The Most Popular Seafood Restaurant in Every State (#11 Has The Best Ocean View)

Discover the hidden gem seafood joints that locals swear by in each state.

woman eating at ocean side restaurant
Updated May 28, 2024
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When you think of great seafood, it’s probably fresh, packed with flavor, and offered with lots of sides. However, it’s not always easy to find seafood when traveling across the country.

If you’re looking for the best seafood in every state, we’ve done the work for you. You won’t find big chains but local restaurants and regional favorites that make it worth your visit.

So, get ready to step up your travel game and check out the most beloved seafood restaurants in the U.S.

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Alabama: Wintzell's Oyster House (Mobile)

Subbotina Anna/Adobe fresh oysters with lemon

Wintzell’s Oyster House is a regional favorite for many reasons, including that they offer a sustainable seafood menu that’s as fresh as can be.

Once a six-stool counter-service restaurant that opened in 1938, today, they’re the best destination for crawfish etouffee, gumbo, and crab cakes.

Alaska: The Alaska Fish House (Ketchikan)

vectorwin/Adobe fresh cod fish in oven tray

Right on the waterfront, The Alaska Fish House is an excellent choice for those looking for Dungeness crab, smoked salmon, and hearty chowder.

The menu is huge, the view of the water is outstanding, and local events from time to time give you another reason to visit.

Arizona: Chula Seafood (Scottsdale)

Kristina Blokhin/Adobe lobster plate with garlic butter

With several locations, Chula Seafood is a local favorite because everything is as fresh as possible.

Consider their specials, like the Shrimp Louie Sandwich, which features green goddess dressing, wild Mexican shrimp, bacon avocado mash, and veggies on a Kaiser roll.

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Arkansas: Fisherman’s Wharf Steak & Seafood (Hot Springs)

DragonImages/Adobe friends dining together in restaurant

The nautical theme at Fisherman’s Wharf Steak & Seafood offers a fantastic, laidback vibe (and the view of the lake is perfect).

For food, try the broiled Cajun catfish or the Wharf Fish Sandwich, prepared with freshly caught fish.

California: Swan Oyster Depot (San Francisco)

chuck/Adobe seafood platter on table

This counter service nook in the fish market is easy to miss until you see the food (and people) coming from it.

The location offers a raw bar menu along with specials each day. They’re noted for the crab and shrimp they keep stocked.

Colorado: Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar (Boulder)

EdNurg/Adobe excited woman eating mussels at restaurant

A noted destination, Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar is an excellent choice for fresh seafood and fabulous drinks.

You may need reservations to check out the menu, which includes mussels, cioppino, Ahi tuna poke, and seared New England sea scallops.

Connecticut: Abbott's Lobster in the Rough (Noank)

cherryandbees/Adobe romantic couple eating out at restaurant

A seasonal location right on the Mystic River, Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough is an excellent choice for overstuffed lobster rolls.

The location is dockside, and you can bring your own beer. Then, settle in at an outdoor table for stuffed claims, steamers, and all the sides you desire.

Delaware: Woody's Dewey Beach Bar & Grill (Dewey Beach)

GnrlyXYZ/Adobe crab cake with garnish

Dewey Beach is a fun date night location and hot spot along the waterfront. They have excellent crab cakes, too.

The tavern setting is intimate, and the craft cocktails are made with care. Stop in to watch a game and eat good food.

Florida: Joe's Stone Crab (Miami Beach)

myviewpoint/Adobe crabs leg platter with butter

Opened in 1913 as a counter lunch spot, Joe’s Stone Crab has become one of the most sought-after destinations for really good seafood.

From the crab-filled menu to the freshly made key lime pie, this historic destination still focuses on fresh food and good service.

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Georgia: The Optimist (Atlanta)

beats_/Adobe british fish and chips with lemon

If it’s seafood in Georgia, it has to be The Optimist, a destination noted for its country-modern vibe and family-friendly menu.

That menu includes everything from wood-fired oysters to a full raw bar. Even better than the hand-crafted cocktails is the restaurant's focus on sustainable seafood farming.

Hawaii: Mama's Fish House (Paia)

Jacek Chabraszewski/Adobe fried salmon steak plate with vegetables

There’s plenty of great seafood in Hawaii, but Mama’s Fish House is a special destination. The Polynesian-style menu, open ocean views, and cocktails enhance the experience.

Start with the diver-caught Maui octopus, enjoy the mahi-mahi or the King salmon grilled with pineapple chutney, and then finish with the exceptional coconut chiffon cake.

Idaho: Barbacoa Grill (Boise)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe steak and lobster with asparagus

With its unique blend of flavors and a menu that combines Spanish and American influences, Barbacoa Grill is the city's destination for quality food in a beautiful setting.

