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May 10, 2017updated Dec 20, 2023

The 7 Best Seafood Restaurants in Chicago

By Olivia Cuccaro

Despite being an inland city, Chicago’s ever-expanding restaurant scene includes a number of esteemed seafood restaurants. Bordered by Lake Michigan, Chicago is home to a variety of freshwater fish and its proximity to both the Atlantic and Pacific allows for fresh seafood to be flown in daily. See our picks of the best seafood restaurants in Chicago.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

For the best of surf and turf, head to Joe’s in the River North area of Chicago. A formal atmosphere sets the tone for a fine dining experience. Known for its stone crab, the menu also includes seared sea scallops, salmon au poivre and ahi tuna filet. Those less inclined toward seafood will enjoy steaks such as the 30 oz porterhouse.

GT Fish and Oyster

Michelin-starred Chef Giuseppe Tentori crafts seasonal seafood menus at GT Fish and Oyster. The small plates on offer are a mix of traditional and modern served in a nautical setting. Signatures from Chef Tentori include squid ink gnocchi with Maine lobster, braised baby octopus and chorizo stuffed shrimp. Be sure to spice it up with the restaurant’s signature hot sauces.

Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House

With daily deliveries, Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House is a must for fresh oysters, frog legs, lobster and more. Choose from an extensive menu that includes shellfish, fish dishes and even Gibsons steaks. Enjoy everything from Alaskan Red King Crab legs to miso marinated Chilean sea bass.

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MFK Restaurant

In Chicago’s East Lakeview neighborhood, MFK adds a Spanish flair to its seafood focus. The quaint restaurant is the perfect spot for a cocktail (like the Hotel Nacional) and a ceviche. Dishes include octopus a la plancha and seafood cataplana for an exotic twist on a classic seafood menu.

Shaw’s Crab House

At Shaw’s, you can opt for a lively evening at the oyster bar or select an elegant dinner in the white tablecloth main dining room. Seasonal crab, shellfish, oysters are on the menu along with made-to-order sushi and sashimi. The American seafood restaurant is a local favorite for its Alaskan King Crab legs, but also offers USDA prime steaks.

Catch 35

Catch 35 masters seasonal dishes such as Alaskan halibut and Block Island swordfish. Seared yellow fin tuna and szechwan scallops are also favorites, complemented by steak options as well as stir-fry. Guests can enjoy live jazz while savoring crab legs and oysters on the half shell.

The Angry Crab

A bib is suggested when dining at this little seafood restaurant. Cajun seasoning adds a unique element to the fresh seafood on offer, with four levels of spice to choose from depending on how daring you are. Here, there are no reservations, but the dungeness crab and lobster tail makes it worth the wait.

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