When I travel to the Big Apple, there are many things in mind that I want to do during my trips, such as Times Square, Broadway shows, and all the shopping. However, the most crucial thought revolves around what restaurants I will dine at during my time there.
One of my favorite meals is seafood, lobster in particular. Therefore, I always make it a point to visit as many seafood restaurants in NYC as possible during my visit. I also love to include a variety of experiences in the restaurants that I go to, including some casual atmosphere locations and a few more formal environments. New York City has no shortage of either variety. With all the different restaurants I have tried out in the city, I decided to create a list of where to get the best seafood in NYC. You will find a mix of NYC seafood restaurants within this list – check out my list of the best seafood restaurants in NYC below!
Pearl Oyster Bar
18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014
If you are taking in a show at the Comedy Cellar, you have to make time to stop at Pearl Oyster Bar for dinner and drinks too. Located between Cornelia and 6th Avenue, you’ll find Pearl Oyster in the same vicinity as Le Gigot and Silver Apricot. Pearl Oyster Bar got its start back when you couldn’t find a lobster roll anywhere in New York City. Its founder, Pearl Kennebunk, is a self-taught chef who brought a popular dish from her childhood to the people of New York City. The top menu items at Pearl Oyster Bar are the famous lobster roll and the blueberry pie. You can even buy Kennebunk’s cookbook to prepare them yourself at home!
420 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
Nestled within the West Village, you will find The Clam. Located across the street from the beautiful James J. Walker Park, you can enjoy an incredible meal before meeting up with friends for bocce ball. The founder and head chef, Mike Price, offers an extensive menu with local and seasonal items to ensure top quality and freshness. My favorite items on the menu come from The Clam’s Raw Bar. From there, you can choose between oysters, jumbo shrimp, littleneck clams, or a clam dip. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Follow them up with the fried clam and lobster sliders, and you will have a match made in heaven!
155 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019,
Located in the Diamond District of New York City, smack dab in between W 51st and W 52nd streets, is the french eatery, Le Bernardin. Its founder, Maguy Le Coze, came up with the idea of Le Bernardin to honor her childhood hometown in France. Her grandfather was a local fisherman during her childhood, and her parents owned a small inn and restaurant. From there, the dream of a seafood restaurant began. One of the best items on their menu, in my humble opinion, is the sea trout. The description alone will make your mouth water in anticipation: “Lightly Smoked Sea Trout Tartare; Meyer Lemon Jelly Black Pepper Crisp, Vodka Crème Fraîche.”
Sitting right in the heart of all the NYC tourist spots is one of the Estiatorio Milos. You are steps away from Times Square, Central Park, and Broadway. Not only is this a great restaurant choice, but it’s a unique one. At Estiatorio Milos, you get a full three-course lunch. Be sure to come hungry, because you will need to be for this meal. You can also order a la carte and take part in brunch on the weekends at Estiatorio Milos. Do not miss out on the Salmon tartare with Spanish caviar, yogurt, and greek potatoes if you are going the brunch route. I could eat it every day!
55 Bond St, New York, NY 10012
When I first heard about this restaurant, I couldn’t help but laugh—such a funny name for a fantastic eatery. You cannot miss it on Bond Street in NoHo. The vibrantly colored awning has your attention from blocks away. And the quality of the food relates to the clever name, as in Asia the best part of the fish is the lean and tender meat of the fish cheeks! Chef Ohm Suansilphong serves up excellent entrees family style that will have you begging for more. I adored the Prawn Karee and the Prawn Aob Woosen. There’s no way I could pick which of the two is best; they are both winners in my book!
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
If the name doesn’t give it away, the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant is located within the Grand Central Station. As you eat, you will be surrounded by the iconic interior depicted in so many movies and television shows worldwide. This seafood restaurant is not one that you need to worry about a dress code. With the red-checkered tablecloths and laid-back atmosphere, you don’t need to worry about looking your best. And, as the name also suggests, you cannot go wrong with the oysters that they serve up.
