San Antonio is one of the most fun cities in all of America. They have a unique cultural scene, including the famed Riverwalk. There are a ton of things to do in San Antonio and a ton of great places to eat. San Antonio has excellent restaurants all over the city for all kinds of different cuisines, including TexMex and barbecue.
What you might not realize, though, is that San Antonio has some of the best seafood you’ll find anywhere. Because the city is so close to the Gulf Coast, you’ll find fresh, unique, delicious delicacies in many seafood restaurants you’ll go to. San Antonio definitely has a seafood restaurant to meet your tastes, from classic preparations to fun twists.
We start our tour at Smashin Crab. With three San Antonio locations (Alamo Ranch, Leon Valley, Stone Oak) and food trucks roaming the city, you’re never too far from a great seafood meal at Smashin Crab.
Every location offers up tasty fried seafood baskets and po’boy sandwiches, but their specialty is definitely their boils. Pick from a variety of fresh seafood, and add in sauces and add-ons like potato, sausage, and corn. Everything is steamed to perfection and served right to you. It’s a messy meal, but the way the boil brings everything together is spectacular.
Another San Antonio favorite is the Bourbon Street Seafood Kitchen. They have three convenient locations in the city, including one right on the Riverwalk. Bourbon Street offers elegant New Orleans-style cuisine in a fun setting. This is an excellent opportunity if you’ve never had New Orleans seafood or if you’ve had it many times.
The oysters Bourbon Street are a great starter. Topped with spinach, bacon, and cheese, they’re smoky, savory, and delicious. I also recommend the Creole pasta. It’s a penne pasta tossed in andouille sausage, chicken, bell peppers, and caramelized onions under a creamy marinara sauce. It’s stick-to-your-ribs food in the best possible way.
Get yourself over to Fish City Grill for a fun, seafood-centric meal. Both San Antonio locations, one on the West Loop and one on San Pedro Avenue, offer casual seafood classics in a relaxed atmosphere. Fish City Grill serves a variety of seafood tacos, all of which are fantastic. I particularly love the Serafin’s fish tacos.
A wonderfully-fried filet of tilapia pairs with cabbage, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, and an aioli inside a tortilla, all with your choice of side. The tacos are fried and griddled until it’s crispy. It’s the ideal pairing for one of Fish City Grill’s trio of margaritas!
Since starting in 1897, the Pappas family has focused their restaurants on French Quarter seafood recipes. Now in its’ fourth generation with two San Antonio locations, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen proudly carries on that tradition for hungry diners throughout the city.
One of the house’s specialties that I love is the Texas Redfish Pontchartrain. This is a pan-grilled redfish alongside jumbo lump crab and shrimp served with a brown-butter wine sauce over dirty rice. It’s amazing. For something simpler, Pappadeaux has a lot of fried seafood offerings that delight every time. If you’re so inclined, the restaurant has excellent New Orleans-style cocktails as well.
1834 N Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78248
Eddie V’s is a national chain, but don’t think that means you’re getting a low-quality meal. On the contrary, the Eddie V’s in San Antonio, right down the street from the Vineyard Shopping Center, is an upscale dining spot offering great seafood preparations and wine in a classy setting.
The restaurant offers excellent raw bar options, including chilled Gulf shrimp. These are served cocktail-style with atomic horseradish and spicy mustard for dipping. They’re great for you heatseekers! The parmesan sole is a beautiful entree. It’s crusted with parmesan, covered in a savory lemon-garlic butter sauce, and served with an heirloom tomato salad.
2559 Jackson Keller Rd, San Antonio, TX 78230
For a decidedly old-school kind of meal, try Ernesto’s Mexican Specialties. Nestled on Jackson Keller Road, Ernesto’s is famous for refined, classic Mexican food, focusing on seafood and nine signature sauces. The dining room is open and comfortable.
At Ernesto’s, I will usually get the special combination plate. It comes with portions of grilled shrimp, broiled lobster, and baked snapper stuffed with crabmeat. All that, plus white rice and tomato! You can pair with any of their sauces to complete the meal. I’m a fan of the Diabla, which combines chipotle peppers, butter, onions, and fresh garlic.
Access Road, 22211 W I-10, San Antonio, TX 78257
SILO Terrace Oyster Bar sits just a few minutes away from Friedrich Wilderness Park. SILO offers diners gourmet seafood and raw shellfish served out of a modern, sleek dining room. The views in and out of the dining room are absolutely spectacular!
Start your meal with items from the cold bar. The chilled seafood platter comes with various delicacies and is perfect for sharing. You can also keep the sharing theme up with SILO’s small plates. I love the chicken fried oysters, which are fried to a golden brown and served with spinach, braised pork belly, apples, and a mustard hollandaise for dipping.
