Fin-atics get their fix at Chicago's best seafood restaurants

Seafood is hard to do well at home and it's best to buy fish fresh and prepare it that night, neither undercooking nor turning it into a Dr. Scholl’s shoe insert. Good luck with that after a long day at work - or just rely on any of these sea faring eateries.

What's your go-to? Oysters, the bracing bivalves that Casanova called  “a spur to the spirit and to love“ or a comforting platter of fried perch sided with potato pancakes and cold one? 

Chicago claims a bevy of strictly seafood eateries that range from the messy (Lowcountry) to the posh (Truluck's).  For large portions and BYOB, get to Boston Fish Market and oyster and crab lovers land trophy sized love at Shaw's Crab House Chicago. We love our Lake Michigan but you can get shellfish plucked from the ocean less than a day ago at places like Hugo's Frog Bar and Fish House and Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab.  Since Chicagoans don't have an accent at all, we like to rib or northeastern pals by asking them to "pahk the cah" so we can hit up Oyster Bah in Lincoln Park.   

Let's drop our lines and see what we catch!

GT Fish and Oyster


You'll see expected items, Hamachi crudo, a rotating mix of fresh oysters and perfectly seared scallops on Giuseppe Tentori's menu, however, you're likely to hear people note that they "were the best hamachi, oysters and scallops" they ever ate....  Read More



This classic dinner club style restaurant with a vaulted ceiling, crisply pressed tablecloths and dark wooden furniture is appropriate for a biz lunch, a refuel after shopping or even a special occasion. Partner of the famous Joe's Stone Crab in...  Read More

Lake View


Choose to visit the seafood boil concept in Lakeview or the South Loop for a recreation of a sweet family trip south when you'd stop for a bag o' seafood after a day of swimming in the ocean. Belly up to the picnic table with your mallet and...  Read More

Lincoln Park


There are only a couple ways around cooking our own fish issues: move to a picturesque fishing village on the Mediterranean or head to Oyster Bah where you can get classic seafood dishes and fish from around the planet presented to you. The...  Read More



Choose the intimate downstairs dining area or the upstairs' oyster bar with house-infused spirits, local craft beer, small plates and snacks, and a range of options from Big Eye tuna poke to lemongrass shrimp tacos and mini lobster...  Read More



It's not unusual to see a line snaking out of the restaurant portion of Boston Fish Market, the largest processor of salmon and whitefish in the midwest. It's nothing fancy: stand in line to place an order, take your number and be glad...  Read More



Supposedly, legendary lover Casanova ate 50 raw oysters every morning as an aphrodisiac. Shaw's Crab House has been the authority on the briny bivalves with the sexy rep for years with its annual Oyster Festival. Not your thing? Shaw's offers...  Read More



Chicagoans proved they don't need tasteful surroundings to go gaga for seafood - just tasty seafood. When Aloha Poke opened in the French Market, it was an instant hit. Fresh, fast and flavorful bowls of quality raw ingredients are packed while...  Read More



About 30 years ago, there were shrimp and fish shacks dotting the industrial parts of the city offering blue and white collar workers a quick oil-stained brown bag of hot fried fish chips, shrimp, clam strips, perch and a plastic container of...  Read More



Doing for seafood what Gibson's (next door/ same owners) does for meat lovers, Hugo's Frog Bar and Fish House is always a sure thing. Think you're "meh" about crab? Hugo's Alaskan king crab bites will become your new culinary crush. Go...  Read More


Meet Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and...  More About Jacky