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Certain cities around the world are known for their culinary specialties like pizza, burgers, steaks, and vegan dishes. Seafood is another one of these cuisines, and the very best fish is often found near the coast. Great seafood is fresh, prepared with care, and seasoned just right. It can be fried, broiled, grilled, or raw, but foodies know delicious fish at the first bite.
Tiny fishing villages, waterfront cities, and everything in between offer up amazing tuna, salmon, shrimp, scallops, and much more. These are some of the very best travel destinations to visit if you’re a seafood lover.
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The Northeastern part of the Atlantic Coast is known for top-notch New England clambakes and lobster shacks along the craggy coastline of Maine. Try a Maine lobster roll with fresh chunks of lobster meat on a roll with mayonnaise. One of the best places in the region to sample locally caught and perfectly prepared seafood is in Georgetown. One place to definitely check out in town is called Five Islands Lobster Co., which is a casual BYOB restaurant on an active fishing wharf on Sheepscot Bay, near some of the coldest and deepest waters of the coast. Lobsters are pulled straight from the waters, and fried selections include shrimp, scallops, and haddock.
Sushi is the most famous type of seafood in Japan, and raw fish here is prepared with precision and passion. The Toyosu Market in Tokyo is a must-visit destination for any seafood lover. This is perfect for a sushi meal when you arrive in the city. For a true culinary experience, consider taking a private market tour to learn from local chefs or a cooking class to hone your own skills. Top seafood restaurants in Tokyo include Cedros and Kaikaya in Shibuya and Sushizanmai Tsukijiekimae and Yamazaki in Chuo.
Located along the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is famous for po’boy sandwiches, gulf oysters, shrimp, and fish that is often fried and served on sandwiches. Get your New Orleans-style seafood blackened with pepper for an authentic twist on local favorites. For a special treat, visit New Orleans in October to check out the New Orleans Seafood Festival. Another great place in Louisiana to travel for seafood is Baton Rouge, which is famous for crawfish. Attending a Southern crawfish boil is a must when you’re in the American South, and crawfish étouffée is a dish similar to gumbo that shouldn’t be missed.
Head down the Atlantic coast and you’ll find more amazing seafood destinations in Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay region is famous for its seafood delights that don’t disappoint locals or tourists. Summer is a particularly popular time to visit the Maryland shore to eat at the many crab shacks that line the shore of Chesapeake Bay. You’ll find lots of down-to-earth establishments here, and you simply must try some award-winning crab cakes either broiled or fried to perfection with seasoning.
Fresh seafood is absolutely divine on the island of Sicily, and this is what the locals eat on a regular basis. The way that seafood here is prepared has both European and North African influences, and you’ll find both no-frills trattorias and fancy establishments here. Some local specialties include sardines and sea urchins, which are fished from right off the coast. Spaghetti al ricci is a simple and traditional dish that takes a lot of time and effort to make and features locally caught sea urchins! Top seafood restaurants in Palermo include Osteria Mercede, Lo Scrigno dei Sapori, and Al Fondaco del Conte.
With the Pacific Ocean so close by, Washington state is a great travel destination for king crab, salmon, halibut, and Dungeness crab. Head to the culinary capital of Seattle for tiny seafood shacks, high-end seafood restaurants, and everything in between. Pike Place Market is the place where tourists gather to watch fish being tossed around from vendor to customer and sold at market prices. Millions of people visit this huge public market each year to witness the exciting scene filled with local merchants for themselves.
At the very edge of Canada, Nova Scotia is an ideal place to visit for seafood lovers. The Halifax area has some excellent fish & chips and seafood chowder prepared in authentic Nova Scotian style. Expect to find the freshest fish you’ll taste anywhere in the world here among the wharves. Other local favorites are Atlantic lobster and Digby scallops. But overall, Halifax is a fun travel destination because you can see what’s going on behind the scenes to bring the seafood from the ocean to the market. The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market has more than 250 vendors.
Located right along the west coast of South America, Chile is an awesome place to visit if you’re a foodie. Fishing is a huge industry in the country and many types of fish are exported from here all around the world. Mercado Central is among the largest fresh seafood markets in Chile and is certainly worth visiting when you’re in Santiago. Local favorite seafood dishes here include fried seafood empanadas with shrimp, locos which is Chilean abalone, and mariscos which is mixed seafood mostly with mussels. You’ll also find mixed seafood salads and seafood lasagna at the restaurants here. Some of the best seafood restaurants in Santiago are Latin Grill, Osaka, and Chipe Libre – Republica Independiente del Pisco.
Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco is like heaven for seafood lovers. This is an ideal place to find fresh Dungeness crab in outdoor stands, as well as gourmet restaurants, freshly made sourdough bread, and even chocolate. Seafood spots here include Alioto’s Restaurant and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. It’s a place that puts a high priority on local, sustainable, and high-quality products, and you can stop by the live lobster and crab tanks to see the freshness for yourself! Other highly rated seafood restaurants in San Francisco include Anchor Oyster Bar and Pacific Catch.
Sydney’s coastal location also makes it a great place to find fresh and delicious seafood. The Sydney Fish Market is the largest working fish market in the southern hemisphere and also home to the Sydney Seafood School, where you can take unique cooking classes. Freshly shucked oysters are a popular dish in Sydney, while other parts of Australia are known for their own local specialties. Among the top seafood restaurants in the city are Tetsuya’s, Fish At The Rocks, and the Sydney Cove Oyster Bar. Circular Quay also has a great location with stunning views of Sydney Harbor, and Bondi Icebergs Club Bistro is perfectly placed right along Bondi Beach.
Another amazing East Coast destination for seafood lovers is Boston. This is the place to come to in the U.S. for fresh-shucked oysters. Clam chowder is another local specialty in Boston, with its thick and creamy texture with potatoes and herbs. While you’re in the area, make sure to visit Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and the cute beach towns on the Cape.
Lots of the world’s top seafood cities have a well-known fish market, and Panama City is no exception. There’s a busy fish market here, and above it, a restaurant called Mercado de Mariscos where you can get fresh dishes served to you. Make sure to come early if you want to eat here though because peak meal times get very busy. Corvina, octopus, squid, shrimp, lobster, and tropical king crab are all popular choices on the menu here. A local specialty in Panama is corvina, which is a meaty white fish that’s abundant in the region. Other top restaurants to check out in town are Segundo Muelle, La Posta, and Tantalo Kitchen.