Though they’re known for their steak, they have fantastic seafood, including the Kumamoto oysters and tuna tartare.

Illinois: Shaw's Crab House (Schaumburg)

Viks_jin/Adobe chopsticks holding salmon sashimi

Shaw’s Crab House is often packed, thanks to their overflowing dishes of fresh seafood prepared with attention to detail and tried-and-true recipes.

You’ll find plenty of options, from the spicy lobster to the shrimp tempura hand-rolled maki. The sushi platter, poke bowl, and sashimi are also legendary here.

Indiana: Caplinger's Fresh Catch (Indianapolis)

PONPON/Adobe traditional chinese lobster dish

With several locations around town, Caplinger’s Fresh Catch is the place to go for truly fresh seafood, even in the heart of the Midwest.

There’s a fresh fish market, but you’ll certainly want to enjoy their restaurant, too. From the crab melt to the lobster roll, the portions are huge, and the attention to detail is outstanding.

Iowa: Waterfront Seafood Market (West Des Moines)

singidavar/Adobe fresh seafood at display at restaurant

First opened in 1984, this seafood restaurant and small fish market is a known destination in the city. It offers everything from 1/2-shell oysters to a full sushi bar.

This family-owned and managed restaurant flies in all of its fish to ensure it’s as fresh as possible. Make sure you check out the daily specials.

Kansas: Jarocho (Kansas City)

Ramon Grosso/Adobe chinese shrimps plate with seasoning

At Jarocho, you get some of the best Mexican seafood around. Fresh plates, big flavor, and huge portions make it a must-try destination.

The menu includes stuffed trout, grilled shrimp, blue crab, and authentic Mexican dishes.

Kentucky: Mike Linnig's (Louisville)

Masaki/Adobe lobster rolls on wooden board

In Louisville, right along the river, is Mike Linning’s, an establishment that’s provided fried fish to the masses since 1925.

With outdoor seating, this first-come-first-serve destination has an extensive menu that includes the famous fish sandwich and platters with a mixture of seafood served with hush puppies.

Louisiana: Acme Oyster House (New Orleans)

HLPhoto/Adobe creole cajun court bouillon with seafood

Acme Oyster House is recognized nationally (you can even have their meals sent to you across the country) and with good reason.

They’re noted specifically for their oysters, which are served raw and chargrilled, but the menu is much more extensive, including gumbos, seafood etouffee, and po-boys.

Maine: Eventide Oyster Co. (Portland)

Xinyun/Adobe lobster roll from quebec farmers market

When in Maine, you have to enjoy lobster, and Eventide Oyster Co. is known not just for its lobster rolls but also for its raw oyster bar.

Excellent cocktails in a small destination, this location is perfect for those who are on the go and want something filling and fresh.

Maryland: Jimmy Cantler's Riverside Inn (Annapolis)

Tom Wang/Adobe father enjoying seafood with daughter

Jimmy Cantler’s Riverside Inn is a crab house right on the waterfront. You’ll love the happy hour, and it’s the place to go to watch sports.

As for the food, the Maryland blue crab on the menu here is hard to beat.

Massachusetts: Neptune Oyster (Boston)

Kristina Blokhin/Adobe man holding lobster roll sandwich

Give yourself time if you plan to stop in for lunch or dinner at Neptune Oyster. The lines can be long to wait to sink your teeth into the buttered lobster rolls they serve here.

It’s also one of the best raw bars in the region, even though it seems like a hole-in-the-wall. It's a seafood lover’s retreat.

Michigan: Streetside Seafood (Birmingham)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe homemade new england clam chowder

Streetside Seafood is a local treasure. This destination doesn’t have a huge menu, but everything they have is as fresh as possible and prepared with care.

Whether you come for the raw bar or the Great Lakes perch, this small destination is worth the wait. It’s a full menu (try the lobster bisque made fresh in-house) worth exploring.

Minnesota: Smack Shack (Minneapolis)

Photodrive/Adobe woman holding restaurant stuffed lobster dish

You’ll come (and come back time and time again) for the lobster roll, but Smack Shack brings the flavor, the vibe, and even live music to make this a true destination.

On the weekends, you can stop in for lunch or brunch, but dinner offers a huge assortment of fish, including red snapper, ahi tuna, and oysters on the half-shell.

Mississippi: McElroy's Harbor House Seafood Restaurant (Biloxi)

kieferpix/Adobe fried shrimp with garlic butter lemon

It’s hard to get fresher seafood than you’ll find at McElroy’s Harbor House Seafood Restaurant since it’s just minutes from the dock.

This restaurant, which has served the area for over 50 years, is also a solid choice for raw oysters, catfish, crabcakes, flounder, shrimp, and grits.

