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13 Best Seafood Restaurants in Chicago

shrimp at chicago illinois seafood restaurant

Immerse yourself in the briny delights of Chicago as we unveil the city’s Best Seafood Restaurants, where ocean-fresh flavors and culinary excellence converge to create an unparalleled dining experience. From classic seafood joints offering time-honored favorites to upscale establishments redefining the seafood landscape, Chicago’s maritime offerings are as diverse as its neighborhoods. Each restaurant on our curated list is a testament to the city’s dedication to delivering top-notch seafood, promising a feast for the senses. Whether you’re a seasoned seafood enthusiast or a newcomer eager to explore, join us in savoring the diverse and exquisite offerings that make Chicago a haven for lovers of maritime culinary delights. Get ready to dive into a world of briny indulgence in the heart of the Windy City.


Shaw’s Crab House

21 E Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60611
312-527-2722
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Shaw's Crab House Chicago
Source: Instagram

A 1940s-style oyster bar and seafood joint, Shaw’s Crab House sits just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan and the Chicago Riverwalk. With parks and famous attractions all around, Shaw’s is a popular destination for anyone looking to hop inside for a quick bite of delicious seafood. Serving the Chicago community since the 1980s, Shaw’s Crab House uses only the freshest seafood available, flying it in daily from their skilled sources. If you get a chance to stop for lunch, make sure you try the Maryland Style Crab Cake. Paired with a cup of Seafood Gumbo and the Parmesan Crusted Haddock, I had the best day of my life enjoying the fare at Shaw’s Crab House.


Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

60 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
312-379-5637
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Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab Chicago
Source: Instagram

This surf ‘n’ turf restaurant features classic steak and seafood dishes, served in style by the classiest wait staff I’ve ever seen. Sitting on East Grand Avenue, just blocks away from Navy Pier, Joe’s is one of those Chicago gems you don’t want to miss. Joe’s began in Miami Beach over 100 years ago. Still one of the premier seafood shops in the country, the legacy lives on at this Chicago hub. The dinner menu is busting with delicious seafood options. Start with The Whale, an appetizer that includes a beautiful assortment of crab, lobster tails, and shrimp. I recommend taking a group and enjoying these works of art together.


Mfk. Restaurant

432 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614
773-857-2540
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Mfk. Restaurant Chicago
Source: Instagram

Located just across the street from Lincoln Park, this charming little place is unforgettable. Inspired by a relaxing day on the seashore, Mfk. Restaurant specializes in offering rare seafood experiences. Mfk. is an award-winning joint that opened in 2014. Inspired by Spain’s Catalan and Basque regions, the casual seafood restaurant delights each customer with simple cuisine that tastes divine. When you stop by for dinner – and I strongly urge you to stop by for dinner – make sure you start with the ciabatta. Served with Maldon Butter and Garlic Olive Oil, it’s the perfect way to kick off your adventure. I suggest you follow that up with the Spanish Tortilla with Baked Salt Cod Brandade and pickled shallots.

See also  16 Best Rooftop Bars in Chicago

Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House

1024 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611
312-640-0999
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Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House Chicago
Source: Instagram

Sitting off North Rush Street only blocks from the Museum of Contemporary Art and the John Hancock Tower, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House offers an upscale seafood experience unlike any other. Hugo’s boasts a delicious variety of seafood and a delightful selection of cocktails, beer, and wine with other locations in Naperville and Des Plaines. I started with a small bowl of New England Clam Chowder. That was a solid choice. Moving on to the fresh fish menu, I tried the Planked Lake Superior Whitefish for something local, and it was excellent. The Summer Fever Gin & Tonic paired with it beautifully and left me feeling satisfied.


The Angry Crab

Multiple locations
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The Angry Crab Chicago
Source: Instagram

The Angry Crab boasts two Chicago locations. The south location on North Milwaukee Avenue sits between Goose Island to the east and Humboldt Park to the west. The other place on North Lincoln Avenue makes its home a few blocks west of Rosehill Cemetery. This popular casual Cajun joint is opening a third location in 2022 in Melrose Park. Part of Angry Crab’s charm comes from management, allowing guests to bring their beer or wine along for just a $3 corkage fee. On my visit, I started with the Cajun-Garlic French Fries. Feeling like oysters, I checked out the California Char-Grilled with tomato, cilantro, and lime. If oysters aren’t your thing, the catch of the day is always a great bet!


Ocean Prime

87 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601
312-428-4344
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Ocean Prime Chicago
Source: Instagram

On the south bank of the Chicago River, just west of the historic DuSable Bridge and Chicago Riverwalk, the upscale chain known as Ocean Prime sits ready and waiting. With a sophisticated feel and a timeless menu, Ocean Prime is an essential Chicago experience. Created by the famous, award-winning Cameron Mitchel Restaurants, Ocean Prime in Chicago is one of 17 locations across the United States. Each location focuses on channeling the energy of its city and serving its community well. If you’re a sushi fan, I suggest going straight for the Ahi Tuna Tartare. Pair that with the lovely French Onion soup and follow it all up with the Warm Butter Cake. Served with fresh berries and raspberry sauce, it’s the perfect end to an excellent meal.


Half Shell

676 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614
773-549-1773
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Half Shell Chicago
Source: Instagram

You get the outstanding neighborhood joint Half Shell when you combine a pub and seafood. Started in 1968 by Chicago native Danny Denizman, Half Shell is now owned and operated by Danny’s grandson. On West Diversey Parkway, Half Shell looks like a basement tavern with a raw bar. Half Shell is Chicago’s longest-running crab house, an excellent testament to the strength of the legacy of a family business. Knowing the history made me fall in love with Half Shell before I ever walked through the doors. And then I tried the Shrimp Po’Boy, and I never looked back. It’s now one of my favorite places in all of the Midwest.

