Best Seafood in Newport

10 Best Seafood Restaurants and Eateries in Newport, Rhode Island by Local Editors

Being on an island (Aquidneck), Newport has been a maritime city that relies heavily on the fishing industry since the 1700s. Today, it has a wide selection of freshly-caught fish, mollusks, and shellfish that are elegantly prepared and delivered to your plate at area restaurants ranging from casual beach shacks to high-end venues.

There's an old saying "good seafood ain't cheap," but that doesn't mean you have to blow your entire budget on one night out.  Head down to Flo's Clam Shack or Anthony's Seafood, two no-fills spots that offer fresh seafood without the fine-dining prices. There are plenty of pricier options for waterfront dining in town, including  the Lobster Bar, Black Pearl, The Mooring, and 22 Bowens - just be sure to get there early or make reservations in advance (where possible). If you have wheels and are trying to get away from the crowds, 14 miles outside of Newport is the Boat House, an under-the-radar spot located on the Sakonnet River with killer sunset views.

In town, the Brick Alley is the place to go for a casual pub environment with an excellent seafood selection, and for a special occasion, Muse is the new high-end eatery located in the Vanderbilt Grace mansion/hotel. Last but not least, Scales and Shells is the classic "order off the blackboard" restaurant that has become a legend in Newport.


While not entirely a seafood restaurant, Muse's small, prix fixe menu contains a twist on traditional seafood starters such as lobster bisque with lobster wontons and creme fraiche, and Day Boat scallops in a champagne broth. For mains, try the poached lobster with vegetable ragout or the veal medallions with ratatouille ravioli. The new fine-dining restaurant opened in 2011 under the direction of acclaimed chef, Jonathan Cartwright, who is also the chef at a sister hotel in Maine (the White Barn Inn and Spa). Located in the Vanderbilt Grace - the historic mansion that boasts 33 rooms and suites - Muse offers an elegant atmosphere that is ideal for a romantic night out or a special occasion.

Local Expert tip: Jackets and ties are suggested attire, and be aware they are open seasonally.

Read more about Muse by Jonathan Cartwright →

The Lobster Bar
Photo courtesy of Amber Nolan

Two words that go together effortlessly: "lobster" and "bar." Enter under the neon sign and pass the enormous lobster tanks on the right that allow a sneak preview of what's about to appear on your plate. Tucked away in the harbor, The Lobster Bar is a wooden structure with an outdoor patio that boast beautiful sunset views. As you can imagine, the huge lobster rolls are a top choice for lunch, as well as the clam roll and classic fish sandwiches. The raw bar is the centerpiece of the restaurant, with fresh oysters, cherrystones (quahogs), and jumbo shrimp. It's just far enough away from the main drag that many people pass right by it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't get busy during peak season.

Local Expert tip: They do not accept reservations so get there early!

Read more about The Lobster Bar →

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It may have a homey, pub-like atmosphere, but the Brick Alley doesn't serve your average pub grub. Its praise includes "bon appetit" magazine, which declared the restaurant's lobster roll as one of the best in the nation. For three years running, Jameson Irish Whiskey voted they had the "Best Irish Coffee," and the wine list - which features over 250 different vintages - has brought in awards of its own. In the winter, grab a seat by the cozy fireplace (or in the A/C during the summer), and start the meal off right with their famous Portuguese littleneck clams or lobster cakes. The "complete dinners" include a soup, salad, and bread buffet and a choice of sides, with main entree options like oven-roasted New Bedford scrod, lobster mac and cheese, and fillets of sole stuffed with scallops, crab meat, mushrooms, and cheese.

Local Expert tip: The alley behind the restaurant is allegedly one of Newport's haunted locations, and a stop on the ghost tour!

Read more about Brick Alley Pub →


Flo's Clam Shack is a legend in Newport, and while some wonder if the secret has been out a little too long, the institution still manages to keep true to its roots. Expect the place to be packed, and parking can be an adventure in itself - but a worthwhile one. Outdoor seating is available upstairs and down, so grab a menu and grab a seat. Fried fish, fried shrimp, clams, and calamari are all solid options, and the clam chowder is a must at Flo's. Wash everything down with a mojito, rum punch, or a beer (they serve pitchers and combos include a brew), and then head to Second Beach for some rays. It is cash only, but there is an ATM available.

Local Expert tip: Call in a take out order from the beach or at the end of the line.

