Although the Colorado River runs through Austin, the city isn’t exactly a seaside town. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get fresh seafood in the capital of Texas. As it turns out, Austin is one of the best cities for aquatic delicacies. From just-flown-in sushi and Cajun-inspired classics to delicious fish tacos and New England favorites (hello, lobster rolls and crab cakes), here’s our guide on where to find the best seafood in Austin.
Austin‘s Best Seafood Restaurants (and Food Trucks, Too)
Feeling crabby? Looking for a meal that’s shrimply the best? Are you on a “see food” diet? OK, now that we’ve gotten those puns out of the way, it’s time to get to the business of eating. Whether you like your seafood raw, fried, baked, or grilled, check out these eateries around Austin that are sure to satisfy your cravings.
801 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78704
Much like Adele, Beyonce, Pink, and Shakira, Uchi is a one-name superstar that dazzles the senses. (Not surprising it also tops our best sushi in Austin list.) With a reputation for fresh fish and inventive fare, this cute red bungalow houses some of the tastiest raw and cooked seafood creations in the city.
At the raw bar is where you’ll see an array of freshly flown-in fish from Japan, while the rest of the space is lined with booths and tables. Along with sushi, sashimi, and rolls, the menu offers “cool tastings” like yellowtail with ponzu and “hot tastings” such as grilled branzino with maitake mushroom.
Quality Seafood Market
5621 Airport Blvd., Austin, TX 78751
When you want a good old-fashioned chow down, Quality Seafood Market is just the place to make it happen. Along with the retail fish market, there’s a restaurant where you can choose from daily blackboard specials and grab a seat at the oyster bar.
Get your fix of fresh Gulf oysters on the half shell, salmon street tacos, and that famous melange of fried calamari, zucchini, carrots, and jalapenos. With a storied history and bustling yet welcoming vibe, Quality Seafood Market is a true Austin classic.
4200 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78756
No “best seafood in Austin” list would be complete without Uchiko. If the name sounds familiar, you’re right. The “child of Uchi” doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to fresh fish and artfully presented Japanese dishes.
Seafood comes in every day from Japan’s famed Toyosu market, and produce comes from local farms. Similar to Uchi’s menu options, there are numerous rolls, sushi, and sashimi as well as cool tastings (try the kanpachi crudo) and hot tastings like halibut with romanesco, hazelnut, and coconut beurre blanc. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
Clark’s Oyster Bar
1200 W. 6th St., Austin, TX 78703
With its yellow-and-white striped awning and shaded outdoor seating that leads to a bright, white, diner-like space, Clark’s Oyster Bar feels as if it could be somewhere along the coast of New England. Only it happens to be in Austin.
Offering lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, this lively seafood haven is where you’ll load up on everything from oysters, clams, and caviar to lobster rolls, mussels in white wine, snapper (crispy or ceviche-style), cioppino, and so much more.
Deckhand Oyster Bar
With a mission to offer reasonably priced seafood in a family-friendly environment, Deckhand Oyster Bar is the kind of place where you can let your hair down and enjoy a fuss-free good time.
With two locations — North is on Parker Drive and South is on South Lamar Boulevard — the bar’s specialty is Gulf Coast oysters and made-to-order seafood dishes that span Thai, Cajun, and American cuisine. You can get your fresh fish broiled, blackened, or fried, and enjoy favorites like crawfish etouffee, shrimp pad thai, Southwestern stuffed oysters, and po’ boy sandwiches.
14735 Bratton Ln., Austin, TX 78728
If a trip to the East Coast isn’t in the books anytime soon, don’t worry. You can get plenty of fresh Maine lobster at Garbo‘s, which has a restaurant located in the Bratton Square strip mall, a trailer on Congress in downtown Austin, and a couple of roving food trucks.
While the trailer and trucks have a fairly short menu of classics — there’s a few lobster rolls, a crab roll, burger, and lobster Cobb salad — the brick-and-mortar eatery has a substantially larger list of vittles, including clam chowder, shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, oysters, fish ‘n’ chips, seafood platters, and more.
Mongers Market + Kitchen
2401 E. Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702
Just as its name says, Mongers Market + Kitchen is part market, part raw bar, part kitchen, and all good. Whether you want to pop by the shop to pick up the catch of the day, or you feel like lingering for a bite inside or on the outdoor patio, the results are the same: deliciously fresh seafood. Gulf Coast catches are the focus here, so expect local favorites like BBQ shrimp, grouper, red snapper, and a whole lot more.
1400 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704
With a giant marlin on the wall, oversized aquarium, and under-the-sea decorative accents, Perla’s has that nautical vibe on lock. (It also has a pretty tree-lined patio with tiny Edison lights.) Along with the cool scene, this seafood and oyster bar is a fun spot for a lunch, brunch, or dinner date.
Oysters on the half shell, sandwiches, and classic appetizers will start you off right. But when you want to go for broke, try any of Perla’s plates, surf ‘n’ turf options, or fresh fish that can be pan-roasted, seared, fried, or oak-grilled.
While we like to keep things local, this national chain earns high marks thanks to its consistently good food and luxe scene that makes you feel like you’re successfully adulting. With two locations — downtown Austin and the Arboretum — Truluck‘s is popular for special occasions and business meetings. (Translation: It’s pricey.)
Since it’s a national outfit, you’ll find a wide variety of seafood, from Mediterranean branzino and Pacific swordfish to Great Lakes fried perch, Hawaiian ahi tuna, and Faroe Island salmon. If your wallet’s a little tight, stop by during the half-price weeknight happy hour (excuse us, “cocktail hour”) in the Stone Crab Lounge.
Turf N’ Surf Po Boy
407 Lavaca St., Austin, TX 78701
The antithesis to Truluck’s scene, Turf N’ Surf Po Boy (often called Turf N’ Surf Poboys), is about as no-frills as it gets — although the flat-screen TVs kick it up a notch. Located inside the Lavaca Street Bar, this seafood-meets-taco stand is where Austinites go for Cajun-style po’ boys, tacos, and more.
Get your seafood (or meat) grilled, fried, or blackened. Shrimp, mahi-mahi, redfish, and “naughty cat” (catfish with bacon) are just a few of the “surf” options while there are dozens of “turf” selections, including ribeye, chicken, and pulled pork.
Get Your Fresh Catch With the Best Seafood in Austin
When it comes to fresh seafood destinations, Austin might not be the first place that comes to mind. But after perusing this list of seafood dining around the city, it’s clear that ATX has plenty of options — and we’ve merely scratched the surface. For more ideas on having a good time in the capital city, check out our guides on the best bars in Austin and where to take a brewery tour.