Discovering the Best Waterfront Restaurants for Seafood in the USA

The USA’s Best Seafood Restaurants: A Gastronomic Journey

The United States of America is a vast and diverse country, offering a wide range of phenomenal dining experiences you can indulge in. A waterfront view, combined with delicious seafood, is a winning recipe for a memorable dining experience. In this article, we’ll shine a light on some of the best waterfront seafood establishments throughout the USA, ensuring that you get to enjoy the unique flavors and breathtaking views this country has to offer.

With its extensive coastline, the United States has numerous coastal cities teeming with fresh seafood and delicious culinary creations. Whether you’re strolling along the sandy shores of the Atlantic Coast, savoring the picturesque views of the Pacific Northwest, or exploring the distinctive dining establishments of the Gulf Coast, a seafood lover’s paradise awaits you.

From traditional clam chowder in New England to the mouthwatering gumbo in New Orleans or the delectable oysters from Chesapeake Bay, there’s no shortage of seafood dishes to satisfy your cravings. These waterfront restaurants not only offer top-notch quality seafood dishes, but they also provide the perfect ambiance to appreciate the beauty of our coastline while indulging in a pleasurable and memorable dining experience.

Exploring the Diverse Offerings of the USA’s Coastal Regions

The United States is a melting pot of different culinary experiences, especially when it comes to seafood. With a vast coastline stretching over 19,924 kilometers, it’s no surprise that there are countless delectable seafood dishes to be discovered. Let’s dive into the top regions for seafood lovers, from the Pacific Northwest’s salmon and Dungeness crab to the Gulf Coast’s oysters and Louisiana’s Cajun cuisine.

The Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest, including states like Washington and Oregon, is renowned for its fresh and diverse seafood dishes. The region’s cold, nutrient-rich waters provide an ideal habitat for succulent salmon and Dungeness crab. The seafood scene here is not just about taste; it’s also about sustainable practices. Many restaurants in this region actively participate in sustainable fishing and sourcing, ensuring the long-term health of these iconic species.

The Gulf Coast

The warm waters of the Gulf Coast, spanning from Florida to Texas, are home to an abundance of oysters, shrimp, and fish. The region is especially known for its oyster bars and shacks, where you can savor these briny treasures practically as soon as they’re plucked from the water. From the low-key, family-run spots to the more upscale establishments, the Gulf Coast offers an unforgettable seafood experience steeped in tradition.


When it comes to seafood, Louisiana is synonymous with Cajun and Creole cuisines. Here, the flavors are bold and the preparation is an art form. From gumbo and étouffée to crawfish boils and po’boys, Louisiana’s seafood dishes are a celebration of the region’s rich history and cultural diversity. The state’s wetlands and coastal areas play a vital role in providing the fresh ingredients that make these dishes so irresistible.

The Northeast

Moving up the coast, the Northeast is a seafood lover’s paradise. With lobster as its crown jewel, New England states like Maine, Massachusetts, and New York offer a wide array of seafood dishes. Lobster rolls, clam chowder, and fresh oysters are just a few of the specialties that can be enjoyed along the rocky shores. The traditional seafood shacks and more modern dining establishments coexist, offering both classic and innovative takes on seafood dishes.

The Southeast

The Southeast coast, running from the Carolinas down to Florida, offers a seafood experience influenced by both its colonial history and its proximity to the Caribbean. Shrimp and grits, crab cakes, and a variety of fish dishes are staples of the region. With each state offering its own twist on these classics, the culinary scene is as vibrant and varied as the coastal landscape.

See also  The Growing Appeal of Adult Arcades and Dining in the USA

As you explore the diverse seafood offerings of the USA’s coastal regions, remember that each region brings its unique flavors, preparation styles, and cultural influence to the table. Whether you’re indulging in a raw bar on the Gulf Coast or enjoying a lobster bake in New England, the best seafood restaurants are often those that embrace the essence of their local waters and serve dishes that reflect the region’s culinary heritage. So, pack your appetite and get ready to embark on a gastronomic journey through America’s coastlines.

