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Best Seafood in Chicago: Top Restaurants to Satisfy Your Cravings

If you're looking for the best seafood in Chicago, you're in luck. This city is home to some of the finest seafood restaurants in the country, offering a wide range of dishes that will satisfy any seafood lover's cravings. From fresh oysters and lobster to sushi and sashimi, Chicago's seafood scene has it all.

Whether you're a local or just visiting, you'll find plenty of options to choose from. Some of the top seafood restaurants in Chicago include Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, Shaw's Crab House, and GT Fish & Oyster. These restaurants offer a variety of seafood dishes that are sure to impress even the most discerning palate.

If you're not sure where to start, don't worry. We've put together a list of the top seafood restaurants in Chicago, as well as some must-try seafood dishes and a seasonal seafood guide to help you make the most of your dining experience. So, get ready to indulge in some of the best seafood that Chicago has to offer.

Key Takeaways

  • Chicago is home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the country.
  • Top seafood restaurants in Chicago include Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, Shaw's Crab House, and GT Fish & Oyster.
  • Must-try seafood dishes include fresh oysters, lobster, sushi, and sashimi.

Top Seafood Restaurants in Chicago

If you're looking for the best seafood restaurants in Chicago, you're in luck. The city is home to a wide variety of eateries serving up delicious seafood dishes. From award-winning establishments to local favourites, there's something for everyone.

Award-Winning Eateries

Chicago is home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the country, and many of them have received awards and accolades for their culinary creations. One such restaurant is Alinea, which has been named the best restaurant in the world multiple times. While not exclusively a seafood restaurant, Alinea's seafood dishes are some of the best you'll ever taste.

Another award-winning seafood restaurant in Chicago is Acadia. This Michelin-starred eatery offers a variety of seafood dishes, including lobster and sea scallops. The restaurant's elegant atmosphere and impeccable service make it a great choice for a special occasion.

Local Favourites

If you're looking for a more casual seafood dining experience, there are plenty of local favourites to choose from. One such restaurant is Calumet Fisheries, which has been serving up smoked fish since 1948. This South Deering eatery is a favourite among locals and visitors alike, and its smoked salmon is not to be missed.

Another local favourite is Shaw's Crab House, which has been serving up fresh seafood since 1984. This River North restaurant offers a wide variety of seafood dishes, including crab cakes and lobster bisque. The restaurant's lively atmosphere and extensive wine list make it a popular spot for a night out.

High-End Seafood Dining

For those looking for a more upscale seafood dining experience, Chicago has plenty of options. One such restaurant is RPM Seafood, which offers a variety of seafood dishes in an elegant setting. The restaurant's raw bar is a particular highlight, featuring a variety of oysters and other shellfish.

Another high-end seafood restaurant in Chicago is Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab. This River North eatery is known for its stone crab claws, which are flown in fresh from Florida. The restaurant also offers a variety of other seafood dishes, including lobster and sea bass.

No matter what type of seafood you're in the mood for, Chicago has plenty of options to choose from. Whether you're looking for a casual meal or a high-end dining experience, you're sure to find a restaurant that fits the bill.

Seafood Dishes You Must Try

If you're a seafood lover, Chicago is the place to be. The city is home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the country, offering a wide variety of dishes that are sure to satisfy your cravings. Here are some of the must-try seafood dishes that you should definitely add to your list:

Chicago's Signature Seafood Plates

Chicago is famous for its signature seafood plates that you simply can't miss. One of the most iconic dishes is the Chicago-style shrimp. This dish is made by coating jumbo shrimp in a spicy, tangy sauce made with garlic, butter, and hot sauce. It's usually served with a side of bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Another classic dish is the lobster roll. This New England staple has been given a Chicago twist, with many restaurants serving it with a spicy mayo or a garlic butter sauce. The lobster is usually served on a toasted brioche bun and topped with fresh herbs and lemon.

If you're looking for something a little more hearty, try the seafood boil. This dish is a seafood lover's dream, with a mix of crab legs, shrimp, mussels, and clams boiled in a spicy broth. It's usually served with corn on the cob and potatoes, making it a filling and satisfying meal.

