Hungry for Fresh Seafood Tonight? Here are the Best Seafood Restaurants in Cincinnati

Treat Yourself to a Delicious Seafood Feast at One of These Top-Rated Restaurants

One of the most exciting things about going out for seafood is the variety of options you have to choose from. Looking for a casual night out? Grab some fish and chips in a downtown Cincinnati pub. Need to take a client out to dinner? Treat them to a meal of scallops and shrimp at an upscale restaurant in Over-the-Rhine. Cincinnati offers a wide array of seafood restaurants, making it hard to choose just one. That’s why we are here to narrow down the top restaurants that offer the best seafood in Cincinnati.

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Joe’s Crab Shack

Take a Trip Across the Ohio River for This One-of-a-King Crab Shack

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Expect to leave the crab shack with a full stomach. Image courtesy of Facebook 

25 Fairfield Ave, Bellevue, KY

Located just across the Ohio River in Kentucky is one of the best crab shacks you will ever set foot in. Joe’s Crab Shack serves buckets of crabs in a variety of styles. For super sweet, flaky meat, you can order the Snow bucket. For a more sweet and hearty crab, get the King bucket. For the ultimate bucket to share with your group of friends, order the Crab Daddy Feast. This bucket is filled with Snow, Dungeness, and King Crab, offering something for every taste bud. Salmon, fish and chips, lobster, catfish, and crab cakes are also on the menu. 

Gluten sensitive? No worries. Joe’s Crab Shack offers a special gluten-free menu. Shrimp, lobster, chicken, crab buckets, and more are featured on the menu. Just don’t forget to order a cool beer or cocktail along with your order. If you saved room for dessert, make sure you try the Sea Turtle Sundae or Chocolate Shack Attack. 

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“The food was delicious, fresh, and HOT!!! Everything was so good and our server was so friendly and on it. We will definitely be going back to this location.” - Yelp review

Pelicans Reef

You Will Find Some of the Best Seafood in Cincinnati at This Local Bar

Enjoy an upscale, casual seafood meal. Image courtesy of Yelp

7261 Beechmont Ave., Anderson Township 

Looking for a laid-back vibe? Check out The Pelicans Reef. Self-described as a “Jimmy Buffet-inspired” restaurant featuring kitschy signage, this is the perfect place to kickback and relax with friends. 

Only the freshest seafood is served at this popular Cincinnati seafood restaurant. According to the owner, “If our seafood were any fresher...We’d be servin’ it off the dock!” The menu’s Favorites of the Island include savory Pan Sauteed Crab Cakes, Coconut Shrimp and Lobster Fritters. Of course, your stay here wouldn’t be complete without the Pelicans Reef’s famous oysters! 

If you are lucky enough to swing by on a nice night, head up to the Reef Top, located directly above the restaurant. Sit back and enjoy some appetizers as you watch the game and enjoy the city views. The menu is a little different from the main area’s, however the items and nightly specials are just as delicious. Calamari, ahi tuna, crab cake, and peel and eat shrimp are just a few delectable items to choose from the Reef Top menu. 

“ALWAYS my "go to" on Friday nights. The fresh seafood selection always amazes. The owner/chef secures the freshest  and most unique seafood that grabs my attention.” - Yelp review 

Swampwater Grill

Enjoy Authentic Cajun Creole Food and BBQ

Take your pick of traditional Cajun food or classic American food. Image courtesy of Swampwater Grill. 

3742 Kellogg Ave, Columbia-Tusculum 

The Swampwater Grill is an owner-run Cajun-Smoker themed restaurant. While it is known for its hickory smoked meats, char-grilled oysters, and cajun dishes, the restaurant also serves classic American pub food. Beer, wine, and cocktails are also available to wash down your hearty meal. Weekly dinner specials, including slow-smoked beef brisket and cajun boils, are served daily after 5:00 PM. While you are enjoying your authentic Cajun meal, stop by the bar for Happy Hour! 

Planning on hosting a special event soon? Call The Swampwater Grill to have them cater it! Their delicious bites are perfect for any occasion, whether it is a corporate BBQ or wedding reception. 