The Importance of Sustainability in Seafood Restaurants

The United States’ appetite for seafood is vast, resulting in a thriving commercial fishing industry and numerous seafood restaurants across the country. However, as we indulge in delicious dishes, it’s crucial to consider the impact our food choices have on the world’s oceans. Sustainability is a key aspect that must be addressed when discussing seafood, as overfishing and unethical practices have led to a decline in many fish populations. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of sustainability in the seafood industry and examine how to find the best seafood restaurants that prioritize ethical sourcing and sustainability.

Why Sustainability is Vital

Overfishing has become a serious global issue, with some marine species at risk of being fished to extinction or facing significant population declines. Unsustainable fishing practices can cause destruction to aquatic habitats, threatening not only the species being caught but also other marine life that depends on a healthy ecosystem. In the United States, certain fish species like Atlantic cod, Chilean sea bass, and bluefin tuna are suffering due to overfishing and the use of harmful fishing gear.

Consumer Responsibility and Seafood Choices

As consumers, we have the power to drive change and support sustainable seafood practices by making informed choices about where we dine and what dishes we order. But navigating the world of sustainable seafood can be challenging, especially when restaurants have unclear sourcing information or use terms like “wild-caught” and “organic” to appeal to eco-conscious diners.

Finding Sustainable Seafood Restaurants

To ensure you’re supporting restaurants with ethical and sustainable practices, look for certifications like the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). These organizations set strict standards for sustainable fishing and aquaculture practices, and you can visit their websites to search for certified seafood restaurants and products.

Additionally, you can check if restaurants are part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, which works with businesses to offer sustainable seafood options and avoid red-listed species. Be aware that some seafood dishes may not be what they seem – for instance, according to a report by Oceana, 21% of fish tested in the United States were mislabeled.

Tips for Responsible Seafood Dining

When it comes to dining on seafood, keep these tips in mind for a more sustainable experience:

  • Choose species that are abundant and responsibly managed, like mussels, Arctic char, and wild-caught Alaskan salmon.
  • Avoid overfished species like Atlantic cod, Chilean sea bass, and shark.
  • Opt for seafood from eco-friendly farms, which use less water, energy, and feed while minimizing pollution and habitat destruction.
  • Prioritize local seafood to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation and support local economies.
  • Ask your server about the restaurant’s sourcing practices and whether they prioritize sustainability.

By making sustainable choices and supporting ethical seafood restaurants, we can help protect the world’s oceans and the precious marine life that inhabits them. As you explore the amazing offerings of the best waterfront seafood restaurants throughout the United States, keep these principles in mind to ensure that you’re enjoying a delicious meal in a responsible and eco-friendly manner.

Discovering the Best Waterfront Restaurants for Seafood in the Northeast

The Northeastern coast of the USA has a rich history and celebrated cuisine when it comes to seafood. Fresh caught lobster, clams, and oysters are prominent favorites in the region. In this part, we’ll explore the best waterfront seafood restaurants located in cities like Boston, Maine, and New York, which are famous for their abundance of fresh seafood dishes.

See also  The Impact of Sushi on US Dining Trends

Best Waterfront Seafood Restaurants in the Northeast


  • Greenery Restaurant: A hidden gem in the city, this seafood spot has been serving up delicious dishes for over a century.
  • Neptune Oyster: This popular restaurant is well-known for its lobster rolls and extensive oyster selection.


  • The Lobster Shack at Two Lights: Enjoy lobster, oysters, and other seafood dishes with a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The Clam Shack: Renowned for their fried clams, which have earned numerous awards over the years.

New York:

  • Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant: A New York City landmark located within Grand Central Terminal, specializing in oyster dishes.
  • Little Neck: This Long Island gem offers an extensive raw bar, alongside their fresh seafood menu.

