Austin’s growing restaurant scene is packed to the brim with a fine assortment of restaurants serving everything from classic French cuisine to downhome Southern comfort food. Seafood lovers, meanwhile, are very well catered to thanks to the city’s first-rate range of fish-focused eateries. Whether you want a fine dining option for a special occasion or a funky little hangout for a midweek meal with friends, you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for on our round-up of the 10 very best seafood restaurants in Austin, TX.
10. Shore Raw Bar & Grille
Where: 8665 W, TX-71 Suite 100, Austin, TX 78735
Hit Shore Raw Bar & Grille at lunchtime and you’ll find a light, sprightly menu of raw shellfish, tacos, and sandwiches. Stick around for dinner, and that small menu extends into a full-on extravaganza of expertly treated seafood, ranging from the immense Grilled Whole Fish served with mojo de Ajo, pico de gallo, salsa Roja, avocado, cabbage slaw, and garlic rice to the equally spend-worthy Seared Dayboat Scallops served with butternut squash puree, grilled cauliflower, oyster mushrooms, and lemon balm. All ingredients are sustainably sourced, cooked with care, and served with a smile; the wine list, meanwhile, is nothing short of sublime.
9. Deckhand Oyster Bar
Where: 500 Parker Dr, Austin, TX 78728
Cold beer, oysters, and an informal, fun vibe that’s perfect for relaxing with friends- if it’s an after-work hangout you’re looking for, Deckhand Oyster Bar might just be it. Along with the usual selection of raw, boiled, and steamed shellfish and seafood, the menu delivers a great little selection of Asian-themed dishes that make a welcome change from the heavy, Southern staples of some of Austin’s other restaurants. Watch out for the shrimp spring rolls and Tokyo Mussels in particular.
8. Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
Where: 6319 N Interstate Hwy 35, Austin, TX 78752
Yep, it’s a chain, and if it’s elegant, Michelin starred food that you’re expecting, you’re going to be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you’re willing to sacrifice the fine dining element of your meal-out for an affordable, lip-smackingly good menu of New Orleans’s style seafood, cooked with care, served with generosity and packed with a whole heap of flavor, you’re in the right place. Key things to look out for on the menu include the New England Lobster Bites (Maine lobster swimming in lemon garlic butter served with wilted spinach and grilled cheese bread), the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, and the Jumbo Shrimp Brochette.
Where: 2401 E. Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702
Cool and contemporary, Mongers is half market, half kitchen, and one whole amazing. The chic, sleek interior marries perfectly with a menu that puts simplicity, deft cooking, and quality ingredients at the forefront. If you want heavy, buttery sauces or old-style treatments, go somewhere else. If you want dishes so clean, modern, and elegant your taste buds will feel renewed, it makes a standout choice.
6. Freda’s Seafood Grille
Where: 10903 Pecan Park Blvd Austin, TX 78750
If you’re looking for the ideal venue for your next special occasion, you can’t go far wrong with Freda’s Seafood Grille. The elegant decor may be old school sophisticated, but there’s nothing stuffy about the friendly, welcoming service, the warm, cozy ambiance, and a menu that pairs classic Southern-style dishes with the kind of light, innovative touch that’s guaranteed to please. For a meal you’ll remember, try the signature Freda’s Crab Cake for starters and the Blackened Red Snapper served with Crawfish étouffée, rice, and sautéed green beans for mains, before rounding off the meal with a sumptuous White Chocolate Bread Pudding.
Where: 14735 Bratton Lane Austin, TX 78728
Since it first opened its doors in 2013, Garbo’s has become something of a local favorite thanks to its warm, informal vibe, ever-friendly service and a menu of New England classics served with a twist. For a taste-experience you’re unlikely to forget in a hurry, try the famous lobster rolls or gorgeously creamy, hearty clam chowder.
4. Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar
Where: 1400 S Congress Suite B100 Austin, TX 78704
Just to address the elephant in the room before we move on, Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar is expensive. If you’re looking for the kind of place you can pile your plate high and pay peanuts for the privilege, this isn’t it. If, on the other hand, you prefer quality over quantity and aren’t averse to paying for it, it’s more than worthy of your attention. Expect world-class service, a first-rate wine list, and a selection of the finest, freshest seafood dishes you’ll taste this side of the Mediterranean.
3. Clark’s Oyster Bar
Where: 1200 W. 6th Street Austin, TX 78703
What can you expect at Clark’s Oyster Bar? For starters, a contemporary, warmly inviting restaurant with great service and superb outdoor seating. Other than that, get ready for one of the best lobster rolls you’ll ever wrap your lips around, an extensive wine list, a mind-blowingly refreshing cumber gazpacho with clams, perfectly fresh oysters, divine cioppino, a Basque almond cake with cherries that’s worth the visit alone, and a bread served with butter, salt and breakfast radishes that takes the idea of simple fare and elevates it to heavenly status.
2. Truluck’s Seafood, Steak and Crab House – Austin Arboretum
Where: 10225 Research Blvd, Suite 4000 Austin, TX 78759
If seafood, steak, or crab is what you want, you’ll find few better places in Austin to get it than the very appropriately name Truluck’s Seafood, Steak and Crab House. The menu is a seasonal delight of fresh seafood, much of which is sourced at the restaurant’s very own Stone Crab Florida fisheries. Although you can’t go wrong with anything you choose, the signature Alaskan King Crab, Miso-glazed Sea Bass, and Chilled Seafood Celebration are the kind of dishes you’d happily sell your own mother for a second helping of.
1. Eddie V’s – Arboretum
Where: 9400 B Arboretum Blvd. Austin, TX 78759
No, Eddie V’s – Arboretum isn’t cheap. What it is instead is an exceptional restaurant serving up a sublime, inventive take on surf ‘n’ turf that may leave a rather sizeable hole in your budget, but is unlikely to leave you with any regrets in the process. For special occasions, few other restaurants in Austin can match the exceptional service, warmly inviting ambiance, award-winning wine list, contemporary décor, and banquet worthy fresh seafood.