the menu comes from the water, including “lobstahs” and “chowdah.”
Sure, being featured on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” raised the profile of The Anchorage Restaurant — but locals didn’t need any convincing. The tavern has been a Somers Point staple for more than a century, and New Jerseyans have watched it evolve into one of the most lauded eateries in the state.
Related: Oldest Restaurant in Every State
This low-key seafood spot doesn’t put an emphasis on decor, but it does live up to its name by delivering boiled seafood, no frills. Fans like the crab legs and the peel-and-eat shrimp.
You can’t go wrong at Black Nile, a seafood-soul food joint (which offers not just shrimp and grits, but whiting, lobster, salmon, snapper, and crab cakes on either black pepper or cheddar cheese grits) where nearly everything is below $20. Start with crispy salmon sliders with peach jalapeño hot sauce for $14 and create a meal whether fried, grilled, or baked from $13. Sides start at $3 — and finish it up with desserts from the Sweet Mahogany stand inside the restaurant.
As a coastal state, North Carolina has plenty of seafood restaurants. Few are as authentic and fresh as the Waterfront Seafood Shack. It’s right on the water and the company has its own fishing boats. This humble little eatery earns high praise from diners and has been pulling fans back in for decades.
After more than a decade as a staple in the Grand Forks area, The Toasted Frog has earned a reputation for some of the finest seafood statewide (so much so that they’ve since opened up locations in Bismarck and Fargo as well). The fish tacos, walleye piccata, and fish special with Alaskan halibut and coconut curry are among the dishes that keep the place bustling.
If you really have a hankering for seafood, Blue Point Grille serves a dish called “My Blue Point Heaven” with lobster tail, scallops, shrimp, lobster mashed potatoes, and asparagus that should do the trick. Too much? There’s always the grouper or the salmon.
A quirky spot with campy decor reminiscent of a backwoods fishing lodge, the seafood on the menu at Trapper’s Fish Camp is much more serious. Peel and eat shrimp, crawdad tails, oysters, and shrimp and clam pasta are menu staples.
The views at Georgie’s Beachside Grill are at least as stunning as the food, which has more of a New England lobster house feel than the high-end ambience lets on. Like the mighty Pacific it touches, the portions at Georgie’s never seem to end.
The City of Brotherly Love is one of the world’s great restaurant cities, but even in Philadelphia, Luke’s Lobster stands out. The cozy BYOB joint, steps away from historic Rittenhouse Square, has sustainable seafood in lobster rolls, crab rolls, shrimp rolls, as well as lobster bisque and clam chowder.
Few states scream great seafood as loudly as Rhode Island — and the Matunuck Oyster Bar might be the loudest. The restaurant’s motto is “farm to table and pond to plate,” and that concept is evident not only in its sizable raw bar, but in dishes such as the restaurant’s famous lobster rolls.
A legendary seafood dive, Whaley’s spices things up with live music and karaoke. The cheap but plentiful menu offers exciting options such as sushi nachos and stuffed shrimp, and a bunch of fried options including select-grade oysters and flounder.
The most legendary city in South Dakota — and perhaps the most iconic of the Old West — is Deadwood. Its Oyster Bay was a legend before being featured on the Travel Channel. Famous for its oyster shooters, Oyster Bay fosters a raucous atmosphere complete with live music and karaoke.
Its website is a late-’90s throwback. Its catering truck looks like a Los Angeles street food cart. Its most famous dish is a whiting fish sandwich. It’s Ed’s Fish House, the gold standard for seafood in Nashville since 1972. Not convinced? Go to Nashville and ask the locals.
The crispy, crunchy, irresistible lure of Shrimp ‘n Stuff and its gigantic, hand-battered shrimp has been known to Galveston residents for more than four decades. It’s arguably the best in the state.
Salt Lake City
The namesake dish is prominent on the menu, but Summerhay’s Halibut ‘N Chips serves up much more than just fish and french fries. Try a bread bowl filled with chowder or the Seafood Louie platter. Entrees start under $12.
New England has no shortage of amazing seafood houses, but the White Cottage in Woodstock has fried scallops and whole belly clams that keep the crowds coming back, two dozen flavors of ice cream to end the meal, and seasonal swims in the Ottauquechee River flowing past.
The Chesapeake Bay is known for some of the finest shellfish in the world, much of which end up on tables at Rappahannock. Its oyster wholesaler has been working the bay since 1899, providing Olde Salt, Barcat, and Stingray oysters for shucking.
In the heart of the Seattle Fishermen’s Terminal, which houses more than 700 fishing vessels and has served as the heart of the North Pacific fishing fleet for more than 100 years, Chinook’s at Salmon Bay serves seafood that lives up to the history. Many dishes are under $25; an occasional indulgence — such as the Dungeness crab and shrimp fettuccine — nears $30.
The iconic Tricky Fish boasts “beach shack food, cold beer, and frozen drinks.” Try the oyster po’boy, the mahi maki tacos, the peel and eat jerk shrimp, or the rotating chalkboard specials.
The St. Paul Fish Company won’t just sell you a seafood meal, it’l sell you some seafood as well, at either its Milwaukee or Mequon locations. But go ahead and feel a little lazy, as you can feast on two fish tacos for $10, a po’ boy for $12, or a full lobster boil for $22, and in either a dining room, oyster bar, or outdoor tiki bar.
Wyoming may be cattle country, and Afton may be a town of only 2,000, but Rocky Mountain Seafood will take you straight to the coast with its seaside decor and ample selection of fresh and cooked seafood. Notable items on the chalkboard menus include farm-raised salmon, Alaskan halibut, and Cod Parmesan.
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