Orange County’s long coastline by the Pacific Ocean means that there is an abundant supply of fresh fish and seafood. Local restaurants use these fresh ingredients to create delicious meals, with many specializing in serving seafood dishes. If you are a fan of seafood and want to dine out in Orange County, you will find plenty of options. There is everything from seafood shacks serving basic but mouthwatering seafood, to fine dining establishments serving contemporary plates. You will also find options in terms of flavor, as some serve dishes that are traditional or associated with the local area, while others serve international cuisines. Regardless of your budget or preferences, you will find a seafood restaurant to suit you. Here are the 20 best seafood restaurants in Orange County.
20. Tan Cang Newport Seafood
If you enjoy Asian flavors, then a good seafood restaurant to visit is Tan Cang Newport Seafood. This casual restaurant is very popular with the locals who enjoy the Vietnamese and Chinese seafood dishes. The house specialty is the lobster, and many diners accompany their meal with jasmine tea. Although this is a busy restaurant that is always packed, diners are seated and served quickly. This restaurant is located on West 1st Street in Santa Ana, and it is open daily from 10 am until late.
19. EMC Seafood & Raw Bar
Fans of raw food should give EMC Seafood & Raw Bar a try, says CBS Local Los Angeles. Located on Culver Drive in Irvine, this restaurant specializes in raw seafood, although there are many other cooked options on the menu. Some of the most popular dishes are the seafood tower, sushi rolls, lobster ravioli, and shrimp tacos.
18. Joe’s Crab Shack
If comfort food is your things, then a brilliant seafood restaurant to visit is Joe’s Crab Shack. On the menu at this informal seafood chain restaurant, you will find various American comfort dishes, such as stuffed shrimp, crab buckets, fish and chips, crab nachos, and much more. Diners have praised the tasty food, excellent customer service, and the great ambiance of this casual eatery. Joe’s Crab Shack is open from 11 am to 11 pm seven days a week, and it is located on Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove.
17. TAPS Fish House & Brewery
Lobster, crab, and oysters all feature on the menu at this seafood restaurant. You can also enjoy favorites such as fish and chips. IN addition to the seafood options, you can also choose from various pasta dishes or something different, such as the jambalaya. TAPS Fish House & Brewery is also known for its vast selection of beers. You will find TAPS Fish House & Brewery on East Imperial Highway.
16. King’s Fish House
The Orange County Register says that one of the best seafood restaurants in Orange County is King’s Fish House, especially if you are an oyster fan. This chain restaurant stands out from the competition because of the way in which they source the ingredients they use. They have their own distribution service, so this means that they can guarantee freshness and that they know the origins of every single ingredient. One of the highlights of visiting this restaurant is the raw bar, which always features at least 10 different varieties of oysters.
15. California Fish Grill
California Fish Grill is a casual chain restaurant that is on Barranca Parkway in Irvine, California. This seafood restaurant specializes in serving fried and charbroiled seafood, fish tacos, and some chicken dishes for landlubbers. It is known for its large portions, and for having an excellent choice of wines and beers to accompany your meal. California Fish Grill is open for both lunch and dinner daily.
14. Bluewater Grill
A nautically-themed restaurant, Bluewater Grill is a local chain that offers diners a relaxed dining space. The menu consists of a wide variety of seafood dishes, such as charred octopus and cedar plank-cooked salmon. There is a waterfront patio with fantastic views of the bay for those who prefer alfresco dining. Diners have praised the service they have received and say that the prices are affordable. To save money, visit the restaurant when they are holding happy hours. It is also worth noting that this is a pet-friendly restaurant, as they welcome dogs to their patio area. If you want to try a meal at this outstanding restaurant, you will find it on Lido Park Drive in Newport Beach. It is open daily for both lunch and dinner service.
13. Market Broiler Orange
Market Broiler Orange is a casual, local chain restaurant that is located in The Outlets at Orange on City Boulevard West in Orange. The menu is described as market-driven and features a wide selection of fish and seafood dishes. For meat lovers and vegetarians, there are also steak and various pasta dishes on the menu. This means that this is a good place to eat if you have people with differing tastes in your dining party. There are both American classics and dishes inspired by Thai cuisine. This restaurant also has a seafood market that sells the same fish and seafood that are used to create the dishes on the menu. Diners say that the service is very friendly, the prices are affordable, and the portions are generous.
12. Harbor Grill Restaurant at Dana Point
A family-run business, Harbor Grill Restaurant at Dana Point first opened its doors in 1984. Over four decades, it has built an excellent reputation among the locals, and it is also a popular spot for tourists. The welcoming staff and the fantastic hospitality are what has made this restaurant enjoy success for so many years. This restaurant serves lunch and dinner seven days a week, and it is open on Sunday morning for its famous Sunday champagne breakfast. Diners have the option to order a la carte from a menu that consists predominantly of seafood dishes, or they can order from the three-course Prix-fix menu. This sophisticated yet relaxed restaurant has an outdoor patio area where guests can enjoy pretty water views.