See also  Top 16 Restaurants in Uptown Chicago

Brown Bag Seafood Co.

Multiple locations
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Brown Bag Seafood Co. Chicago
Source: Instagram

There’s no question that Brown Bag Seafood Co. is a popular seafood restaurant. With eight different locations throughout Chicago, you can stop at Brown Bag no matter what side of the city you’re visiting. With two other locations in Atlanta, Georgia, Brown Bag Seafood Co. offers delicious seafood at a reasonable price. Since opening in 2014, the company has sought to create a unique seafood experience with a highly approachable atmosphere. With various options that you can mix and match, you can’t go wrong at Brown Bag Seafood Co. First, you pick your seafood, then the way you want it prepared (in a sandwich, taco, salad, etc.), and then add a unique side. I tried the Lobster Roll with Truffle-Parm Tots and was blown away.


Lowcountry

Multiple locations
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Lowcountry Chicago
Source: Instagram

Lowcountry is a casual, Southern-style seafood joint with three locations around Chicago – one in South Loop, one in Lakeview, and one in Chinatown. Whichever one you pick to try, you’re in for a treat. For six years, Lowcountry has been serving some of the best seafood Chicago has to offer. In its simple, homestyle way, Lowcountry provides a relaxing experience that centers around the most important thing: food. The ordering is simple: you fill a bag (yes, a bag) with protein, sauce, and some sides. You choose how hot you want it, all the way from Weak to Ridiculously Hot – which is, in fact, ridiculously hot. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss.


Boston Fish Market

1225 Forest Ave, Des Plaines, IL 60018
847-803-2100
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Boston Fish Market Chicago
Source: Instagram

Located on Forest Avenue in Des Plaines, west of the central Chicago hub, you’ll find a lovely little spot called Boston Fish Market. This full-service market features fresh and frozen options from all around, with various unique choices to make the shopping experience worthwhile. The Boston Fish Market was opened by Louie, a man from Greece who dreamed all his life of opening a Mediterranean-style fish market in America. Now the executive chef, Louie makes everything fresh and in-house. The seafood dinner options come charbroiled with roasted vegetables and wild rice. The Scottish Salmon is absolutely divine. And I highly recommend trying the Gulf Red Snapper.


RPM Seafood

317 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
312-900-9035
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RPM Seafood Chicago
Source: Instagram

Overlooking the Chicago River, RPM Seafood is an excellent place to enjoy quality food sourced from the best possible ingredients. This upscale dining experience will leave you pleasantly stuffed and yet ready for another delicious round. I suggest starting with the Citrus-Cured Salmon served with Thai vinaigrette. Do yourself a favor and follow that up with the 24-ounce bone-in Swordfish Ribeye with coriander and herb oil. And when it’s time for dessert, the Hazelnut Praline will finish you off nicely. You won’t regret it, trust me. 

See also  17 Best Outdoor Dining in Chicago

Luke’s Lobster

134 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60602
312-982-2977
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Luke's Lobster Chicago
Source: Instagram

If you find yourself in the mood for Maine-style lobster rolls and maybe some old-fashioned clam chowder, then check out Luke’s Lobster in the heart of The Loop on North LaSalle Street. A family-owned, Maine-based seafood bar, Luke’s Lobster started in 2013 in Saco, Maine. With lobster shack locations across the United States, Japan, and Singapore, Luke’s Lobster is a fast-growing family business built around delivering quality lobster to the community. The Lobster Roll is the obvious choice for a real Luke’s Lobster experience. However, if you feel like some variety, I suggest grabbing Luke’s Trio. Featuring lobster, crab, and shrimp, it’s got all the goodies wrapped up in one dish.


Alegria’s Seafood Chicago

1024 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
773-252-7200
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Alegria's Seafood Chicago
Source: Instagram

On North Ashland Avenue, Alegria’s Seafood features a lively Mexican-style interior. It’s a bit snug, but that’s all part of the charm. Sitting down for an authentic Mexican-style seafood meal at Alegria’s is an experience unto itself. There’s nothing extravagant about Alegria’s. It’s a simple, no-frills restaurant focusing on good food and a good time. You can bring your beer and enjoy quality seafood with your closest friends. I suggest taking some pals along and trying one of the sharing plates. The Cangrejo Relleno features stuffed crab with special house sauce. It’s divine and will leave you feeling pleasantly satisfied.

Why Trust Us?

When it comes to local restaurant recommendations, we pride ourselves on being a reliable and trustworthy resource. Our suggestions are not just based on our personal experiences, ensuring a more authentic and well-rounded perspective, but also on extensive online research. We diligently searched the internet and reviewed 5 credible sites and blogs, including Chicago.eater.com and Tripadvisor.com. 

We compiled all the findings in one location and sorted them by the frequency of mentions to ensure you receive top-notch recommendations. We strive to present you with a curated list of establishments that truly stand out, allowing you to enjoy the best dining experiences possible. 

Interested in the sources we consulted? Check out the list of all 5 sites we referenced below this paragraph, offering transparency and an opportunity for our readers to explore further. Our commitment is to deliver trustworthy and unparalleled recommendations, helping you make informed decisions on your culinary journeys.

https://chicago.eater.com/maps/best-seafood-restaurants-in-chicago-map
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g35805-c33-Chicago_Illinois.html
https://www.timeout.com/chicago/restaurants/best-seafood-restaurants-in-chicago-lobster-crab-and-more
https://www.opentable.com/s/dinerschoice?metroid=3&topic=0735c10c-6ab6-46f6-87aa-8fe54397744d
https://www.gayot.com/restaurants/best-chicago-il-top10-seafoodrestaurants_5ch.html

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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