Pike Place Market, Seattle seafood

10 US Cities With The Best Seafood

Calling all seafood lovers! The culinary scene across the United States offers a treasure trove of destinations renowned for their seafood. Each region has its seafood specialties, such as the tender lobster of the Northeast, the briny oysters of the Pacific, or the spicy gumbo of the Gulf Coast.

Each region boasts its unique seafood specialties that reflect the local environment and culinary traditions. The United States features a vast coastline, home to numerous cities rich in seafood, making it a haven for culinary enthusiasts. These cities have earned a reputation for serving some of the finest seafood dishes in the country, providing visitors with rich delights.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, WA - June 2022: Pike Place Fish Company. Image credits: Stephen Reeves via Shutterstock

Located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is renowned for its vibrant seafood scene. With access to Puget Sound's beautiful and serene waters and the adjacent Pacific Ocean, the city boasts an extensive variety of fresh seafood. You can feast on the exquisite Dungeness crab, succulent salmon, and aromatic oysters, all freshly caught from the surrounding local waters.

From the iconic Pike Place Market, where fishmongers hurl salmon through the air, to various stalls displaying the finest catches of the day and numerous fine dining establishments serving the freshest oysters, Seattle provides an unmatched seafood experience.

Charleston, South Carolina

Mount Pleasant, USA - May 11, 2018: Charleston South Carolina with waterfront restaurants on Shem Creek and boats. Image credits: Kristi Blokhin via Shutterstock

Charleston's coastal location lends itself to a diverse array of seafood delights. With its rich culinary history, Charleston combines traditional Southern flavors with fresh seafood. Known for its shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and low country boils, every dish in this city is steeped in maritime tradition. 

Indulge in savory shrimp and grits, crispy fried oysters, and spicy seafood boils that showcase the region's culinary creativity and a unique blend of blend of African, Caribbean, and European flavors. With its enchanting cobblestone streets and scenic waterfront dining spots, Charleston presents a quintessential Southern seafood experience.

San Francisco, California

Boats in Fisherman's wharf in San Francisco. California, USA.

Renowned for its iconic landmarks and cultural diversity, San Francisco is also celebrated for its outstanding seafood offerings. Located along the shores of the San Francisco Bay, the city prides itself on an abundance of seafood restaurants showcasing the freshest catches from local waters. 

San Francisco offers a diverse culinary scene with a focus on sustainable seafood practices. This commitment is evident in eateries ranging from historic seafood houses serving up cioppino to Michelin-starred establishments crafting innovative dishes with locally caught seafood. The city's iconic Dungeness crab and clam chowder served in sourdough bread bowls are must-tries.

Key West, Florida

Oyster And Champagne Happy Hour in Key West Florida.

For a slice of tropical paradise, look no further than Key West, where you can enjoy exquisite seafood amidst blue waters and gently swaying palm trees. As the southernmost city in the United States, the proximity to the Gulf and the Caribbean Sea ensures a unique blend of seafood flavors. 

Conch Fritters, a local specialty, and the freshest of ceviches are abundant in this laid-back island paradise. Pull up a chair in one of the many open-air restaurants and enjoy a meal with an ocean view, complete with a side of tropical breeze. 

New Orleans, Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS, LA, USA - MARCH 30, 2024: Paella cooks in 3 large pans. Image credits: William A. Morgan via Shutterstock

New Orleans boasts a culinary landscape as rich and lively as the city's character, with seafood playing a starring role in many of its iconic dishes. Known for its vibrant music scene and Mardi Gras celebrations, New Orleans has one of the best seafood-heavy cuisines. 

Indulge in the city's famous crawfish boils or try the iconic gumbo - a hearty stew made with shrimp, crab, andouille sausage, and vegetables served over rice. And don't forget to sample the fresh oysters from the nearby Gulf of Mexico. 

You can explore the colorful streets of the French Quarter or indulge in al fresco dining along the Mississippi River, immersing yourself in the deep seafood traditions that are the essence of New Orleans' culinary identity.

