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Seafood Restaurants Range From Casually Inexpensive to High-End Gourmet

Restaurants that serve seafood range from inexpensive fast-food drive-thrus to high-end, four star dining, and everything in between. Serving fresh or frozen seafood, seafood restaurants offer many choices to diners. The diner may choose a restaurant right at the ocean’s edge or a chain restaurant located in the middle of a desert. The likelihood of being served frozen seafood rises with the distance from the ocean. Fresh seafood is readily available in coastal cities, although chains may still serve the frozen variety as designated by corporate structure.

Fresh seafood is a favorite of coastal dwellers. Many local people are familiar with fresh seafood markets that also cook their freshly caught offerings. The markets serve the cooked food in seating areas right outside the market doors. Al fresco dining is popular in many port cities. Frequently, the fishing boat that caught the seafood is visible from the dining area. This is usually an inexpensive way to enjoy the sea’s bounty, while getting some fresh air and enjoying the local cooking. Walk-up kiosks that serve fresh seafood are found in many cities around the world. Word of mouth advertising keeps these small informal restaurants in business. Tourists visiting these areas have been known to ask for directions to such seafood restaurants. Local people are usually happy to provide the names and locations of these establishments, where the day’s catch is prepared immediately. Spreading the good word about a seafood market helps ensure that the market will stay in business for the locals to enjoy.

Chain restaurants that offer previously frozen seafood are popular in many areas. People who enjoy seafood, but live a considerable distance from an ocean, rely on the frozen offerings, and are happy to order them. The cooks rely on recipes and techniques that have been researched and developed by corporate chefs. While the seafood comes to the restaurant frozen, it retains much of its nutritional goodness. Those who consider frozen seafood inferior have probably not tried it in recent years. Frozen seafood, especially shellfish, is sometimes difficult to distinguish from fresh, especially if it is prepared correctly. Chain restaurants that offer seated dining may be heavily reliant on frozen seafood; however, most offer a fresh catch of the day, no matter their geographic location.

A step up in offering fresh seafood is a sit-down restaurant with a menu and waitstaff. Many times, the seafood offered in these casual restaurants is fixed in a specific way. The chef may specialize in grilled fish or broiled shellfish, for instance. Others may offer fried fish or kebobs. Fish stews are another popular choice. Many times these fresh seafood restaurants are owned and operated by the chef. His menu may be highly regarded in the community. These restaurants are not part of a chain. Their success is dependent on offering the freshest of seafood in a tasty manner.

Fine dining seafood restaurants and dining establishments rely almost exclusively on freshly caught seafood that is frequently flown to their restaurant directly from the fishing boats. If the catch of the day is sufficiently iced, it can make a multi-hour trip without losing any of its freshness and tastiness. The chefs in fine dining restaurants have a way of making even the most humble fish or shellfish a gourmet delight. Special sauces or cooking techniques may be employed to enhance the flavor of the seafood. Prime fish, such as high quality tuna, is frequently made into sushi. These raw fish offerings are highly sought after. A good sushi chef can offer a tender, fully flavored morsel that will please even the most discriminating palate.

Many restaurants, which are not specifically designated as seafood restaurants, offer fish, shrimp, oysters, and other seafood items on their menus. Even high-end steakhouses will frequently offer a ‘catch of the day,’ a fresh fish that has been rushed to the restaurant via air. Many people, who enjoy eating fish rather than beef or pork, will still go to a steakhouse to be in the company of their friends. Chefs and management gladly offer fresh seafood for these discriminating diners.

While small, independent seafood restaurants found near coastal waters may offer the freshest fish, tasty menu offerings are available nearly everywhere.

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