Also known as the city in the forest, Atlanta is known for being surrounded by beautiful countryside while also having a fantastic urban vibe. The city is often associated with casinos and a vibrant nightlife, but that is not all this fascinating and diverse city has to offer. Atlanta has also built a reputation for its food scene, with fantastic dining options for locals and visitors alike. The restaurants on offer vary from casual eateries to fine dining venues, and almost all types of cuisine are on offer. Despite being a land-locked city, Atlanta is in the state of Georgia which has a coast. This means that there is excellent fresh fish and seafood readily available, and this is served in restaurants right across the state. If you are a seafood fan, here are the 20 best seafood restaurants in Atlanta in 2019.
20. St. Cecilia
St. Cecilia is a bit of a hidden gem as it is located within the Buckhead’s Pinnacle building. It is a more traditional seafood restaurant than many of the other offerings and the dishes are inspired by European coastal cuisine. Therefore, you will find French, Spanish, and Italian dishes on this menu. The restaurant is owned by restaurateur Ford Fry, who has described the restaurant as being ingredient-driven. The restaurant has stylish décor, and there is a spacious bar for guests to hang out with a drink, with offerings including handmade cocktails or drinks from the extensive beer and wine lists.
19. W.H. Stiles Fish Camp
Although this restaurant is called W.H. Stiles, the locals call this restaurant ‘Dub’s’. Thrillist ranks this restaurant as one of the best seafood restaurants in Atlanta. This modern, urban fish shack is one of the priciest seafood restaurants in the city, but it has a surprisingly no-frills menu. A highlight of a visit to this restaurant is the raw seafood bar, but there are plenty of hot and delicious meals to choose from the menu.
18. Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar
At the helm of this restaurant is Chef Doug Turbush, who has vast experience in running AAA-rated fine dining restaurants. Therefore, it is no surprise that this restaurant makes it o the list of the best seafood restaurants in Atlanta. At this comfortable and airy restaurant, he has chosen to keep the menu simple and let the ingredients speak for themselves. Only the highest quality ingredients are used to create stunning dishes, many of which are created using wood fire cooking techniques to give the food a smoky flavor. You will find everything from beer-battered haddock to bourbon-cured salmon on this menu. However, the shellfish tower is worth a try if you are dining in this restaurant for the first time.
17. Ray’s on the River
Ray’s on the River is one of the three Ray’s restaurants in Atlanta. First opened in 1984, this restaurant has now become a fine-dining landmark in the city that is located along the banks of the Chattahoochee River. This means that diners can enjoy river views while they eat. The New Orleans BBQ shrimp and the gumbo are two of the most flavorsome and popular dishes on the menu. However, everything on this menu features distinctive flavors, such as the ginger soy tuna or the horseradish-encrusted black grouper. For those who want to keep it simple and simply enjoy the flavors of the seafood, the Canadian lobster tail is one of the finest options. While you are dining at this restaurant, you should also sample some of the cocktails as these will complete your experience at this amazing restaurant. This is a restaurant to visit for a special occasion, as the quality of the food is worthy of celebration.
Kyma stands out from neighboring restaurants due to its striking appearance. It has a Mediterranean theme with whit columns and walls painted in bold blue hues. It is famous for its whole fish entrees, which are basted in lemon, olive oil, and oregano before cooking in the wood grill. Some of the options include red mullet, arctic char, pink snapper, and Bronzino. There are also some creative dishes on the menu that will appeal to foodies, such as lamb-stuffed braised cuttlefish or mussels cooked in white wine, ouzo, and feta cheese. Most of the dishes on the menu have flavors that will transport you to the Mediterranean.
15. Hugo’s Oyster Bar
Hugo’s Oyster Bar was founded by the founders of C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar who wanted to create a more casual eatery than their original restaurant. This means that Hugo’s Oyster Bar is a more affordable option than C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar, which makes it more accessible to the masses. Po-boys are a highlight of the menu, but there are plenty of other dishes to try including the daily specialties. It is worth popping in earlier in the day as they have an excellent brunch menu with tasty bites such as triangle beignets, shrimp and parmesan truffle grits, and crab cake Benedict with fried green tomatoes. With the exception of the oysters, all the ingredients are sourced from the Southeast.
14. Legal Sea Foods (Recently Closed)
The views are one of the highlights of eating at Legal Seafoods as the balcony and the panoramic windows allow you to enjoy views across Centennial Olympic Park while you dine. The menu combines traditional seafood dishes with a touch of imaginative flair. For example, you can eat dishes including spicy fish and chips, Cioppino seafood broth, blackened mahi-mahi, or sauteed shrimp with Andouille sausage. Everything is cooked to the highest standard, and diners report that they love the vibe of this restaurant.
13. Wahoo! Grill
The wine shop at the front of this restaurant leads through to a glass-walled dining room that has views out to the lush gardens. The kitchen partners with fishermen and local farmers to ensure that all the ingredients used are sustainable and of the highest quality. This neighborhood seafood bistro serves dishes that are traditional in places including Hawaii and Faroe Island. Despite the casual vibe of this seafood bistro, the food is exceptional.
