Summer brings beach vacations, lakeside camping and family barbecues; it also ushers in the good times for feasting on seafood. Glazed oyster shooters, lobster rolls, and clam pastries can make you feel like you’re on vacation, wherever you are. Luckily, you don’t have to go to the ocean to enjoy fresh seafood, because there’s bound to be an appealing local option. (Do you prefer to cook at home? Here are 30 easy shrimp ideas.)
To determine the best seafood restaurant in each state, 24/7 Tempo consulted listings, ratings and reviews from websites including Michelin Guide, eat this not that, Food Network, Gayot, Eaterand Free time, as well as many local and regional sites. Sushi bars and informal seafood shacks will be the subject of future stories, so they have been omitted from the final results, although some of the restaurants listed may include sushi on their menu.
The best seafood restaurants range from casual eateries to dress code establishments. A number of them have upped their frying game and offer the best fish and chips or popcorn shrimp around. Some are new American restaurants that combine flavors from around the world with fresh, sustainable fish, while others may bring Chinese, Mexican or Portuguese flavors to the table.
Click here to see the best seafood restaurant in each state
Many cultures eat some form of raw fish, be it poke, ceviche, crudo, or sashimi, and most of the restaurants listed serve raw fish or shellfish as a starter. Some oyster bars even offer oysters reared on site in their own shellfish tanks. It doesn’t get cooler than that.
Regional American seafood is strongly represented across the country, whether it’s Cajun-style boiled crawfish, New England clam chowder, Gulf Coast crab claws or donuts. of Chesapeake Bay crab. Fish tacos are now ubiquitous in American seafood restaurants, and po’boys aren’t just for New Orleans anymore. (Here are the 35 best restaurants in the South.)