6 of America's Essential Seafood Chains
Nothing says “fresh” like great seafood, and right now the full-service restaurant space is spoiled for choice when it comes to fish. Whether you’re looking for a beachy, island-style grill, or surf ‘n’ turf and white tablecloths, one of these popular restaurants is sure to fit the bill. Here are six of the best seafood chains in the U.S.
McCormick and Schmick’s is so obsessed with freshness that they print out their menu twice daily to ensure that the absolute best seafood is being highlighted at all times. That’s takes some serious dedication when you have 46 restaurants across 20 states. Bill McCormick and Doug Schmick founded their restaurant empire back in the 1970s, and the brand, which isn’t limited to seafood, has been growing ever since. In addition to serving up the freshest fish in their restaurants, the chain also extends its reach through catering, as well as hosting meetings, events, and more.
It would be impossible to write a list of favorite seafood chains without mentioning Red Lobster and its beloved Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Since opening the doors to its first restaurant in Lakeland, Florida in 1968, the brand has been on a mission to be “where the world goes for seafood, now and for generations.” And as the largest seafood company in the world, with more than 700 locations on four continents, it seems like they’ve achieved that. Promotions like their Endless Shrimp, Lobsterfest (now with lobster-and-waffles!) ensure that seafood fans will be seeking out this staple for years to come.
If wood-grilled seafood is your thing, then Bonefish Grill is where you want to be. From a single St. Petersburg, Florida, restaurant in 2000, the group has grown dramatically to include 199 restaurants in 32 states. The vibe is laid-back and comfortable, but that doesn’t mean the food isn’t outstanding—high-quality, seasonal ingredients, combined with details like locally created “Neighborhood Catch” dishes, mean that guests can enjoy gourmet food without the fine-dining trappings. Bonefish maintains its quality by keeping all but two of its stores under company control, helping it to provide consistency of experience from California to Kentucky, and everywhere in between.
As part of the larger King’s Seafood Group, King’s Fish House has more than 70 years of seafood experience behind it. The Southern California-based chain is big on sustainability: they own and operate their own distribution center in Santa Ana, giving them control over how all of their seafood is raised, sourced, caught, and delivered. It also means that each restaurant gets the freshest possible product, usually only hours after being caught. While the menu encompasses a little bit of everything, their SoCal-influenced dishes like grilled wild Pacific swordfish tacos (with homemade chips and guac) are where they really shine. There are currently 11 locations in California, Arizona, and Nevada.