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon, USA - May 6, 2023: The Dan and Louis Oyster Bar. Image credits: thelittlecactus via Shutterstock

Tucked away between the Willamette and Columbia rivers, Portland, Oregon, may not conform to the traditional image of a coastal city. Yet, its proximity to the Pacific Ocean ensures a year-round abundance of fresh seafood.

The city's location on the Columbia River means that salmon is a staple on menus, but there's much more to explore. From the famous Dungeness crab cakes to pan-fried oysters, Portland offers an array of seafood dishes showcasing the best of the Pacific Northwest. Explore the numerous food carts and local markets for a taste of Oregon's coastal bounty.

Annapolis, Maryland

A seafood restaurant on the Annapolis harbor. Image credits: Jeramey Lende via Shutterstock

Located along the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis is a picturesque maritime city boasting a rich history as well as a celebrated seafood tradition. Known as the "Sailing Capital of the World," Annapolis has a rich maritime legacy, reflected in its unparalleled culinary delights.

Annapolis is the best place to sample Maryland's renowned blue crabs. Whether you opt for the well-loved crab cake or a spicy batch of steamed crabs dusted with Old Bay seasoning, you’re in for a treat. Enjoy the feast while taking in views of the historic waterfront, and don’t forget to seek out a local crab shack for a real taste of the city.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Food truck in Honolulu, Hawaii sells shrimp, shave ice and more. Image credits: MindStorm via Shutterstock

With its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life, it's no surprise that Honolulu is home to some of the best seafood in the US. From traditional Hawaiian dishes like poke bowls and grilled fish served with poi to international influences like sushi and sashimi, Honolulu offers a unique blend of flavors that can only be found in the Aloha state. Don't miss out on trying some of the island's famous grilled mahi-mahi or dining in a seafood feast at one of the many oceanfront restaurants.  So, if you're craving classic dishes or looking to try something new, Honolulu is sure to satisfy your seafood cravings with its fresh and diverse offerings.

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Boston, Massachusetts

Crowd gathers in front Mike's seafood restaurant in Hanover Street. Image credits: Joseph Sohm via Shutterstock

Located on Massachusetts Bay, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Its proud maritime heritage deeply influences its culinary traditions. Visit the city’s oldest market, the Boston Public Market, for the catch of the day, or head to a waterfront restaurant for New England clam chowder or baked scrod. 

The city's annual oyster festival and bustling seafood festival are further testaments to its love for the fruits of the sea. Stroll along the historic waterfront and dine in meals at iconic seafood establishments such as Legal Sea Foods, which are celebrated for their creative and delicious offerings made from the freshest catch of the day.

Portland, Maine

Lobster fishing boats docked behind stores in a canal in Porland Maine.

Located along the picturesque shores of Casco Bay, Portland is a haven for seafood lovers. With a nickname like 'Lobster Capital of the World' and a fleet of boats dotting the shores, it's no surprise Portland is on this list. Here, lobster isn't just a meal; it's a way of life. Visit in summer to enjoy Lobster Rolls or brave the chill for a hearty bowl of Lobster Stew in winter. Don’t forget to explore the city’s bustling fish markets and waterfront restaurants for the freshest catch. Don't miss the opportunity to sample freshly shucked Maine oysters or indulge in a traditional New England clam bake while exploring this seafood-centric destination.

Seafood Rich Destinations Await You

From the rugged coastlines of Maine to the sun-kissed beaches of Hawaii, the United States has a plethora of seafood-rich cities to explore. Each of these cities is a testament to the diversity and sheer deliciousness of seafood in America. No matter if you're a local looking for a new spot to savor the sea's bounty or a traveler eager to taste the coast's unique flavors, these destinations offer an unforgettable culinary adventure. Take notes: in the world of seafood, freshness is key, so always check the catch of the day and enjoy the finest the sea has to offer!


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