Exotic Delicacies

If you're feeling adventurous, try some of the exotic seafood delicacies that Chicago has to offer. One dish that's gaining popularity is the octopus carpaccio. This dish is made by thinly slicing octopus and serving it with a citrus dressing and fresh herbs. It's a light and refreshing dish that's perfect for a summer day.

Another exotic dish is the sea urchin pasta. This dish is made by mixing fresh sea urchin with pasta and a creamy sauce. It's a decadent and indulgent dish that's sure to impress.

Finally, if you're a sushi lover, try the omakase at one of Chicago's top sushi restaurants. Omakase is a Japanese term that means "I'll leave it up to you". It's a meal that's curated by the chef and includes a variety of fresh and exotic seafood dishes. It's a great way to try new dishes and experience the best that Chicago's seafood scene has to offer.

Whether you're a fan of classic seafood dishes or you're looking to try something new, Chicago's seafood restaurants have something for everyone. Don't be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone and try some of the exotic delicacies that are on offer. You won't be disappointed!

Seasonal Seafood Guide

When it comes to seafood, there's always something fresh and exciting to try in Chicago. Whether you're a seafood lover or just looking to try something new, this seasonal seafood guide will help you discover the best seafood dishes in the city.

Summer Specials

During the summer months, Chicago's seafood restaurants are bursting with fresh catches from Lake Michigan and beyond. Some of the best summer seafood dishes to try include:

  • Lobster rolls: A classic summer dish, lobster rolls are a must-try at any seafood restaurant. The Lobster Roll at The Infatuation is a standout, with fresh lobster meat, buttery brioche, and a side of Old Bay fries.

  • Crab cakes: Another summer favourite, crab cakes are a great way to enjoy fresh crab meat. The crab cakes at Eater Chicago are a standout, with a crispy exterior and a soft, flavourful interior.

  • Grilled octopus: For a more adventurous summer seafood dish, try grilled octopus. The Grilled Octopus at Thrillist is a great choice, with tender, smoky octopus and a tangy lemon vinaigrette.

Winter Warmers

Chicago's seafood restaurants are also great places to warm up during the winter months. Some of the best winter seafood dishes to try include:

  • Cioppino: A hearty Italian seafood stew, cioppino is a great way to warm up on a cold winter day. The Cioppino at Time Out is a standout, with a rich tomato broth and a variety of fresh seafood.

  • Fish and chips: A classic British dish, fish and chips are a great way to warm up and indulge during the winter months. The Fish and Chips at Noms Magazine is a standout, with crispy, beer-battered fish and thick-cut fries.

  • Oyster stew: For a more luxurious winter seafood dish, try oyster stew. The Oyster Stew at The Infatuation is a great choice, with plump oysters, creamy broth, and a touch of sherry.

No matter what season it is, Chicago's seafood restaurants always have something fresh and exciting to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What iconic seafood dishes should you try while visiting Chicago?

Chicago is a city known for its iconic seafood dishes. You should definitely try the Chicago-style hot dog, which is a classic dish that features a steamed poppy seed bun, a beef hot dog, yellow mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, a pickle spear, and celery salt. Another must-try dish is the Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, which is a thick pizza with a buttery crust, chunky tomato sauce, and lots of cheese. For seafood lovers, some of the most iconic dishes include the Chicago-style shrimp, which is a dish that features breaded and fried shrimp served with a spicy cocktail sauce, and the lobster roll, which is a sandwich that features chunks of lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise and served on a toasted roll.

Are there any seafood chains in Chicago that rival the popularity of Red Lobster?

While Red Lobster is a popular seafood chain, there are many other seafood chains in Chicago that are just as popular. Some of the most popular seafood chains in Chicago include Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, Shaw's Crab House, and GT Fish & Oyster. These chains are known for their fresh seafood, excellent service, and great atmosphere.

Is Illinois celebrated for its seafood offerings, and where might you sample some?

While Illinois is not typically celebrated for its seafood offerings, there are still many great places to sample seafood in the state. Some of the best seafood restaurants in Illinois can be found in Chicago, including RPM Seafood, which is known for its fresh seafood and chic atmosphere. Other great seafood restaurants in Illinois include The Fish Guy Market and Publican Quality Meats, both of which are located in Chicago.