The Twin Cities may be over a thousand miles from the ocean, but that doesn’t mean that local diners have to skimp on seafood. In fact, Minnesota’s landlocked status means that chefs can take their inspiration from coastal cuisines from across the globe. Sushi, seafood boils, oysters, fish and chips, and more, there’s no shortage of just-arrived-this-morning fresh dishes to devour.Read More
10 Finest Seafood Restaurants in Minneapolis and Saint Paul
Where to order oysters, ahi, langostine, massive crabs and more
Argentinian/Italian dishes mean a wide range of seafood. Order stacks of just-shucked oysters and a throwback-made-modern take on fried calamari dusted with a bit of cinnamon before plowing headlong into a sumptuous lobster fra diavolo pasta. The low light, clean white interior dotted with fresh green plants make for a comfortably modern vibe.
The restaurant’s moniker references the signal to sailors that it’s time for a rest, and a tip-off to diners that fresh seafood is on the menu. There are several rustic, fancy rooms to choose from with distinctive vibes like the rough-hewn comforts of the bar, the bright kitchen-side seating or the long tables for private dining. New chef Scott Pampuch is a well-known name in sustainability circles, so expect ethically caught fresh dishes.
All the seafood on the comprehensive menu of sushi rolls, nigiri, and sashimi is selected based on the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch guidelines. Try the oshizushi, a pressed sushi style that’s tricky to track down in the Twin Cities.
This restaurant offers every possible preparation of lobster, including lobster-spiked guacamole, bisque, mac & cheese, poutine, and the butter toasted lobster role. Smack Shack also serves a whole lobster dinner with menu for cracking and dunking the Old Bay-scented meat in drawn butter. The shore-lunch vibe means shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops are welcome, even if we’re still sitting under piles of snow.
Kado no Mise
The Zen-like surroundings underscore the delicate simplicity of the classic Japanese cuisine, including nigiri, sashimi, and seafood starters and entrees. If narrowing down the selections is too tricky, opt for the multi-course omakase at the sushi counter.
The Anchor Fish & Chips
A massive wild Alaskan cod fillet is served over hand-cut chips inside this kickback neighborhood pub. Add a pint of Guinness for a quintessentially Irish meal without the plane ticket.
Eastside Eat + Drink
Kick off an all night feast with a few friends inside this lively restaurant at the edge of downtown with a scads of oysters, both raw with fries and Rockafeller. Dive into cold poached shrimp before tearing into the whole roasted, entirely de-boned grilled bass. Under lauded chef Jamie Malone Eastside has become a lively good time with 90’s music playing overhead and a staff that while delightfully professional, never take themselves or the experience too seriously.
The specialty of the house is the build-your-own Cajun-style seafood boil: pick from shellfish like crab, shrimp, and crawfish, choose a sauce, options include garlic butter, Louisiana, and spicyThai-chili filled Isaan, and select a heat level from mild to “insane ghost”. Other menu items include shrimp rolls, fried white fish sandwiches, snow crab dip, and Chinese shrimp toast.
The oysters at Meritage get all the buzz. Try them raw or broiled with tarragon butter and breadcrumbs. Although, there are plenty of other seafood dishes like like salade Niçoise and moules frites eat like the best of Parisienne bistro dining.
Japanese-style lobster rolls, scrambled eggs with baby squid, octopus bolognese, seafood pozole: the menu at Octo Fish Bar treats seafood to a world’s worth of flavors and inventive preparations and leads in the industry in sustainable sourcing. James Beard Award winning chef Tim McKee partnered with regional seafood importers The Fish Guys before opening this casual Lowertown eatery inside a food hall. Amble over to Almanac Fish to pick out a catch of the day and ask the kitchen to prepare it.
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