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A large grilled whole fish on an intricate plate with a sides in a tin can.
Chicago may not border an ocean but still features a bounty of seafood delights.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Chicago’s Top Seafood Restaurants

Where to find the freshest catch in town

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Chicago may not border an ocean but still features a bounty of seafood delights.
| Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

There's something about food from the ocean and other bodies of water that people are drawn to. Perhaps it's the seemingly endless variety of delicacies or maybe it's the brininess of each bite that evokes images of sandy beaches and radiant skies. Equally, for chefs, there are waves of opportunities to create diverse and complex dishes. Sushi, a culinary genre in its own right, is not included in this map. It has its own guide.

Though Chicago is far from the East and West coasts, many places fly in fresh catch daily so the city is still home to some of best seafood restaurants in the country. Behold 20 of the city’s best options for oceanic delights from suburban Wheeling to 95th Street.

As of March 2, Chicago restaurants are permitted to serve customers indoors with a 50 percent maximum capacity per room, or 50 people — whichever is fewer. At the same time, despite winter weather, a number of Chicago restaurants continue to offer outdoor seating. Regardless, the state requires reservations for both indoor and outdoor dining. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as an endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Boston Fish Market

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1649 Oakton Pl, Des Plaines
IL, 60018
(847) 803-4009
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Head out to Des Plaines for a trove of fresh seafood. Folks can see the products for themselves as the restaurant also doubles as a fish market. The kitchen will prepare anything it sells and that includes a Greek- and Cajun-style lineup of shrimp, scallops, octopus, lobster, and various fishes. A second outpost is located in Wheeling.

2. The Angry Crab

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5665 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
(773) 784-6848
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Angry Crab was the restaurant the helped launch the Asian-influenced Cajon seafood boil trend in Chicago. Many have imitated the formula where customers pick flavors, spice levels, seafood and devour the messy bagged feast. There are two locations. Food is also available to go.

3. Half Shell

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676 W Diversey Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 549-1773
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It has the ambiance of a dive bar but the food at Half Shell makes up for the environment. The Lakeview oyster bar has operated since 1968, providing diners with bivalves, king crab legs, soft shell crabs, and fishes for less than what comparable places charge. During summertime, the front patio is a busy attraction. Bring some bills because it’s cash only.

4. Mfk.

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432 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago
IL, 60614
(773) 857-2540
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Hidden below ground level, this intimate Spanish restaurant in Lakeview captures the essence of seaside eating through coastal delights like crunchy prawn heads, boquerones, seafood fideos, and Basque cake.

5. Brown Bag Seafood Co.

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746 W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 687-9507
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A great choice for customer who want a health lunch option, Brown Bag Seafood has emerged as a reliable restaurant for satisfying fresh fish. Brown Bag takes the build-your-own meal formula a jolt. And for those who want a little crunchy indulgence, there are also fried options available.

6. Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

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1415 N Wood St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 360-8320
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Chef Brian Jupiter takes diners down to the bayou at this New-Orleans-inspired corner store tavern. Drawing upon his heritage and recipes passed down from his grandmother, the Louisiana native delivers soul food rife with seafood. The fresh catch can be enjoyed boiled (Gulf shrimp, snow crab, clams) or fried (catfish, oysters, crawfish). To sample a bit of each, order the seafood towers that are large enough to feed several people.

7. Azul

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1177 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 770-3766
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Newish Latin American spot Azul rides the line between Bucktown and Lincoln Park with lovely views of the Chicago River. Its menu is a celebration of Nayarit, a state in Western Mexico, with options including huachinango (whole red snapper with veracruz sauce), lobster avocado “toastones,” and cocktails by the pitcher. The restaurant also features a popular brunch.

Salmon a la Parilla (Atlantic Salmon, tequila honey glaze, fire-roasted salsa with avocado)
Azul’s salmon a la parilla
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

8. Alegrias Seafood Chicago

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1024 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-7200
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For a decade, Alegrias has been among the best places of Nayarit seafood — there are a few of them to pick from along Ashland Avenue in West Town. The special is a Herculean task of crab, lobster, and shrimp piled onto one plate. Order at your own risk.

9. Porto

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1600 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 600-6336
Visit Website

A restaurant dedicated to the highly sought-after seafood of Galicia, Spain and coastal Portugal, Porto is a singular spot in Chicago. Fans of fish and crustaceans will find a wide range of delights, from hot dishes cooked over wood or charcoal to cold conservas, or canned seafood, that ownership imports from Europe. It also features a wine bar, in a nod to the region’s winemakers.

