The Absolute Best Seafood in Denver
Look no further for oysters, lobsters, whole fish, and tons of other tasty sea dwellers.
While it may not be the first city you think of when you think, “seafood,” Denver may surprise you with its sheer number of options when it comes to fresh fish. The state may be landlocked, but the oysters, lobsters, whole fish, and tons of other tasty sea dwellers fly in daily to be shucked, chargrilled, or served with a tasteful side of butter. You can find wonderfully (and specifically) New England-style joints, mind-blowing sushi spots, or a place to celebrate something special and crack open a steamed lobster while you’re at it. If you’re not sure where to go first, check out this list of the best seafood restaurants in Denver that are sure to float your boat.
Water Grill Denver
A fairly recent addition to the Denver restaurant scene, Water Grill stands out as both a special-occasion spot and a seafood destination that always hits. In addition to always-fresh oysters (and an impressive selection at that), starters, sushi, and a refreshing wine and cocktail list, there’s always something new and exciting when it comes to seasonal specials. This is the place to be for crack-open lobster and king crab legs, whole fish, and an elevated version of essentially anything that lives underwater.
The OG restaurant of Den Corner’s three, Sushi Den isn’t just a top-tier sushi restaurant with incredible ambiance; it’s one where you’ll have some of the freshest fish you’ll taste in Denver. Owner Toshi flies in sushi-grade fish daily from the waters of Japan, meaning a hand roll here is likely the best you’ll have in the city. Enjoy a la carte selections, signature rolls, appetizers like grilled kama or seared gyoza, or shareable sushi platters for the whole group.
The name isn’t just a cute marketing tool: Everything about this place is truly Maine-centric, from the owner himself to the lobster regularly shipped in, straight from Maine’s rocky shores. Owner Drew Ryan missed New England seafood so much he took the leap in starting his own restaurant—now, it’s the go-to spot for a hot, buttery lobster however you like it: on a toasted bun, swimming in mac and cheese, or chilled, picked meat, no frills. Not a lobster fan? There’s plenty of “Fried Stuff” and fish sandwiches available, too.
Blue Island Oyster Bar
Around the corner from other Cherry Creek Staples like Quality Italian and Forget Me Not, Blue Island retains the seafood title for the busy shopping district. Great for a drink at the bar and some oysters on the half shell or a full-on meal, the freshness and flavor here keeps it a locals’ (and visitors’) favorite. Find starters like peel & eat shrimp and Spanish octopus, mains like "Thai Style" fish and Chilean sea bass, and “Blue Island Classics” like fish and chips with tartar, shoestring fries, and house slaw.
Jax Fish House Denver
A well-known name in the seafood biz around Denver, Jax has a clean, simple vibe and a similar take on its menu offerings no matter which of its locations you’re at. While the unique draw here is Jax’s own Emersum Oyster developed out of Virginia, you can also find standard fare across the board. Order steamed mussels with your choice of Chardonnay garlic or Thai curry sauce, shareable raw bar platters, an array of caviar plates, and rotating seasonal entrees a la Maine lobster rolls and seared New England sea scallops.
Fish N Beer
Fish N Beer is RiNo’s claim to seafood fame, offering guests a more casual place to slurp oysters and dig into scallops diavlo. Sitting at the bar means getting a firsthand look into the kitchen, where the clam and andouille sausage chowder is mixed, the Scottish salmon is grilled, and the rock fish is stuffed and baked. The happy hour deals and beer list are added bonuses.
Stoic & Genuine
Crafted Concept’s ultra-sleek and modern space, Stoic & Genuine, is where you’ll find fresh, elevated seafood from both the East and West Coast, and also where you’ll find oyster happy hour weekdays from 2 - 5 pm. Keep things light with crudo or Icelandic haddock soup, or dive in deep with sesame crusted yellowfin tuna, Alaskan king crab, Maine lobster roll, or the totally epic seafood tower featuring oysters, shrimp, crab legs, sashimi, caviar, and whole lobster.
Ocean Prime's Summer Eats
It’s no surprise based on the name that you’ll find a wide range of sea fare here, from sushi rolls to oysters on the half shell to lobster bisque. Heavy hitters like sea scallops, lobster tails, and ahi tuna are popular here, alongside some equally tasty dishes found on the menu-less-traveled, such as Florida grouper and blackened snapper. As always with surf and turf spots, adding a lobster tail or crab Oscar to a primo filet is welcome and encouraged.
Ohana Island Kitchen
Bright, airy, and supremely coastal, this takeout-window-turned-brick-and-mortar is always an excellent stop for fresh fish over steamed rice. The menu is small but mighty, with a selection of flavorful poke bowls as well as heartier meals like Kings Hawaiian sliders and the Kalua pork bento box. Wash down some spam musubi with a Hawaiian Sun and be transported to the warm, sunny shores of Oahu.
Albina By The Sea
Conveniently located in Dairy Block’s Milk Market, this makes for a great midday lunch spot or simply your local fresh seafood supplier. The name pays homage to chef Frank Bonanno’s grandmother, Albina, and the once-forgotten simplicity of buying fresh fish at the market and making something delicious as soon as you get home. Find fish tacos, po’boys, and standard small plates here (fried calamari, shrimp cocktail) as well as fresh cuts of fish chilled and ready to go home with you.
Guard and Grace
Troy Guard’s 2014 venture has stayed an impressive—and often special-occasion—destination since its inception, and though it’s a self-described steakhouse, its selections from the sea are worthy challengers. Raw bar options include oysters, half lobster, sushi, and sashimi, and mains will often look something like oven-roasted salmon or oak-grilled ahi tuna. If you’re feeling a little surf and turf action, add some crab Oscar or a cold water lobster tail to your steak.
Humboldt Kitchen And Bar
While Humboldt boasts a menu that features the best of both land and sea, the fish-centric dishes here are the stars. Start with the salmon tartare or ceviche, both with a spicy kick, followed by your choice of grilled mahi-mahi, seared salmon, or shrimp tacos. And if you brought your non-seafood-loving friend for dinner (no judgment), the Humboldt Burger is a citywide favorite.