Certain restaurants are known for their expertise at turning out signature dishes really well. They've pinned down the ingredients, mastered the process, and gained a strong following as a result. Austin has had much success cultivating great restaurants and creating a substantial market for Seafood. Locals can't get enough of the city's excellent food, and you'll often find them, along with eager tourists, at popular Freda's Seafood Grille or at Cafe Josie, a major player in the field. Make sure you see what all the fuss is about!


Super casual and a bit on the old-fashioned side, Cherry Creek does serve reliably good fried and blackened catfish (along with a variety of seafood dishes and dinners), but the restaurant offers other Texas eats, too. Chicken fried steak, fried green tomatoes, po' boys, ribs and fried chicken are all fantastic. Traditional Southern desserts are also winners, including pecan-crusted chocolate pie, Key lime pie and peach cobbler. Not the healthiest of meals, perhaps, but definitely a satisfying one!

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South-of-the-border seafood is on the menu here, along with a wide array of other traditional Mexican specialties. Menu standouts include coctel (a tomato-chile concoction with shrimp and avocado), tangy ceviche, and perky fried catfish or snapper. And on chilly nights, there's nothing like a steaming bowl of caldo (seafood stew) to warm your bones. Non-seafood options include tamales, burritos, and excellent margaritas. The atmosphere is super casual, lively, and a bit trendy.

Read more about Marisco's Seafood Grill →

Quality Seafood Market

If you're searching for spectacular, perfectly prepared seafood in Austin, this renowned fish-market-meets-restaurant should top your list. Providing the region with sensational seafood since 1938, Quality Seafood Market serves up fresh catches paired with out-of-this-world sides like deliciously inventive mac and cheese. Diners particularly adore Lobster Saturdays and Taco Tuesdays, featuring $2 fish tacos loaded with mango pineapple pico or verde cream sauce. Live jazz and heavenly homemade desserts complete this laid-back culinary love fest.

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Devoted to seafood of all kinds, Freda's is also known for serving a good selection of dishes inspired by native Louisiana cooking. The appealing interior boasts stained concrete floors, granite tables, multicolored light fixtures, and lots of windows, but folks often opt to dine on the outdoor patio when the weather's mild. Among the dishes to try are bacon-wrapped scallops, pecan-crusted tilapia, fried soft shell crabs, and a mixed seafood grill. Steaks, pastas, and chicken are available for folks who don't relish seafood. In addition, Sunday's brunch buffet is a bargain that features all-you-can-eat shrimp, oysters, crab cakes, fried catfish, French toast, omelets, soups, and desserts.

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West End

It's not specifically a seafood restaurant, but Café Josie has a way with marine foods that few in town can match. Tropical cuisines serve as inspiration: lots of fruits, vegetables, and perky spices, not to mention mesquite grilling, give vibrant flavor to every dish. Menu highlights include herb-crusted red snapper with mango-habanero butter and roasted pepitas, and grilled mahi mahi with pineapple-mango salsa. Spiced rum pork tenderloin is a worthy alternative to seafood. For dessert, choose blackberry crisp, topped with macadamia-oatmeal crust and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Stylish, popular Eddie V's is a great choice for seafood. Start with simple unadorned oysters, or go for something more complex like ahi tartare with sesame and curry oils. Main dishes run the gamut as well, from broiled swordfish with wild mushrooms and black truffle fondue, to parmesan-crusted lemon sole with garlic butter and plum tomatoes. Gulf snapper topped with crab and lemon-chive butter is another favorite, and land-based options include grilled prime steaks and veal chops. Service is very good, attentive but not obtrusive.

Read more about Eddie V's Edgewater Grille →

South Congress Avenue

At Perla's Seafood & Oyster Bar, easygoing vibes and tasteful nautical decor transport delighted diners from Texas to the tropics. On the gorgeous tree-shaded patio, attentive servers deliver simple yet delectable dishes featuring fresh seafood flown in daily from both coasts. After tantalizing taste buds with spicy fried calamari and Austin's best oysters, patrons savor specialties like the decadent lobster roll drizzled with drawn butter. Chocolate pots de creme add a final touch of indulgence.

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Truluck's, housed in a beautifully remodeled building in the Warehouse District, is a popular spot for dinner, and one look at the menu will tell you why. Start with a selection of fresh cold oysters or Florida stone crabs. Among the main courses are dishes like grilled snapper with crawfish and baby shrimp, trout in a spicy, crunchy crust with mango-jalapeno puree, and salmon with sautéed crab, shrimp, and a piquant jalapeno béarnaise sauce. In addition, several varieties of fish and shellfish are available simply grilled with garlic butter. A surefire hit for seafood fans.

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