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11 Best Seafood Restaurants in San Jose

shrimp pasta at san jose seafood restaurant

Discover the richness of the ocean in the center of San Jose as we take you on a gourmet tour of the city. We cordially invite you to explore the premier Seafood Restaurants, a destination where flavor and freshness meet. The seafood scene in the city features a wide variety of delicious selections that showcase the best catches cooked by talented chefs, straight from the salty depths to your plate. Whether you have a hankering for classic dishes or inventive ocean-inspired fare, join us in exploring restaurants that are reshaping the dining experience with maritime influences. Our thoughtfully curated choices provide a diverse culinary journey that captures the essence of San Jose’s maritime dining options, spanning from upscale waterfront establishments to cozy coastal retreats. Get ready for a medley of oceanic flavors as we delve into the top spots for indulging in maritime cuisine in San Jose, a paradise for enthusiasts of ocean-inspired dining.


Claw Shack

1696 Berryessa Rd, San Jose, CA 95133
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Claw Shack San Jose
Source: Instagram

Claw Shack is a highly-rated restaurant with two locations. One is on Berryessa near the San Jose Golf Course, the more popular location – and the other is on S White Road, close to the Lake Cunningham Action Sports Park. Many people hear seafood restaurants and think upscale since seafood tends to be a bit pricier in some locations. But Claw Shack and several other San Jose seafood restaurants bust this myth by providing a casual, laid-back atmosphere in a humble setting. But humble is far from tasteless. Claw Shack’s boiled Cajun-style shrimp, crawfish, and other seafood items are to die for, with the perfect amount of seafood and sauce.


The Boiling Crab

Multiple Locations
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The Boiling Crab San Jose
Source: Instagram

The Boiling Crab is a chain seafood restaurant that started in Southern California and has now made its way up to San Jose. There are two locations – one on East Capitol Expressway near the Los Lagos Golf Course and the other on Curtner Ave in the Plant Shopping Center. Both of them are extremely popular. The Boiling Crab serves boiled-in-the-bag seafood, as its name suggests. Although many people go for their crawfish boil, I personally think ordering the king crab legs is the way to go. However, you really can’t go wrong with this casual Cajun-style shellfish eatery.

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The Kickin’ Crab

Multiple Locations
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The Kickin' Crab San Jose
Source: Instagram

The Kickin’ Crab has a name that many morally-based vegetarians may find distasteful if they interpret it a certain way, but the seafood here is so good that it’s worth overlooking the controversial name. You can find the Kickin’ Crab in three different San Jose locations. One is on the East Capitol Expressway near one of the Boiling Crab locations mentioned above, so you can’t try both restaurants in one evening if you’d like – I won’t judge you! The other locations are on Crowley Ave near LEGOLAND and Blossom Hill Rd near Almaden State park. The Kickin’ Crab is one of the best seafood spots for spice lovers because many of their seasons have a “kick,” but if you want ample spiciness, make sure to ask for it. Besides their crawfish and King Crab, the best seafood items on the menu, I love ordering their delicious and savory garlic noodles.


Scott’s Seafood San Jose

200 S 1st St #10, San Jose, CA 95113
408-971-1700
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Scott's Seafood San Jose
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If you’d prefer to go to a sit-down restaurant with a slightly nicer and more intimate – yet still relaxed – atmosphere, Scott’s Seafood is the place for you. It’s located on South 1st Street in downtown San Jose, near The Tech Interactive museum. At Scott’s Seafood, you’ll find all of the seafood items you could possibly want, from oysters and clams to Dungeness crab legs. However, this restaurant highlights lobster and shrimp dishes. Their lobster rolls are insanely good and much better than their lobster bisque or lobster tail. Given the slightly upscale but still homey and welcoming environment, this is an excellent restaurant for a birthday dinner or other small celebratory event. They also offer private dining for larger gatherings and serve plenty of non-seafood dishes to accommodate different preferences.


Blue Water Seafood and Crab

4180 N First St Suite 10, San Jose, CA 95134
408-493-5112
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Blue Water Seafood and Crab San Jose
Source: Instagram

What to try at Blue Water Seafood and Crab might seem obvious given the explicit suggestion for crab in the name. However, there are many other tasty options on the menu as well, from their delectable lobster bisque to their oysters, shrimp, and corn. I like ordering a bucket of crab during happy hour, as that’s when you can get the best bang for your buck. You can even find deals on Groupon, which can prove helpful if you’re going with a larger group and want to get a massive amount of food. Overall, this is a great restaurant for friends and family to gather, especially given the friendly environment and quirky decor.

