Whether you’re an avid seafood lover or you’re looking to explore the world’s selection of shellfish, this guide is for you. With locations around the world perfecting these wonderful dishes, there is no shortage of coastal restaurants, markets and street food stalls to explore. One thing that can be tricky, is where to find the best. Here’s our guide to the best seafood around the world:
It can be easy to forget that delicious seafood is available on our doorstep. The shores that surround the British Isles offer some of the richest and most vibrant fish and seafood around the world. With seaside towns full of restaurants offering everything from lobster to fresh scallops, it would be hard to find a location that offers tastier and more appetising dishes.
We chatted to Emily who documents her travels on her blog, Emily Luxton. She explained why British seafood is hard to beat, “I’ve travelled all over the world, but I still think one of the best places to eat seafood is my home of Dorset on the south coast of England. The county is a bit of a hidden gem in terms of food. We’re famous for the Jurassic Coast, fossils and beaches but people often overlook the incredible seafood that can be found in this part of the world. Not to mention the amazing restaurants - there’s a reason big names like Mark Hix and Rick Stein have opened restaurants along this stretch of coast. Plus, we hold an annual seafood festival along the harbour in Weymouth which is an absolute must for any foodie!”
We asked Emily what her ultimate seafood fix would be, “it has to be Dorset crab! This is the county’s most famous seafood product and it’s easy to see why - the delicate flavour is incredible. Locally caught crab is also one of the more sustainable seafood dishes and helps keep local fishermen in business. Plus, Dorset crab is relatively inexpensive, since it doesn’t have to travel very far to reach you. For the best, I like the Crab Shack in Weymouth and the Hive Beach Cafê in Burton Bradstock.”
Best seafood restaurants in the UK:
Seafood plays an important part in everyday life in Greece and it’s easy to see why. With fishing in its veins, fish has been a staple for Greek locals for hundreds of years, a tradition that lives on to this day. With its coasts jam-packed with fresh and fragrant offerings, seafood restaurants can be found on every corner.
“One of my favourite places to eat fresh seafood is in beautiful Greece,” says Suzanna from The Travelbunny. “I recently had a wonderful long lunch in Los in the Cyclades. We had a lovely afternoon sitting at Drakos restaurant right by the Aegean Sea at Mylopotas Beach with the clearest azure waters lapping against the quay beside us. We ate fish, squid and prawns all caught by local fishermen and brought ashore that morning.
“If you go, I recommend you try the octopus which is the most tender I've eaten. You can see it hanging out to dry in the Greek sunshine. The prawns are full of flavour and the deep-fried calamari is mouthwatering. Try some local dishes to accompany like fava beans, tzatziki, taramasalata and flatbreads. Add in good Greek wine and you’ve got the perfect mix.”
Best seafood restaurants in Greece:
Italy is no stranger to big flavours and its seafood offerings are no exception. Seafood pasta, pizza and risotto dishes are on almost every menu in every coastal city, so there was no surprise that it made it onto our list. If you’re planning to visit Italy on your next cruise, experiencing some of the local fresh fish and seafood dishes should be at the top of your list.
Brandon, known as The Tour Guy, is well-accustomed to big, bold but delicious dishes. He believes there is no better location than Rome for seafood, “the open secret to the greatness of Italian cuisine is fresh ingredients and simplicity. In most dishes, you don’t need more than three or four ingredients to make something delight your palate, but the attention to product freshness is vital.
Brandon recommends Assunta Madre if you’re looking for a taste of real Italian cuisine. He believes their tagliolini all’astice is the ultimate indulgence, “this is fresh pasta with lobster in tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is cooked first, then the lobster is added in pieces so that the two flavours can mix into an unforgettable combination.”
Like Brandon, Lori from TravlinMad thinks Italy, particularly the Amalfi Coast, is the ideal destination for delicious seafood. “Southern Italy is my favourite place to eat seafood,” she says. “The Mediterranean Sea from the Amalfi Coast and Capri to Sicily has so much Frutti di mare.” Lori went on to explain her favourite dish, “there’s a popular dish made with sea urchin - to me, it epitomises the freshness of the sea (and it’s made even better with pasta). Pasta con Polpa di Ricci is pasta (usually spaghetti) made with the roe of the sea urchin, which coats the pasta like silk and is really delicious. It’s a seafood lover’s dream! Try it for lunch from a seaside café in Positano or Capri with a glass of wine and you’ll remember the experience forever.”
Best seafood restaurants in Italy:
Tokyo is a fresh fish and seafood lovers’ heaven, with fish markets and sushi restaurants everywhere you look. Considered by many as the ultimate seafood destination with some of the freshest catches across the globe and the world’s largest seafood and fish market within its perimeters, a visit to Japan is incomplete without a bite or two of local delicacies.
Pari, from Traveling Pari, recommends a visit to Shinobazu Pond Markets, “this may sound like a cliché but the best seafood dish I’ve had was in Tokyo. The city is known for having a large number of Michelin Star restaurants that serve the most delicious and expertly prepared seafood. However, I personally enjoyed savouring the street-side servings of grilled octopus, mounted kebab-style on sticks, which were generously dipped in soy sauce. The crunchy, slightly rubbery texture of the octopus may not be for everyone, but I grew to like it over time. If you want to try these street-side favourites, visit the markets at Shinobazu Pond near Ueno Park or Asakusa near the famous Sensoji Temple.”
Best seafood restaurants in Japan:
- Isomaru Suisan, Tokyo
- Kaikaya, Tokyo
- Sushi Dai, Tokyo
Mozambique may not be the first place that springs to mind when thinking of seafood but it offers an African twist on some of the world’s most loved seafood dishes. With long coastlines and rich fishing history, there is no wonder that some of its most famous dishes and much-loved flavours all centre around fish and shellfish.
Forming a large part of the local diet in Mozambique due to its accessibility and easy cooking instructions, anyone that visits this coastal country will be inundated with peri-peri style dishes and Portuguese influences.
Natasha, blogger at The World Pursuit, visited Mozambique and instantly fell in love. “There are many fantastic places to eat seafood around the world,” she said. “It may not seem like your typical foodie destination, but I assure you the country has some of the best cuisines in Africa. We found the food here to be rich and flavourful. Most of the population lives on the coast and seafood is on every menu. Lobster, prawns and crab are caught along the shores and thrown into even the most basic of dishes in Mozambique. Almost anywhere along the coast, you can find crab curry for under $3. Another local staple is matapa which is a fantastic blend of coconut, cassava leaves and a seafood variety (usually clam, crab or prawn) - just be warned, it looks like baby food”