Our Five Faves

Best seafood restaurants

Posted August 6, 2012
Updated April 7, 2014

North Carolina has some amazing seafood places and this week we decided to search the Triangle for the best locations to get fresh seafood!

42nd St Oyster Bar

42nd Street Oyster Bar (Raleigh) – When asking anyone from Raleigh where to get good seafood the first place that comes to mind is 42nd St Oyster Bar. From casual dining to formal diners, 42nd Street Oyster Bar appeals to all. The quality seafood found here is comparable only to that freshly caught from the coast. Nervous about oysters, this is the place I would definitely recommend first timers to give them a try. Still not convinced, choose one of their many other seafood favorites from fresh lobster, to a variety of fish, or try my personal favorite – the crab dip.

Shucker's (Wake Forest) – Living in the Triangle has its upsides and one of these is a second great oyster bar! Shucker’s in Wake Forest is known for their great oysters. They offer raw and steamed oysters, middleneck clams and mussels, in addition to fully cooked peel and eat shrimp and Alaskan snow crab legs. If the oyster bar isn’t your thing, they also offer other fresh fish selections including scallops, lobster, salmon, tilapia, tuna and mahi-mahi.

Battistella's (Raleigh) – If you prefer New Orleans-style seafood, Battistella’s in Raleigh is the place to go! Their menu always contains shrimp, oysters and catfish. And if you are wondering where that fish or other menu item came from, they have a chalkboard that lists the city each item was shipped from.

18 Seaboard18 Seaboard (Raleigh) – 18 Seaboard, sister restaurant of Cantina 18, is known for their inventive American Cuisine with a focus on the freshest of seafood and produce that North Carolina has to offer. A must-have starter on the menu is their calamari. Unlike the fried calamari that you can get just about anywhere, 18 Seaboard’s calamari is grilled and then stuffed with chorizo and topped with puttanesca sauce and citrus slaw. For your entrée, choose from catfish, shrimp, salmon, swordfish, or, my personal favorite, the Big Rock Wahoo, which is named after the fishing tournament in Morehead City. You are sure to be delighted by any of these selections. Also, all of the grilled fish entrees come with your choice of sauce such as jalepeno-pineapple vinaigrette, champagne tarragon butter and 18 Seaboard Worcestershire. In addition to the great seafood selection, the view of downtown from their open-air mezzanine isn't too shabby either.

NC Seafood at the Farmers Market N.C. Seafood Restaurant at the State Farmers Market (Raleigh) – This place is known for having some of the freshest fish around. From the pier to your plate, N.C. Seafood has fresh fish coming up Interstate 40 on a regular basis. During my visit, the people working there were helpful and my scallops, shrimp and deviled crab came out within 15 minutes. Not only is the food great, but the portions were huge. I always leave with my stomach, Styrofoam box and wallet feeling full.

Did we miss one of your favorite spots for seafood? Tell us in the comments section below. 


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  • luvstoQ Aug 10, 2012

    The Farmer's Market?? Sure wasn't good when we went, haven't been back. Ditto for 42nd St. Oyster Bar. Both times greasy food!

  • MahnaMahna Aug 7, 2012

    42nd Street is VERY hit or miss I believe. I loved going there as a kid in the late 70s, but now, not so much. It's just NOT consistent! And I take chances, I mean the food poison scare, well that's what you get sometimes with raw oysters. You mess with a bull, sometimes you get the horns! So that did NOT scare me away. It just has a corporate feel and atmosphere to it now that I stay away unless friends talk me into going. I personally believe you can't beat going to Earp's and getting something fresh, and cooking it up yourself! Not a cook? Ask them how at Earp's. They are super helpful!

  • batcave Aug 7, 2012

    IMO, The best fresh seafood, and the way it is cooked, is in the northern new england states like Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

    Not really, I was just there, expensive as well. Miami, charleston, new orleans, you get a different take , all the stuff up there is done the same for the most part, good but not great. The different ethnicites in the south give way to better sea food.

  • blasphemour Aug 7, 2012

    I got food poisoning from 42nd Street at a Christmas Party for the Henderson Charter school a couple years ago. They completely ignored my calls and acted as if I was a liar, even though many others got sick at the same time. That place will never get another dime from me.

  • ncsuwx Aug 7, 2012

    I am not a fan of 42nd street, although it is a fun place to go. I do remember about 50 people getting food poisoning there a couple of years ago.

  • davidkaseykelly2 Aug 7, 2012

    In no particular order, but lots to chose from, (Raleigh) 518 West, Babylon, Point @ Glenwood, Antonios Village Market, North Raleigh, Shuckers WF, 42nd Street.

    (Durham) Parizade, Revolution, 604 West Village, Fairview Dining Room @ Washington Duke Inn, Fishmongers, Vita Cafe.

    Chapel Hill) Captain Johns Dockside, Il Palio, 411 West Franklin, La Residence, City Kitchen ect.

  • snowl Aug 6, 2012

    IMO, The best fresh seafood, and the way it is cooked, is in the northern new england states like Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

  • Myword Aug 6, 2012

    Earp's. I buy a bunch of shrimp and fish from them, put it in the ol' Fry Daddy...and bam! Best seafood in Raleigh.

  • SwtAnn Aug 6, 2012

    SeaDepot in Cary at the corner of Maynard and Chatham - smells fishy, but the shrimp are great every time. They'll lightly fry lb shrimp or a shrimp sandwich. They'll lightly fry anything you pick, but Friday nights...

  • davidgnews Aug 6, 2012

    They brought back Wahoo at 18 Seaboard? I tried to get it there when we went and they'd taken it off the menu. We had dinner, but it was nothing that begged us to return. Maybe we went on an off night, but that was a lot of money for an off night. I don't know why people are so crazy over this place.