Seafood in San Antonio Offers Up Surprising Delights

In San Antonio, seafood restaurants may never give Tex-Mex a run for its money, but when you're wanting seafood, we assure you there are some fantastic options out there for you. We've scoured the city to find the best of the best, whether you're in the mood for traditional fare or something off the beaten path. Our top pick is El 7 Mares, which means "The Seven Seas," and has been serving delectable family seafood recipes to San Antonio for twenty years now, which comes as no surprise as the family hails from Michoacán, which runs along the Pacific Ocean. This hidden gem serves up the freshest ceviche in town! For oysters and other dishes served in an upscale atmosphere, check out Sandbar, owned and operated by San Antonio's celebrity Chef, Andrew Weissman. For some European seafood, you'll most certainly enjoy the fabulous creations at Saveurs 209's funky yet classy eatery or the variety of mussels at La Frite, not to mention the simply tasty Italian dishes that Il Sognio serves up daily. If you're up for Asian, try Piranha Killer Sushi for some modern twists or head to Niki's if you want to stick to tradition. No matter what you're craving, we have a feeling you'll be back once you try any one of these amazing seafood restaurants!

10 Niki's Tokyo Inn
Niki's Tokyo Inn is probably the most authentic Japanese restaurant in San Antonio. Sure, it doesn't look so hot on the outside, but you'll quickly forget about all that once you have a taste of their sushi or any of the number of traditional Japanese dishes on their extensive menu. Niki's is run by a Japanese family and is most often frequented by the Japanese community. It's likely you'll see a few Toyota executives when you go. Their miso is heavenly as is their shrimp fried rice, but if you're a sushi fan, make sure to try everything you can manage. The eel is just about the best thing you'll ever eat and their portions are quite generous, the seafood fresh and the ambiance, well, unique! ((210) 736-5471)

9 Pappadeaux's Seafood Kitchen
For all things seafood pared with a Creole flair, head to Pappadeux's. From the warm waters of the Gulf to the icy currents of the Alaskan coast, from the mighty Atlantic to the blue Pacific, they'll go to any depths to bring you the finest quality seafood available, all year round. Their passion for seafood can be tasted in their mouth-watering creations, made by innovative chefs. Pappedeux's is also the place to go for the most unusual of seafood, such as alligator. Evidentally, alligator has been playing a starring role in New Orleans cuisine for decades, and that tradition continues at Pappadeaux's. (210-340-7143, 877-277-2748)

8 J. Alexander's
J. Alexander's isn't just a San Antonio restaurant, but you can expect to find some of the most impeccable food here, cooked to perfection. J. Alexander's is consistent in their quality, customer service and attention to detail. This upscale restaurant is ideal for a business lunch or even a romantic rendezvous. The prices are fair and the ingredients top notch. Some favorites include one of the Fish Sandwiches in town, not to mention the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes and the Steak and Frites. For dessert, they offer a killer Key-Lime Pie and a to-die-for Carrot Cake that defies any resistance to temptation, although you may want to ask for two forks. ((210) 824-0275)

7 Il Sogno
What could be better than Italian seafood? Il Sogno, located at the historic Pearl Brewery, is a five-star Italian café that offers homemade Italian classics created by the well-known restaurateur, Chef Andrew Weissman. The space is bright and modern, fun yet classy. The menu features Italian fare found in Rome and Florentine trattorias and osterias. For lunch, Il Sogno's offers a fantastic spread of antipasto as well as pizza, salad and other delights. For dinner, your palette can enjoy anything from homemade ravioli to their pan-seared halibut. You'll definitely want to pair your Italian delicacies with one of Il Sogno's fine beers, wines or desserts! (210-223-3900)

6 La Frite Belgian Bistro
Typically, San Antonio is as far away from European as you can get. That is until you walk into this quaint little bistro in the heart of the Southtown arts district. With its warm, inviting décor, wide array of wine selections and French-inspired cuisine, you feel like you might just walk outside and see the Eiffel Tower. Zagat rates this bistro with the "best mussels since Brussels," and they offer a half a dozen different delectable sauces. Tres Bon! Regardless of how much you order, you will want to get an order of frites (French fries) on the side. They're the best in town, possibly all of Texas! (210-224-7555)

5 Azuca Nuevo Latino Restaurant & Bar
Azuca Nuevo Latino is not just a restaurant and bar, but an experience. It's a local's favorite for their happy-hour mojitos and caipirinhas. Located just south of downtown in San Antonio's arts district, Azuca offers fantastic drinks you can't find anywhere else in town in a vivid and vibrant atmosphere. Their outdoor patio makes you feel like you're vacationing in some tropical location and not only minutes from downtown. As for the food, Azuca's dishes are an exotic synergy of delicious flavors from South and Central America with Chef Rene's innovative touch, including a wide array of seafood options, including some scrumptious ceviche! The bar area is separate from the restaurant, and on Friday and Saturday nights, you can enjoy their electrifying live music of Salsa and Merengue until your feet get tired. (210-225-5550)