A fancy grilled filet of fish with sauce in a white bowl
Porto whisks diners’ tastebuds to Galacia with top-notch seafood.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

10. Portsmith

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660 N State St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 202-6050
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The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group offers an elevated take on seafood inside the Dana Hotel and Spa. Chef Nate Henssler sources fresh catch from around the country and utilizes them in intriguing fashion. His refined creations range from a king crab bun to a “fish and chips” composition of halibut topped with potato circles.

11. GT Fish & Oyster

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531 N Wells St, Chicago
IL, 60654
(312) 929-3501
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Giuseppe Tentori’s celebrated eatery is one of the best in town for fresh seafood. Post up at the bar and watch the crew expertly shuck bivalves while enjoying fried oyster po’ boy sliders and decadent lobster mac and cheese. Big spenders can opt for fully-customizable seafood towers and luxurious caviar service.

12. Shaw's Crab House

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21 E Hubbard St, Chicago
IL, 60611
(312) 527-2722
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Lettuce Entertain You’s venerable crab house is still a standard bearer for pristine seafood more than three decades after opening. The space is split into a formal dining room and a lively oyster bar, where diners can crack into crab legs, lobster, and seasonal specials like fried soft shell crab and stone crab claws.

13. Leña Brava

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900 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-1975
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At Leña Brava, the flavors of Baja California come through on sustainably sourced seafood. It’s available in cold preparations – oysters, ceviche, aguachile – and as hot dishes that are cooked on an open hearth or wood-burning oven. The can’t-miss item is the whole striped bass, which is butterflied and grilled in one of four different Mexican glazes and spices. The beverage list also highlights wines and mezcals from the state. Former partner and celebrity chef Rick Bayless left the business in 2020.

14. Santorini

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800 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 829-8820
Visit Website

A Greektown staple for over two decades, Santorini is the closest Chicagoans will get to the Aegean Sea without hopping on a plane. Try charcoal-grilled octopus, wild sea bass, red snapper, swordfish, and more inside a warm and cozy dining room. All that’s missing are the black sandy beaches.

15. Lowcountry South Loop

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1132 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(888) 883-8375
Visit Website

Put on a bib and get ready for a Southern boil at Lowcountry. Diners order shrimp, snow crab, mussels, clams, crawfish, or lobster tails by the pound, which are cooked in a bag with different sauces and add-ons like corn and sausage. It’s a communal experience that includes eating directly off the table. To finish, there are beignets and deep-fried Oreos.

16. Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp

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2120 S Canal St, Chicago
IL, 60616
(312) 225-2113
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Satisfy those late-night cravings with fried seafood at this 24-hour spot. Lawrence’s Fish and Shrimp has fried up crispy shrimp, fish, oysters, scallops, clam strips, and more since 1971. The restaurant also delivers and has a dock behind the building for easy access from the Chicago River.

A to-go container of french fries and fried fish
Lawrence’s is a local institution.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

17. La Palapa

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2000 W 34th St
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 376-9620
Visit Website

The seasons are changing but Chicagoans are still able to soak up seaside vibes in this year-round oasis. Mexican mariscos are served on a beach-themed patio, complete with thatch umbrellas and fake palm trees. House specialties include shrimp empanadas, langoustines over rice, and filete relleno (tilapia stuffed with shrimp, octopus, crab, onions, tomato, cilantro, and cheese). Alcohol is BYOB.

18. Two Fish Crab Shack

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641 E 47th St
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 855-8845
Visit Website

Two Fish has accrued a loyal following in Bronzeville where they deliver their own spin on bagged seafood. The owner recently pivoted toward selling frozen seafoods at Mariano’s and at Pick ’N Save in the Milwaukee area. Try order lobster with jerk sauce for a taste diners won’t get anywhere else.

19. Mariscos El Veneno

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6651 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago
IL, 60629
(773) 582-5576

This West Lawn mainstay doles out seafood dishes that represent the best of the Gulf. Bring a six-pack of beer to enjoy with the Nayarit-style cuisine, which includes grilled snapper, crabs, lobster, and shrimp. And don’t be afraid to dive into the complimentary ceviche that comes with a very spicy, yet addictive, “venom” salsa.