11. Rusty Pelican
Those who want to enjoy a fine dining experience should consider booking a table at the Rusty Pelican on West Coast Highway in Newport Beach. Diners have the option of an alfresco dining experience as there is an outdoor patio with nice views. There are fresh fish, seafood, and meat options on the menu, and diners have praised the quality of the food. Diners also enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant and say that the staff is accommodating to their needs.
10. The Black Marlin
Set within the historic Tustin Garage that was founded in 1915, The Black Marlin is growing a reputation for fine food and entertainment. The majority of the menu consists of American seafood dishes, although there is also a selection of pasta dishes and steaks for landlubbers. The restaurant is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, and there are separate menus for each service. It is also worth noting that they have a separate gluten-free menu. The menus are constantly changing to reflect the seasonal availability of food, and there are weekly specials. There is a full bar, and the restaurant hosts live music three times a week.
9. Duke’s Huntington Beach
There is a surfing theme at this waterfront restaurant on the Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach Not only is it named after a legendary surfer, but it also has surfing-themed décor. Duke’s Huntington Beach has a menu of Hawaiian seafood dishes, and diners can enjoy water views as they dine. There is Hawaiian music playing in the background that contributes to the fun ambiance of this restaurant. Diners say it is a fantastic place to dine out as a family or with friends.
8. Captain Jack’s
Captain Jack’s is a casual restaurant with a fun vibe and kitschy décor. Locals love this laid-back joint because of its classic surf ‘n’ turf menu. Diners enjoy the old-school vibe, the fresh ingredients, the friendly staff, and the generous portions. One of the most popular options on the menu is the king crab legs. Captain Jack’s is located in Sunset Beach and it is open for dinner service seven days a week.
7. The Crab Cooker
Fans of crab should give The Crab Cooker a try. This casual eatery has a nautical theme, and crabs feature highly on the menu. If you are not a fan of crabs, you will find a good selection of other seafood options. Meals at The Crab Cooker are served on paper plates, so it is certainly not a fine dining option. However, diners say the service is excellent and the food is top-notch.
6. Fly N Fish Oyster Bar and Grill
Fly N Fish Oyster Bar and Grill sits in a waterfront position on Oceanfront in Newport Beach. Therefore, guests can enjoy stunning views across the bay while they eat. It is a small, casual restaurant that specializes in serving seasonal seafood dishes. As the menu changes regularly to reflect the seasonal availability of ingredients locally, you can expect to find different dishes on the menu every time you visit.
5. Ostioneria Bahia
Located on Tustin Street in Orange, Ostioneria Bahia is one of the most affordable seafood restaurants. Although the prices at this Mexican seafood restaurant are low, the food is of a very high standard. Some of the items you can expect to find on the menu include tostadas, tortas, seafood cocktail, ceviche, octopus, and shrimp.
4. The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific
Its setting overlooking the bay in Newport Beach is one of the best features of The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific. This is the ideal setting to enjoy a delicious meal of fresh seafood. The main section of the menu consists of a diverse range of seafood dishes, including sushi and sashimi. However, there are also salads, steaks, and chicken dishes for those who are not seafood fans. This restaurant is also known for its drinks options, including an extensive wine list, specialty cocktails, cognacs, beers, sakes, and ports.
3. Walt’s Wharf
Walt’s Wharf is an excellent choice for people who are looking for somewhere to enjoy a romantic date. The restaurant has a casual and rustic vibe, and the setting is intimate. There is an extensive menu of classic seafood dishes and an impressive wine list. Other than the seafood dishes, there are also steaks, chicken, and pasta dishes on the menu. Therefore, you will find the perfect wine to accompany your seafood meal. Walt’s Wharf is on Main Street in Seal Beach, California.
2. Santa Monica Seafood
A casual venue, Santa Monica Seafood Market & Café serves basic seafood entrees and sandwiches using the freshest fish and seafood available. It is a large counter-serve café that has an excellent reputation among the locals. It is one of the best options for grabbing a bite to eat at lunchtime. In addition to the café, there is also a fresh seafood market that sells the same fresh ingredients that are used to create the dishes on the menu in the café.
1. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
According to customer reviews and online ratings from former customers, the best seafood restaurant in Orange County is Eddie V’s Prime Seafood. This chic and contemporary restaurant has something for everyone, as the menu offers both fresh seafood and prime steaks. This bustling eatery is located within the Bluffs Shopping Center on Bison Avenue in Newport Beach, and it opens at 4 pm seven days a week. From Monday to Thursday it is open until 10 pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays, it has the later closing time of 11 pm.