America's Best Seafood
For this reason, U.S. News Travel set out to find the best institutions—from high-end restaurants to small-town joints—where you can have your choice of cracking hard-shelled crabs or devouring crunchy fish tacos. Taking popularity, inventiveness, expert opinion, online user reviews, and overall restaurant atmosphere into consideration, we've compiled a list of the best establishments for discerning seafood-seekers.
Shaw's Crab House
Best Catch: 1 lb. Alaskan Golden King Crab ($46.99).
The 1930's New Orleans-themed Shaw's Crab House draws discerning seafood fanatics with its top-grade fish and lively atmosphere. At the oyster bar, you'll find 12 sea critter varieties. At the adjacent (more upscale) crab house, you'll pick from a wide selection of specialties. Standouts include flavorful sushi and sashimi combinations, Georgia soft shell crab, and the red Alaskan king crab. Come on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday to listen to live music as you enjoy your meal.
The Lobster Shack at Two Lights
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
This little seafood joint set on Maine's rocky shore has Bon Appetit, Gourmet Magazine, and The Boston Globe singing its praises. Food enthusiasts rave about the restaurant's flavorful lobster rolls and creamy chowder. And the Lobster Shack's scenic vantage point, overlooking Cape Elizabeth's craggy shoreline, is just as appealing. The Lobster Shack at Two Lights only opens its doors during the warmer months (April through October), so arrive in summer to get your fix of its signature lobster rolls.
(Photo: Shane K/Courtesy of Nico's at Pier 38 Restaurant & Fish Market)
Nico's at Pier 38 Restaurant & Fish Market
Best Catch: Furikake Pan Seared Ahi ($12.95)
Hawaii's in-the-know fish lovers congregate at this festive Honolulu restaurant/market combo early in the morning to get the day's best catch. Nico's charm lies not only in its fresh Hawaiian fish, but also in its menu filled with inventive twists, including kamobokos (Japanese fish cakes) and blackened fish 'wiches (fish filets sprinkled with Cajun spices). For intense flavor, try the Furikaki Pan Seared Ahi, which is coated in homemade ginger-garlic cilantro sauce.