The Ultimate Seafood Experience: Top Waterfront Restaurants in the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is revered for its fresh salmon, Dungeness crab, and oysters, making for unforgettable waterfront dining experiences. In this section, we’ll list the top waterfront dining establishments in cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland, where guests can indulge in unique culinary traditions and flavors.

Top Waterfront Seafood Restaurants in the Pacific Northwest


  • The Crab Pot: A quintessential seafood spot in Seattle, offering the signature “Alaskan” seafood feast.
  • Ray’s Boathouse: With a stunning view of Puget Sound, this restaurant serves exquisite seafood dishes with an emphasis on sustainable sourcing.

San Francisco:

  • Scoma’s Sausalito: A family-owned staple in Sausalito for over 60 years, offering fresh seafood and unparalleled views of the Bay.
  • The Franciscan Crab Restaurant: A quintessential San Francisco dining experience serving classic crab dishes and more.


  • Jake’s Famous Crawfish: Offering upscale seafood dishes in a stylish atmosphere, with a focus on Northwest-inspired flavors.
  • Meriwether’s Restaurant: Known for fresh and local ingredients, Meriwether’s serves an array of seafood dishes with stunning views.

After exploring these regions, seafood enthusiasts will have an in-depth understanding of the best waterfront seafood restaurants and the unique culinary delights each region has to offer. When considering a waterfront dining experience, be sure to take into account factors like location, menu offerings, ambiance, sustainability, and overall experience. A well-informed decision will ensure a fantastic seafood dining adventure.

Dining on the Gulf Coast: The Best Waterfront Seafood Restaurants in the South

The southeastern coast of the United States, also known as the Gulf Coast, is home to some of the country’s freshest seafood. With its picturesque waterfront settings and vibrant culinary scene, this region offers an unparalleled dining experience. In this section, we’ll guide you through the best waterfront seafood restaurants found in cities like New Orleans, Florida, and Alabama, showcasing exceptional regional dishes and how to choose the right ones.

New Orleans

The Crescent City’s rich culinary heritage is legendary, and its seafood offerings certainly do not disappoint. With a blend of French, Spanish, and African influences, New Orleans provides some of the most iconic seafood dishes in the country.

  • Drago’s Seafood Restaurant: Established in 1969, Drago’s is a local favorite known for its signature chargrilled oysters, prepared with herbs, garlic, butter, and other secret ingredients. You can visit their original location in Metairie or their branch in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.
  • Pascal’s Manale: This historic restaurant was founded in 1913 and is credited with inventing the barbecue shrimp dish, which to this day remains one of their most popular offerings. Pascal’s Manale also offers the New Orleans classic, Oysters Rockefeller, made with spinach, butter, and a variety of seasonings.
  • GW Fins: If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, GW Fins offers an upscale and ever-changing menu featuring fresh seafood flown in from around the world. Their knowledgeable staff can guide you through their extensive wine list and suggest the perfect pairing for your meal.


Florida’s colorful coastline is dotted with countless seafood restaurants offering an abundance of fresh catches. Southern Florida, particularly Miami and the Florida Keys, also have a unique fusion cuisine that combines Caribbean, Latin American, and traditional American styles.

  • Joe’s Stone Crab: A Miami institution since 1913, Joe’s is famous for its sustainably sourced stone crab claws. The restaurant is only open during stone crab season, which typically runs from mid-October to mid-May.
  • The Conch Republic Marine Outreach Center: Located in Key West, this waterfront restaurant combines a museum dedicated to the historical and cultural importance of conchs, with a dining experience that showcases fresh conch dishes such as conch fritters, chowder, and salads.
  • Truluck’s: This chain has locations in multiple cities across Florida, including Naples, Miami, Tampa, and Orlando. Truluck’s is known for its jumbo stone crab claws and its wine list, which has earned the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award.
See also  How Sushi Became a Staple in US Gastronomy


While not as well-known as its Gulf Coast neighbors, Alabama also boasts an impressive selection of waterfront seafood restaurants.

