Whether you’re an avid seafood lover or you’re looking to explore the world’s selection of protein and vitamin-rich shellfish. With locations across the globe perfecting these wonderful dishes, there is no shortage of coastal restaurants, markets and street food stalls to explore. One thing that can be tricky, is where to find these fresh, fragrant and totally delicious offerings. In this article, we discover just that, the best seafood around the world and the places you should be adding on your cruise bucket list.
Japan, and more specifically Tokyo is a fresh fish and seafood lovers’ heaven, with fish markets and sushi restaurants around almost every corner. Considered by many as the ultimate seafood destination with some of the freshest catches across the globe and the world’s largest seafood and fish market within its perimeters, a visit to Japan really isn’t complete without a bite or two of some of these delicacies.
Pari from Traveling Pari loves visiting Japan and thinks you can’t beat the fresh seafood offerings at the Shinobazu Pond Markets: “This may sound like a cliché but the best seafood dish I've had was in Tokyo. Tokyo is known for having the largest number of Michelin-star restaurants that serve the most delicious and expertly prepared seafood you could have. However, what I personally enjoyed was savouring the street-side servings of grilled octopus, mounted kebab-style on sticks, which were generously dipped in soy sauce. The crunchy, slightly rubbery texture of the octopus may not be for everyone, but I grew to like it over time. If you want to try these street-side favourites, visit the markets at Shinobazu Pond near Ueno Park or at Asakusa near the famous Sensoji Temple.”
Japan is full of local markets selling octopus, squid, prawns and other delicious fresh produce. Susan who blogs about her travels at Susan Shain thinks that the markets are the best place to head if you have a seafood craving: “One of my favourite places to eat seafood is Japan. It has an incredibly diverse array of dishes - from sashimi to shrimp tempura, it is always fresh and delicious. It's also fun to visit the Tsukiji Outer Market in Tokyo. Though the famous tuna auctions have moved to a new location, it's still a great spot to wander around and try some amazing food.”
Great seafood restaurants in Japan:
- Sushi Dai – Toyosu Market Fisheries
- Isomaru Suisan – Taito City, Tokyo
- Kaikaya by the Sea - 23-7 Maruyamacho, Shibuya City
- Shabutsu Yoshinosasa – Chuo City, Tokyo
Lydia Yang who blogs about her travels on Lydiscapes thinks that Thailand and Bangkok, in particular, are the best for fresh seafood “If there is one place that can satisfy my cravings for tasty and affordable seafood options, it will be Bangkok's street food in Thailand. In most places in Europe and America, seafood can be enjoyed simply steamed or boiled to enjoy the freshness, but one thing that adds the extra zest to the favour is the Thai spices when cooked in it.
“Being a lover of spicy and sour flavours, my favourite dish in Thailand is none other than the Tom Yam Goong, which is a rich spicy and sour broth mixed with plenty of lemongrass, ginger to give the flavour, with the seafood added in last. You can enjoy a rich tom yam goong soup with tiger prawns, squid and mussels for as low as US$3 if you eat along the street stalls.
“Whether you are travelling solo, with kids or on an all-girls trip to Bangkok, this is the one highlight of this city you must not miss - the incredibly delicious and affordable food in Thailand.”
Italy is no stranger to big flavours and their seafood offerings are no exception. Seafood pasta, pizza and wonderful risotto dishes are on almost every menu in every coastal city, so there was no surprise that it made it onto this list. If you’re planning to visit Italy on your next cruise adventure, experiencing some of the local fresh fish and seafood dishes should be at the top of your list.
Brandon Shaw, also known as The Tour Guy is well-accustomed to big, bold and delicious dishes. He thinks there is no better location than Rome if you’re looking for some of the world’s best seafood: “Italy, in general, speaks for itself, especially in Rome. The open secret to the greatness of their cuisine is its fresh ingredients and simplicity. In most dishes, you don’t need more than three or four ingredients to make something delight your palate, but the attention to product freshness is vital.”
Brandon cannot recommend Assunta Madre enough if you’re in Rome and looking for a taste of real Italian seafood and thinks the Tagliolini all’astice is the ultimate indulgence: “This is fresh pasta with lobster in tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is cooked first, then the lobster is added in pieces so that the two flavours can mix into an unforgettable combination of heaven.”
Similarly to Brandon, Lori who loves blogging about her travels at TravlinMad thinks you can’t beat Italy and especially the Amalfi Coast when it comes to fresh seafood: “Southern Italy is my favourite place to eat seafood. The Mediterranean Sea from the Amalfi Coast and Capri to Sicily has so much good frutti di mare.”
We continued to ask Lori what her favourite seafood dish is when she visits Italy: “There’s a popular dish made with sea urchin — to me, it epitomises the freshness of the sea (and it’s made even better with pasta)! Pasta con Polpa di Ricci is pasta (usually spaghetti) made with the roe of the sea urchin, which coats the pasta like silk and is really delicious. It’s a seafood lover’s dream! Try it for lunch from a seaside cafe in Positano or Capri with a glass of wine and you’ll remember the experience forever.”
