If you’re a seafood lover and you’re planning to make a trip to the windy city, then it’s good to plan. Chicago is home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the nation if you know where to find them. There are hundreds of restaurants and eateries in the Chicago area that serve seafood, but we’ve highlighted the 20 best in accordance with their ratings for flavor, menu selection, service, location and amenities such as environment, dining options and their lists of wines and beer. This guide offers the street address and website for each of our top picks so you can check them out in advance.
20. GT Fish & Oyster
531 N. Wells Street, Chicago
GT Fish & Oyster is a modern seafood establishment with upscale prices and food that is worth every cent. It’s a hot spot in the city with a variety of Oyster and fish dishes on the menu. It also offers shared plates and some signature cocktails. It’s a busy place so you really do need to make reservations in advance to ensure your place at a table. Chef Tentori is an award-winning chef and the restaurant has received multiple accolades. It’s open for business at 5 pm most nights for dinner but you need to check the schedule and make reservations.
19. Half-Shell Restaurant
676 W. Diversey Pkwy, Chicago
The Half Shell is a seafood restaurant that is straightforward with no frills in the format of a neighborhood pub. You get the best of both worlds with an excellent seafood menu that also offers raw bar selections. If you’re a fan of crab and beer and you like a pub environment then this is likely to be one of your better options because the crab is delicious but they insist on payment by cash only.
18. Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House
1024 N. Rush Street, Chicago
Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House is an upscale seafood establishment that features a modern interior with a comfortable and classy environment for diners. The restaurant serves some of the best steak and frog’s legs in the city. It is also known for its crab cakes. It’s been open for six years and in that time has earned a stellar reputation as one of the best seafood and steakhouses in Chicago. The restaurant is owned by Steve Lombardo and Hugo Ralli who bring their experience in the Steakhouse sector with the addition of seafood, offering lobster, fish, USDA Gibsons Prime Angus steaks and chops, extensive wines and cocktail lists and signature desserts.
17. Fish Bar
2956 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago
The Fish Bar is a shack style establishment with a focus on sustainable fish and seafood menu items that are as fresh as you can get. The chef Michael Kornick is a James Beard-nominated professional with 5 of these prestigious recognitions to his credit. Menu items include both East and West coast raw oysters, Oyster Po’ boys, Maine Lobster rolls, gumbo, Octopus a la plancha, and a variety of craft beers and sea sippers. You can dine in, throw a party at the establishment or order online.
16. Joes Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
60 E Grand Ave, Chicago
Joes Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab is a must-try for seafood lovers. The restaurant has been in operation for decades and it offers an upscale atmosphere with staff decked out in tuxedos. The menu items include classic steak and seafood fare with Joe’s signature stone crab claws, an extensive wine and beer list and specialty cocktails and desserts.
660 N State St, Chicago
Portsmith is another highly recommended seafood restaurant in Chicago. It is housed in a chic structure with nautical decor and if you visit in warm weather you can take advantage of the seasonal patio for dining. It’s a stylish restaurant that features an elevated seafood and raw bar fare.
14. Calumet Fisheries
3259 E 95th St, Chicago
Calumet Fisheries is seafood that offers a barebones approach to serving some of the best-fried seafood platters in town. They are among the few who still use a smoker and the seafood is fresh and smoked on-site with natural wood in their smokehouses. There are no artificial flavors used and the smoked fish has first been marinated in brine overnight then smoked with special oak logs. There isn’t a huge variety of offerings on the menu but it’s the only place in Chicago where you can find this quality of smoked fish platters.
13. Quality Crab and Oyster Bah
1962 N Halsted St, Chicago
If you decide to eat at this establishment you need to make certain to make reservations in advance. The atmosphere is a wonderfully rustic and nautical theme in a multi-level structure wtih two bars and a dining area. The menu items are New-England-inspired seafood dishes. They also like to kick things off with a happy hour and half-off oysters, with an extensive wine, beer and cocktail menu.
12. Brown Bag Seafood Company
340 E Randolph St, Chicago
The Brown Bag Seafood Company is an informal seafood eatery that specializes in grilled, boiled, fried and blackened seafood menu items. You have a choice of getting your order served straight or in sub sandwiches or tacos. It’s a plain restaurant but the food is delicious. The Brown Bag offers quick food for lunches or dinners or you can place an order online.
11. Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market
1258 W Belmont Ave, Chicago
Fahlstroms combines their seafood restaurant with a fresh fish market so you have the option of eating there or taking your fresh seafood home to prepare at home. The eatery is an all-day establishment that focuses on fish and king crab legs. They also offer daily specials. Fahlstroms has earned a reputation for delivering fast and healthy sea plates in about 5 minutes from the time that the order is placed.