240 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
If you are searching for a more appropriate date night venue, Marea is the route to take. Located within Central Park, the Michelin star restaurant has a culture that emphasizes perfection, and their food reflects that. As their website states: “Marea attracts those who don’t chase luxury, but who live it by elevating life’s moments.” Therefore, secure the reservation, dress to the nines, and enjoy a fabulous meal! Chef Molly Nickerson will serve up a meal so unique and delicious that one date night might turn into two! Start your meal off with the Tartare di Tonno appetizer and continue with the Aragosta entree. Don’t forget to check out their wine menu while you’re there; they will have the perfect pairing for the meal of your choice.
Mary’s Fish Camp
64 Charles St, New York, NY 10014
Located in the West Village of New York City, less than half a mile from Washington Square Park and the Hudson River Park Trust is Mary’s Fish Camp. Although it doesn’t sound like a restaurant in their name, it is one of the most popular seafood establishments in the area. Located right on the corner of Charles and West 4th, it is easy to find and easily accessible by public transit. When visiting Mary’s Fish Camp, you should highly consider bouillabaisse. You will get shrimp, as well as lobster, scallops, squid, cod, mussels, and clams with this dish. They will all come in a Tomato Saffron Broth with a Garlic Crouton, Saffron Aioli. You can’t go wrong with a meal like that!
89 South St, New York, NY 10038
Waterfront restaurants are the absolute best, and that is the focal point of The Fulton. Located directly on the East River, you will have a direct view of the Brooklyn Bridge while dining on some of the best seafood the city has to offer, prepared by world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.If you can tear your eyes away from the beautiful sights, you should indulge in my favorite menu appetizer at The Fulton – The sashimi with Spicy White Ponzu. The taste of this dish is very unlike your typical sashimi, and the spicy white ponzu will surprise you in the best possible way!
280 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
If you are looking for a quick lunch or dinner of, well, fish – you should definitely visit Fish on Bleecker Street. Located between 7th Avenue and Morton Street, the tiny little eatery is a local hotspot that serves up all your seafood staples in a no-frills atmosphere. If you get there early enough, try out the catch of the day. This menu item will change depending on the day and what high-quality fish the local fishermen catch. You can’t go wrong with this option; their freshness is unmatched. However, the other menu prospects are excellent choices as well, including the Happy Hour oysters!
945 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022
Have you ever heard of a Drink Like a Fish brunch? It is definitely something you don’t want to miss out on when in NYC. Crave Fishbar has a 90-minute brunch with an unlimited brunch and beverage option. You can fill yourself up with fantastic brunch seafood and take in as many cocktails and beers as you see fit during that time! Located in Midtown East, on the corner of 2nd Avenue and East 50th Street, you can dine at New York City’s first 100% sustainable seafood restaurant. The chefs combine global flavors and unique ingredients to create one-of-a-kind dishes for their guests. Be sure to hit them up during Happy Hour for New York City’s best oyster deal.
120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020
Only a few blocks away from Radio City Music Hall, on West 49th Street, is Oceana. With head chefs Michael Aungst and Tim Jocz working side by side, they turn out some of the best dishes in the Diamond District. One of the most extraordinary experiences at Oceana is the tasting menu. From there, you can select from a variety of appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drinks. Although I found it hard to choose just one from each category, it was great to taste new items and indulge a bit with an incredible dessert. If you are looking for a fun dining event to partake in, Oceana’s tasting menu takes the cake!
75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
As I mentioned, lobster is my go-to Seafood dish. So you know when I saw the name “Lobster Place” I was all over it. What’s even better is that it is directly across from the Starbucks Roastery on 9th Avenue in Chelsea. Therefore, after enjoying a substantial meal of lobster, I could wobble across the street for a cup of coffee to keep me awake. Not only is Lobster Place a family-owned and operated restaurant, but it doubles as a seafood market. You can pop in for a quick meal (no reservations required) or pick up something to make for dinner at home.