20. Calumet Fisheries

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3259 E 95th St, Chicago
IL, 60617
(773) 933-9855
Visit Website

This longtime Eater 38 spot is a Chicago landmark that dates back to 1948. Visit the southern city limits for seafood that’s smoked on site in a roadside shack. There’s limited seating so prepare to eat outside or in the car. But it’s a small price to pay to try the James Beard-recognized selection of shrimp, sable, salmon, herring, trout, and whitefish.

1. Boston Fish Market

1649 Oakton Pl, Des Plaines, IL, 60018

Head out to Des Plaines for a trove of fresh seafood. Folks can see the products for themselves as the restaurant also doubles as a fish market. The kitchen will prepare anything it sells and that includes a Greek- and Cajun-style lineup of shrimp, scallops, octopus, lobster, and various fishes. A second outpost is located in Wheeling.

1649 Oakton Pl, Des Plaines
IL, 60018

2. The Angry Crab

5665 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60659

Angry Crab was the restaurant the helped launch the Asian-influenced Cajon seafood boil trend in Chicago. Many have imitated the formula where customers pick flavors, spice levels, seafood and devour the messy bagged feast. There are two locations. Food is also available to go.

5665 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60659

3. Half Shell

676 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614

It has the ambiance of a dive bar but the food at Half Shell makes up for the environment. The Lakeview oyster bar has operated since 1968, providing diners with bivalves, king crab legs, soft shell crabs, and fishes for less than what comparable places charge. During summertime, the front patio is a busy attraction. Bring some bills because it’s cash only.

676 W Diversey Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60614

4. Mfk.

432 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL, 60614

Hidden below ground level, this intimate Spanish restaurant in Lakeview captures the essence of seaside eating through coastal delights like crunchy prawn heads, boquerones, seafood fideos, and Basque cake.

432 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago
IL, 60614

5. Brown Bag Seafood Co.

746 W Webster Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

A great choice for customer who want a health lunch option, Brown Bag Seafood has emerged as a reliable restaurant for satisfying fresh fish. Brown Bag takes the build-your-own meal formula a jolt. And for those who want a little crunchy indulgence, there are also fried options available.

746 W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

6. Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

1415 N Wood St, Chicago, IL 60622

Chef Brian Jupiter takes diners down to the bayou at this New-Orleans-inspired corner store tavern. Drawing upon his heritage and recipes passed down from his grandmother, the Louisiana native delivers soul food rife with seafood. The fresh catch can be enjoyed boiled (Gulf shrimp, snow crab, clams) or fried (catfish, oysters, crawfish). To sample a bit of each, order the seafood towers that are large enough to feed several people.

1415 N Wood St
Chicago, IL 60622

7. Azul

1177 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
Salmon a la Parilla (Atlantic Salmon, tequila honey glaze, fire-roasted salsa with avocado)
Azul’s salmon a la parilla
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Newish Latin American spot Azul rides the line between Bucktown and Lincoln Park with lovely views of the Chicago River. Its menu is a celebration of Nayarit, a state in Western Mexico, with options including huachinango (whole red snapper with veracruz sauce), lobster avocado “toastones,” and cocktails by the pitcher. The restaurant also features a popular brunch.

1177 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

8. Alegrias Seafood Chicago

1024 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

For a decade, Alegrias has been among the best places of Nayarit seafood — there are a few of them to pick from along Ashland Avenue in West Town. The special is a Herculean task of crab, lobster, and shrimp piled onto one plate. Order at your own risk.

1024 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

9. Porto

1600 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
A fancy grilled filet of fish with sauce in a white bowl
Porto whisks diners’ tastebuds to Galacia with top-notch seafood.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

A restaurant dedicated to the highly sought-after seafood of Galicia, Spain and coastal Portugal, Porto is a singular spot in Chicago. Fans of fish and crustaceans will find a wide range of delights, from hot dishes cooked over wood or charcoal to cold conservas, or canned seafood, that ownership imports from Europe. It also features a wine bar, in a nod to the region’s winemakers.

1600 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

10. Portsmith

660 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654

The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group offers an elevated take on seafood inside the Dana Hotel and Spa. Chef Nate Henssler sources fresh catch from around the country and utilizes them in intriguing fashion. His refined creations range from a king crab bun to a “fish and chips” composition of halibut topped with potato circles.

