“15 Best Seafood Restaurants in Florida,” according to Trips to Discover

Whether you’re a native, snowbird, or in town on a family vacation, it can be hard to decide which restaurants to visit for the freshest catches in Florida.

From crab legs and oysters to lobster and shrimp, seafood lovers can find an array of delicacies to choose from at these Sunshine State restaurants.

On the northeast coast, people flock to O’Steen’s Restaurant in St. Augustine for St. Augustine Fried Shrimp and Menorcan Clam Chowder – family recipes from the original owners. Drive an hour south to Flagler Fish Company in Flagler Beach to find long lines and more than 20 types of fresh fish and seafood daily like Wanda’s Clam Dip.

Both restaurants were recently named among the “15 Best Seafood Restaurants in Florida” by Trips to discover. Other hotspots on the list include the Safe Harbor Seafood Market & Restaurant in Atlantic Beach and Owen’s Fish Camp in Sarasota.

Here they are in no particular order.

starfish company

Cortez, Florida

starfish company is a seafood market-restaurant combo.

Dishes include Wild Alaskan Salmon, Mahi Mahi Sandwich, Gulf Shrimp and Stone Crab Claws. Choose from side dishes of coleslaw, cheese grits, or fries while taking in views of the Gulf Coast.

Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer

Destin, Florida

A locally owned and operated family and casual seafood restaurant on the Port of Destin, Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer is popular for its “hook and cook” cuisine.

It specializes in locally sourced fresh seafood, platters of steamed and boiled shellfish integrated into a “rustic but sophisticated southern fish house,” offered in a casual dining room by the river. water. Snow crab, lobster and mussels are also available.

Brotula's Seafood House & Steamer restaurant in Destin, Florida.

Carrefour Dixie

Titusville, Florida

Carrefour Dixie has been serving “wild ocean-caught seafood” as well as their famous corn fritters since 1983.

The menu features the best local Port Canaveral shrimp and fish as well as the Dixie Spectacular, which includes Maine lobster, prawns, scallops and crab legs. Not a seafood fan? They also serve grilled steaks and prime rib.

Alesha York takes an order in the kitchen at Dixie Crossroads in Titusville, Florida.

Boshams Seafood and Oyster House

Destin, Florida

You’ll find locally sourced Southern-style seafood served in a casual ocean-view setting at Boshams Seafood and Oyster House. Located on Destin Harbor, the spot features “Gulf to Table Southern Cuisine” on its four decks that descend to the water, offering panoramic views of the harbor. They also have live music.

In addition to fresh oysters, they also offer Southern specialties like corn and crab chowder and lobster mac and cheese and smoked tuna dip.

Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House, in the heart of Destin, Florida.

Flagler Fishing Company

Flagler Beach, Florida

Right by the Atlantic Ocean, right next to the local Farmer’s Market, Flagler Fishing Company is “one of a kind” in this cozy beach town and offers indoor and outdoor dining.

Whether you want tuna, salmon, Chilean sea bass and lobster, they offer over 20 types of fresh fish and seafood daily. “Food to knock your flops off,” the restaurant claims.

Flagler Fish Company, specializing in fresh seafood, is located in Flagler Beach, Florida.

DJ’s Clam Shack

Key West, Florida

Stuffed lobster rolls, conch fritters and steamed clams are just a few items on the menu at DJ’s Clam Shack.

Food is served informally from a bustling counter where you will experience “one of the best traditional seafood experiences in the country.”

DJ's Clam Shack in Key West, Florida.

Hunt’s Oyster Bar and Seafood Restaurant

Panama City, Florida

Hunt Oyster Bar serves fresh seafood and oysters delivered daily from the Tarpon Dock Seafood Market.

“A mythical dive with a friendly atmosphere”, this spot has been serving Apalachicola oysters for more than 50 years. It also offers grouper sandwiches, grilled crab cakes and its famous Cajun baked oysters with three cheeses.

