Enjoy amazing sustainable seafood at these restaurants

  • Here's where to find sustainable seafood

    Sustainable seafood is a tricky topic and hard to define, considering the disagreement among experts on what is truly sustainable. These restaurants are doing their best to keep the oceans healthy and full of fish.

    Photo courtesy of E+ / piola666

  • Headwaters Oysters

    Headwaters - Portland

    All of chef Vitaly Paley's restaurants are certified Smart Catch, a sustainable seafood program sanctioned by the James Beard Foundation. Headwaters in Portland has an especially strong focus on seafood, including their own oyster variety, Headwaters Reserve, sustainably farmed in Oregon. In June 2019, Headwaters will host the first annual Sustainable Seafood Celebration, highlighting sustainable fish and shellfish with guest chefs at lunches, a walk-around oyster bash and educational seminars focused on shrimp and salmon.

    Photo courtesy of Local Haven

  • Ironside Fish & Oyster

    Ironside Fish & Oyster - San Diego

    The seafood menu at Ironside Fish & Oyster in San Diego changes daily based on what local fishermen bring chef Jason McLeod at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market. McLeod considers these fishermen to be family and is deeply invested in conserving the rich ocean ecosystem that San Diegans are lucky to enjoy. His monthly Chef's Catch dinner series invites prominent chefs from around the country to cook alongside Ironside's team at the modern fish house and oyster bar in Little Italy.

    Photo courtesy of Zack Benson

  • Chef Jen Jasinski

    Stoic & Genuine - Denver

    In Denver, all of chef Jennifer Jasinski's eligible restaurants are certified Smart Catch and she's been involved in the program since the pilot four years ago. Seafood-centric Stoic & Genuine has the largest selection of seafood, including a sustainably ocean-raised striped bass from Pacifico Aquaculture served as a crudo with kumquat aioli. Jasinski takes great pride in her staff's knowledge of where fish are sourced from, and encourages diners to ask about the catch method. She also suggests using Monterey Bay Aquarium's free Seafood Watch app to check if you should be consuming a specific type of fish based on the species, location and catch method.

    Photo courtesy of Rachel Adams Photography

  • Otoño

    Otoño - Los Angeles

    Sustainable seafood is a passion of Executive Chef Teresa Montaño's, who opened Spanish restaurant Otoño in Los Angeles. Montaño has partnered with La Brujula Conservas, a sustainable female-founded Spanish fish company, and Mind Fish Co., a sustainable Maldives fish company, to serve authentic Spanish-style conservas. Blue prawns a la plancha with green garlic and brandy, seafood paella and house-cured yellowfin tuna conserva with heirloom melon are a few highlights from the menu.

    Photo courtesy of Otoño

  • Minami Sushi

    Minami - Vancouver

    Vancouver's Minami embraces the Japanese philosophy of 'Ningenmi' – respecting the people and environment surrounding us – when it comes to sourcing their seafood. Most of Minami's seafood is certified Ocean Wise, a Canadian conservation program administered by the Vancouver Aquarium. Look for the Ocean Wise symbol next to menu dishes and know that you're making responsible and sustainable dining choices, like the best-selling aburi salmon oshi sushi, made with local British Columbia wild sockeye salmon.

    Photo courtesy of Minami

  • Rebelle Oysters

    Rebelle - San Antonio

    At Rebelle, sustainable seafood sourcing is part of the restaurant’s mission to provide San Antonio with delicious and environmentally-conscious dishes, whether it’s Rebelle’s signature grilled lobster, red drum from Texas-based family-owned-and-operated Copper Shoals Farm or Gulf oysters from Jeri’s Seafood.

    Photo courtesy of Rebelle

  • Seamore's Fish Tacos

    Seamore's - New York

    Michael Chernow grew up fishing for flounder, fluke, porgy, monkfish, skate and lingcod with his friends every Sunday off Long Island, and wondered why he didn't find these fish on New York restaurant menus. He opened Seamore's in 2015 to showcase these local species, all sustainably wild caught, and quickly expanded to six locations throughout New York. In 2018, Chernow introduced sustainable aquaculture as well, most notably fresh (not frozen) Norwegian salmon and Ecuadorian shrimp.

    Photo courtesy of Joseph Li

  • Water Grill Soft Shell Crab

    Water Grill - Dallas and Southern California

    Water Grill, with five locations in Southern California and Dallas, is owned by King's Seafood Company, a family-run seafood business founded in 1983. Environmental stewardship has always been a core value and with their 15,000-square-foot distribution center in Santa Ana servicing 21 locations of their seven restaurant concepts, they are able to make a big impact. King's works directly with local fishermen to provide the freshest and largest variety of available seafood to diners – best showcased in Water Grill's bountiful seafood platter.

    Photo courtesy of King's Seafood Company

  • Whole Grilled Alabama Croaker

    Marjie's Grill - New Orleans

    "Alabama Croaker is definitely considered a trash fish by a lot of folks, but we love it for its sweet, clean taste with a little pleasant grassiness to it," chef Marcus Jacobs says. "It's great fried or grilled whole with the skin on." That's how he serves it at Marjie's Grill in New Orleans, along with Louisiana sea snails, squirrel fish and Spanish mackerel, a bycatch fish on tuna fishing boats in the Gulf. Jacobs works closely with Louisiana fisheries at his casual, irreverent take on a Southern meat-and-three. "We're dedicated to serving diverse and underutilized seafood," he says. "We’re firm believers that pretty much any fish, when handled properly, is worth eating."

    Photo courtesy of Marjie's Grill

  • Portsmith Fancy Oysters

    Portsmith - Chicago

    Chef Nate Henssler works closely with the Shedd Aquarium when sourcing seafood at Chicago's Portsmith. You'll find a lot of bivalves (mussels, clams and oysters) on the menu, since they feed by filtering the oceans, along with ground fish from the Georges Bank, such as haddock in fried fish and waffles, lemon sole and scallops. "As we wrote the menu, I took the time to become very familiar with the sources of the fish we use, methods of catch, and any information I could get from our purveyors so our staff could answer any questions guests might have," he says. The fancy oyster guest chef series at Portsmith is one delicious promotion that encourages guests to eat more oysters while building camaraderie among like-minded chefs in the city.

    Photo courtesy of Portsmith

  • NC Snapper Ceviche, NC Vermilion Snapper, Tilefish dish

    The Cortez - Raleigh, N.C.

    Chef Oscar Diaz pulverizes shrimp heads for seasoning and conserves fish bones and heads for stock at The Cortez in Raleigh, N.C. to minimize waste. You won't find any overfished catch on the menu and Diaz works closely with North Carolina fishermen to rotate fish species so as to not rely on any one fish that may be suffering from overfishing or poor farming methods. They even partner with Locals Seafood to recycle oyster shells, returning them back to the oyster farms where they'll become a home for the next crop of oysters.

    Photo courtesy of The Cortez


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