12. Crawfish Shack Seafood
A casual dining option, Crawfish Shack Seafood serves Cajun-style seafood with a Vietnamese twist. The large menu features whole fish, crab, shrimp, mussels, and many other seafood ingredients cooked in a variety of ways with Cajun and Vietnamese flavors. If you can’t make up your mind what to choose from the extensive menu, then try one of the signature platters to try a range of the dishes they have on offer. This is a great place to hang out with friends and family while enjoying top-notch seafood dishes.
11. The Oceanaire Seafood Room
A chain restaurant, The Oceanaire Seafood Room is designed in the style of a ballroom. The menu at this restaurant features classic seafood bites along with some interesting signature dishes, including chicken-friend lobster with truffled honey, cheese grits, and hot sauce. There are also daily changing specials featuring the catch of the day that is created into dishes from around the world. The Oceanaire Seafood Room is open for both lunch and dinner service.
10. Steamhouse Lounge
For those who want a casual meal in a laidback environment rather than a sophisticated fine dining experience, the Steamhouse Lounge is an option that is popular amongst the locals. The décor inside and out has a seaside theme, and there is the option to eat in the cozy interior or al fresco on the outdoor deck seating, depending on the weather. The lobster bisque at this restaurant has won awards. There is also an excellent raw bar serving the freshest seafood available, and guests also enjoy the fried food baskets.
9. Six Feet Under
One of the best places to enjoy views of the city while enjoying an outstanding meal is Six Feet Under. This restaurant’s name refers to the food it serves rather than its position as it is a rooftop restaurant. It has a no-frills menu serving dishes such as fish tacos, seafood sandwiches, platters, and baskets. It is a great place to enjoy some al fresco dining with friends. This menu is located on Memorial Drive SE.
8. Ray’s in the City
There are three Ray’s in the city and the best of these is arguably Ray’s in the City. This restaurant is considered an institution of Atlanta, and it has a very impressive design that features an aquarium, an onyx bar, and impressive views across the city. To make sure the food they serve is as fresh as possible, it is flown in several times a day. There is something to please everyone on the menu, although some of the best options include the broiled seafood platters, the jumbo lump crab cakes, and the Canadian cold-water lobster tail. It is not all about the seafood at this restaurant as they also have exquisite deserts, tasty handmade cocktails, and local craft beers.
You will find Lure down the historical Crescent Avenue and its design resembles a storm-weathered fish house. The dishes are inspired by both classic American food and global coastal cuisine. They serve a huge selection of appetizers and entrees using fresh fish and seafood. At the weekends, they serve an amazing brunch that you can eat out on the patio. The brunch includes either pan-fried catfish or trout served with potatoes, greens, and slow-cooked egg.
6. Chops Lobster Bar
A fine dining restaurant, Chops Lobster Bar is an upscale venue that is a favorite amongst locals who are celebrating a special occasion. The lobster bar is one of the best features of the restaurant, although one of the most popular dishes on the menu is the seafood platter. Although seafood is the focus of the menu, Chops Lobster Bar also serves mouthwatering steaks for meat lovers. They have an award-winning wine list and live music is played in the evenings.
5. The Optimist
The Optimist is rated as one of the top places to enjoy seafood in Atlanta by USA Today 10 Best. This restaurant is owned by Chef Ford Fry but has executive chef Adam Evans at the helm. The menu consists of seafood staples along with some imaginative dishes. There are also some unusual surf and turf combinations for meat lovers. In addition to the creative food options, diners can also enjoy one of the craft cocktails for which this restaurant is famous.
4. C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar
This upscale seafood restaurant has a classy interior in an old-school style with warm wood, dimmed lighting, and leather furniture. There is a raw bar and a menu serving many classics alongside the restaurant’s signature dishes. It is also known for its extensive selection of fine wines that you can order to accompany your meal.
Chef and restaurateur Ford Fry owns multiple restaurants in Atlanta, and one of his best is BeetleCat. Located in Inman Quarter, this oyster bar and cocktail lounge serve seafood dishes that are created using various global inspirations. The best thing about the restaurant is the oyster bar, and this is the reason that most people visit. However, even if you are not an oyster fam, there is still plenty to choose from the extensive menu.
2. Noble Fin
Noble Fin is one of the finest restaurants in Atlanta of any variety. The highest quality of food is served at this Atlanta favorite. In addition to the stunning presentation and the quality of the food, diners love the vibe of the restaurant. Lobster is one of the highlights at this Jay Swift restaurant. Try to make it in for the oyster happy hours.
1. Atlanta Fish Market
According to Vacation Idea, Atlanta Fish Market’s restaurant is the best seafood restaurant in Atlanta. The market has more than 100 varieties of fresh fish and seafood flown in daily, and locals and business owners alike buy their seafood from the market. The restaurant at the market makes the most of the fresh ingredients available serving delicious food that ranges from freshly prepared sushi to dishes including lobster, salmon, and trout. A particular highlight of the menu is the Georges Bank sea scallops.