Missouri: Broadway Oyster Bar (St. Louis)

Subbotina Anna/Adobe oysters and lemon plate

Broadway Oyster Bar is a friendly, local favorite offering a Cajun-infused menu. Stop in for the music, enjoy a drink on the patio, and then sink your teeth into oysters served your way.

Don’t sleep on the Nola-style BBQ shrimp or the shrimp voodoo tacos, which are readily recommended.

Montana: The Montana Club (Billings)

Magdalena Bujak/Adobe fish tacos with mango salsa

In Billings, you’ll find The Montana Club, which is most noted as a steakhouse with a solid seafood menu.

Start your meal with the creamy crab parmesan dip. The golden battered fish tacos, Huckleberry sockeye salmon, and the halibut Hemingway are all fantastic options on a very large menu.

Nebraska: Shucks Fish House & Oyster Bar (Omaha)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe fried calamari squid appetizer on tray

Shucks First House & Oyster Bar has several locations in the region, all selling fresh seafood made with traditional recipes.

It’s hard not to love the calamari served with Thai chili sauce or steamed muscles. There’s much more to enjoy as well, including the rare ahi tuna with wasabi or the oysters Rockefeller.

Nevada: Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (Las Vegas)

irrez/Adobe boiled crab claws plate besides beer

You’ll need a reservation for this upscale, fine-dining destination. Joe’s is founded on the same principles as its first location, opening in 1913, and is noted for its Florida stone crab.

The menu offers much more, including oysters on the half shell, jumbo king crab, pan-seared flounder, and some of the best key lime pie in the state.

New Hampshire: Jumpin' Jay's Fish Café (Portsmouth)

BGStock72/Adobe man eating salmon fillet with champagne

At Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Café, you’ll find a busy eatery serving fresh seafood and house-made sauces to pack in the flavor.

They opened in 2000 and continue to provide a menu based on the fish arriving each day. The wild Alaskan salmon, coquilles St. Jacques, and the raw bar are some of the best choices here.

New Jersey: The Lobster House (Cape May)

fudio/Adobe creamy lobster bisque bowl on table

In Cape May, The Lobster House is known for its casual, family-friendly vibe, the outstanding views of the harbor right from your table, and the food.

Stop in for dinner or cocktails. The dinner menu includes Jersey oysters, mussels, clams, homemade lobster bisque, and Cape May scallops.

New Mexico: Down N Dirty Seafood Boil (Albuquerque)

YeoJung/Adobe spicy seasoned seafood

The menu at Down N Dirty Seafood Boil is a mixture of American comfort food and very well-prepared seafood.

It’s a true Louisiana-style seafood boil destination packed with everything from lobster and scallops to snow and king crab in these huge portions.

New York: Grand Central Oyster Bar (New York City)

EdNurg/Adobe asian woman eating oysters

Located in the Grand Central Terminal, Grand Central Oyster Bar is the place to enjoy raw oysters in the city. The rich chowders are legendary, too.

This iconic destination opened its doors in 1913, just weeks after the first train passed through the terminal. It’s a beautiful location, and the food is excellent, too.

North Carolina: The Crab Pot (Surf City)

ksubogdanova/Adobe shrimp burger with fries

A laidback shack, The Crab Pot is not a location to overlook when you want simple, good food.

Stop in for live music, sit at newspaper-covered tables, and enjoy a steamer bucket, a crab patty melt, or a shrimp burger.

North Dakota: The Walrus Restaurant (Bismarck)

anaumenko/Adobe family having summer lunch with seafood

A fun, lively destination offering more than 40 craft beers on tap, The Walrus Restaurant is also the place to go for good seafood.

This neighborhood location will keep the kids happy with pizza and pasta. For seafood, choose from tuna, salmon, and shrimp meals.

Ohio: Mitchell's Ocean Club (Columbus)

Ezume Images/Adobe surf and turf salad bowl

For a nice dinner out, visit Mitchells’ Ocean Club, a seafood and steak destination and piano bar.

Enjoy a glass of wine with your sushi, blackened snapper, or the lobster linguine.

Oklahoma: The Fish Shack (Coweta)

Acker/Adobe fish burger with fries and ketchup

The Fish Shack is a small destination offering well-prepared fish and other goodies.

They often offer specials, from all-you-can-eat to kids-eat-free nights. Some favorites here are the fish sandwich, homemade onion rings, and fried okra.

Oregon: Jake's Famous Crawfish (Portland)

kenwnj/Adobe creole style crawfish boil with corn

Jake’s Famous Crawfish is the best spot for happy hour. It offers some of the freshest fish in the region, which is flown daily.

Choose from numerous options like the crab-and-seafood-stuffed salmon or the horseradish-crusted steelhead.

Pennsylvania: The Oyster House (Philadelphia)

myviewpoint/Adobe crab cakes with sauce and salad

A true East Coast oyster destination, Oyster House is an excellent choice for those who want fish at its freshest.

