Seafood is something that can easily be done wrong. However, when you get good seafood, you tend to remember it and maybe even crave it for some time afterward. From traditional seafood dishes to spicy Mexican meals to places where you can get great seafood and great beer, here are some of the best places in Orange County to get your seafood fix.
EMC Seafood & Raw Bar
14346 Culver Dr
Irvine, CA 92604
EMC Seafood & Raw Bar, with sister locations in L.A. County, is a terrific place if you’re love seafood. With a popular raw bar, including oyster shooters, a shrimp cocktail, a seafood tower with 2 whole lobsters, fresh uni, mussels, little neck clams, and more, EMC Seafood is a hugely popular seafood restaurant in Irvine. Their oyster and clam menu is extensive, but if you are in the mood for other seafood dishes, they offer plenty of appetizers like grilled shrimp tacos. Or, go for sushi rolls, crab toast, a lobster ravioli, as well as a la carte menu items like whole shrimp or a whole lobster. Whatever you order, the flavors here are great.
Mastro’s Ocean Club
Crystal Cove Shopping Center
8112 East Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92657
Located right next to the water in Newport Beach, Mastro’s Ocean Club was opened to gear itself towards offering terrific seafood dishes. From shrimp and dungeness crab cocktails to lobster cocktails, oysters on the half shell, Alaskan King crab claws and fried calamari, those are just the starters here. While you can order steaks and chops, Mastro’s Ocean Club is about seafood. So, opt for their Chilean sea bass, a delicious Alaskan halibut, as well as their Alaska King Crab Legs. Pair any of these dishes with their lobster mashed potatoes, or other great sides, and you’ll be in heaven.
27741 Crown Valley Pkwy
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Mission Viejo’s contemporary seafood restaurant
Anchor Hitch is a contemporary seafood restaurant with a passion for seafood. The restaurant, in Mission Viejo, may not sit right next to the beach, but it’s so close to the ocean, that it gets the freshest seafood from boats around the bay. The restaurant strives to use only the freshest ingredients as well within their seafood and raw bar. Served family style to encourage table interaction, favorites here include their hot/cold seafood tower, specialty oysters, as well as a popular lobster roll, and much more.
3010 Lafayette Ave
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Set within a beautiful setting overlooking the bay, The Cannery is perfect for offering delicious and fresh seafood dishes. The Cannery’s menu offers a variety of fresh seafood, salads, as well as steaks, chicken and great sushi and sashimi. Using only wild, line-caught fish, the seafood here is as fresh as it can get. In addition, pair any of their options with great varietals of wine, and it’s a winning pair. The restaurant also comes complete with a variety of cocktails, and drinks, including cognacs, ports, beers and sakes. For seafood, oysters, scallops, a jumbo shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, clam chowder, lobster rolls, and entrees like salmon, halibut and sea bass are on offer, too.
The Harbor Grill
34499 Golden Lantern St.
Dana Point, CA 92629
There is no better place for a seafood restaurant than a coastal city. The Harbor Grill has all of the seafood you could want from soups and salads to entrees. Plus, you’ll find items here that you don’t find everywhere, including prawns and crab cocktail. If you need a seafood fix, but want to keep your meal pretty light, The Harbor Grill has salads with fish as well as Crab Louie. Entrees range from Louisiana-style barbecued shrimp to salmon with Thai curry sauce, so you can get your fix pretty much any way you like with seafood that is grilled over mesquite.
144 S. Tustin St.
Orange, CA 92866
A lot of people probably don’t eat seafood very often because it can get a little expensive. That is not the case at Bahia. Here you can get a dinner plate including shrimp, octopus or fish for less than $15, or a lunch plate with shrimp for less than $8. The menu also includes various seafood cocktails, ceviche, tostadas and tortas. Dishes like those with the diabla sauce are a nice alternative to standard American seafood dishes.
Related: Best Lobster Bisque In Orange County
TAPS Fish House
101 E. Imperial Highway Brea, CA 92821
TAPS certainly has everything you could want in a seafood restaurant: a wide variety of fish dishes, lobster, crab and oysters on the half shell. The menu here also features pasta dishes and jambalaya, and favorites like fish and chips. You can also find a big selection of seafood on the Sunday brunch menu. While this place has every sort of seafood you could want, it also has amazing beers to pair with those seafood dishes to make your meal even better.
House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer
540 S. Coast Highway, Suite 200
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
One look at the menu here is very impressive. From the crab cakes and various shrimp appetizers to pho and lobster mac and cheese, you can fill your entire meal with seafood goodness. Some of the menu items like bacon-wrapped scallops and the rare ahi are enough to get your mouth watering just thinking about them. This place also boasts an impressive beer menu with some rotating seasonal beers that will go great with whatever seafood dish you choose.