10. The Angry Crab
5665 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
The Angry Crab is reputed for its wide assortment of seafood menu items which offer your choice of Cajun style cooking or you can choose to go easy on the spices. They serve their seafood selections by the pound and also provide a variety of fish baskets, sliders, and specialty sauces to complement your meal.
700 E Grand Ave, Chicago
Riva is a seafood restaurant and steakhouse that is located right on the waterfront of Lake Michigan. It offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline for guests on Navy Pier. The menu items feature premium seafood fand prime steaks. The restaurant offers daily specials along with an extensive list of wine selections. Riva is a premier location for diners who want to enjoy a romantic view of the Chicago skyline for their evening meal and it is the only restaurant on the waterfront that serves seafood.
8. mfk. Restaurant
432 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago
mfk is a restaurant that is well-known for serving global and rare fish dishes. The menu is focused on seafood, and the environment is cozy with Spanish seaside-inspired decor. This is an award-winning restaurant with an eclectic air and moderate to expensive prices. You will need to consult the website for the hours and make sure that you make reservations because it tends to fill up quickly.
7. Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp
2120 S Canal St, Chicago
This is one of the most popular seafood restaurants in all of Chicago. Just to give you an idea about why you absolutely have to try this restaurant at least once, it has received rave reviews. Eater Chicago calls it one of the best “hidden sports to catch great seafood,” Forbes cites it as one of the best seafood restaurants in Chicago, and CBS has called it one of the “best places for fresh fish in Chicago,” and “one of the best places for late-night eats.” With all of these high-recommendations rolling in there must be something very special about Lawrence’s. You can either stop in and eat on-site, order online or go through its drive-through for fast and delicious seafood.
6. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks
1 E Wacker Dr, Chicago
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks is located in the Loop on Wacker Drive within minutes of the Oriental Theater, the Chicago Theater, shopping, Millennium Park and some of the best hotels in Chicago. The restaurant offers some of the best seafood in the city featuring fresh seafood and shellfish, aged steaks, and garden-fresh salads. The menu features standard steak and seafood fare along with signature seafood items, a wide variety of classic drinks, trendy cocktails, wines, and beers. The restaurant also features a happy hour with discounts on drinks and appetizers. They also sponsor corporate dinner events on the premises with room for up to 125 guests when the patio is included and 60 people in just the dining area.
5. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
521 N Rush St, Chicago
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood is one of the most expensive venues for dining, but it is also one of the most upscale in the entire city. This is a high-end seafood restaurant that offers elegant fine dining in an upscale atmosphere in the restaurant/dining area of the establishment. The menu offers a good variety of seafood and steak offerings. There is a lovely cocktail lounge available that features live jazz music for your dining enjoyment and entertainment. A night at Eddi V’s is guaranteed to be a memorable experience.
4. Luke’s Lobster City Hall
134 N LaSalle St, Chicago
Luke’s Lobster City Hall works directly with fishermen to ensure that the seafood is the freshest possible. The culinary staff is known for cooking each menu item to perfection with simple recipes. The restaurant is a seafood counter that specializes in Maine-style lobster rolls with toasted buns, along with clam chowder. The rolls are their signature creation featuring a split-top and special preparation with their blend of seasonings.
3. Glenn’s Diner
1820 W Montrose Ave, Chicago
Glenn’s Diner is known for its fresh fish and American diner fare. This is a no-frills restaurant that takes a straightforward approach to the environment with wood accents in the dining space, and some of the best-tasting fish dishes in the city. One of the things that patrons appreciate about Glenn’s Diner is that the food is delicious and the prices are among the most reasonable in town.
2. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
700 E Grand Ave Suite 131, Chicago
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is a seafood chain restaurant that is known for being family-friendly while offering a choice of tasty seafood menu items along with American fare. Seafood lovers and those who are not can dine together and both be satisfied at this versatile restaurant. It offers a fishing boat themed setting that appeals to both young and old.
1. Lowcountry Lakeview
3343 N Clark St, Chicago
Lowcountry Lakeview is an affordably priced restaurant that specializes in southern-style seafood boils in a nicely themed nautical environment. They serve a variety of seafood dishes which are all highly rated on the menu, as well as cocktails and beer. This is a comfortable seafood restaurant that doesn’t require reservations in advance unless you want to make them. It’s a great place to enjoy a hearty and tasty seafood meal and then visit over a few drinks.