Hunting Down The Best Seafood In Portland Oregon: A Top 10

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Written By John @ The Portlandist

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Seafood is one of those dishes that encompasses many possible dishes, even before you consider how you are going to cook them.  You have fish as flaky as cod to as dense as salmon, but you also have shellfish such as clams, shrimp and oysters.  There are countless combinations of seafood dishes and we each have our favorites.

People tend to get picky about their seafood choices and we can’t blame them.  Every dish must be served just right, or the meal will have a shadow of doubt hanging over it.  We’re not here to cast dispersion on the fine state of Nebraska, but if you’re looking for the best seafood, start by looking down by the water.  And where else can you find better waterways and ocean access as you can right here in Portland, Oregon?  Nowhere.  So search all you want, anywhere you want, and when you’ve exhausted your hunt, settle down to some of the best seafood dishes you’ll find anywhere here in your home of Portland.

We’ve been all around the city, all around the state, and even all around the country.  There are specialties in every region but the grand melting pot of our Pacific Northwest brings all these flavors and recipes home to us and it all culminates in a string of restaurants all promising to deliver the best seafood in Portland, and each of them make good on that promise in their own way.

If you are searching for laid back fare in a bar and grill atmosphere, we have that on the list.  If you’re hunting down that unique spot that serves excellent seafood in a hidden gem of a spot, it’s on our list.  And if you want to be catered to, pampered and enjoy a fine dining experience where only the very best will do… well we list that as well.  Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it here in Portland.  The best seafood in Portland exists in every form, fashion, and expectation.  Look close enough and you will find what you are searching for.

If you are searching for laid back fare in a bar and grill atmosphere, we have that on the list.  If you’re hunting down that unique spot that serves excellent seafood in a hidden gem of a spot, it’s on our list.  And if you want to be catered to, pampered and enjoy a fine dining experience where only the very best will do… well we list that as well.  Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it here in Portland.  The best seafood in Portland exists in every form, fashion, and expectation.  Look close enough and you will find what you are searching for.

The Best Seafood in Portland Oregon

Below is our picks for the top 10 best Seafood in Portland Oregon. To snap directly to a specific location, please click the corresponding link in the list below.

  1. King Tide Fish & Shell
  2. Southpark Seafood
  3. Kracked Crab
  4. Jake’s Famous Crawfish
  5. Jacqueline
  6. La Moule
  7. Cabezon Restaurant
  8. My Brother’s Crawfish
  9. Seasons & Regions Seafood Grill
  10. Salty’s on the Columbia

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10. King Tide Fish & Shell

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You will hear people tell you that you shouldn’t eat seafood where you can’t see the water.  Well that nugget of advice may or not be worth taking, but you certainly don’t have to worry about it here at King Tide Fish & Shell.  With a street address on Harbor Drive and magnificent views of the Hawthorne Bridge spanning the Willamette River, you get superb seafood with attentive service and the views of the river are just the icing on the cake.

King Tide Fish & Shell has a menu that takes influence from all over the world, so you aren’t just enjoying the best seafood in Portland, you’re getting it with a global flair, a little taste of the world in your dish right here in Portland.  Notably South American ingredients and Japanese touches will adorn your plate taking the ordinary and turning it into the extraordinary.

The brunch offerings are a hearty offering of Portland seafood, and the Smoked Salmon Benedict will have you coming back to enjoy it over and again.  Of all the excellent dishes King Tide Fish & Shell offer, the overwhelming winner of praise from customers is their Clam Chowder with Arctic Char, sweet roasted corn, and bits of truffle potato.  The description makes us hungry for it all over again.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-295-6166
1510 SW Harbour Way, Portland, Oregon 97201


9. Southpark Seafood

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Seafood restaurants come and go, open and close every day.  The reason Southpark Seafood has been welcoming guests through their doors for over two decades is because they serve some of the best seafood in Portland.  This chic dining establishment is a breath of fresh air in the heart of downtown Portland, an excellent escape from the day to enjoy great food.

