As one of the world’s culinary capitals, New York is a veritable paradise for foodies. You’ll find every cuisine for every type of eater – pescatarians and seafood lovers included. Let’s dive into the best seafood restaurants in NYC!
Hungry for a Maine lobster roll? Fancy fish tacos? Or perhaps you prefer seasonal softshell crabs or a grilled dorado with lemon and butter? No matter your preference, New York has you covered. Whether you’re a raw bar enthusiast or an occasional grilled salmon eater, you’ll find an ocean of deliciousness at the best seafood restaurants in NYC.
You can feel good about eating seafood when you dine at Crave Fishbar. As New York’s first 100% sustainable seafood restaurant, Crave has committed to sourcing its seafood responsibly. The certified B Corps collaborates with local fishing communities and farms in the New York area. they also partner with the Billion Oyster Project, an organization dedicated to restoring the New York Harbor’s oyster reefs.
At its Midtown and Upper West Side locations, Crave Fishbar crosses borders, featuring global flavors with Italian, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, and American influences. Frontrunners include salmon sashimi tostada, handmade squid ink spaghetti, and seared rare yellowfin tuna. Not to mention raw bar selections. Crave also hosts one of the city’s best oyster happy hours, with deals on East and West Coast bivalves.
Maguy le Coze and Eric Ripert’s French masterpiece has held a four-star rating from the New York Times since 1986 and continues to earn three Michelin stars. A seafood mecca in Midtown West, Le Bernardin creates stunning interpretations of Tasmanian sea trout, Spanish mackerel, red snapper, halibut, and Dover sole.
Le Bernardin is known for its hospitality and elegant interior with plenty of elbow room. And with a 900-bottle wine list, Le Bernardin makes the perfect place for a milestone celebration. It’s also one of the most romantic restaurants in NYC.
Though Le Bernardin is a restaurant that lives up to the hype, it is not light on the wallet. A four-course prix fixe menu costs $195. The chef’s tasting will set you back $295 and $445 with wine pairings. Meanwhile, the vegetarian tasting prices at $230 and $380 with wine. A la carte options are available in the lounge.
With several locations in Manhattan and an Upper West Side and open since 2007, Mermaid Inn is probably best known for its can’t-miss happy hour. “The Happiest of Hours,” as it’s labeled on the website, is a discounted two-hour seafood and drink fest. It includes $1.25 oysters and mini fish tacos alongside $6 beers and $9 wines and cocktails.
Slim budgets aside, no one should skip the regular menu at Mermaid Inn. Longtime favorites include the “nearly famous” lobster roll and Point Judith calamari salad with feta and mushrooms. The combination might be unexpected, but the flavors somehow complement one another. Headliners like linguine, clams, and yellowfin tuna round out the choices.
The wide array of fish and seafood ready and waiting to be cooked is one of the highlights of this Greek spot in Midtown. This Instagram-worthy fish bar is also considered one of the best seafood restaurants in Manhattan. Guests can pick their catch, and the kitchen will prepare their choice to order.
At Estiatorio Milos we recommend beginning with the smoked eel or salmon tartare – each a perfectly light way to start your meal. Or treat yourself to the ultimate splurge: a serving of Royal Belgian Ossetra caviar.
For the main course, classics range from grilled Royal shrimp from Morocco to Loup de Mer (branzino), superb alongside herbed fingerling potatoes and organic heirloom beets. We recommend finishing off your Greek feast with the Milos baklava or the heavenly “ekmek kataifi“: a decadent dessert of shredded phyllo dough layered with custard and Chantilly cream then crowned with almonds.
Chef Michael White brings the flavors of coastal Italy to New York at this upscale, Michelin-starred restaurant on Central Park South. Respected for its exceptional food and drink, impeccable service, and sophisticated atmosphere.
Even though White closed up shop during the pandemic, his flagship eatery is back churning out the likes of fried softshell crab, squid ink ravioli, and salt-baked Mediterranean sea bass for New York seafood lovers. Ideal to pair with fish, European white wines comprise about half of the wine list, many costing less than $100 a bottle.
If you plan to visit Marea on a nice day, we recommend requesting a sidewalk table to dine al fresco across the street from Central Park.
Mary’s Fish Camp
Chef Mary Redding, the once-partner at Pearl’s Oyster Bar on Cornelia Street, is the brainchild of this delicious eatery. Mary’s Fish Camp arguably serves the best oyster Po’ Boy in the city. But even if you don’t eat oysters, this West Village restaurant also does excellent fish and chips. And folks come from near and far to taste the mayo-based lobster roll plated with a mound of shoestring fries.
The menu is overflowing with a melange of seafood delights like Canadian steamers, shellfish bouillabaisse, yellowfin tuna sliders, and a handful of daily specials scratched on the chalkboard.
Situated on one of the neighborhood’s most charming corners, Mary’s Fish Camp has a casual atmosphere. Think New England seafood shack meets trendy downtown. Dinner at this haunt is jam-packed, so head to this NYC institution in the afternoon for a more laid-back dining experience.
Thai food meets seafood at this NoHo establishment named after the Asian delicacy. Awarded two stars by Pete Wells of The New York Times, Fish Cheeks is the creation of four young Thai immigrants who longed to bring traditional Thai food with a contemporary spin to New York.
With dishes recommended to share, the family-style menu spotlights options like shrimp in three-crab sauce, tilefish pad cha, steamed fish with Thai herbs, and an array of dishes with “unapologetic heat.”
The Sea Fire Grill
Whole lobster, colossal shrimp, Russian sturgeon, Alaskan King Crab legs, and Montauk swordfish are only a preview of the delicacies on offer at this contemporary American seafood restaurant in Midtown East. From the same folks behind Benjamin Steakhouse, The Sea Fire Grill has a steak on the menu. However, as pescatarians can attest, you go here for the Nova Scotia halibut, saving the beef for another occasion.
Often one of the city’s premier hot spots for birthdays, anniversaries, and life’s memorable moments, Sea Fire Grill provides a generous dining room with well-spaced tables alongside first-rate service.
Tracy Kaler is a freelance journalist focused on travel, food, wine, and design. She fell in love with New York as a child and began writing about the city when she moved there in 2007. When Tracy’s not glued to her laptop, she’s likely planning her next food-filled adventure, uncorking a bottle of red, or wandering the streets of NYC.