The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Austin
There’s no need to drive to the coast.
Austin isn’t exactly swimming in seafood restaurants—it’s Houston and the cities along the Gulf Coast that get all the glory when it comes to deep-fried ocean treats. But that’s not fair. In 2022, if we can get perfect avocados in NYC, we sure as hell can get fresh juicy shrimp, fish, oysters, crab, lobster and of course, crawfish, up here in Central Texas. We’re not in space y’know!
Agreeably, finding purveyors of the sea creatures is tricky, but they’re there if you dive a little deeper. From oyster bars to boil buckets, seafood tacos to caviar, and, of course, no seafood list is complete without sushi, here are the best places in Austin to get your dose of Omega-3.
TLC is a fun, casual space on South Lamar, specializing in large portions of Southern comfort food washed down with beers on tap. The star attraction here is The Boil, where a fresh catch of the day (Texas gulf shrimp, Maine lobster, Littleneck clams and the like) is customized with your choice of flavor and sauce, with corn and red potatoes for company. Share this with the gang and expect to get your fingers very wet. Other menu items worth adding to the table include the raw Gulf oysters, redfish, and shrimp ceviche. And, because this spot is all about Southern comfort, go ahead and throw on a piping hot side of mac & cheese.
Truluck's Seafood Steak & Crab
Texas’ original upscale seafood and crab restaurant has two ATX locations, both eager to satisfy your aquatic appetites. The options here are exhaustive, from Florida stone crab (available October to May), jumbo shrimp cocktail, and branzino, to Dutch yellowtail, ahi tuna crudo, and caviar. Our standouts are the lobster bisque or the crab cakes, and remember to always save room for their generously-sliced dessert cakes.
This swanky Japanese sushi and robata kitchen sits pretty on Sixth. And with a huge variety of rolls, sashimi, tempura, skewers, and dumplings, not to mention an excellent weekday happy hour, you too will be sitting pretty within it, feasting all evening long. Don’t miss the scallop maki with truffle and yuzu, the tuna gyoza tacos, or the cucumber water cocktail (surprise, it’s not just cucumber water), for the perfect summer cool-down.
Clark's Oyster Bar
Westside’s lil’ neighborhood seafood joint prides itself on simple, sustainable seafood with a cozy ambiance. Come for their excellent raw bar, where of course, you’ll have to sample its namesake. Seasonal oysters are available, served with fresh horseradish, cocktail sauce, mignonette, saltines, and lemon; as well as the dressed oyster with cucumber and honey vinaigrette, mint ,and crispy shallots, or the smokin’ oven-roasted Gulf oyster with bechamel, spinach, bacon, and sourdough bread crumbs. Consider yourself in oyster heaven.
Honey Moon Spirit Lounge
A charming bungalow decked out in French-inspired antiques and decadent furniture, Honeymoon Spirit Lounge serves seafood like a European. And who doesn’t love eating off a fancy tier? Their brunch-time seafood tower is always a winner; items are seasonal, and right now features stone crab, Gulf shrimp, market fish ceviche, cocktail sauce, and dijonnaise. Add caviar service to the mix for an extra pop of oh la la. You fancy.
Trudy's Del Mar
Craving seafood and Tex-Mex at the same time? Trudy’s Del Mar lets you combine the two. The restaurant is inspired by traditional recipes from Mexican Coastal living, with goodies like blackened fish tacos, lobster tacos, and blood orange ceviche (mahi-mahi, shrimp, blood orange pico). Don’t forget to try their brilliant House Margarita (served on the rocks or frozen).
If you’re dreaming of a tropical getaway, then Poke Poke is the next best thing. Austin’s first poke spot is inspired by the bowls of Oahu, made with traditional toppings and fresh fish. The most popular is the OG, made with sashimi grade ahi, shoyu, sesame oil, white and green onion, and sesame seeds, but their Shiso Salmon Poke is equally impressive (note: you can also customize your poke bowls with rice, kale, and seaweed). You’ll probably want more seaweed, so order it as a side as well as a base.
Perla's Seafood and Oyster Bar
If you love Clark’s, then head over to sister restaurant Perla’s on SoCo. Here you’ll find oysters flown in from both coasts (plus the gulf of Mexico), fresh fish, and a huge selection of seafood delicacies. The space is equally appealing, featuring an airy dining room with saltwater fish tank, bar serving coastal cocktails and wine, and a shaded outdoor patio.
Sushi By Scratch Restaurants
Chefs Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee’s new signature omakase has already amassed a dedicated following, which is no surprise really, considering they previously helmed Eastside’s successful Sushi|Bar ATX. Sushi by Scratch Restaurants similarly has just ten prized seats by the counter, where lucky patrons can watch a master team of chefs prepare a beautiful 17 course omakase consisting of fish flown in from Japan. Whether this will oust Sushi|Bar as Austin’s premier sushi date spot…only time will tell. Either way, we’re happy for a few more counter seats.
Mongers Market + Kitchen
Part market, part raw bar and kitchen, you can visit Monger’s to pick up seafood to cook at home or kick back and let the experts take on the hard work (and the dishes). Items depend on what’s available from the Gulf Coast and beyond, but you’re likely to find the freshest local red snapper, grouper, and shrimp in their cases, or oyster plates, crudos, pokes, and ceviches at the bar. Indecisive? Order the seafood platter for a nibble of everything.