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“Had a fun Mardi Gras celebration at Swampwater. The Cajun Delight was a great sample of authentic Louisiana cuisine. The Swamp Juice was fun and delicious (and you can keep the glass). The atmosphere feels just like the bayou.” - Yelp review 

Court Street Lobster Bar

Visit Downtown Cincinnati’s Most Accessible Seafood Restaurant and Bar

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Try out their savory lobster rolls! Image courtesy of Facebook

28 W Court St., Downtown Cincinnati

For the perfect mixture of upscale and casual, visit the Court Street Lobster Bar. The restaurant was founded on the principle of providing customers high-quality, sustainably-fished seafood, locally-grown produce, and first-class drinks -- all at an affordable price. When you try the food for yourself, you will see how the original mission still succeeds today. In fact, in 2017 and 2018, the Court Street Lobster Bar was recognized in Cincinnati Magazine’s Best of the City Special. 

Fresh seafood is brought all the way down from Maine and the banks of the Ohio River, prepared in the kitchen, and served directly on your plates in order to provide a delightful experience for everyone. Enjoy one of their famous lobster rolls or house made crab cakes before washing it down with a cup of local craft beer or glass of wine. A signature cocktail list filled with the only finest spirits and mixers around is also available for you to peruse.  

Buy a GiftYa To Low Court Street Lobster Bar >

“Holy Lord. Stop what you are doing, go to Court Street and order a lobster roll with the mac & cheese. I've had lobster rolls on the oceanfront in Maine and these taste identical! Same buttery bread, same sweet lobster meat. New favorite downtown spot.” - Yelp review 

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood and Steaks

Dine at This Popular Cincinnati Steak and Seafood Chain

Stop by McCormick & Schmick’s in Downtown Cincinnati for a fantastic seafood meal. Image courtesy of Yelp

21 E 5th St., Downtown Cincinnati

Located across the street from Fountain Square, McCormick and Schmick’s is the perfect food stop after a day-long downtown Cincinnati trip. Every day, a new menu is printed by the head chef. Seasonal seafood from around the world and flavorful beef are featured everyday. If you are a fan of oysters, you will also love their Oysterololgy menu. As you wait for your entree, order a glass, or two, of your favorite wine or cocktail. 

Planning a special occasion? Reserve a spot in their elegant private dining room. A team member from McCormick & Schmick’s will help you through every step of planning your special event. 

“The location is perfect, lots of things to do and choices for food within walking distance. Restrooms were clean and maintained. Customer service was on point during our visit. The food was tasty and had flavor, no issues with timing.” - Yelp review 

Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant

Enjoy a Homemade Seafood Entree in This Turn-of-the-20th Century Saloon

Hungry for some oysters? Image courtesy of Yelp

100 Elm St. Downtown Cincinnati

As the home of Cincinnati’s Annual Oyster Festival, it should come as no surprise that Washington Platform is one of the most highly-rated seafood restaurants in Cincinnati. For over 30 years, Washington Platform has served up mouth-watering New Orleans inspired food and drinks to the hungry citizens of Cincinnati. Their most popular entrees include the Fried Oyster Dinner, Sea Scallops, Creole Combo, and Center Cut Salmon. All entrees are served with a soup or salad and a side of hush puppies. 

Washington Platform Saloon and Restaurant hosts special events throughout the year, such as Jazz at Dusk and Bockfest 2020. Their famous oyster festival is typically held in the spring, while their other big event, Lobstapalooza, is held during the summer. For a full list of upcoming events, visit their website and social media pages. 

“We came for the Oyster Fest and Oyster we did order! WOW! We started with the raw sampler and an order of the Sternwheelers and Groaster Wings (we got an order of each flavor). The oysters were cold and fresh!” - Yelp review 

Going for a night out on the town is always a fun and exciting experience. With the wide array of seafood restaurants that Cincinnati offers, you will never tire or get bored with your options. What’s your go-to seafood order? Tell us in the comments below!


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