288 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Littleneck has a great story behind the fantastic menu. In 2019 the original owners were looking to move on from the restaurant industry. Three friends who had worked together in different restaurants throughout the years partnered to keep the business alive. Through the transition period and Covid, they persevered and have achieved their dreams as well. The three partners and joint head chefs, Alisa, Andy, and Dante, come together to offer fantastic dishes to the Gowanus area of Brooklyn, not far from the Union Street station. Join them for brunch, where you can combine a plate of lemon ricotta pancakes with their incredible New England Clam chowder. And you can’t go wrong with the clam toast either!
Crab House Contactless Seafood Buffet
135 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022
A seafood buffet? Yes, please! There is very little that makes me happier than all you can eat seafood. And the best part is that it is contactless, making it a safe option for everyone. Being only a few blocks from Tramway Plaza off of Lexington Avenue, it is centrally located and easy to get to. I could eat their lobster with Cajun butter sauce during my entire visit to the Crab House. However, I understand the need to try new things. Therefore, I also recommend that you try the raw clams and the steamed sea bass while you are there. Perfection!
750 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
For those looking for a bit of cajun flavor with their seafood, Aqua Boil will provide that for you. Located just east of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Hell’s Kitchen, you won’t be able to miss this eclectic and uniquely designed space that has the most amazing boils you’ll ever eat. If you have picky eaters in your group, order some of the macaroni and cheese. They have several varieties on their menu, including lobster mac and jambalaya mac. For the boiled section, you can’t go wrong with the crawfish or the King Crab legs. The menu also has sandwiches like the shrimp po’boy and the lobster roll that are popular with diners.
123 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019
Before heading out to Ocean Prime, one thing to know is that this MOMA adjacent restaurant has attire guidelines for its diners. Per their company website: “Ocean Prime strives to provide an elegant, fine dining atmosphere. Our associates’ priority is to ensure your experience is memorable. We ask that our guests choose attire that is both polished and suited to our restaurant.” Therefore, this establishment is better suited for a date night or special occasion than a family dinner on vacation. With its location in the center of the theater district, Ocean Prime provides a special theater menu for those coming from or going to a show in the area. The menu includes three separate courses, of which you can choose between several options. The blackened snapper is one of the most popular options to choose from on the theater menu.
Upstate Craft Beer & Oyster Bar
95 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003
If you find yourself in Ukrainian Village with a craving for oysters and a craft beer, you are in luck. The Upstate Craft Beer & Oyster Bar is located right on the corner of 1st and 5th Avenue in the village, and they provide a steady rotation of seasonal seafood items. Not only can you grab your favorite craft beer, but you can sit down to feast on one-of-a-kind caviar or clam fettuccine. Upstate is only open for dinner hours, so be sure to plan accordingly. Take it from me; you do not want to go without this dining opportunity.
You may think that Flex Mussels is a place to visit to get in a good workout session. Alas, it is not. But don’t be disappointed because it is a fantastic seafood restaurant with two separate New York City locations. Whether you are in Manhattan or Greenwich Village, you can visit Flex Mussels for scrumptious entrees. As you can tell by the name, the restaurant specializes in mussels. And they have no shortage of mussel options for your visit. Some of my absolute favorites are the Parma (with parmesan cream, lemon, scallions, toasted garlic, and crispy shallots) and the Oaxacan (with chorizo, roasted chile, tomato, lime, cilantro, hominy). They have options for all taste buds, so you are bound to find a good fit!
Ed’s Lobster Bar
155 Grand St, New York, NY 10013
When you are in SoHo, you have the luxury of traveling to the corner of Grand and Lafayette to partake in the wonder that is Ed’s Lobster Bar. You know my love of lobster, but this restaurant goes above that. There is lobster in every form imaginable. I can say without a doubt that you will not find fault with any of the menu items. The options are endless: lobster ravioli, Ed’s Signature Lobster Roll, Henry’s Lobster Mac, and Cheese, Lobster Grilled Cheese. I can’t pick just one. It’s like being a kid in a candy shop for me when I’m at Ed’s!