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EMC Seafood & Raw Bar

378 Santana Row Suite 1100, San Jose, CA 95128
408-296-6048
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EMC Seafood & Raw Bar San Jose
Source: Instagram

Have you ever had a craving for uni pasta? If so, you need to add EMC Seafood & Raw Bar to your list of go-to restaurants. They have a wide menu that can suit the taste buds of everyone in your group, whether you’re looking for something light like Brussel sprouts or want to go all out with uni pasta, soft shell crab, or garlic noodles, which are their best menu items. This restaurant, located near the Santana Row shopping mall, has a relatively casual vibe and excellent service, especially during happy hour. If you do go for happy hour, make sure to order their fresh happy hour oysters!


The City Fish

30 E Santa Clara St Suite 140, San Jose, CA 95113
408-293-3474
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The City Fish San Jose
Source: Instagram

City Fish is one of the best seafood joints in San Jose for a few reasons: its location, its ultra-casual atmosphere, and its crazy good fish and chips. Located right in downtown San Jose across from St. James Park, this is the perfect seafood joint to swing by for a quick to-go lunch order or a leisurely sit-down meal. Again, you’d be remiss if you didn’t order the fish and chips to start, but there are so many delicious items on the menu that you really can’t go wrong here if you tried. If you’re looking for something to share, I recommend getting the Rockefeller oysters, which are prepared to perfection.


El Camaron de Sinaloa

245 Willow St, San Jose, CA 95110
669-377-3385
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El Camaron de Sinaloa San Jose
Source: Instagram

El Camaron is Spanish for shrimp, so you’d be correct if you assumed that you could get tasty Mexican seafood here! This restaurant is on Willow Street, lined up with several other top-rated Mexican spots such as Mariscos, La Casita, and Metro Balderas Taqueria. But if you’re craving shrimp tacos, shellfish (mariscos), and great music, then El Camaron is the place to be. You’ll find a vibrant and exciting atmosphere here, where both the staff and other visitors are quite friendly and energetic. And if you’re looking for something a tad different, don’t hesitate to try their Mexican sushi!


Poke House

Multiple Locations
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Poke House San Jose
Source: Instagram

Poke House is a Hawaiian restaurant serving custom poke bowls with huge portion sizes. It’s cafeteria-style, meaning you order and pay at the counter before finding a seat, but the line moves relatively quickly. There are several Poke House locations around the Bay Area, but the one on Hostetter Rd near the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo is my personal favorite. I always get the salmon poke bowl, which comes with a heaping portion of salmon. Their tuna is delicious and always fresh as well, and they serve a traditional shoyu tuna which is certainly worth trying.

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Rosy’s Fish City

2882 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95127
408-272-2088
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Rosy's Fish City San Jose
Source: Instagram

Another seafood restaurant serving large portion sizes is Rosy’s Fish City. Rosy’s Fish City is a Mexican-fusion seafood restaurant with a laid-back vibe, an outdoor patio, and a broad menu. You can order various items such as salmon quesadillas, Mexican seafood cocktails, and tom yum soup with shrimp. Some claim they have the best fish and chips in the Bay, and I won’t argue with that. However, I mostly love their shrimp cocktails and fried calamari. Go for happy hour with a large friend group and try as many items as possible!


The Backyard Bayou

3210 S White Rd, San Jose, CA 95148
408-982-9999
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The Backyard Bayou San Jose
Source: Instagram

The last San Jose seafood restaurant on the list is The Backyard Bayou, also known as The Crab Bay. The Backyard Bayou is a small, cozy, cajun seafood restaurant that’s perfect for gathering an intimate group of family and friends together Like other seafood boil restaurants on this list, the popular items include shrimp and crab, but The Backyard Bayou also makes delicious clam chowder and po’boy sandwiches. I personally love ordering their sides, which are just as tasty as the main meals. They serve crab fries, lobster fries, cajun edamame, corn on the cob, and sausage links, all of which are to die for!

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 6 credible sites and blogs, including Timeout and SanJose.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://www.opentable.com/cuisine/best-seafood-restaurants-san-jose-ca
https://wanderlog.com/list/geoCategory/82206/best-seafood-restaurants-in-san-jose
https://foursquare.com/top-places/san-jose/best-places-seafood
https://www.lexusstevenscreek.com/blogs/3078/local/best-seafood-spots-in-san-jose-ca/

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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.