Walt’s Fish Market

Sarasota, Florida

Walt’s Fish Market is Sarasota’s only market and restaurant, popular for its freshly landed cuisine. Order the conch fritters, mussels and oysters. But be sure to try their famous smoked mullet spread. I repeat, Do. Not. Skip.

With outdoor seating and live music in its tiki bar, it’s the perfect spot after a day at the beach.

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Walt's Fish Market in Sarasota, Florida.

Restaurant O’Steens

St. Augustine, Florida

Located on Anastasia Island, O’Steens the guests are all entitled to dishes that have been on the menu for 57 years.

The restaurant is a favorite with locals and visitors alike and long queues are a constant. In its ranking, Trips to Discover said this seafood spot “is known for its fried prawns, while the Menorcan clam chowder and a side of hush puppies are also highly rated.”

Kathy Kent grabs two famous plates of St. Augustine's fried shrimp from the kitchen to serve to guests at O'Steen's restaurant.

Owen’s Fishing Camp

Sarasota, Florida

Owen’s Fishing Camp is “an ode to old-time Florida life…bringing in the bay’s local fish every day.”

With roadside boiled peanuts and even a tire swing in the back, you’ll find Southern hospitality while selecting seafood dishes including fried soft-shell crab and lowland porridges for two. The grouper here is also at the rendezvous.

Owen's Fish Camp in Sarasota, Florida.

Up the Creek Raw Bar

Apalachicola, Florida

You will find Up the Creek Raw Bar along the Scipio Creek channel. Sit outside and order oysters on the open-air covered decks overlooking the water.

A low-key restaurant with a laid-back atmosphere, they “aren’t just your dad’s oyster bar”. Make them raw or steam them. Or change it up and add some spice with chopped shallot and habanero pepper.

Stewby’s Seafood Shack

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Stewby’s Seafood Shack is a small take-out and eat-in seafood restaurant with locally sourced seafood options.

Delicacies include Sam’s gumbo and signature sandwiches with coleslaw and tater sauce on a sesame seed bun. Don’t miss their Apalachicola oysters and Choctawhatchee Bay shrimp.

Stewby's Seafood Shanty, Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Pensacola Fish House

Pensacola, Florida

For a top-of-the-range dinner at the quay, the fish house of pensacola is your place.

Their “inventive menu” includes daily fresh seafood selections, house-smoked steaks and sushi.

Be sure to order their world-famous Grits á Ya Ya: a Southern specialty consisting of smoked Gouda grits topped with fresh cream sauce, sautéed Gulf shrimp, spinach, portobello mushrooms, bacon smoked with applewood, garlic and shallots.

Safe Harbor Seafood Market and Restaurant

Atlantic Beach, Florida

Safe Harbor Seafood Market and Restauranta family business located in Mayport Village, offers a sea-to-table experience.

“Come and watch the boats unload fresh-caught seafood straight into our kitchen, then onto your plate,” its website says.

Enjoy crab, scallops or mahi-mahi and cook it to your liking for a meal overlooking the water.

Customers wait for service as they make their selections from fresh seafood at the Safe Harbor Seafood Market in Mayport, Fla., Wednesday, June 23, 2021.

Waterfront grill in drydock

Longboat Key, Florida

Located in Longboat Key, Grill at the water’s edge in dry dockan award-winning Al Fresco restaurant, is known for offering some of the best grouper sandwiches on the West Coast of Florida.

Blackened grouper sandwich with fries at the Dry Dock Waterfront Grill on Longboat Key, Florida.  Not pictured, the sweet chili sauce side.

Seriously. Get the grouper here. (I like blackened better).

If that’s not your thing, order the yellow fin tuna or the seafood linguine and sit on the dockside patio of this “fine and casual” restaurant overlooking Sarasota Bay.

Dry Dock Waterfront Grill, in Longboat Key, Florida, overlooking Sarasota Bay.

Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund

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