Seafood restaurants are some of the most popular in the world. There’s nothing wrong with chain restaurants that serve seafood; but there is everything right with a real, authentic seafood restaurant that serves nothing but fresh fish from the waters below. We love a good seafood restaurant on the water – because why wouldn’t you want to be on the water eating at a restaurant that’s serving your favorite seafood dishes? It’s the most authentic in the world, and so many people argue repeatedly over the type of restaurants that are the best when it comes to seafood. There is little doubt that places along the East Coast make the best seafood – and much of that is found in Maine. However, there are plenty of seafood restaurants nowhere near Maine that are worth visiting. If you are looking to plan a vacation around food – and who doesn’t plan their vacations around what they’re eating – allow me to share with you some of the most amazing seafood restaurants you probably never heard of (and I hadn’t either until I’d been to them) and how to get there so that you don’t spend a fortune.
Haleiwa Joe’s – North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii
When my husband and I made a trip to Hawaii to rest and relax just before we decided it was time to start having kids, we went to the North Shore of Oahu. We asked the concierge at our hotel if there was anything nearby – after we’d exhausted all the hotel dining options – we should try and he immediately directed us to Haweiwa Joe’s. We happily jumped in our rental convertible and drove to the restaurant thinking that we were about to have the most amazing seafood of our lives at this gorgeous ocean front restaurant – when we parked, I asked my husband to take me back to the hotel. From the exterior, it was nothing to write home about and it actually looked a little scary in the dark. My husband convinced me to go inside and that’s where we had some of the most amazing seafood we’ve ever encountered alongside gorgeous ocean views. It’s worth it. Our advice is to go on the off-season so that you pay less in airfare, hotels and everything else. We went mid-September and there were very few tourists and no crowds anywhere.
Amos Mosquitoes – Atlantic Beach, North Carolina
Situated alongside Bogue Sound in North Carolina lies a little restaurant you almost won’t notice driving by. The name is Amos Mosquitos and it’s got some of the best service and the best food you’ll ever eat. And what makes it even more fun is the sheer kindness and friendliness of this family-owned establishment’s own. With their southern drawl and their charm and obvious happiness to make you feel welcome, it’s hard not to want to sit here for hours conversing with the locals. The seafood – allow me to recommend the shrimp and grits – is to-die-for. Don’t let the name fool you, either; you are not going to encounter anything suspicious when you’re here. What we love about this sweet town is that it’s the perfect summer vacation spot for anyone. The best way to travel to Atlantic Beach is to rent a beach house. Most are gorgeous, 3-story homes that seem expensive until you break it down by couple/family/group based on the sheer number of bedrooms and the entertainment space. Visit any time of year for beautiful waterfront views and amazing little shops and restaurants.
Geoffrey’s Malibu – Malibu, California
You almost can’t even see this little seafood restaurant from the PCH when you’re driving by. It’s nestled into some very lush and tropical landscaping, and it’s difficult to see if you’re not already sure where you are going. This gorgeous little restaurant is situated in an old building with one of the largest outdoor seating areas I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Directly over the ocean, this gorgeous view is almost enough to make you forget that you are here for a reason other than eating. Of course, that won’t be a problem once you remember that you have some orders to make. The seafood served here is local, fresh and absolutely prepared to perfection. You will be hard-pressed to find better food anywhere else in the area, especially from the sea. Visiting LA is a bit overrated, so our recommendation is to spend a day here and make your way south along the PCH until you get to the OC. Orange County is breathtaking, and you have so many options when it comes to hotels. We love Laguna and its adorable art shops, its vintage feel, and all its oceanfront dining options. Nothing is quite as good as Geoffrey’s, but it does work.
Tips for Traveling for Food
Anytime you travel for food, and most of us do, you will want to ensure that you are doing it the right way. You can’t just show up in many places and expect to get a reservation. There are some, like Amos Mosquitos, that just want you to show up and sit down. Others, like Geoffrey’s, prefer you have a reservation. If you’re traveling to high-end restaurants, you’ll certainly need a reservation and may even need to book your trip around the next available reservation in the near future. If you are wondering about the best places to eat in San Francisco, you may visit Eagle Cafe, Crab House or Pier 39 restaurants.
Additionally, be sure there is something else in the area you want to see or do. Traveling for the food – which is always amazing – can be less amazing if you’re going somewhere that really does not interest you. The off-season is a great time to come anywhere for food, but if you are also looking for a waterfront view, you might choose to travel when the weather is warmer since many places close their outdoor seating during inclement weather and even during the cold months. Seafood restaurants are the best, and we hope you enjoy these as much as we do, since you won’t find them listed on any top places to visit – even though they are.
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