139 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002
Next to The Bowery in lower Manhattan is another Cajun seafood boil option for your venture to New York City. The simplified nature of The Boil takes the stress out of selecting the perfect menu item for your meal. When you visit The Boil, you order your choice of seafood by the pound and specify which sauce and spice you desire. That’s all there is to it! Are you looking to add some catfish, gumbo, or fried calamari to your meal? The Boil has that available as well! With a focus on bringing a bit of New Orleans to New York City, you’ll get a taste of the south in the big apple. Don’t forget to try the Boil Special sauce!
Cull and Pistol Oyster Bar
75 Ninth Avenue, Market, New York, NY 10011
Did you know that a cull is a lobster that has lost one claw? Additionally, did you know that a pistol is a lobster that has lost both of its claws? Well, now you do, and you know the origin behind the name Cull and Pistol Oyster Bar. Found in the heart of Chelsea Market, you will get Michelin award-winning food with a top-notch seasonal menu.Affiliated with Lobster Place, you will get the same quality and freshness that the market provides, but in a separate setting. One of the most incredible menu choices that Cull and Pistol provide is the crab cake burger. With an oversized crab cake and a house remoulade, you will want to order ten more for the road!
Sea Fire Grill
158 E 48th St Between 3rd and Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10017
If you find yourself in Midtown East, you have to take the time to stop into Sea Fire Grill next to the Residence Inn by Marriott New York Manhattan/Midtown East and The Lexington Hotel, Autograph Collection. The priority that the chefs at Sea Fire Grill hold are to have consistent execution in every meal. With that in mind, and by looking at the company website’s menu item images, you know that you are in for a treat. The blackened Montauk swordfish with tartar sauce and avocado mousse will awaken your palette and drive you to want seconds.
142 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012
Owned by John McDonald of Lure chain fame, Lure Fishbar NY is one of several restaurants throughout the United States. However, it is only one of three seafood restaurants in the Lure chain. Located between SoHo and the Bowery, Lure Fishbar is a popular attraction with locals and tourists alike. One of the many unique menu items that Lure Fishbar offers is the Sea Urchin Bucatini pasta. This novel dish will quickly become a staple with blue crab, toasted garlic, crushed red pepper, and pangrattato. The Seared Diver Scallops are also a fantastic meal option that will leave you satisfied.
233 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10003
Park Avenue South, especially between Gramercy Park and Union Square Park, is littered with restaurants of all shapes and sizes. However, Oceans – located at 233 Park Avenue South – is one of the top eateries in the area and should not be passed on. Executive Chef Andy Kitko uses Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean influences to create a unique menu specific to New York City. Not only can you choose from an array of sushi rolls and sashimi, but you can also dive into their classic entrees. Some of the most popular options at Oceans include the Faroe Island Salmon and the Chilean Sea Bass.
99 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
Located in the Seagram Building in Midtown East is The Pool, an event center and top New York City seafood restaurant. Operating as a bit of a hidden secret in the big apple, tourists often overlook The Pool, although it deserves much more acclaim! The Pool serves both lunch and dinner and offers everything from caviar to sea urchin toast and everything in between. If you aren’t in the mood for seafood (if that’s even possible), they also have steak entrees on the menu that come highly rated. The cocktails are superior to other restaurants and bars in the area, and it is vital to try all of the desserts available.
298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
In the center of Brooklyn, right around the corner from the Williamsburg Cinemas and between Grand and South 1st, is Maison Premiere Oyster Bar. With a predominately oyster-based menu, you will find a large selection of different recipes and flavors. There are oysters available from all over the United States and Canada that you can buy in various quantities. Not an oyster fan? They also have a few clam dishes to choose from during your visit. Take your pick, and then let the bartender mix you up a special drink to celebrate the evening.