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The 20 Best Seafood Restaurants in NYC

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

It is a well-known fact that New York City has a lot to offer when it comes to dining out as it has an amazing culinary scene. This is just one of the reasons that the Big Apple is a fantastic place to visit or to live. The dining options are varied with something to suit all tastes, budgets, and occasions. Although New York City is probably best known for its pizzerias and its steakhouses, there are plenty of other types of restaurants you can enjoy in this city. One option is one of the amazing seafood restaurants in the area, many of which serve seasonal and locally sourced fish and seafood. Each of these has a unique menu and can offer diners an amazing dining experience. Here are the 20 best seafood restaurants in NYC in 2019.


20. Littleneck

In Brooklyn, Littleneck is one of the most popular seafood restaurants. It sits just by the canal in Gowanus and it was partly funded by a Kickstarter campaign. There is only a short menu, but this pays perfect homage to Northeast clam-shack grub. The restaurant has a nautical theme with driftwood and ropes used as part of the décor. Sit at the zinc-topped bar and you can enjoy one of the eight seasonal brews to accompany one of the lite bites off the menu.


19. Esca

Gayot ranks Esca as one of the best seafood restaurants in NYC. This restaurant has chef David Pasternack at the helm, and the focus of the menu is Southern Italian seafood dishes with a modern twist. The Crudo section of the menu consists of lots of small plates of food made using the freshest seafood that is combined with complementary flavors and served using a visually appealing presentation. The larger dishes on the menu are equally delightful, and the restaurant is also known for its desserts, its wine selection, and its cocktails.

Pearl Oyster Bar

18. Pearl Oyster Bar

If you are in the West Village area, then a fantastic restaurant to consider is the Pearl Oyster Bar. This New-England-style venue was one of the forerunners in the fish-shack trend. The restaurant is famous for its bouillabaisse, which is packed with flavor, and for its excellent lobster rolls. There are many sophisticated options on this menu, which includes both raw and cooked fish and seafood dishes. The presentation is best described as modern fine dining, and customers have enjoyed the overall experience of dining in the seafood restaurant.

Ed’s Lobster Bar

17. Ed’s Lobster Bar

You will find Ed’s Lobster Bar in New York City’s Nolita neighborhood. Chef Ed McFarland is responsible for this New England-style fish shack that boasts a long, marble bar that seats 25. There are also a couple of tables for those who don’t like the casual dining feel you get when eating at a bar. Although lobster is the staple food of the menu as it is used in a large proportion of the dishes and you can order it cooked in almost any way, there are plenty of other outstanding options to choose between.

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

16. Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

This oyster bar is located inside the Grand Central Terminal. However, this is not just a place to grab a bit while you are waiting for your train, it is a destination in its own right. The restaurant first opened in 1913, and it has been delighting diners ever since, despite going bankrupt during the 70s and then relaunching, In addition to the raw bar, many hot dishes celebrate oysters. You will also find many other seafood dishes on the menu, many of which have global flavors. There is an extensive wine list at this oyster bar, or you can order one of the martinis, which are considered legendary.

Russ and Daughters Cafe

15. Russ and Daughters Cafe

Located in the Lower East Side neighborhood, Russ & Daughters is an established restaurant that has been serving delicious food to New Yorkers since 1914. According to Time Out, they have continued to serve their herring and other specialty foods since then. However, they have updated the menu to include some interesting and inventive dishes, such as a Heeb sandwich that has wasabi-flavored roe, horseradish cream cheese, and a side of whitefish salad.

Red Hook Lobster Pound

14. Red Hook Lobster Pound

While many of the best seafood restaurants in NYC are fine dining restaurants, there are many excellent casual venues for those who want an informal seafood meal. One of the best of these is Red Hook Lobster Pound. There is just one reason why diners return to this restaurant time and again, and that is the superb lobster. This seafood appears in almost every single dish on the menu, so it is not somewhere to visit if you are not a lobster fan. They serve everything from lobster mac and cheese to Connecticut or Maine-style lobster rolls. However, there are a few non-lobster dishes on the menu, such as shrimp and mussel dishes. There is also a delicious New England clam chowder.

The Mermaid Inn

13. The Mermaid Inn

From the exterior, The Mermaid Inn looks like a traditional fish shack. The theme continues inside with décor features including whitewashed walls and wainscoting. It is possible to go in just to enjoy the offerings from the raw bar. Alternatively, you can sit down to dine on one of the plated dishes, which include traditional seafood favorites along with some dishes inspired by international cuisine.

Maison Premiere

12. Maison Premiere

A New Orleans vibe is the inspiration behind this restaurant, which is owned by Joshua Boissy. The interior is a gorgeous salon that has green walls that have been fogged to give a lived-in look to the restaurant. The two main reasons to visit this restaurant are the oysters and the absinthe, both of which are staples in the New Orlean’s French Quarter. Despite the Louisiana style of this Williamsburg restaurant, it has plenty that will appeal to Brooklyn residents.


