Fresh seafood can be a year-round indulgence if you know where to go and what to eat. Many restaurants in America are sourcing local catch of the day or farm-raised ingredients every day to serve up the best seafood for their guests. Some get their seafood supplies flown in fresh from other parts of the world.
Whether you like to warm up with a bowl of clam chowder, slurp a briny Bluepoint oyster or crack into a succulent Dungeness crab, here are 7 destinations that will awaken your palate:
1. Portland, ME
Portland, a coastal city located 108 miles from Boston and 314 miles from New York City was once a trading and fishing settlement. Visitors are attracted to its 19th-century historic homes and seafood.
Portland’s Maine lobster is worth a trip to the city. Since the 1840s, Maine has been one of the most important commercial lobster fishery in America. According to Visit Portland, if it is not from Maine- it’s not lobster! There are many options to eat lobster rolls, steamed lobster over rockweed, baked stuffed lobster and more.
For a list of places to eat lobster and other seafood in Portland, check out VisitPortland’s Maine Lobster Dinner list.
2. Key West
Want to try out conch fritters and cracked conch without having to fly to the Caribbean? Go to Key West and try out these delicacies at The Conch Shack. Located at the busy Duval Street, The Conch Shack is a no-frill eatery that has the Caribbean island vibe and taste. It is a very inexpensive way to indulge in a variety of greasy fried fish, shrimp, and lobster roll.
Key West is 166 miles from Miami and 393 miles from Orlando. You can easily combine a tour of Miami or Orlando with Key West. Take a road trip to one of America’s most scenic – Florida’s Overseas Highway.
Baltimore is only 39 miles from Washington D.C. Seafood lovers who are visiting D.C. should take a short ride to Faidley Seafood in Lexington Market or Baltimore Inner Harbor.
Founded in 1886, Faidley Seafood is one of the oldest seafood restaurants in the Chesapeake region. Try lump crab cakes (most popular), steamed crabs, fresh oyster, clams, fish and more. For a list of restaurants in Baltimore Inner Harbor check out VisitBaltimore’s Featured Places to Visit.
Seattle is known for its specialty coffee, craft beer, and locally grown wine. But there’s more – there’s seafood too! Salmon, oysters, mussels, clams and crab are some of the locally sourced seafood served in Seattle’s restaurants and farmers markets. Heard of gooseneck barnacles? A Portuguese delicacy, Gooseneck barnacles grow naturally in the Northwest and is also available in Seattle.
While in Seattle, watch the fish fly in Pike Place Market fish markets, and shop at City Fish Co., the seafood experts in Seattle since 1917.
5. New Orleans
New Orleans’ proximity to the Gulf of Mexico means diners get the freshest wild caught shrimp. Pink shrimp, white shrimp, brown shrimp and rock shrimp are some of the species found in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico year-round.
New Orleans cuisine is world-renowned. Almost every famous dish has some type of seafood – namely crawfish etouffee, gumbo, and jambalaya.
Though you can order crawfish any time of the year, to eat the freshest go to New Orleans during crawfish season – from the beginning of March to the end of June. It’s only five hours drive from Houston and five hours 26 minutes from Tallahassee.
6. Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach, a seaside resort in South Carolina is also one of the best places to eat fresh seafood in America. VisitMyrtleBeach.com recommends trying the 170-item grand seafood buffets.
Some notables are Crab Daddy’s Calabash Seafood Buffet and Crabby George’s Seafood Buffet. These restaurants serve unlimited lobster, oysters, shrimp, crab legs and more.
Outdoor seafood enthusiasts can join a shrimp trawling, fishing and crabbing tours.
7. San Francisco
San Francisco Fishermen’s Wharf has a variety of seafood restaurants serving gourmet seafood in all cooking styles. But nothing beats the fresh Dungeness crab at Alioto’s #8 and Franciscan Crab Restaurant at the Wharf.
You can also drive (10 miles away) or take the ferry from San Francisco to Sausalito to eat at the world-renowned seafood restaurant, Scoma’s of Sausalito.
Have you been to these destinations for seafood? Which was your favorite?