  • Original Oyster House: With locations in both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, this Alabama favorite features fresh seafood prepared in a variety of ways. Be sure to try their famous oyster po’ boys and gumbo.
  • The Boathouse: Situated on Mobile Bay, The Boathouse offers a scenic waterfront view and a diverse menu featuring local seafood such as crab cakes, shrimp, and oysters, as well as steaks and sandwiches.

When dining at a waterfront seafood restaurant on the Gulf Coast, be sure to consider the factors such as location, menu, ambiance, sustainability, and overall experience. By selecting a restaurant that aligns with your preferences, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy unforgettable seafood dining experiences throughout the southeastern coast of the United States.

The Ultimate Seafood Experience: Top Waterfront Restaurants in the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is not only famous for its breathtaking landscapes but also its seafood. This region is home to some of the freshest and most delicious seafood dishes in the USA. From delectable salmon to succulent Dungeness crab and sweet oysters, the Pacific Northwest offers an unparalleled culinary experience for seafood enthusiasts. In this section, we present some of the top waterfront restaurants in cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland.


  • The Atlantic Restaurant: Located at the iconic Pier 70 on Elliott Bay, this restaurant serves the finest seafood dishes with a stunning view of the Seattle skyline and water. The Atlantic Restaurant is renowned for its upscale dining experience and inventive menu featuring the best of Pacific Northwest seafood.
  • Palisade: Nestled on the shores of Lake Union, Palisade offers a great selection of seafood dishes, including their mouthwatering Dungeness crab cakes and oysters. The restaurant’s scenic location and outdoor seating area make it an excellent choice for a waterfront dining experience.
  • Barking Frog: A comfortable yet elegant destination, Barking Frog is nestled within the Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Washington. This restaurant offers a farm-to-table style seafood menu that highlights fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, including their famed Willows seafood stew.

San Francisco

  • Fog Harbour Fish House: Perched on the edge of San Francisco’s historic Fisherman’s Wharf, Fog Harbour Fish House provides exceptional dining surrounded by stunning views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge. This restaurant boasts a vast selection of the freshest seafood, including clam chowder, sushi-grade ahi tuna, and Dungeness crab.
  • C Restaurant and bar: Located in Santa Cruz, California, this waterfront gem offers seasonally-inspired, sustainable seafood prepared with organic and locally-sourced ingredients. With its farm-to-table approach, C Restaurant is committed to preserving the environment while delivering a memorable culinary experience.
  • Waterbar: Offering a menu that showcases sustainable seafood and the unparalleled San Francisco Bay Area views, Waterbar is a modern seafood restaurant known for its award-winning dining experience. Enjoy fresh oysters, Uni (sea urchin) and other delicious seafood dishes while taking in the breathtaking waterfront panorama.


  • Meriwether’s Restaurant: Situated in the beautiful Al’s Garden Center, Meriwether’s Restaurant presents sustainable seafood options crafted with ingredients sourced from their own farm. Their commitment to preserving the environment sets them apart, making a visit to this scenic restaurant an unforgettable experience.
  • RiverPlace Hotel: Located along the Willamette River in downtown Portland, this waterfront destination offers waterfront dining at its best. RiverPlace Hotel features award-winning seafood dishes, like their Columbia River King Salmon, highlighting the freshest and most diverse local seafood.
  • The Original Dinerant: A unique seafood dining experience, The Original Dinerant features an award-winning menu with local and international flavors inspired by the history and richness of the Pacific Northwest seafood scene. Enjoy Dungeness crab grilled cheese sandwiches, fish tacos, and seafood pasta dishes while soaking in the lively atmosphere.

These dining gems in the Pacific Northwest offer a glimpse into the region’s love for seafood while celebrating its breathtaking waterfront settings. From upscale establishments to casual eateries, visiting one of these seafood restaurants promises a truly memorable dining experience that pays homage to the bounty of the Pacific Ocean.