For more than 40 years, the location has offered exceptional seafood, including lobster rolls, black garlic glazed halibut, and crabcakes made fresh in-house.

Rhode Island: Champlin's Seafood (Narragansett)

myviewpoint/Adobe fish and chips with tartar sauce

Champlin’s Seafood is a local favorite for its classic feel that’s remained mostly the same since it opened in the 1930s.

This counter-service destination offers freshly made lobster bisque and chowder, a full raw bar, fish tacos, and the best fish and chips in the region.

South Carolina: The Wreck of the Richard & Charlene (Mount Pleasant)

grinchh/Adobe scallops seared in garlic and parsley

The Wreck of Richard & Charlene is a hole-in-the-wall, low country-style location. This dinner-only location serves up fresh, fried seafood.

Don’t underestimate the quality. It's a fantastic place to get a filling meal from ala carte sides like shrimp, oysters, and scallops to the big platters of deviled crab and seafood combinations.

South Dakota: Fish ‘N Fry Café (Deadwood)

cherryandbees/Adobe happy man having lunch in restaurant

Fish ‘N Fry Café is a must-try restaurant. Its simple menu is trucked into a cabin-like setting on the water.

Many come while staying at the campground and enjoy freshly caught trout served up as fresh as possible.

Tennessee: The Southern Steak & Oyster (Nashville)

exclusive-design/Adobe delicious fillets of pollock

While The Southern Steak & Oyster serves up some tasty wood-fired meats, they also have a full oyster bar and lots of Southern-infused dishes.

Quite the trendy spot with a fun vibe, the menu offers everything from gumbo to BBQ shrimp, oysters, and fish ‘n grits.

Texas: Gaido’s (Galveston)

Zachary/Adobe crab stuffed shrimp trio seafood appetizer

At Gaido’s, you’ll find an upscale, beautiful seafood restaurant offering impressive views of the Gulf.

From the signature oyster menu to the crab-stuffed shrimp, there’s a lot to tempt your tastebuds here.

Utah: Harbor Seafood & Steak Co. (Salt Lake City)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe seared ahi tuna tataki salad plate

Harbor Seafood & Steak Co. is a modern seafood restaurant serving cocktails and a menu filled with fresh fish.

They work to locally source anything they can and offer a dock-to-table format, with options like the wild Hawaiian ahi tuna, wild Maine scallops, and the seasonal white fish.

Vermont: Shanty on the Shore (Burlington)

NatBud/Adobe mother enjoying meal with daughter

Sitting on the lake, Shanty on the Shore offers guests beautiful views of the harbor as they sit in this classic, wood-beam-filled restaurant that’s been standing for nearly 200 years.

Choose from buffalo shrimp, mussels, or escargot to start. Enjoy the raw bar, shrimp scampi, and the broiled haddock.

Virginia: Rappahannock Oyster Co Oyster Bar (Richmond)

anna_shepulova/Adobe seared scallops salad bowl with forks

Rappahannock Oyster Co. employs a true farm-to-table approach with each dish. Their large oyster bar offers incredibly fresh oysters from their own oyster farms.

You can also sample scallops, pan-seared fish, and paella made from scratch each day.

Washington: Taylor Shellfish Farms (Queen Anne)

Dasha Petrenko/Adobe friends toasting wine at restaurant

Taylor Shellfish Farms is a noted sustainable shellfish farm that’s been located in the area since the 1890s.

If you’re looking for a fantastic meal, try the raw bar, Dungeness crab, or the mussels.

West Virginia: The Char (Beckley)

EdNurg/Adobe woman eating Spanish cuisine

While The Char is a notable steakhouse, it also has a fantastic seafood menu.

Paired with their signature cocktails, it’s easy to enjoy the fine dining here, including the broiled orange roughy, crab stuffed sole, and crab cakes.

Wisconsin: St. Paul Fish Company (Milwaukee)

nsphotostudio/Adobe grilled salmon fillet with steamed vegetables

For a relaxing comfort meal, check out St. Paul Fish Company. It’s a full restaurant and oyster bar in the Milwaukee Public Market area.

You can choose from po boys, calamari steaks, and the famous grilled fish dinners, which include jasmine rice, veggies, and blackened or grilled fish.

Wyoming: Rocky Mountain Seafood (Afton)

Jag_cz/Adonb grilled salmon steaks on fire

Rocky Mountain Seafood offers farm-raised salmon, fresh Alaskan halibut, and numerous other seafood favorites.

The surimi salad, oyster stew, and shrimp bread are must-haves here, too. There’s also a “fish-haters menu” for those who may not be inclined.

Bottom line

Yakov/Adobe woman eating jumbo lobsters and shrimps

Seafood restaurants can tempt your taste buds by bringing you fresh, even healthy meal options, no matter where you visit.

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