Despite being in the Midwest, Chicago is home to some stellar seafood restaurants. While the city may once have been known as the Hog Butcher for the World it’s now known for a creative culinary scene that matches and often surpasses the coasts. We’ve picked out some of the best seafood restaurants in downtown Chicago so you can see how tasty this scene truly is.
Shaw’s Crab House
One of the original restaurants in River North’s Dining District, Shaw’s Crab House is a seafood lover’s dream. On one side there’s a white-linen cloth dining room, and on the other is a casual oyster bar. In addition to the seasonal crab for which they’re named, they also have a full menu of sushi and sashimi.
Catch 35 is another standby in the Chicago seafood scene. Known for its Chilean sea bass and Alaskan King Crab legs, they’ve also got a live jazz lounge with a trio performing Tuesday through Saturday evenings. Gluten free? They’ve got a whole menu just for you.
GT Fish & Oyster
Giuseppe Tentori is one of the most lauded chefs in Chicago, and there are multiple places you can experience his culinary excellence. One of these is River North’s GT Fish & Oyster, a den dedicated to bi-valves and fresh seafood. Entrees include wild Alaskan salmon with couscous, tomato jam, and cipollini onions, and you might want to start with tuna poke or snapper crudo. For an extravagant indulgence, dive into their caviar service.
Brown Bag Seafood
Seafood doesn’t always need to be expensive. For a more casual experience, brown bag it at Brown Bag Seafood. This informal spot in the Loop offers a build-you-own experience. You’ll first pick a protein, like curry catfish or lemon-broiled whitefish, and then decide if you want it in a salad, on its own, or with a quinoa and wild rice blend and fresh spinach. They’ve also got tacos and sandwiches for a meal you can eat with your hands.