Yes, at more than 250 miles from the nearest coast, Atlanta is completely landlocked. But the city doesn't lack for quality seafood, with many restaurants sourcing from the nearby Gulf Coast. From white tablecloth spots with sushi and seafood platters to neighborhood haunts with sustainably sourced oysters to casual fish houses with crawfish and all the fixings, here are the city's best spots for coastal fare.
Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar
This stylish, upscale fish house located in East Cobb focuses on simple, local and sustainable fare. Think classics like beer-battered fish and chips and lobster rolls as well as oysters on the half shell and oak-grilled, whole branzino with seasonal soups, salads and sides.
Atlanta Fish Market
This Buckhead institution — instantly recognizable by the giant fish hanging out front — boasts the Southeast’s widest selection of fresh fish. The restaurant is best experienced with a large group so you can sample your way through the extensive menu, which includes fresh sashimi and nigiri as well as large seafood platters that feed up to 14 hungry diners.
Watchman's Seafood & Spirits
Located in the bustling Krog Street Market in the heart of Inman Park, this bright and airy spot will immediately transport you to the coast with Southern-focused savory dishes like ceviches and tartares to whole fish and grilled fish collars. The restaurant's real highlight is its oyster program, featuring selections from sustainable growers in the Southeast. Pro tip: oysters are $1 or half price during happy hour, 5 to 7 p.m. on weeknights.
Chef-owner Ford Fry's Westside upscale fish camp has it all: a beautiful patio, an oyster bar offering 10 varietals and a menu featuring everything from beachside classics like lobster rolls, peel and eat shrimp and smoked fish chowder to sophisticated mains like the can't miss "duck fat poached" swordfish with short rib, kohlrabi and horseradish.
Not only is Atlanta's Eastside Beltline Trail a popular recreational spot for residents and tourists alike, it also boasts some of the city's best restaurants, including this Old Fourth Ward spot from local restaurant group Concentrics and a short walk from Ponce City Market. Don't miss the selection of East Coast oysters or the BBQ Georgia white shrimp, both of which pair well with an expertly curated wine list perfect for sipping and people watching on the patio.
Also a Ford Fry concept, named for a 12-foot-4-inch catboat, this nautically themed Inman Park spot has both an upstairs dining room and a downstairs, '70s-inspired cocktail lounge. Both offer oysters, shareable small plates like cold smoked salmon dip as well as mains like crawfish and whole branzino. Don't miss the Friday and Saturday late night menu, which features boozy shakes, twice fried chicken wings, lobster rolls and more.
Bon Ton Atlanta
Louisiana meets Vietnam at this Midtown seafood spot from the team behind The Lawrence. Order sandwiches like the house po'boy or spicy shrimp banh mi, boiled seafood by the pound or fried fish to pair with the restaurant's signature cocktails like the Bon Ton Hurricane.
Six Feet Under Pub & Fish House
Looking for a traditional fish camp in a no-frills environment? Look no further than Six Feet Under. Both the Westside and Grant Park locations boast stellar rooftop views, which pair well with the bar food like catfish tacos, baskets of deep-fried classics like fish and chips and signature seafood platters. Get the jalapeño hush puppies as a side — trust us — and wash them down with some local beer.
The Juicy Crab
With locations in East Point, Smyrna, Duluth (the original), Kennesaw, McDonough and Douglasville, you're never far from this Cajun-inspired chain. Feast on baskets of popcorn shrimp, 1/2 or 1 pound servings of seafood favorites like crawfish or indulge in something fried (you know you want to) like catfish or oysters.
Crawfish Shack Seafood
This Buford Highway spot focuses on Cajun seafood with a Vietnamese twist. Look for cooked seafood by the pound, a variety of po'boys and meals ranging from Cajun boiled crawfish to grouper, served with two hushpuppies and two sides. Feeling indecisive? Get the "Shack-Tatic" Platter, which includes Cajun boiled or steamed snow crab, blue crab, crawfish, mussels, shrimp, corn, andouille sausage and red potatoes.