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The best seafood restaurants in NYC

Whether you're craving a simple lobster or an ornate tower of oysters, these are the best seafood restaurants in NYC

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Thanks to the city’s proximity to open waters, seafood has always been an important part of the New York diet. In the early days of settlement, street vendors hawked fresh oysters for just cents apiece; today, a happy hour oyster goes for a buck. (To us, that’s still cheap eats.) Gotham’s obsession with seafood hasn’t died down, and no matter where you are in the city—whether you’re near the source at one of these waterfront restaurants or far from any shore at one of many Midtown restaurants—you can score a great plate of fish. These are the best seafood restaurants in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Seafood restaurants in NYC

Le Bernardin

New York dining mores have experienced a seismic paradigm shift in the past decade, toppling Old World restaurant titans and making conquering heroes of chefs that champion accessible food served in casual environments. But Le Bernardin—the city’s original temple of haute French seafood—survived the shake-up unscathed. Guests who find the $205 tasting menu or $140 four-course prix fixe out of reach can still experience the kitchen’s finesse in the lounge area, via stunning bar snacks: raw kanpachi topped with beads of wasabi tobiko ($20), for example, or gorgeous scallop ceviche ($22) resting in a pool of grassy olive oil.

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Midtown West

Marea

Michael White's extravagant, spectacular shrine to the Italian coastline is a worthy indulgence. Spend you shall, and with great rewards: start with crostini topped with velvety sea urchin and petals of translucent lardo, then move on to seafood-focused pastas, like fusilli spiraled around chunks of octopus in a bone marrow–enriched sauce, or strozzapreti nestling hunks of jumbo lump crab, sea urchin and basil.

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Midtown West

Shuko

From behind a minimalist ebony counter at Neta, rock-star chefs Jimmy Lau and a beanie-capped Nick Kim—longtime disciples of sushi demigod Masa Takayama—brazenly served peanut-butter ice cream and uni-rich risotto alongside their gleaming, à la carte tiles of nigiri. That populist streak softly colors this 20-seat follow-up—the beanie remains, as does the thumping “99 Problems”—but where a pricey omakase was an option at Neta, here it’s mandatory. A cool $135 prompts a parade of exceptionally made edomaezushi served in its purest form, each lightly lacquered with soy and nestled atop a slip of warm, loosely packed rice.

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Greenwich Village

Russ & Daughters

Russ & Daughters has been serving lox, herring and other specialty foods since 1914. But one of our favorite delicacies here is a more modern invention: the Super Heeb sandwich, slathered with horseradish cream cheese, wasabi-flavored roe and sublime whitefish salad.

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Lower East Side

Maison Premiere

Scuffed into submission by owner Joshua Boissy and the designers behind nearby Moto, this gorgeous salon—its green walls fogged with a faux patina that suggests decades of Gauloises smoke—is devoted to the twin pleasures of oysters and absinthe: two French Quarter staples with plenty of appeal in Brooklyn. The bar is especially roaring during happy hour (4 to 7pm Monday through Friday and 11am to 1pm Saturday and Sunday), when you can sample from the salon's 30 different bivalve varieties for a buck each. 

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Williamsburg

The John Dory Oyster Bar

April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman’s Ace Hotel endeavor is an understated knockout. Tall stools face a raw bar stocked with a rotating mix of East and West Coast oysters, all expertly handled and impeccably sourced. True to form, the rest of Bloomfield’s tapas-style seafood dishes are all intensely flavored. Chilled lobster tastes larger than life, its sweet flesh slicked in an herbaceous tomalley vinaigrette. Meanwhile, warm dishes take their cues mostly from the garlic-and-olive-oil belt—oyster pan roast served with uni butter crostini, plus boisterous squid stuffed with meaty chorizo.

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Midtown

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

Some commuter bars are built for killing time, but this historic spot could entice you to miss your train on purpose. The O-Bar dates back to 1913, and its vaulted ceilings and desultory service suggest its institution status. Stick to platters of iced, just-shucked oysters spanning dozens of varieties, from Baja to Plymouth Rock.

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Downtown

Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.

After music-industry pal Adam Geringer-Dunn noticed a plethora of butchers but zero fish shops in the nabe, the pair began hosting pop-up lobster bakes. Now they’ve ventured into purveying, sourcing only seasonal and sustainable—and sometimes local—catch like wild Alaskan salmon and Arctic char at a retail counter. They put the fresh goods to use in dishes like lobster rolls, kelp-noodle pad Thai and Baja-style fish tacos dressed with citrus-cabbage slaw and chipotle-lime mayo, doled out in a tiled space outfitted with marble counters and high-top tables. 

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Greenpoint

Ed's Lobster Bar

Chef Ed McFarland's New England–style fish shack is a Soho staple. If you secure a place at the 25-seat marble bar or at one of the few tables, expect superlative raw shellfish, delicately fried Ipswich clams and lobster served every which way: steamed, grilled, broiled, chilled, stuffed into a pot pie and—the crowd favorite—in the lobster roll. Here, it’s a buttered bun full of premium chunks of meat with just a light coating of mayo.

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Nolita

Pearl Oyster Bar

This convivial, New England–style joint was a forerunner of the city’s fish-shack trend. The outstanding lobster roll—sweet, lemony meat laced with mayonnaise on a butter-enriched bun—is Pearl’s raison d'être, but more sophisticated dishes fare equally well: A bouillabaisse features briny lobster broth packed with mussels, cod, scallops and clams, with an aioli-smothered crouton balanced on top—a great value at $25. For dessert, try a bittersweet chocolate mousse topped with a quenelle of barely sweetened whipped cream. Finally, a restaurant worthy of its hype.

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West Village
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Comments

1 comments
FadeAwayandRadiate
FadeAwayandRadiate

This is very humorous.  


In choosing Seamore's as one of the finest seafood places, it doesn't seem Time Out has read its own review of the place, which states: "Stuffed into tough, leathery corn tortillas, spicy squid ($13) arrives aggressively sauced and accessorized—kale and apples and corn nuts, oh my!—dulling any traces of the mollusk’s delicate sweetness. It’s fried-fish cousin ($15), built recently with spiny dogfish, is similarly overcast, obscured by excessive battering and squiggles of guacamole and chipotle mayo. A ceviche of scallops ($13) smacks so hard of vinegary Tabasco and fried garlic it’s damn-near stomach turning.


Yow! Stomach turning! If Seamore's is one of best, I sure do not want to eat at any of the worst!!