Great seafood restaurants in Italy:
- QuarantunoDodici - Via Monte Cadria, 127
- Chinappi Roma - Via Augusto Valenziani, 19
- Il Tempio di Iside - Via Pietro Verri angolo, Via Labicana, 1
It’s obvious to see why fish and seafood is so important to everyday life in Greece, with its coasts jam-packed with fresh and fragrant offerings. With fishing within its veins, fish has been a staple for locals of Greece and the Greek Islands for hundreds of years, a tradition that lives on to this day. With holidaymakers flocking to its shores, seafood restaurants are around every corner.
“One of my favourite places to eat fresh seafood is in the beautiful Greek Islands.” Says Suzanna from Travel Bunny. “I recently had a wonderful long lunch in Los in the Cyclades. We had a lazy afternoon sat at Drakos restaurant right by the Aegean Sea at Mylopotas Beach with the clearest azure waters lapping against the quay beside us. We ate fish, squid and prawns all caught by local fishermen and brought ashore that morning.
“If you go, I recommend you try the octopus which is the tenderest I’ve eaten. You can see it hanging out to dry in the Greek sunshine. The prawns are full of flavour and the deep-fried calamari is mouth-watering. Try some local dishes to accompany like fava beans, tzatziki, taramasalata and flatbreads. Add in good Greek wine and you’ve got the perfect meal.”
If you’re looking to taste some of the freshest seafood, cooked by traditional chefs and served in sunny terraced restaurants, then Greece is the ideal location for you.
Great seafood restaurants in Greece:
- Estiatoriio Milos - 46, Leof. Vasilissis Sofias, Athina
- Agkyra - Geor. Averof 14, Kos
- Dinoris Fish Restaurant - Museum Sq 14A, Rodos
A location many wouldn’t think of when it comes to seafood, but Mozambique offers an African twist on some of the world’s best-loved seafood dishes. With long coastlines and rich fishing history, there is no wonder that some of its most famous dishes and much-loved flavours all centre around fish and shellfish.
Forming a large part of the local diet in Mozambique due to its accessibility and easy cooking instructions, anyone that visits this coastal country will be inundated with peri-peri style dishes and Portuguese and European influences.
Natasha, a blogger at The World Pursuit, visited Mozambique and instantly fell in love with the delicious seafood dishes on offer:
“There are many fantastic places to eat seafood around the world. However, perhaps our most memorable seafood meal was in Mozambique. It may not seem like your typical foodie destination, but I assure you the country has some of the best cuisines in Africa. “Unlike the many other countries in Africa, we found the food in Mozambique to be rich and flavourful. Most of the population lives on the coast and seafood is on every menu. Lobster, prawns, and crab are caught along the shores and thrown into even the most basic of dishes in Mozambique. Almost anywhere along the coast, you can find crab curry for under $3. Another local staple is “Matapa” which is a fantastic blend of coconut, cassava leaves, and a seafood variety (clam, crab, or prawn) – just be warned it looks like baby food! But it's cheap and delicious!”
Best seafood restaurants in Mozambique:
- Zambi Restaurant - Av. 10 de Novembro, 8, Maputo
- Restaurant Costa de Sol - Maputo, Mozambique
- Leopoldina's - Rua De Outubro, Vilanculos
It’s easy to forget the UK as a great seafood destination, but the shores that surround the island offer some of the richest and most vibrant fresh fish and seafood around the world. With seaside towns full of restaurants offering everything from lobster to squid and fresh scallops, it would be hard to find a location that offers tastier and more appetising looking dishes.
We spoke to Emily Luxton who blogs about her travels over on her blog, she told us how you can beat the home comforts and fresh seafood that is on offer in the UK: “I've travelled all over the world, but I still think one of the best places to eat seafood is my home of Dorset on the south coast of England! The county is a bit of a hidden gem in terms of food. We're famous for the Jurassic Coast, fossils, and beaches, but people often overlook the incredible seafood that can be found in this part of the world. Not to mention the amazing restaurants - there's a reason big names like Mark Hix and Rick Stein have opened restaurants along this stretch of coast! Plus, we hold an annual seafood festival along the harbour in Weymouth which is an absolute must-visit for any foodie.”
She continued to tell us a little more about her favourite places to visit when she needs a tasty seafood fix: “It has to be Dorset crab! This is the county's most famous seafood product and it's easy to see why, as the delicate flavour is incredible. Locally-caught crab is also one of the more sustainable seafood dishes and helps keep local fishermen in business. Plus, crab in Dorset is relatively inexpensive, since it doesn't have to travel very far to reach you. For the best, I like the Crab Shack in Weymouth and the Hive Beach Cafe in Burton Bradstock.”
Best seafood restaurant in England:
- The Crab House – Weymouth
- Millers Fish and Chips – Haxby
- Latimers – Sunderland
There is no doubt that seafood is a staple in diets across the world and that there is an abundance of wonderful offerings far and wide. Wherever you are planning to cruise to next, make sure you plan a stop at one of the wonderful restaurants we have mentioned in this article and experience some of the world’s best seafood for yourself. Book a no fly cruise from the UK or plan a trip from Southampton cruise port and experience little to no travelling before heading onto your ship.