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Home » A Guide to Chicago’s Best Seafood Restaurants

A Guide to Chicago’s Best Seafood Restaurants

Welcome to the exciting world of seafood in Chicago! Get ready to treat your taste buds to the freshest catches from the sea. Fine dining eateries to cozy neighborhood restaurants – this guide will take you on a delightful journey.

Chicago is known for its amazing food scene – and seafood is no exception. If you’re a fan of classic favorites like shrimp, crab, and lobster, or you want to try something new like octopus or swordfish, you’ll find it here. Get ready for a burst of flavors that will make your mouth water.

But what makes Chicago’s seafood restaurants stand out? It’s not only the quality of the ingredients and the talent of the chefs – it’s also their unique atmospheres and innovative seafood dishes. From sleek, modern spaces with stunning waterfront views to hidden gems tucked away in quiet parts of town, each restaurant has its own special experience to offer.

Let me tell you a remarkable story about one seafood restaurant in Chicago. Imagine a cozy bistro in a historic building, with exposed brick walls and rustic wooden furniture. As you sit down, you can smell the delicious aromas coming from the kitchen. The chef arrives with a platter of grilled scallops with a tangy citrus sauce. One bite and you’re in seafood heaven – perfectly cooked and melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness that you’ll never forget.

So whether you love seafood or want to explore new flavors, Chicago’s restaurants will please your palate. Take this gastronomic adventure and find out why people from all over the world come here for seafood.

Overview of Chicago’s seafood restaurant scene

Chicago’s seafood restaurant scene is a vibrant and diverse culinary world! With the Great Lakes nearby, there are plenty of fresh seafood options.

One of these is Ocean Prime in downtown Chicago. This upscale joint offers prime seafood dishes, like oysters, jumbo shrimp cocktail, and Alaskan king crab legs. The atmosphere and service make it a top pick for seafood fans.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab is also a standout. It offers premium steaks and stone crabs, plus delectable seafood dishes. Try the signature Florida stone crab claws or the Chilean sea bass!

For a more casual experience, try Shaw’s Crab House. Enjoy lobster bisque, crab cakes, and fresh oysters. The atmosphere is relaxed. It’s a taste of Chicago’s seafood traditions.

Pro Tip: Pair your meal with white wine or a craft cocktail to enhance the flavors even more.

Factors to consider when choosing a seafood restaurant

When selecting a seafood eatery, it’s key to think over a few important elements that can really modify your dining experience.

  1. First and foremost, the freshest seafood must be a top priority. Search for restaurants that source their edibles daily from local fishermen or reliable suppliers.

  2. Moreover, the menu selection is crucial. A top seafood restaurant should have a wide variety of dishes to suit different tastes. From classic picks like lobster or crab to creative dishes featuring uncommon varieties, an extensive menu guarantees something for everyone.

  3. Furthermore, ambiance plays an influential part in forming your overall experience. A seafood restaurant with a cozy and inviting atmosphere can raise your meal by providing an enjoyable spot to talk and relax. Think about factors such as lighting, decor, and seating when making your pick.

  4. In addition, it’s worth noting that certain seafood restaurants specialize in certain cuisines or cooking methods. Whether you want traditional New England clam chowder or spicy Cajun-inspired seafood boils, carry out some research to discover restaurants that are great at serving your desired cuisine.

Top seafood restaurants in Chicago

Are you in Chicago, craving some seafood? You’ll be pleased to know that this vibrant city is home to some of the finest seafood restaurants in the country!

From oysters on the half shell to melt-in-your-mouth sushi, there’s something for everyone. Here are five top seafood restaurants that you simply can’t miss:

  • 1. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab: River North’s iconic restaurant for their world-famous stone crab claws.
  • 2. GT Fish & Oyster: Fulton Market District’s modern twist on classic seafood dishes, like lobster rolls and wood-grilled octopus.
  • 3. Shaw’s Crab House: Downtown Chicago’s extensive menu featuring Alaskan king crab to jumbo shrimp cocktail.
  • 4. Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf: River North gem with seafood options, such as seared scallops and roasted salmon.
  • 5. The Angry Crab Shack: Wicker Park’s laid-back spot for steamed shellfish drenched in Cajun seasoning.

Plus, discover hidden gems and cozy family-owned restaurants. Or, head to the Fulton Market Fish Market in the West Loop neighborhood – one of the largest fish markets in the United States. A must for chefs and seafood aficionados!

Tips for a great seafood dining experience

Treat yourself to a stunning seafood feast! Here are the top tips for an unforgettable experience:

  • Pick a restaurant that is highly rated and has top-notch cleanliness.
  • Look up the menu beforehand and make sure it offers a variety of seafoods.
  • Check what sustainability practices the restaurant follows and opt for seafood options that match them.
  • Chat with the staff – they’ll help you pick the best dish and give expert advice.
  • Choose a drink that complements your meal. Wine or cocktail goes great with seafood!
  • Relax and savor each bite. Don’t forget to enjoy the atmosphere too.

For extra wow factor, search for restaurants that offer underwater dining or amazing views.

Did you know? The Fish Market in San Diego has been providing fresh seafood since 1989!


Discovering Chicago’s top seafood restaurants? We’ve got you covered! From the upscale dining of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab to the lively atmosphere of GT Fish & Oyster, there’s something for every seafood fan.

Indulge in seafood platters and succulent steak at Chicago Cut Steakhouse. Or, experience East Coast tradition at Shaw’s Crab House.

For a more casual vibe, Big Jones is Creole-inspired, and The Fish Guy Market offers fresh seafood to take home.

Don’t miss the historic Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House. Plus, bellyQ has Asian-influenced dishes.

Pro Tip: Make reservations in advance – these places are always popular!

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: What are some of the best seafood restaurants in Chicago?

Answer: Some of the best seafood restaurants in Chicago are Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, Shaw’s Crab House, GT Fish & Oyster, The Fish Guy Market, and Publican Quality Meats.

FAQ: What type of seafood dishes can I expect to find in these restaurants?

Answer: These seafood restaurants offer a wide range of dishes including fresh oysters, crab legs, lobster rolls, shrimp scampi, seafood pasta, grilled fish, and many more delicious options.

FAQ: Are these seafood restaurants suitable for special occasions and group gatherings?

Answer: Absolutely! Many of these seafood restaurants have private dining rooms and are perfect for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and corporate events. They can accommodate large groups and provide customized menus and seamless service.

FAQ: Do these seafood restaurants cater to dietary restrictions or offer vegetarian/vegan options?

Answer: Yes, most of these seafood restaurants are mindful of dietary restrictions and offer options for vegetarian and vegan diners. They have a variety of salads, vegetable-based dishes, and creative plant-based alternatives for non-seafood eaters.

FAQ: Can these seafood restaurants accommodate customers with food allergies?

Answer: Certainly! These restaurants take food allergies seriously and work to accommodate customers with specific dietary needs. They are usually willing to modify dishes, inform about allergens, and ensure a safe dining experience for all guests. It’s always best to inform the restaurant in advance about any allergies.

FAQ: How can I make a reservation at one of these seafood restaurants?

Answer: Reservations can be made directly through the restaurant’s website or by calling the restaurant. It is recommended to make reservations in advance, particularly for popular dining times or large groups.

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