The windy city’s finest seafood restaurants
When most people think of the Chicago food scene, they immediately think of the their famous deep dish pizza. While Chicago has arguably the best pizza in the nation, another great type of food that this windy city offers is seafood! There are so many options when it comes to seafood, whether it is shrimp, lobster, or mussels Chicago offers every seafood option imaginable. Below is a list of some of the best seafood places Chicago has to offer.
If you know someone who loves seafood, a great idea would be to send that person a Giftya Electronic Gift Card for any of the restaurants listed below. Having an electronic gift card is convenient for both parties. The person giving the gift card is able to send it very easily and the person receiving it will be able to use it at any of these locations! This is a great idea for birthdays, Christmas, and other celebrations!
Mouth watering seafood option at GT Fish & Oyster.
Image courtesy of GT Fish & Oyster.
531 N Wells St
Opened in 2011, this modern yet still traditional seafood place offers great food to the people of Chicago. The constantly changing seasonal menu is what keeps customers coming back. Among the most popular dishes are Squid Ink Gnocchi, haricot verts, braised baby octopus, and brandade croquettes.
Chef of GT Fish & Oyster, Giuseppe Tentori opened this restaurant because he states that there is a distinct hole in the seafood restaurant market in Chicago and he wanted to change that. Since opening in 2011, this restaurant has received four stars from Time Out Chicago, three stars from the Chicago Tribune, Travel and Leisure’s top 20 seafood restaurants in the country, and CS magazine’s chef of the year in 2011.
“The meals were exquisite, the winner being the scallops in a cauliflower puré and zucchini. The gnocchi was a close second. Just as we thought the meal couldn't get better, we got the desserts that literally "takes the cake" here!! - Yelp Review
The best selling seafood tower that is well worth the price.
Image courtesy of the Magnificent Mile.
700 E Grand Ave
Perfect for a hot summer day and still be able to stay cool. Riva is located on Chicago's Navy Pier and serves delicious and fresh seafood and is Chicago’s only seafood restaurant on the waterfront! The menu ranges from classic seafood options, to steak, and of course a wide selection of wine.
For appetizers, choose from Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, calamari, or the famous seafood tower. The seafood tower includes oysters, jumbo shrimp, king crab bites, tuna tartare, and more! For the main course try some Ahi Tuna Fillet and Lobster Diavolo. Head chef of Riva, Octavio Reynoso says his favorite dish to make is the Lobster Diavolo because he is able to customize the taste depending on the customers' liking or dislike for spicy flavor.
“The clam chowder was very good. And the side included garlic string beans perfectly cooked, with a bowl of butter and garlic to dip, plus garlic small potatoes. Let me emphasize, the food was great. The prices were reasonable. The view is spectacular. We loved it.” - Yelp Review
Oysters, shrimp, lobsters are just a few fantastic items on the menu.
Image courtesy of Foodle.
660 N State St
The name of this restaurant stems from the notion that seafood is very popular in towns that are on ports. Portsmith is located on State Street, which is just north of Erie. Their mission statement says that they believe in serving line-caught seafood since it is the highest and freshest kind of seafood around.
For dinner options include: pan seared salmon, shellfish bucatini, and lobster potstickers. Brunch is also available at Portsmith. While for most, brunch usually consists of pancakes and omelettes, trying something a little different can be fun and delicious! Traditional brunch are available but some unique brunch options on the menu that are different are: shucked oysters, tuna tartare, and charred shrimp cocktail.
“For mains, I ordered the salmon with the fennel stuffed ravioli and brussel sprouts. The salmon was done just right, the ravioli was light and the sprouts tasted great. The servers were very attentive. They patiently answered all my questions and took good care of me.” - Yelp Review
Try some blue point oysters and beer at this family owned restaurant.
Image courtesy of Half Shell Chicago.
676 W Diversey Pkwy
Half Shell came into existence during a turbulent time in Chicago. Original owner, Danny Denizman had a dream to open his own restaurant to be able to provide for his family and have a family environment in his restaurant, and he did exactly that. Today, it is still owned and run by Denizman’s family, which is the longest running crabhouse in Chicago to date!
Half Shell may be cash only but that does not make it any less classy and good. Pita scallops, fried jumbo shrimp, blue point oysters, and king crab legs are just a few options on this large menu! No matter what age customers are, there is truly something for everyone here, even children as young as five years old.
“Best crab legs and seafood in Chicago. It's definitely a hole in the wall type of looking place so don't expect a fancy atmosphere but the food can't be beat.”- Yelp Review
A lobster sandwich is the perfect midday pick me up.
Image courtesy of Tripadvisor.
134 N LaSalle St, Chicago
Downtown Chicago (City Hall)
Maine is best known for their seafood and Luke’s Lobster bases their food off of how people from Maine would enjoy it. The Maine-style dishes are all straight from the source, prepared purely and no filler is added. Luke’s prides themselves on being able to trace every pound of seafood they serve in the restaurant. Lastly, Luke’s Lobster partners with different organizations to help keep the ocean clean.
There are three options for combo meals, which consist of either lobster, crab, or shrimp. Each combo comes soup, mac and choice lobster, crab, or shrimp, and a drink. Soup options include lobster bisque and clam chowder. For the younger customers, they may not be open to trying seafood, lobster and crab grilled cheese are available.
“The food I received from Luke's Lobster today was the BOMB.COM!!!! The buttery toasted bread, the perfectly seasoned seafood, the soda, the chips all fit so well together and made my stomach happy. Forgot 5/5 out 5 stars. Can I give a 10/5? 10 all day!!!!” - Yelp Review
A healthy and quick meal that also helps the environment.
Image courtesy of Bring Fido.
Main location:340 E Randolph St, other locations as well.
Main location: New Eastside
Before opening in 2014, Donna Lee was on the hunt for a quick, healthy, and affordable place to eat but was unsuccessful so she opened her own. At Brown Bag, customers are able to grab something to eat in between running from place to place or sit down on the patio and relax to eat. Starting just six years ago, Brown Bag Seafood company has expanded and now has multiple locations throughout the Chicago area.
The seafood used at Brown Bag is flown in each day from all around the world, providing fresh options for customers. Some options for some great and healthy seafood include: salmon tacos, crispy cod veggie box, and crispy shrimp salad.
“Wonderful option for a quick, healthy, and fresh meal in the Loop. I got the Greens and Grains bowl with salmon. It was a well-portioned meal, with a good amount of protein, vegetables, and healthy grains. The salmon was cooked perfectly. Good quality for the price, and I left full.”- Yelp Review
Next time before getting more deep dish pizza or going to the same place as always, try some Chicago style seafood. Each place has its own unique food and atmosphere and trying something new this season is always fun.