The ocean is bountiful with beautiful sights, smells and tastes. Beach lovers are typically seafood lovers, and the quest for the best seafood never ends. Every area offers up their unique take on succulent oysters, crab cakes, lobster chowder or fried catfish.
Hungry now? Get in your healthy omega-threes, and take a bite out of these five destinations to find the best seafood:
- South Carolina
Head over to South Carolina to sample some of the south’s best seafood, where historic Charleston has ruled the seafood game for about 350 years. Hank’s Seafood is known for its area sourced shellfish and fish, as the best seafood in Charleston for fifteen years.
Same other low country fares, such as crab cakes, crap soup, shrimp and grits or scallops. Check out the Pearlz Oyster Bar, 82 Queen and Fleet Landing over the course of an extended stay.
It’s not a best seafood list without mentioning Louisiana, where the Creole dishes of New Orleans reign supreme. Stumble like Dorothy into the land of terrific shrimp and grits at the Ruby Slipper Café, and Desire’s Oyster Bar has the best raw oysters. Brennan’s Restaurant roasts their oysters and serves up a delicious seafood gumbo that can’t be beat.
The seafood in Maine is certainly not plain. With plenty of seafood dives right off the coast, Maine may have the best seafood to offer upstate. Nothing compares to fresh Maine lobster, and if you’re relaxing in a vacation rental in Maine with your chef (a.k.a. your sweetie) — order it right up to your door, or catch your own. That’s a romantic night in, over a candlelit dinner and a tasty lobster bisque.
The chefs in Maine do their seafood justice, with gastronomic fare at many popular restaurants, from pop up trucks to sit down dinners. In Boothbay Harbor Town Square, The Boothbay Harbor is a fish and chips truck that offers up towering fish sandwiches. In Wells, Billy’s Chowder House does a chowder right, particularly lobster, with lobster stew and lobster rolls, and you’ll also enjoy the bird watching view of the tidal marsh.
In Washington, Seattle is known as one of the United States’ most important and flourishing fishing industries, where amazing restaurants take advantage of the fresh markets. Pike Place Fish Market is among the United States’ oldest public markets, where over ten million people come to see flying fish and “fish mongers” annually.
Try one of the over 30 restaurants of Pike Place, including Jack’s Fish Spot, Lowell’s Restaurant and Bar or the Athenian Seafood Restaurant. Outside of Pike Place in Greater Seattle, sample Pacific cod, Dungeness crab, oysters and king salmon at such restaurants as RockCreek Seafood and Spirits or Shuckers.
In Florida, you’ll find the best seafood in urban cities such as Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville. The real place to go is the Keys where deep sea fishing rules, and Marathon, Key West has one of America’s best fish markets only miles away, at Keys Fisheries Market and Marina, with food trucks and restaurants.
Try Grabo’s Grill or Half Shell Raw Bar, but you need to visit when the seafood festivals kick off. These festivals include the Florida Keys Seafood Festival, Marathon Seafood Festival, Fantasy Fest and Key West Lobsterfest. Other dine-in restaurants include Hot Tin Roof, One Duval, the Stoned Crab, Louie’s Backyard and the A&B Lobster House.
Including seafood in your diet is a healthy way to get your fatty acids and omega-threes, but it’s also the dishes that appeal to your senses themselves, from raw or roasted oysters to lobster chowder. Seafood is an important part of America’s cuisine, where some markets and cities, such as Charleston, have been cooking up the best seafood since colonial times.
Historical areas of coastal states offer the best seafood to be found in the nation. After all, they’ve been doing it for centuries. After sampling historic Charleston and New Orleans dishes, attend the seafood festivals of the keys and go deep sea diving to appreciate the sea life. Then, head upstate to Maine and Washington to try the lobster and see the flying fish. Don’t shy away from asking for recipes, either, and amaze your friends with the best seafood discoveries.