The Best Seafood Restaurants In Miami

If it swims, you can probably find a delicious version of it at one of these restaurants.
bun with deep fried shrimp between it and mayo

photo credit: Emily Schindler

If you open a map and look at Miami, you’ll notice we are quite close to a very large ocean. We are a city that loves its seafood, and we’re pretty great at cooking it too. There’s a dizzying amount of seafood options in this town—Cuban, Peruvian, waterfront raw bars, and places that are just very good at frying things. We love them all, and have gathered our favorite seafood restaurants in Miami on this guide. 


photo credit: Merritt Smail


Coconut Grove

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsDay DrinkingLunchOutdoor/Patio SituationUnique Dining Experience
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There’s no menu at Shore To Door, a Coconut Grove seafood market that turns into a restaurant on the weekends. Instead, the cook—who might be in the middle of cleaning a fish—will tell you what came in off the boat that morning. The menu might include fried grouper bites, a whole fried yellowtail snapper, wahoo fish dip, or other sea creatures. But it will be delicious, and you can eat it in their fantastic backyard, which has a bunch of mismatched furniture and an atmosphere that feels almost as Key West as Jimmy Buffett riding a dolphin while reading a Hemingway novel out loud.


Maty’s doesn’t only do seafood. But the Peruvian seafood they have on the menu will be some of the best sea creatures you’ve ever had in your life. The ceviches here will forever ruin ceviches for you (but it’s worth it). And the dorade, served butterflied so it looks like it’s been flattened by a steamroller, is quite simply the greatest fish we’ve ever encountered in a restaurant. You can come here, just order that, and leave smiling.

We’ll be the first to tell you that Brickell is full of overpriced restaurants that leave both your wallet and stomach empty—but River Oyster Bar is our favorite exception. The portions here are big and reasonably priced (by Brickell standards). We love the crab cakes—they’re the size of Costco muffins and bursting with crab meat. But our favorite dish is sea scallops a la plancha. These scallops are perfectly seared and so large it feels like the restaurant accidentally ordered the wrong size. Food aside, River Oyster is just an uncomplicated restaurant in a very complicated neighborhood.



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You’re coming here for some of the city’s best oysters, a gorgeous seafood tower, plus a lot more very good things that came from the ocean. It’s not a cheap meal, but it is fairly casual in here, and you won't need to worry about a dress code. The space has floor-to-ceiling windows that face the sunset and a bar with a huge marquee behind it that advertises the day’s oyster specials. It's not quiet and boring inside, but also not exciting enough for a big, loud, fun dinner. The food is the big reason to come here, but luckily it's more than good enough to justify the trip.

This Allapattah market/restaurant has been around since 1980 and still serves some of the city's best fried seafood in overstuffed takeout boxes. They also have a seafood market that smells like a fishing pier and has fresh snapper, grouper, lobster, shrimp, and more sitting on ice, ready to come home with you. If you're not in the mood to cook, order the fried shrimp and fried fish butterfly from the counter. Get a side of tostones, rice, and whisper a small prayer of gratitude to Poseidon while you dip all of the above into the house pink sauce, which tastes like it was designed by NASA scientists to go with fried seafood.

Garcia’s is a (mostly) outdoor restaurant that’s been operating long enough to see the Miami River’s tire-infested waters go from drug-smuggling powerboats to tourist-filled yachts. But don’t worry, the fish you're eating isn’t coming from this river. Garcia’s started in 1966 as a seafood market before it became a restaurant too. So all the fish is caught through local fishermen. The best time to visit is during Florida lobster or stone crab season. But you can always get our favorite dish year-round: the whole fried yellowtail snapper that’s cooked until it's crunchy outside but still flaky inside. Sit on the water, watch the boats go by, and ignore the jealous birds on the veranda.

There are several El Floridita locations in Miami, but the one on Bird Road is the original Cuban seafood spot that’s been around for decades. The restaurant is filled with regulars who come here for attentive service and some of the most affordable fresh fish in Miami. The fish case near the entrance and the way servers ask couples for updates on their grandkids are evidence of this. If the entire family is in tow, order the lobster or fried whole fish to share. But if you’re looking for a deal, get a combo. It comes with your choice of soup (chicken or fish), an entree, and two sides for about $15. Go for the enchilado de pescado and also make sure you order the meaty lobster croquetas.

We usually go to La Camaronera for the pan con minuta. It’s a butterflied snapper filet that’s lightly fried and arranged in sandwich form with Cuban bread, onions, ketchup, and tartar sauce. The thought of anyone going their entire life without eating one is genuinely sad, so please visit this casual seafood spot and order this. And then come back to try the fried shrimp, conch, and lobster. This place also functions as a seafood market, so you can buy your own snappers and spend sleepless nights trying to recreate the pan con minuta at home.

This salty waterfront restaurant in Cutler Bay is as close as you can get to leaving the county without actually doing so. Here, you can watch rosy-cheeked day drinkers house glasses of pinot gris at the bar, share conch fritters with friends on the deck, or sit on the dock and watch the manatees bop around. There is no indoor seating so dress for the weather. And it’s common to see amateur seafarers tie up their boats next to tables for a fish dip and beer break. But Black Point is also one of the few places in Miami where you can catch a fish, bring it to the restaurant (filleted and cleaned), and they will cook it for you. If you’re lucky enough to catch a nice snapper, ask for it blackened.

La Mar is a Peruvian restaurant on the mysterious millionaire island known as Brickell Key. They serve some of the best Peruvian food in town, and their waterfront view is also pretty stellar—so good that it's almost not even worth coming here unless you can sit outside. Most of the menu (like the name implies) revolves around seafood. They have a whole bunch of ceviche and tiradito options, jalea, and plenty more Peruvian classics. This is a hotel restaurant, so expect a slightly touristy crowd. Luckily the food is good enough to distract you from the vacationing businessmen punching away on his laptop at the bar.

Captain Jim’s has been around for decades and is still a reliable classic for a casual seafood meal. You can stop into the exceptionally bright North Miami market to get some fresh local fish or stone crab claws to go. But they do a pretty great job at cooking it, too. Pretty much all the South Florida seafood hits are on the menu—and they’re all really solid. If you want to try a few things, get the captain’s platter. It comes with shrimp, conch, the fish of the day, and they’ll make it grilled, blackened (our favorite), or fried. They also have a fried spiny lobster that’s served inside its shell that both looks cool and tastes great.

Joe’s isn’t exclusively a seafood restaurant, but it’s still the best place to get the South Florida seafood classic: stone crabs. That is, as long as you can stomach the severe price point they charge for claws here. But if you can, Joe’s is still that kind of old school spot that can be fun every now and then. The place is packed during stone crab season (and you’ll wait at least an hour for a table if you don't grab a reservation online). But you should also order the fried chicken and hashed brown potatoes while you’re here.

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