Where to Get the Freshest Seafood in Raleigh

Best known for its extensive number of universities and oak trees, the capital city of Raleigh, North Carolina, is one destination you don’t want to skip if you’re planning a trip across the East Coast.

salmon steak dish at Raleigh seafood restaurants

I love spending extra time at the city’s museums and botanical gardens to immerse myself in its rich setting. Raleigh is also an excellent dining hub for avid food lovers.

If you’re in the mood for quality seafood, like crab or salmon, you can find several great dining destinations with immersive atmospheres.

Can’t decide where to eat during your stay? Then, check out my list of the best seafood restaurants in Raleigh.

42nd Street Oyster Bar

508 W Jones St, Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: 919-831-2811
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If you’re in the North Boylan neighborhood, one of the best restaurants in Raleigh you should consider visiting is 42nd Street Oyster Bar.

This casual restaurant offers a lively atmosphere where guests can unwind after a long day. They also have an extensive, award-winning wine list.

I recommend ordering their Shrimp & Crabmeat Fettuccine, Fried Popcorn Shrimp, Snow Crab Legs, or Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with fries, cole slaw, or a baked sweet potato on the side.

I prefer pairing my meal with a refreshing iced tea or lemonade. Don’t forget to indulge in their French Silk Pie or Apple Pie with Rum Sauce for dessert.

N.C. Seafood Restaurant at the Farmers Market

1201 Agriculture St, Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: 919-833-4661
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Next up on my list of the best seafood restaurants in Raleigh is N.C. Seafood Restaurant at the Farmers Market, west of the Caraleigh neighborhood.

For over 30 years, this laid-back eatery has served quality Calabash-style seafood for locals and tourists alike.

If you’re interested in their Calabash-style dishes, consider sampling their Trout, Catfish, Clam Strips, or Sea Scallops. The best sides to pair with these seafood options are home fries, cole slaw, or hushpuppies.

If you’re extra hungry, you can try a combo plate with two or three menu items of your choice. Then, finish with their Chocolate Pie.

Bonefish Grill

4421 Six Forks Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-782-5127
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Don’t know where to find seafood restaurants near the North Hills Mall with a casual, contemporary atmosphere?

Then, consider visiting Bonefish Grill for a creative seafood-centric menu and cocktails. They also offer online ordering and delivery services for anyone too busy to stay for lunch or dinner.

Don’t miss out on their Wood-Fired Rainbow Trout, Blackened Baja Fish Tacos, Cod Imperial, or Cold Water Lobster Tails.

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These dishes taste best with a Bonefish Pomegranate Martini and creamed spinach or jasmine rice on the side.

They also offer a gluten-free menu. My go-to dessert options are their Key Lime Cake and Classic Cheesecake.

Cape Fear Seafood Company

832 Spring Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 984-242-4600
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An excellent family-friendly restaurant you should consider visiting is Cape Fear Seafood Company, a mile northwest of Switchyard Theatre Company.

It has a relaxed and casual atmosphere where guests can enjoy dishes made with high-quality ingredients.

They also offer outdoor seating. During my last few visits to Raleigh, I started with their Crab Scampi Risotto and Rockefeller Toast.

Then, I ordered their Lemon Pepper Sea Scallops, Alaskan Snow Crab Legs, Smoked Salmon Alfredo, and Fried Flounder.

I prefer eating these entrees with a side of roasted potatoes or green beans. Their best cocktails are Ocean Isle Iced Tea and Pineapple Citrus Sangria.

Cortez Seafood and Cocktail

413 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: 919-342-8227
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Cortez Seafood and Cocktail is a casual and breezy seafood spot in the Glenwood South neighborhood.

It has a tropical aesthetic and offers visitors Mexican-style cocktails and small plates prepared by Executive Chef Oscar Diaz.

They also offer cozy outdoor seating on days with good weather. If you’re dining with your friends or family, start with their Chargrilled Octopus or Oyster Shooter.

Then, try their N.C. Snapper Ceviche, Coctel Mixto, or Hamachi + Tuna Crudo. Don’t forget to ask your server about their rotating craft beers and best wine pairings.

I love ordering their Fried Churros whenever I want dessert.

Raleigh Crab House

4538 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27604
Phone: 919-322-0304
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Nestled within the Fairway North neighborhood, Raleigh Crab House is your best option for delicious New Orleans Cajun-style seafood dishes.

Its rustic interior design incorporates a nautical look made with quality timber, emphasizing its laid-back and casual ambiance.

You can customize a seafood platter with at least two menu items. During my last visit to the city, I enjoyed one with lobster tails, shrimp with no heads, and snow crab legs.

You can also try one of their fried seafood baskets with corn or Cajun fries on the side. They also have a kid’s menu for kids under eight and tasty cheesecake dessert options.

Jack’s Seafood Restaurant

5416 Rock Quarry Rd, Raleigh, NC 27610
Phone: 919-329-8125
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Located within the Pearl Ridge neighborhood, Jack’s Seafood Restaurant offers affordable fried seafood for anyone looking for a quick bite.

Its casual atmosphere makes it a popular dining destination for families. They also offer classic soul food menu options.

Their best seafood dinner options are Tilapia, Shrimp Burger, Croaker Sandwich, and Catfish. You can order these dishes with a side of shrimp or oysters.

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They also offer two-way and three-way combos any seafood lover will enjoy. I love enjoying a refreshing glass of lemonade with my meal after a long, hot day.

Be sure to ask your server about their house-made desserts.