11. Shuko

Sushi fans should choose Shuko over all other sushi joints in New York City. There is a set menu at this restaurant, so you sit back while plate after plate of delicious seafood dishes is presented before you. Each dish is a celebration of the freshest ingredients and exquisite flavor combinations. They are also beautifully presented with attention paid to every detail on the plate.There is a hefty price tag attached to dining in this restaurant in Greenwich, so it is somewhere that you might want to reserve for a special occasion. Many of the diners would argue that it is worth the cost of the dining experience and top-quality food.

Fish Cheeks- Time Out Market

10. Fish Cheeks- Time Out Market

If you are a fan of both seafood and Thai cuisine, then Time Out recommends dining at Fish Cheeks at Time Out Market. This restaurant adds an exciting coastal Thai twist to some of the classics. Inspiration is taken from the various regions of Thailand to create mouth-watering dishes. Diners enjoy their meals in a casual environment with communal dining tables.


9. Aquagrill

Sitting on a corner in SoHo is Aquagrill, which has the atmosphere of an upscale seaside restaurant, says Gayot. Executive chef-owner Jeremy Marshall’s bouillabaisse is considered one of the best in the city. You should also pay attention to the chef’s specials, which include both traditional seafood dishes and some more exotic options. Guests can choose how many of the fish dishes are cooked, either grilled, roasted, or poached. It is also worth noting that there are 25 varieties of oysters served daily. There is an excellent wine list of wines that complement fish and seafood dishes.

Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.

8. Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.

Like many of the best seafood restaurants in NYC, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. prides itself on only serving dishes that are made using fresh, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients. They also prefer to use locally sourced fish and seafood as often as possible. The menu has dishes that have taken inspiration from all four corners of the globe, so you will find American dishes alongside Thai, Bajan, and Mexican-inspired dishes. The restaurant is light and airy, which gives it a great vibe that adds to the dining experience.

Taverna Kyclades

7. Taverna Kyclades

Taverna Kyclades is the most popular restaurant on Taverna Row in Astoria. Locals adore eating in this restaurant, and thousands of online reviews confirm that this is one of the best seafood restaurants in New York City. Most of the dishes are inspired by the ingredients and flavors of the Mediterranean. Another aspect of the menu that is worthy of note is the salads. While these are often an afterthought in restaurants, the salads at Taverna Kyclades are excellent.


6. Marea

Although this is one of the most expensive seafood restaurants in New York City, those who dine there believe it is money well spent. Michael White created his menu as a shrine to the Italian coastline, and pasta dishes are the staple option from the entrees. The dishes combine a creative selection of ingredients that are presented in an eye-catching manner. This is a fine dining restaurant that will suit foodies looking for a gastro experience.

The Boil

5. The Boil

There are two locations of The Boil in New York City; one of which is in Manhattan’s Lower East Side while the other is at Greenwich Village. Both locations are New-Orleans-style seafood bars that serve Cajun-style seafood. While the fish and seafood are the highlights of a meal at these restaurants, there are also some mouthwatering sides. Two of the best are the Cajun fries and the mac and cheese. There is a relaxed and casual vibe in both restaurants that is great for dining out with friends and family.


4. Seamore’s

Seamore’s is New York City’s premier seafood restaurant chain, and there are three locations in this city. The favorite of these is the Nolita address, which has built an excellent reputation in the local area, both in terms of the food and customer service. The menu predominantly consists of crowd-pleasing food, such as Maine-style lobster rolls and crispy fish tacos. During the week, this restaurant has an Oyster Happy Hour that attracts the crowds.

Le Bernadin

3. Le Bernadin

As the name suggests, this is a French seafood restaurant. The dishes are cooked with classic simplicity, but with modern flavors and stunning presentation. This approach has allowed the old-style restaurant to survive the shift towards casual dining that many modern venues favor. The elegance of the dishes is perfect for celebrations and special occasions.

Upstate Craft Beer & Oyster Bar

2. Upstate Craft Beer & Oyster Bar

One of the best things about Upstate Craft Beer & Oyster Bar is that the menu is continuously changing based on the seasonal availability of ingredients. However, no matter what time of the year you visit this restaurant, you will always find oysters on the menu. The menu is varied with traditional local seafood dishes served alongside fish dishes inspired by international influences. It is particularly noted for its contemporary plates. Located in East Village, this eatery is known for its happy hour.

Astoria Seafood

1. Astoria Seafood

According to Culture Trip, Astoria Seafood is the top seafood restaurant in New York City. This Queens eatery is a big hit with locals, and the place they often recommend to tourists who want to dine in an outstanding seafood restaurant. It is a combination of a fish market and a restaurant, so diners can choose their own seafood from the selection and ask for it cooked using their preferred method. Sides are served buffet-style so that diners can create their own spreads. The freshness of the ingredients and the casual vibe of this restaurant make it one of the most enjoyable dining experiences you will have while in New York City.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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