4 Piranha Killer Sushi Restaurant
Piranha Killer Sushi is a trendy Americanized Japanese restaurant with a bit of a twist. There is no confusion in this fusion! Whether for a business lunch or date night, Piranha's nouveau Japanese atmosphere and expansive menu, including a rockin' list of martini options as well as wine and sake, will not disappoint. Piranha's offers up super fresh sushi, inspired presentations and unique flavor profiles, such as the White Lotus Roll -- a crab, shrimp tempura, cream cheese roll topped with escolar and a colorful pico de gallo served with a delicate truffle oil sauce. Unexpected and savory items such as the Vietnamese beef salad with sriracha lime sauce and the Vietnamese summer roll of salmon, tuna, crab, micro greens, mango and asparagus in rice paper with a ponzu sauce are not to be overlooked. If you're a traditionalist, Piranha's has some classics you'll enjoy, but don't be afraid to venture out into the unknown. Sushi is not for the faint of heart! ((210) 822-1088)

3 Sandbar Fish House & Market
Sandbar Fish House & Market is an upscale oyster bar from San Antonio's renowned restaurateur, Andrew Weissman. It's located on the west side of the Full Goods Building at the Pearl Brewery, a great place for a little shopping and sightseeing after a spectacular lunch. You're not going to find many seafood restaurants in San Antonio that can hold a candle to Sandbar. Weissman is an exacting individual with impeccable taste. The lunch menu offers Seviche, Soups and Salads as well as raw options such as the Tuna with Soy and Wasabi or the Scallop with Yuzu and Ginger. You can also get a more traditional American lunch with their Shrimp Roll or Crabcake Sandwich. For something a little heartier, try the Wild Salmon or Fish n' Chips. Of course, there are always oysters on the menu, if you're feeling frisky! (210-222-2426)

2 Saveurs 209
If you're looking to experience an afternoon or evening in Paris right here in downtown San Antonio, all you have to do is go to Saveurs 209, the new contemporary, family-owned French restaurant you won't want to miss! Although they've only been open a few months, Saveurs has already garnered a number of loyal local clientele, and we know why. The menu is short but distinctive, allowing the Chef to offer dishes that are heavenly and unlike anything else you'll find in San Antonio. This fresh and light cuisine is created with a level of care and precision that leaves no doubt in your mind that Chef Nykiel's skills have been honed in Michelin Star restaurants. Her special flair for inventing unique culinary creations is something the Nykiel family and San Antonio should be very proud of. The menu focuses on amazing seafood dishes and is always evolving, depending on what ingredients are in season and locally available. Although in the states, we are just now catching on to the local farm-fresh craze, this is how they've been doing it overseas for, well, since the beginning of time. (210-639-3165)

1 El 7 Mares
Imagine kicking back with a cold cerveza and a magnificent plate of fresh, bright shrimp and octopus ceviche marinated in lime juice and mixed with pico de gallo, avocado and Serrano peppers, the sound of the ocean waves lapping against the sand in the distance. Now, imagine you can have all that flavor right here in San Antonio and you've stepped into the world of El 7 Mares, a family-owned Mexican Seafood restaurant just a few miles west of downtown. The homemade family recipes are exceptional and the staff amazingly friendly. It's no wonder they've been around for 20 years and recently made Texas Monthly's top 50 Mexican restaurants list, a huge honor for this unassuming yet delightfully charming restaurant. Locals love the Filete a lo Macho of grilled tilapia with a creamy octopus and shrimp sauce, bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with crab and mozzarella and aguachiles with shrimp and scallops. Yum! ((210) 436-6056)

Kimberly A. Suta is a professional freelance writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur with a background in marketing, advertising and social media. Her first business, Midnight Sun Innovations, involved a partnership with Regal Cinemas, the largest theatre chain in the world. Kimberly has written, directed and produced several films that have screened at Texas film festivals and she produces an annual film competition at the popular Alamo Drafthouse theatre. She recently published her second novel, The Rain Queen, which can be found on Kimberly currently lives and works in San Antonio, Texas, a place of much inspiration to her.

Read more about Kimberly Suta here.

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Maps and Directions

Niki's Tokyo Inn 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Seafood, Sushi
Neighborhood: North Central
COST: $$
Pappadeaux's Seafood Kitchen 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Cajun, Seafood
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Airport
COST: $$
J. Alexander's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Burger, Seafood
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining
Neighborhood: Alamo Heights
COST: $$
Il Sogno 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian, Seafood
COST: $$
La Frite Belgian Bistro 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Cuisine: Belgian, European, French, Seafood
Neighborhood: King William District
COST: $$
Azuca Nuevo Latino Restaurant & Bar 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Dancing, Group Friendly, Live Music, Parties / Private Rooms, Pastry Chef
Cuisine: Fusion, Latin, Seafood
Neighborhood: Southtown
Piranha Killer Sushi Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Fusion, Japanese, Seafood, Sushi
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining
Neighborhood: Airport
COST: $$
Sandbar Fish House & Market 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Seafood
Dining Options: Counter Seating, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Brackenridge Park
COST: $$
Saveurs 209 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, French, Fusion, Seafood
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $$
El 7 Mares 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican, Seafood
Neighborhood: Southwest