660 N State St
Chicago, IL 60654

11. GT Fish & Oyster

531 N Wells St, Chicago, IL, 60654

Giuseppe Tentori’s celebrated eatery is one of the best in town for fresh seafood. Post up at the bar and watch the crew expertly shuck bivalves while enjoying fried oyster po’ boy sliders and decadent lobster mac and cheese. Big spenders can opt for fully-customizable seafood towers and luxurious caviar service.

531 N Wells St, Chicago
IL, 60654

12. Shaw's Crab House

21 E Hubbard St, Chicago, IL, 60611

Lettuce Entertain You’s venerable crab house is still a standard bearer for pristine seafood more than three decades after opening. The space is split into a formal dining room and a lively oyster bar, where diners can crack into crab legs, lobster, and seasonal specials like fried soft shell crab and stone crab claws.

21 E Hubbard St, Chicago
IL, 60611

13. Leña Brava

900 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

At Leña Brava, the flavors of Baja California come through on sustainably sourced seafood. It’s available in cold preparations – oysters, ceviche, aguachile – and as hot dishes that are cooked on an open hearth or wood-burning oven. The can’t-miss item is the whole striped bass, which is butterflied and grilled in one of four different Mexican glazes and spices. The beverage list also highlights wines and mezcals from the state. Former partner and celebrity chef Rick Bayless left the business in 2020.

900 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

14. Santorini

800 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60607

A Greektown staple for over two decades, Santorini is the closest Chicagoans will get to the Aegean Sea without hopping on a plane. Try charcoal-grilled octopus, wild sea bass, red snapper, swordfish, and more inside a warm and cozy dining room. All that’s missing are the black sandy beaches.

800 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60607

15. Lowcountry South Loop

1132 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Put on a bib and get ready for a Southern boil at Lowcountry. Diners order shrimp, snow crab, mussels, clams, crawfish, or lobster tails by the pound, which are cooked in a bag with different sauces and add-ons like corn and sausage. It’s a communal experience that includes eating directly off the table. To finish, there are beignets and deep-fried Oreos.

1132 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

Related Maps

16. Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp

2120 S Canal St, Chicago, IL, 60616
A to-go container of french fries and fried fish
Lawrence’s is a local institution.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Satisfy those late-night cravings with fried seafood at this 24-hour spot. Lawrence’s Fish and Shrimp has fried up crispy shrimp, fish, oysters, scallops, clam strips, and more since 1971. The restaurant also delivers and has a dock behind the building for easy access from the Chicago River.

2120 S Canal St, Chicago
IL, 60616

17. La Palapa

2000 W 34th St, Chicago, IL 60608

The seasons are changing but Chicagoans are still able to soak up seaside vibes in this year-round oasis. Mexican mariscos are served on a beach-themed patio, complete with thatch umbrellas and fake palm trees. House specialties include shrimp empanadas, langoustines over rice, and filete relleno (tilapia stuffed with shrimp, octopus, crab, onions, tomato, cilantro, and cheese). Alcohol is BYOB.

2000 W 34th St
Chicago, IL 60608

18. Two Fish Crab Shack

641 E 47th St, Chicago, IL 60653

Two Fish has accrued a loyal following in Bronzeville where they deliver their own spin on bagged seafood. The owner recently pivoted toward selling frozen seafoods at Mariano’s and at Pick ’N Save in the Milwaukee area. Try order lobster with jerk sauce for a taste diners won’t get anywhere else.

641 E 47th St
Chicago, IL 60653

19. Mariscos El Veneno

6651 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL, 60629

This West Lawn mainstay doles out seafood dishes that represent the best of the Gulf. Bring a six-pack of beer to enjoy with the Nayarit-style cuisine, which includes grilled snapper, crabs, lobster, and shrimp. And don’t be afraid to dive into the complimentary ceviche that comes with a very spicy, yet addictive, “venom” salsa.

6651 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago
IL, 60629

20. Calumet Fisheries

3259 E 95th St, Chicago, IL, 60617

This longtime Eater 38 spot is a Chicago landmark that dates back to 1948. Visit the southern city limits for seafood that’s smoked on site in a roadside shack. There’s limited seating so prepare to eat outside or in the car. But it’s a small price to pay to try the James Beard-recognized selection of shrimp, sable, salmon, herring, trout, and whitefish.

3259 E 95th St, Chicago
IL, 60617

Related Maps