Read more about Flo's Clam Shack →

Scales and Shells
Photo courtesy of Scales & Shells

If it lives in the ocean Scales and Shells can grill it: everything from monkfish, lobster, bluefish, trout, red snapper, scallops. Appetizers and entrees range from scampi, clam pizza, seafood pasta, to classic fish and chips and changing specials. Don't expect a fancy menu and online reservation system: Scales and Shells is a traditional seafood restaurant. They only accept walk-ins (so get there early), the menu is printed on a blackboard, and it is cash only. There is an open kitchen so guests can ask the chef questions about the meal they are preparing. Try the swordfish fingers, the seafood skillet, or whatever the catch of the day is. No matter what you order, they guarantee that it is as fresh as it can be! Many times they not only know when the fish was caught, but where and by whom.

Recommended for Seafood because: The open kitchen makes this an interactive and fun dining experience with the freshest quality seafood.

Local Expert tip: This isn't the best choice if you have a non-seafood eater in your group; there aren't many options that don't come from the sea.

Read more about Scales and Shells →

Set on the Sakonnet River, The Boat House is located 14 miles outside of Newport (and makes an ideal final stop before leaving). This upscale venue features appetizers like chorizo, shrimp, and corn soup; lobster fritters; a raw bar; and calamari with banana peppers to be followed by a vast array of main entrees. Choose from items like fish tacos, meatloaf sandwiches, Atlantic salmon with butternut squash, baked lobster, and "fisherman's stew;" a combination of fish, scallops, shrimp, little neck clams in a white wine sauce. One Sundays from 11am to 2pm The Boat House also serves that one coveted item: brunch! Seafood-infused items (Benedicts with crab cakes) and classics like French Toast are the perfect way to start a lazy Sunday.

Local Expert tip: Catch the sunset at the bar for half-priced appetizers and drinks.

Read more about Boat House Waterfront Dining →

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Black Pearl
Photo courtesy of Amber Nolan

A Newport tradition since the 1920s when waiters donned tuxedos, the Black Pearl still delights locals and tourists alike. Choose to dine in the formal Commodore's Room or the more informal tavern or waterfront patio, complete with bar, pub-style eats and first class views of the harbor. Any way you slice it, the Black Pearl has the best clam chowder in the city. In fact, it's now canned and served in gourmet food stores and has been featured in "USA Today." The formal dining room serves a menu of classic American cuisine atop linen-draped and candle-adorned tables. Try the Twin New England Lobster Tails, the Veal Chop or the Nantucket Cape Scallops.

Local Expert tip: The restaurant closes from January 3 to February 12.

Read more about Black Pearl →

As a wholesale seafood provider, Anthony's supplies products to its retail store, restaurant, and other locally-operated venues - so dining at Anthony's means you are going straight to the source. A menu sampling includes stuffed Yellowtail sole fillets with a creamy lobster sauce, broiled lobster dinners (caught locally) with baked potatoes and corn on the cob, and Atlantic salmon with pesto marinade. There is also a selection of items for land lubbers such as burgers, chicken sandwiches, and eggplant parmesan. Anthony's has been family owned and operated since 1956 and keeps the tradition going today at the no-frills, casual eatery. Order at the counter, take your number back to your seat and your waiter or waitress will deliver your meal.

Local Expert tip: Bring your appetite! The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable.

Read more about Anthony's Seafood →

For more than 25 years, The Mooring has been a fixture in Newport's harbor with an elegant-casual dining experience on a mahogany deck overlooking Narragansett Bay. Indulge in a glass of wine from the extensive wine list which is accessed via an iPad, or one of their beers and specialty cocktails. The raw bar contains everything from clam shooters to a shellfish platter, but be sure to leave room for their award-winning scallop chowder before moving on to the main entrees. The Mooring Scampi contains pan-roasted lobster, succulent shrimp, and sea scallops, while the Sole Francaise is flaky, lightly breaded, and served with a tomato-dill puree. Although it is a seafood restaurant, the "land items" are right on par.

Local Expert tip: If you are making dinner reservations, call days in advance.

Read more about The Mooring Restaurant →

For a thick steak that's grilled just the way you like it, plan a trip to this Bowen's Wharf favorite. This notable dining room also boasts a raw bar and excellent selection of fresh seafood. Outdoor, seaside dining provides outstanding views of the port area. Dark woods and gleaming brass lend an old world, nautical feel to the place. An expert wine list stands ready to serve your need for the perfect wine to go with your T-bone or Porterhouse. The list includes over 600 varietals, with about 35 available by the glass. Located in the heart of the tourist area, the restaurant still maintains high-quality menu items like grilled Yellowfin tuna with Singapore noodles and chipotle shrimp linguini with lobster cream sauce.

Local Expert tip: Add a side of truffled lobster mac and cheese!

Read more about 22 Bowen's Wine Bar & Grille →


Meet Amber Nolan

Originally from upstate New York, this restless traveler has a knack for befriending interesting characters. You can usually find her just about anywhere that has a hammock. Amber's favorite...  More About Amber