Upscale without being stuffy, the atmosphere at Southpark Seafood could best be described as friendly and casual.  The menu is stocked full of fresh seafood and appetizing entrees.  For starters the smoked Fish Board is a known table pleaser, the Dungeness Crab Roll will impress you, and we can’t say we’ve ever had Clam Chowder with gnocchi before, but we can say we’ll want it that way from now on!  The King Salmon is served with a fresh assortment of ingredients that will have you re-thinking how fish is to be served, and the Halibut and Clams is a fabulous rendition of a traditional dish.

Oysters are often described as an “acquired taste” but if you are on the fence, come to Southpark Seafood’s Oyster Bar where the chef will guide you through a basic tasting course to learn the variety in oysters, the criteria for what makes for great oysters and you will come away with a new appreciation of what many consider the best seafood in Portland.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-326-1300
901 SW Salmon Street, Portland, Oregon 97205


8. Kracked Crab

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There are several tell-tale signs that a restaurant is going to serve you excellent food, and the Kracked Crab checks every box on the list.  Small menus often mean the restaurant serves a specialized item and has perfected their food.  Packed dining area means the customer base is happy and returns often.  When you come to the Kracked Crab, you know you’re getting the best seafood in Portland.

Low country boil is something you generally look for when you’re in the Carolinas or New Orleans, but Kracked Crab brings the savory spice of a seafood boil to the Pacific Northwest and has southern transplants telling you that Kracked Crab may be even better than the boils back home.  Potatoes, Andouille Sausage, Corn on the cob, and hard-boiled eggs come with every boil and you decide between how much of each seafood you want in your order.  The lobster tails are great, but those crab legs are meaty and tasty.  And of course, you can’t go wrong with shrimp!

The only negative words in any reviews will tell you that it is a bit pricey, and in the same breath they will tell you that it is certainly true that you get what you pay for!  You’re not getting imitation or frozen stand-ins, you’re getting fantastic fresh seafood cooked to perfection.

Email | Instagram | Web | (971)-772-4272
1080 SE Madison Street, Portland, Oregon 97214


7. Jake’s Famous Crawfish

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Fine dining.  Crawfish.  Can we square those two things together?  Jakes Famous Crawfish certainly has.  For over a century, Jakes Famous Crawfish has been serving Portland residents some of the best seafood experiences you could ever hope for, all while maintaining a flair for refined class without becoming stuffy.

Fresh seafood is brought in from their native catch, and a bevy of local ingredients are harvested to accompany these fantastic fish dishes to make a uniquely Portland meal.  The menu changes daily dependant wholly on what seafood can be brought in fresh and sustainable.  Jake’s Famous Crawfish serves only the best seafood in Portland and if it’s not the best, it’s not on the menu today.  The Washington Steelhead is a delectable dish nearly always in season and the chef recommends it served crusted with horseradish and Parmesan.

If you know your wines, you’re in luck.  Jake’s has a pages long wine list and you will easily find the perfect pairing for your dinner.  If you’re not so well versed in wines, ask your server as they are always knowledgeable and willing to suggest a pairing with the freshest seafood you’re ordering.

Jake’s Famous Crawfish is famous for a reason.  It’s been around since 1897 for a reason.  Jake’s attracts celebrity guests and local Portlanders for a reason.  And that reason is the simple fact that it serves the best seafood in Portland.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-226-1419
401 SW 12th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97205


6. Jacqueline

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South of the bustle of Hawthorne in the Clinton area, a popular restaurant gathers a crowd of hungry diners waiting for the doors to open for dinner.  During the day, the space may be occupied by a neighborhood bakery and coffee shop but come night time, Jacqueline is open for dinner and serves the best seafood in Portland.

Another fabulous restaurant that will alter their menu to reflect what fresh ingredients they can obtain locally, and we like that.  To see a restaurant that changes their menu rather than serve sub-standard ingredients gets our vote for dedication to fresh seafood.  The local feel to Jacqueline’s can cause it to be an overlooked gem, but don’t miss out on this superb seafood restaurant.  Also open for Brunch on weekends, this primarily dinner location is an excellent hideaway for birthdays, anniversaries, or just a regular relaxing Tuesday.  You don’t need a reason to enjoy the finest fresh seafood in Portland.

