Chicago is a city renowned for its vibrant culinary scene, and when it comes to seafood restaurants in Chicago, it certainly doesn’t disappoint. From classic seafood joints to innovative seafood-focused establishments, the Windy City offers a plethora of options for seafood enthusiasts.
Read on as we explore the ten best seafood restaurants in Chicago, highlighting their strengths and what sets them apart.
Whether you’re craving traditional New England fare, Cajun seafood boils, or inventive seafood creations, these restaurants are sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you with a memorable dining experience.
10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Chicago
Prepare yourself for an appetizing exploration as we set off on a delectable journey to discover the finest seafood restaurants in Chicago.
1. Boston Fish Market
Boston Fish Market is renowned for its fresh seafood restaurants in Chicago, offerings and traditional New England-style dishes. Their strength lies in the quality and variety of their seafood, which is sourced daily from the finest suppliers. The restaurant excels in serving classics like clam chowder, lobster rolls, and fish and chips.
The dishes are prepared with expertise and attention to detail, showcasing the natural flavors of the seafood. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming, with friendly and attentive staff.
Boston Fish Market is a must-visit for seafood enthusiasts seeking an authentic taste of New England in Chicago.
2. The Fish Keg
The Fish Keg is a hidden gem among seafood restaurants in Chicago. Its strength lies in its commitment to using only the freshest ingredients and serving generously portioned dishes.
The menu features a variety of seafood options, including shrimp, scallops, crab legs, and their famous fish and chips. The Fish Keg also offers a selection of homemade sauces and sides that perfectly complement the main dishes.
The casual and unpretentious atmosphere adds to the charm of this local favorite. Whether you dine in or take out, The Fish Keg is sure to satisfy your seafood cravings.
3. The Angry Crab
The Angry Crab is known for its unique dining experience centered around the concept of Cajun seafood boils. Their strength lies in their flavorful and customizable seafood boils, where you can choose your seafood, sauce, and spice level.
The interactive dining style, where food is served in bags and enjoyed by hand, creates a fun and engaging atmosphere.
The Angry Crab’s menu also offers a variety of other seafood dishes like crab cakes, shrimp po’ boys, and oysters. This restaurant is perfect for those seeking a lively and messy seafood feast.
4. Hagen’s Fish Market
Hagen’s Fish Market is a family-owned and operated seafood market and restaurant that has been serving Chicago for generations. Their strength lies in their commitment to providing the freshest and highest quality seafood available.
The market offers a wide selection of fresh fish, shellfish, and seafood products for customers to purchase and prepare at home. The restaurant section serves a variety of delicious seafood dishes, from grilled fish to seafood pasta.
The welcoming and knowledgeable staff are always ready to assist customers with their selection and offer cooking tips. Hagen’s Fish Market is a reliable choice for seafood lovers looking for quality ingredients and warm service.
5. Half Shell
Half Shell is a classic seafood restaurants in Chicago that has been a staple for over 40 years. Their strength lies in their ability to consistently deliver well-prepared seafood dishes in a comfortable and inviting setting.
The menu offers a wide range of options, from fresh oysters and clams to broiled fish and seafood platters. The portions are generous, and the flavors are satisfying.
The restaurant’s vintage decor adds to its charm, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Half Shell is a reliable choice for a traditional seafood dining experience.
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Mfk. is a seafood-focused restaurant that specializes in Spanish and Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Their strength lies in their innovative approach to seafood, combining traditional flavors with modern techniques.
The menu features a variety of small plates and shareable dishes, allowing diners to explore different flavors and textures. The quality of the ingredients is evident in every bite, and the presentation is both artistic and appetizing.
The intimate and cozy atmosphere adds to the overall dining experience. Mfk. is a top choice for seafood enthusiasts looking for a unique and elevated culinary adventure.
7. Brown Bag Seafood Co
Brown Bag Seafood Co. offers a fast-casual dining experience with a focus on sustainably sourced seafood. Their strength lies in their commitment to serving high-quality seafood that is responsibly caught and harvested.
The menu features a variety of seafood options, including tacos, bowls, sandwiches, and salads, all made with fresh and flavorful ingredients. The restaurant’s emphasis on sustainability and transparency resonates with customers who care about the environment.
Brown Bag Seafood Co. is a great choice for those seeking a quick and delicious seafood meal without compromising on quality.
8. Dirk’s Fish & Gourmet Shop
Dirk’s Fish & Gourmet Shop is a seafood market and restaurant that has been serving the Chicago community for over 20 years. Their strength lies in their extensive selection of fresh fish, shellfish, and specialty seafood products.
Customers can browse the market and choose their desired seafood, which can then be expertly prepared by the restaurant’s skilled chefs. The menu offers a variety of seafood dishes, from grilled fish to sushi rolls.
Dirk’s Fish & Gourmet Shop is a go-to destination for seafood enthusiasts looking for high-quality ingredients and a personalized dining experience.
9. Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods
Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods is a seafood-focused restaurant that specializes in New Orleans-style cuisine. Their strength lies in their ability to capture the flavors and spirit of the Big Easy in the heart of Chicago.
The menu features a variety of Southern-inspired seafood dishes, such as crawfish boils, gumbo, and shrimp and grits. The restaurant’s cozy and vibrant atmosphere transports diners to Louisiana, and the friendly staff adds to the welcoming experience.
Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods is a fantastic choice for seafood lovers craving a taste of the South.
Azul is a seafood and cocktail lounge that offers a unique dining experience in a stylish and modern setting. Their strength lies in their creative and visually stunning seafood dishes, which showcase a fusion of flavors from Latin America and Asia.
The menu features a variety of ceviches, sushi rolls, and small plates, each carefully crafted with fresh and high-quality ingredients.
The cocktails at Azul are equally impressive, with innovative combinations that complement the seafood offerings. The restaurant’s trendy ambiance and attentive service make it a standout choice for those seeking a sophisticated seafood dining experience.
Each establishment brings its unique strengths to the table. Whether you prefer fresh fish markets that offer a variety of options like Hagen’s Fish Market, or you’re drawn to innovative flavors and presentations like Mfk., Chicago’s seafood restaurants cater to every palate and preference.
So, the next time you find yourself in the Windy City, embark on a seafood adventure and indulge in the ocean’s finest offerings at these top-notch seafood establishments.