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9 Best Travel Destinations for Seafood Lovers

Dining out is among the highlights of any vacation. It’s an opportunity to taste local culinary classics and would-be favorites by expert chefs — and seafood is nearly always on the menu.

Are you a world-class traveler with a voracious appetite for fresh catch? From the icy waters of Maine to Belize’s vast barrier reef, here are nine of the best global destinations for seafood lovers you won’t want to miss.

1. Palermo, Italy

Food culture is a local tradition in Palermo — the capital city of Sicily, Italy. The island is renowned for its street food, open-air markets, peasant cuisine, and varied cross-cultural tastes on top of its many turquoise water beaches. However, it is most recognizable for its fresh seafood. 

Whether you crave traditional ceviche or modern twists with North African and Persian influences, Palermo restaurants offer a tasting menu for every palate. 

2. Seattle, Washington

Seattle’s location on Puget Sound makes it one of the prime travel destinations for seafood lovers. Here, local fisheries produce all-time favorites, including salmon, clams, and oysters. The endless fresh ingredients help create a timeless culinary adventure, from laid-back fish and chips to fine dining. 

Seattle has strived to improve the sustainability and quality of its seafood. In 2022, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded $39,819,704 to Washington state and Tribal communities to remove fish barriers and encourage the return of salmon spawning grounds. 

3. Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine, is on the Gulf of Maine’s cool, nutrient-dense waters. It’s a thriving, biodiverse ecosystem with abundant lobster, crabs, mussels, clams and fish. In fact, Maine lobstermen caught 130 million pounds of crustaceans in 2016, more than any other state. 

The ocean’s proximity ensures Portland diners enjoy a vibrant restaurant scene, serving tantalizing and creative seafood dishes. However, foodies won’t want to miss indulging in a classic lobster roll or two while visiting. 

4. Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos’s Aegean Sea waters are teeming with fish, crustaceans, and shellfish, promising an endless supply of fresh local catch. The island boasts a long-standing fishing heritage, allowing restaurants to share many traditional and contemporary plates. 

Mykonian cuisine comprises classic grilled octopus and baked sea bream — a mild-tasting white fish seasoned with fresh herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice. Greek favorite moussaka can also be prepared using seafood for a delectable interpretation. 

5. Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

The Chesapeake Bay — spanning 64,000 square miles and deemed the largest domestic estuary — is abundant in crabs, oysters, clams, and rockfish, among other species. This translates to mind-blowing grub for hungry seafood enthusiasts visiting Maryland. 

Fishing in the Chesapeake region has indigenous roots, and the tradition continues today. As such, seafood has influenced much of the local cuisine, with fresh aquatic ingredients readily available at restaurants and markets. Savor perfectly cooked crustaceans seasoned in distinctive spices, or order shucked oysters straight from the Bay.

6. Tokyo, Japan

Seafood contains ample zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, safeguarding organs and promoting optimal health. Nourishing your body with these nutrients can also shorten the duration of a cold. 

It’s little wonder why Japan is in the top five healthiest countries worldwide — where seafood is part of a deep-rooted tradition. Japanese cuisine relies heavily on seasonal ingredients, including fish. 

Tokyo, in particular, has several fish markets, supermarkets, and restaurants offering assorted seafood, from exotic species to familiar catches. Tokyo is also a mecca for renowned chefs who prepare artistic sushi and practice methodical grilling techniques. 

7. Maputo, Mozambique

Although Maputo, Mozambique, may not be your first thought for the best travel destination for seafood lovers, the city’s paradisal location in the Indian Ocean is bursting with marine life. Actually, 72% of Mozambique households prepare and eat seafood weekly. 

Seafood is an essential nutrient source in Mozambique. Generally, protein should account for 10%–35% of your daily caloric intake, although some people have more or less depending on age, gender, and activity levels. 

In Maputo, succulent prawns, calamari, and lobster are popular menu items, whether you prefer grilled seafood or curry. Diners can also choose from a variety of casual and upscale eateries. There are also several beachfront restaurants for the ultimate toes-in-the-sand meal. 

8. San Pedro, Belize

Belize is the second largest barrier reef worldwide, with 500 fish and 350 mollusk species identified. Of course, San Pedro on Ambergris Caye offers some of the best seafood you’ve ever tasted. 

Restaurants have access to an impressive supply of conch, snapper, grouper, lobster, and other local fish fare. Travelers can sink their teeth into juicy conch fritters seasoned and crisped to perfection. Another favorite is a tangy ceviche featuring conch, onions, peppers, and citrus juices. 

9. Charleston, South Carolina

Aside from being one of the most charming seaside towns in the south, Charleston, South Carolina, is among the top Atlantic destinations for seafood lovers. Restaurant menus often include oysters, clams, crabs and fish. However, shrimp dishes are ever popular.

Charleston chefs proudly showcase unique preparations, from casual down-home classics to contemporary culinary innovations. Visitors can try traditional Lowcountry shrimp and grits — a comforting, savory option with cheese and bacon bits. You can usually find creamy crab bisque on the menu, too. 

Fresh Seafood Everywhere You Go

There is delicious seafood to try in every corner of the world, whether you have a hankering for fresh finfish or shellfish. Enjoy each place’s preparation techniques and traditions, giving familiar, local, and modern seafood fare its unique taste.

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