Mayflower Seafood Restaurant

3301 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27604
Phone: 919-875-9007
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You can find Mayflower Seafood Restaurant within walking distance from the Adventure Landing water theme park.

This family-owned and operated restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy great food after a long day.

Their menu offers a wide selection of broiled, fried, and steamed entrees you and your friends or family can enjoy.

I like their Fried Crab Cake Platter, Steamed Snow Crab Legs, and Broiled Salmon with onion rings or applesauce on the side.

They also offer daily specials all week, a kid’s menu, and senior platters. If you want something sweet, end your night with their Red Velvet Cake.

Oak City Fish and Chips

Multiple locations
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With locations in the Depot Historic District and Farmington Square Shopping Center, Oak City Fish and Chips is another great dining option if you’re looking for a quick bite.

This casual food truck serves fried seafood baskets bursting with crispy flavors. Each of their seafood baskets comes with a side of fries.

I recommend their Fried Oyster, Fried Lobster, Fried Calamari, or Fried Scallops. If you’re extra hungry, order their double, triple, or quad baskets with the menu items of your choice.

I like adding a side of brown sugar hushpuppies to give my basket an extra burst of flavor.

Captain Stanley’s Seafood

3333 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: 919-779-7878

Captain Stanley’s Seafood is a family-owned and operated eatery located about a mile east of the Renaissance Park neighborhood. They specialize in making quality Calabash-style seafood in a casual setting.

It’s a great place to stop for lunch and dinner after a day of exploring the city’s most popular attractions. The best appetizers you should consider starting with are their Shrimp Cocktail and Clam Chowder.

Then, order their Shrimp Burger, Deviled Crabs, Stuffed Shrimp, or Alaskan Whitefish with crab cakes, a baked potato, or a grilled shrimp skewer on the side.

If you have time for dessert, try their Key Lime Pie.

Cousins Maine Lobster Restaurant – Raleigh

411 W Morgan St, Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: 919-867-6203
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Nestled within the Morgan Street Food Hall, Cousins Maine Lobster Restaurant – Raleigh is one of the city’s best seafood spots for New England-style specialty lobster dishes.

It has a casual atmosphere with outdoor seating. They also offer catering services for any occasion. I love stopping by for dinner after spending time at CAM Raleigh.

I’m a fan of their Lobster Grilled Cheese & Tots, Shrimp Tacos, Chowder Tots, and Connecticut Lobster Roll.

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They also sell take-home lobster roll kits for anyone interested in cooking these delectable treats. If you want something extra with your meal, pair it with Cape Cod chips.

Crab Du Jour Cajun Seafood & Bar

6320 Plantation Center Dr, Raleigh, NC 27616
Phone: 919-803-2016
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If you prefer a more relaxed setting when dining alone or with others, consider stopping by to eat at Crab Du Jour Cajun Seafood & Bar.

You can find it in the Plantation Point Shopping Center. It has a warm, relaxed atmosphere, perfect for enjoying Louisiana-style shellfish.

Consider starting with their Bang Bang Shrimp or Steamed Oysters before ordering their Soft Shell Crab Basket, Crab Cake Slider, Seafood Gumbo, or Seafood Pasta.

Enhance your meal’s flavor with a side order of sweet potato fries, Cajun fries, or corn on the cob and a refreshing Du Jour Punch or Pirate Mule cocktail.

Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls – North Hills- Raleigh

4121 Main at North Hills St Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 984-202-8907
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Anyone craving quality Maine lobster rolls shouldn’t skip visiting Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls – North Hills – Raleigh while checking out the city’s local shopping centers.

This casual seafood restaurant sources lobsters from Maine and uses traditional preparation methods to ensure authentic flavors for every dish.

Don’t miss out on their Lobster BLT Roll, Lobster Grilled Cheese, Connecticut Roll, or Lobster Mac & Cheese with a side of Cape Cod chips or potato salad.

I like pairing my lobster entrees with sweet tea or bottled water. They also offer lobster rolls with gluten-free buns for anyone with specific dietary preferences.

If you have room for something sweet, try their Whoopie Pie.

Poke Burri

6613 Falls of Neuse Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615
Phone: 919-615-4016
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Another one of the best seafood restaurants in Raleigh is Poke Burri, an Asian fusion dining destination with a casual and bright ambiance.

You can find it in the Falls Village Shopping Center. They offer over-the-counter poke and burrito bowls, perfect for anyone who prefers taking their meals to go.

I prefer starting with their Crab Salad Crunch or Spicy Tuna Nachos before having their Tangy Crab & Shrimp Poke Bowl, Ken-Se Philly Roll, or Dynamite Bowl.

I usually pair my meal with dragon fruit lemonade or Thai iced tea. You can also customize a poke bowl with the protein, veggies, sauces, and toppings of your liking.

Red Lobster

4408 Old Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-872-5608
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Last but not least on this list of the best seafood restaurants in Raleigh is Red Lobster, located near the Belair neighborhood.

Enjoy a great meal in a lively New England-themed setting made with sustainable, wild-caught, and farm-raised ingredients.

After starting with their Crab-Stuffed Shrimp Rangoon or Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms, try their Lobster Linguine, Atlantic Salmon, Live Maine Lobster, or Crunch-Fried Flounder Sandwich with a side of bacon mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, or orzo rice.

Be sure to ask your server about their soft drink and domestic beer options. If you’re interested in dessert, order their Brownie Overboard, Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, or Chocolate Wave.

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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.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Google Guide and Facebook.