The American coastline, stretching from the rugged cliffs of Maine to the sun-kissed beaches of Hawaii, offers more than just scenic beauty; it's a culinary paradise for seafood lovers.
Coastal eateries across the nation serve up an array of dishes that are as diverse as the landscapes they inhabit.
In this article, we journey through America's 30 best coastal eateries, selected for their exceptional food quality, unique ambiance, and rave reviews from locals and travelers alike.
The Bite into Maine, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
This food truck, stationed at Fort Williams Park, offers a variety of lobster rolls, from classic to adventurous, capturing the essence of Maine’s seafood tradition in every bite.
Fish Tales, Baltimore, Maryland
Located in Baltimore's historic Fells Point, Fish Tales is a favorite for its crab cakes and scenic views of the harbor, blending local seafood traditions with a lively atmosphere.
Dock's Oyster House, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Established in 1897, this legendary spot offers a range of seafood dishes, with a focus on oysters and an ambiance that echoes the history of Atlantic City.
The Crab Shack, Tybee Island, Georgia
This laid-back eatery on Tybee Island offers a rustic dining experience with picnic tables and a menu focused on crab and other seafood boils.
The Gulf, Orange Beach, Alabama
An open-air restaurant with a unique setting, constructed from shipping containers, offering fresh seafood and stunning beachfront views.
Rusty Pelican, Tampa, Florida
Known for its upscale dining and spectacular waterfront views, the Rusty Pelican offers a sophisticated take on classic Florida seafood dishes.
Tidal Raves, Depoe Bay, Oregon
Overlooking the Oregon coast, this restaurant offers stunning ocean views and a menu that features fresh, local seafood, with an emphasis on regional flavors.
Ironside Fish & Oyster, San Diego, California
Set in a converted warehouse, this hip spot in San Diego’s Little Italy offers a raw bar and a variety of seafood dishes, celebrated for its innovative approach.
Ketchikan's Waterfront Restaurant, Ketchikan, Arkansas
This eatery provides breathtaking views of the harbor and a menu that includes Alaskan king crab and wild salmon, showcasing the best of Alaskan seafood.
Duke’s Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii
Named after the famous Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku, this restaurant is a beachfront haven offering a variety of Hawaiian and American seafood dishes, with a focus on local ingredients and a laid-back vibe.
Island Creek Oyster Bar, Boston, Massachusetts
This Boston hotspot is revered for its commitment to sustainability and direct partnerships with oyster farmers.
The ambiance combines urban sophistication with a deep respect for New England’s seafood traditions.
Matunuck Oyster Bar, South Kingstown, Rhode Island
This eatery provides a true farm-to-table experience.
It's known for its pond-to-plate dining, where guests can savor oysters harvested from the waters visible from their table.
Luke’s Lobster, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Famous for its lobster rolls, this eatery prides itself on serving sustainable, traceable seafood. It combines a casual setting with a commitment to quality.
The Crab Claw, St. Michaels, Maryland
This restaurant offers a quintessential Chesapeake Bay experience, serving up steamed blue crabs in a rustic, waterfront setting.
The Wreck of the Richard & Charlene, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Named after a shipwreck, this establishment offers a unique seafood dining experience with traditional Lowcountry dishes.
GW Fins, New Orleans, Louisiana
Situated in the French Quarter, GW Fins is a fine dining restaurant that specializes in seasonal, globally sourced seafood, served in an elegant setting.
Joe's Stone Crab, Miami Beach, Florida
A historic Miami eatery, Joe's is famous for its stone crab claws and classic Florida ambiance. It’s a blend of history and culinary excellence.
Conch Republic Seafood Company, Key West, Florida
Known for its waterfront location and relaxed atmosphere, this eatery offers a variety of seafood dishes with a focus on local conch and fresh catch.
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Destin, Florida
This restaurant offers a fusion of Asian and Hawaiian influences, with a menu that includes both traditional and innovative seafood dishes.
Gilhooley's Restaurant, San Leon, Texas
A casual, no-frills eatery, Gilhooley's is renowned for its oyster dishes, especially the oysters roasted over an open flame.
Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco, California
This historic seafood bar, family-owned for generations, is celebrated for its fresh oysters, clam chowder, and classic San Francisco vibe.
The Fisherman's Restaurant and Bar, Seattle, Washington
Situated on Pier 57, it offers spectacular views of the Puget Sound. The menu features a wide variety of Pacific Northwest seafood.
Tracy's King Crab Shack, Juneau, Arkansas
Known for its casual setting and exceptional king crab legs and bisque, Tracy’s is a must-visit for seafood lovers in Alaska.
The Saltry, Halibut Cove, Arkansas
Accessible only by boat, this eatery offers a unique dining experience with fresh seafood and stunning views in a remote, picturesque setting.
Lahaina Grill, Lahaina, Hawaii
This upscale bistro in Maui is known for its innovative seafood dishes and elegant ambiance. It’s a favorite for both locals and visitors.
Helena's Hawaiian Food, Honolulu, Hawaii
A longstanding eatery offering traditional Hawaiian dishes, including local seafood, in a casual, welcoming environment.
The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Offers stunning ocean views and a menu featuring Maine lobster and other New England seafood favorites.
The Marshall Store, Marshall, California
This oyster bar and smokehouse offers a range of seafood dishes. Its outdoor seating provides beautiful views of Tomales Bay.
Bowpicker Fish & Chips, Astoria, Oregon
Known for its unique setting in a converted boat, this eatery serves up some of the best fish and chips in the Pacific Northwest.
The Shrimp Box & Outside The Box Patio Bar, Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
Offers waterfront dining with a menu that highlights fresh seafood, making it a popular spot among locals and tourists alike.
America’s coastal eateries are more than just places to eat; they are the keepers of culinary traditions, storytellers of America’s diverse cultural tapestry, and champions of sustainable practices.
Whether it’s the rustic charm of a New England shack or the sophisticated ambiance of a Californian bistro, each offers a unique taste of the sea that is as unforgettable as the coastal landscapes they inhabit.