El Bucanero serves fresh seafood in an authentic Mexican style. The decor is very casual, which allows you to focus on the flavor. El Bucanero has many locations in San Antonio and the surrounding area. Any location is a great option no matter where you are in the city.
If you’re at El Bucanero, try out the ceviche. This seafood soup is refreshing and delicious. You can get in a fish variety, a shrimp variety, or one of a few others. El Bucanero also serves excellent takes on the classic fried seafood plate. They come with french fries, a roll, and tartar sauce.
Sea Island Shrimp House is another local chain with several locations in and around San Antonio. Sea Island Shrimp House started right in San Antonio in 1965 and has been delighting diners with casual seafood dishes for over 50 years!
Any meal at Sea Island is incomplete if you don’t get their zesty Mahi-Mahi tacos. These come absolutely loaded with grilled fish, then topped with cabbage, tomato, avocado, queso fresco, and chipotle ranch. Spectacular! I’m also a fan of their signature charbroiled shrimp. It’s lightly breaded and skewered before being seasoned with lemon pepper and butter-grilled.
9502 Frontage Rd #101, San Antonio, TX 78230
210 Ceviche sits near the Vance Jackson part of San Antonio. Chef Luis Ortega comes from a line of fishers, and 210 Ceviche is his love letter to his heritage. The menu focuses on Mexican Pacific Coast flavors and the best, freshest seafood around.
The menu at 210 Ceviche is very focused. For a whole-fish experience, get the frito. Available in either red snapper or tilapia, a whole fish is marinated and served alongside steak fries and rice. For another option, try the salmon con alcaparras. This fresh salmon fillet comes sauteed and served under a terrific butter-caper sauce.
739 E César E. Chávez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78205
Chart House offers up high-end seafood with some of the best views in all of San Antonio. The restaurant sits high atop the Tower of the Americas, giving guests panoramic views at a height of 750 feet. It’s a truly unique experience!
The kim chee calamari is a beautiful starter. Lightly fried calamari served with tangy, spicy kimchi is a new experience but a welcome one. Chart House also specializes in seafood (one of mahi-mahi, swordfish, ahi, salmon, or sea bass) cooked either baked, sauteed, grilled, or blackened and served with a vegetable hash. Choose your favorite and enjoy.
517 N Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Landry’s Seafood House is a smaller chain, primarily operating out of Louisiana and Texas. On North Presa Street, their San Antonio location offers hearty takes on Gulf Coast seafood in a family-friendly atmosphere.
For something special, check out the salmon Louisiane. This blackened salmon comes with crawfish etouffee and blackened shrimp, plus sides of vegetable orzo and asparagus. It’s a way to try some of Landry’s best offerings in a single perfect dish. For another indulgence, try the charbroiled oysters, served on a sizzling platter with spicy bayou butter and grilled bread for dipping.
9837 W I-10, San Antonio, TX 78230
In the Colonnade Shopping Center, Surfing Crab gives simple, fresh seafood options in a very casual setting. If you’re a fan of seafood boils or a variety of fried treats from the sea, Surfing Crab is definitely worth a try.
The signature dish at Surfing Crab is the boil. You can pick from your choice of crawfish, green mussel, black mussel, calamari, clams, Manila clams, or shrimp (heads on or off). Those get mixed with corn, potato, and sausage before the whole thing gets boiled to perfection. For a little extra, you can even add enormous snow crab legs!
406 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company got its start from the movie Forrest Gump. The restaurant has been a massive success, including its’ Riverwalk location in the heart of San Antonio. Diners rave about the seafood options as well as the hand-shaken cocktails.
The Shrimper’s Net Catch is a great appetizer: peel and eat shrimp steamed in beer. You also have the option to have them come dipped in either a savory garlic or spicy cajun sauce. I’m also a massive fan of the shrimp po boy sandwich. It’s a baguette piled high with shrimp, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and mayonnaise, served with a side of fries.
Joe’s Crab Shack
212 College St Suite 100, San Antonio, TX 78205
Our last stop keeps us on the Riverwalk, where we’ll visit Joe’s Crab Shack. Joe’s is a spot that centers on fun and good times. So go in, get some great seafood and tasty cocktails in a casual setting, kick back, and have a great night.
The crab-stuffed mushrooms are my favorite appetizer at Joe’s. These mushrooms get filled with homemade seafood stuffing, then topped with monterey jack cheese and an alfredo sauce. The key, though, is the side of garlic bread, which is perfect for soaking up all the extra goodness on the plate. There is more than enough to share!