18 Stellar Seafood Restaurants in NYC
High summer = high seafood season.
High summer is also high seafood season—it’s an intoxicating eight-week period where lobster rolls, freshly shucked oysters and deep-fried clam rolls are all we can think about. One of the many great perks of living in New York City is the proximity to the ocean. Not only do chefs here have the opportunity to source excellent local seafood, such as fluke from Long Island, but lobster and shellfish havens like New England are also within reach.
Below, we’ve rounded up the Big Apple’s top 18 options for sterling seafood all over the city.
What began last year as a pop-up lauded for its fish and chips has, as of last month, spawned a brick and mortar just next-door. Newly-minted Dame, helmed by chef Ed Szymanski and general manager Patricia Howard, centers on English-accented seafood, which extends beyond its signature dish to also include squid skewers, scallop crudo with sungolds, and more substantial plates like a lobster tart with morels. A white and blue color scheme further emphasizes the aquatic theme here, while Pimm’s Cup reinforces the English ethos.
Opened during the pandemic, this upscale seafood-focused restaurant from chef Shaun Hergatt is located on the ground floor of The Dominick. At Vestry, the award-winning chef offers a small plates menu with raw seafood dishes like tuna toast, hamachi crudo, and chilled West Coast oysters with finger limes and fresh fennel pollen. For larger plates, go for cod, Atlantic salmon, and Long Island striped bass—all of which are sourced from Hergatt’s long-standing relationships with local purveyors.
It’s rare to find an Italian restaurant entirely devoid of meat. But that’s the case at newbie Alice, which focuses on fish and oysters. From the team behind Osteria 57 comes this cozy, coastal Italian-focused boîte, with sustainably-sourced fish procured locally, but also imported from places like the Canary Islands. Expect plates like a whole-roasted branzino baked in salt, and octopus roasted with green peas and Italian pickles.
This tried and true American seafood staple––helmed by co-owner Joey Campanaro and executive chef Mike Price––plates classic, unfussy seafood dishes with a focus on seasonality. At The Clam, think high-quality seafood, mostly unadorned to let the ingredient speak for itself. There’s a number of raw bar options, steamed mussels, chowder, plus baked, grilled, seared and fried plates.
Over the last 24 years since Milos’ debut, the iconic Greek eatery in Midtown has earned praise for the exceptional quality and freshness of the seafood it brings in daily from the Greek Islands. In fact, Milos has been so well received, that the team opened a second location in Hudson Yards, including a wine bar dedicated to Greek juice. From assorted raw bar selections like Greek bottarga, to a variety of whole grilled fish options, this upscale eatery represents one of Manhattan’s top options for pristine fish.
Acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is behind The Fulton––his first ever seafood-focused eatery–– two years ago at Pier 17 within the city’s historic South Street Seaport district. Claiming two floors with both indoor and outdoor seating for 100, come for great city views and plates of Sichuan-laced local fluke to crispy fish tacos with spicy slaw, for two.
Perpetually packed Grand Army mixes and muddles some of Brooklyn’s best cocktails (including an excellent frozen number spiked with coffee), alongside some of the area’s freshest raw bar options. Grab a seat at the bar to try any of the current Nic Cage-themed libations, and pair one with a tower of seasonal oysters, or plate of curry-spiked trout sashimi. New chef Thom Chun, previously of Coi in San Francisco, recently came on to overhaul the seafood-centered bill of fare.
Lamia’s Fish Market
Seafood is front and center at two-year-old Lamia’s Fish, the Alphabet City eatery that honors coastal Mediterranean cuisine. From raw bar options to crudos, to a bottarga Cesar salad and linguini with clams, chef Lamia Funti flies fresh seafood in daily from around the world. Insider tip: drop in Monday through Friday from 4 pm-6 pm for a dozen oysters plus a bottle of vinho verde for $49.
Eric Ripert is a name known around the world, and his iconic fine dining, white tablecloth homage to fish, Le Bernardin, is lauded as one of the world’s top restaurants. Here, chef serves simple, yet focused tributes to the ocean with a mixed French- and Japanese-influenced chef’s tasting menu, or shorter four course prix-fixe. One of his most famous dishes is a plate adorned with paper-thin slices of yellowtail, draped over a thin rectangle of foie gras.
With its seaside shack aesthetic, Littleneck delivers precisely what one would expect: fresh, unfussy seafood. Choose from various seafood plateaus, rolls stuffed with crab or lobster, and plated dishes from pan-seared halibut to fisherman’s stew. Vital update: After a decade of business, ownership passed the torch to a new team that’s currently steering the ship.
LoLo's Seafood Shack
With its wooden beams and beach shack design, this vibrantly-hued hut in the heart of Harlem offers an instant trip to the Caribbean. Inspired by the casual seafood spots one encounters in the British West Indies, at LoLo’s, drop in for everything from conch fritters to coconut shrimp to a shrimp, crawfish or snow crab legs seafood boil—all prepared with sustainably-sourced ocean animals.
From the team behind fan favorite Los Tacos No. 1 comes this Mexican seafood-focused joint, inspired by mariscos spots in Baja and Tijuana. Located inside Chelsea Market and decked out with a classic Mexican blue, yellow, and white motif, Los Mariscos is one of those casual, order-at-a-counter-and-seat-yourself situations. Try the batter-fried fish tacos, or choose from ceviche and aguachile options studded with a mix of shrimp, scallop, clams, and fish.
What began as a single shop in the East Village has, over the last decade-plus, expanded across the U.S., and as far as Japan. Beloved for its namesake crustacean, Luke’s Lobster specializes in lobster rolls packed with rich Maine lobster meat, served on buttery New England-style split-top buns. Choose from Connecticut (butter) or New English-style (mayo), or opt for alternative fillings like crab and shrimp.
There is no better place in all of NYC to sip absinthe-spiked cocktails while slurping the freshest of shellfish than at Brooklyn’s beloved, New Orleans-style cocktail bar and oyster den, Maison Premiere. After a decade of business and a brief shutter, the iconic bar is back with its marble horseshoe counter and vintage three-piece suit-dressed servers. We recommend reserving a seat in the lush rear garden.
Mary's Fish Camp
Claiming a cozy corner plot with large windows overlooking Charles St., for the last two decades this West Village seafood staple has plated some of the city’s freshest catch, along with assorted raw bar options and a designated counter from which to try them. At Mary’s Fish Camp, seafood options range from classic preps like peel ‘n’ eat shrimp to crispy monkfish baos with sriracha.
Pearl Oyster Bar
Grab a seat at the counter up front for a concise menu of the season’s best seafood. At Pearl Oyster Bar, think classic options that range from a full raw bar to white wine-steamed mussels and New England clam chowder. The focus here is on simplicity and high-quality ocean animals, nothing is overly fussy, but there's a good reason this place is perpetually packed.
Sustainably sourced oysters on a vintage schooner is the vibe at Pilot, a seasonal seafood engagement parked by Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Think stunning Manhattan skyline views and plates of chilled seafood, like scallop ceviche, and hot preps like a lobster roll, along with lighter-style citrus-forward cocktails.
Named after a type of prawn that’s ubiquitous in the Mediterranean, Scampi is chef PJ Calapa’s three-year-old ode to Southern Italian cooking that highlights all that’s fresh from the sea. Calapa is bringing in as much as he can to procure from local waters, like clams and tuna via Montauk, while sourcing other ocean animals from the Massachusetts and New Jersey coast. Don’t miss his fresh pastas, including the restaurant’s namesake, mafaldini scampi, accented with butter and lemon.