Known for their oysters and serving an oyster happy hour every day, the remainder of the menu rounds out fantastic fare from clams, crab, salmon, bass and more variations of seafood than can be listed here.  Read their menu over and decide for yourself, it’s full of excellent dishes and whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong at Jacqueline.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-327-8637
2039 SE Clinton Street, Portland, Oregon 97202


5. La Moule

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Part bar, part French inspired restaurant, part neighborhood hangout, La Moule is more than the sum of its parts and has become of the favorite restaurant of Portland locals but the secret is getting out that among the menu of Duck Breast, Gnocchi Parisienne, and some of the best goat cheese we’ve had, La Moule also serves some of the best seafood in Portland.

Start with the yellow tail favorite in the Hamachi Crudo served with a mushroom consomme.  The marinated mussels are a menu favorite as well, but La Moule’s specialty has to be the Monkfish & Prawn Roulade, a dish that will have you telling your friends about and making plans to return soon!  Of course, they also serve the traditional oysters on the half shell but their mignonette sauce is by far one of the better we’ve tasted anywhere in the city.

La Moule is one of those neighborhood restaurants that knows what they want to serve and they do it exceptionally well.  For this reason, they have gathered a loyal patronage of Portlanders that return night after night to enjoy this happening night spot, enjoy a few drinks from the well stocked bar and enjoy some of the best seafood in Portland.

Email | Instagram | Web | (971)-339-2822
2500 SE Clinton Street, Portland, Oregon 97202


4. Cabezon Restaurant

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Sometimes the best things are hidden away from where you’d expect them causing you to go hunting them down or to know where to look.  Cabezon is not hiding from us, but it is away from the dazzle of the busy Portland streets, over in the Hollywood and Rose City Park neighborhoods and quietly serving up the best seafood in Portland night after night.

They call themselves a quiet little bistro, and the atmosphere certainly comes across that way, but the dishes coming out from the kitchen are nothing less than spectacular culinary delights worthy of any fine dining restaurant in any city.  By it serves as a local fish market and by night Cabezon transforms into the go-to destination of local Portlanders looking for an exemplary evening of delicious cocktails and expertly cooked seafood.  The ingredients are brought in fresh every day and the menu is routinely updated to reflect only the freshest local ingredients available.

There is more to love here at Cabezon than just the seafood, wood grilled steaks and pork chops are available for those who aren’t a fan of seafood, but if you are looking for the best seafood in Portland, Cabezon Restaurant is accepting reservations now, have a seat and enjoy fine dining in a bistro atmosphere.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-284-6617
5200 NE Sacramento Street, Portland, Oregon 97213


3. My Brother’s Crawfish

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Get your boots on and prepare the hot sauce, tonight we’re having dinner down on the bayou.  No, we’re not going all the way down to New Orleans, we’re enjoying some of the best seafood right here in Portland.  Tonight we’re having casual Cajun goodness at My Brother’s Crawfish over by Harrison Park.

The atmosphere is laid back and relaxed and the bar is always open so grab one of the tastiest Bloody Mary’s you’ll find anywhere and order up your favorite seafood, specializing in seafood boils, blackened chicken, fish, or shrimp, po boys, and of course the Crawfish Etoufee, Gumbo, and Jambalaya.  You’ll be able to savor every bite you expect from Cajun cooking in every dish you order.

The exception to their strictly southern menu is the Northwest Oyster Shooters where you can get your local oysters as an appetizer.  The batter fried mushrooms were worth getting for the entire table as well.  You can have the gator tail po-boy, or the fried catfish, but no matter what you order at My Brother’s Crawfish, you will be enjoying the best seafood in Portland delivered to your table with the friendly southern hospitality you remember from your trip to New Orleans.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-774-3786
8230 SE Harrison Street #315, Portland, Oregon 97216


2. Seasons & Regions Seafood Grill

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Of course, we’re going to tell you that Seasons and Regions Seafood Grill is going to give you the best seafood in Portland, but you don’t have to take our word for it, they are proud to have hosted national foodie fan Guy Fieri who says their Crab Cake Cioppino works perfectly well together.

With a menu as diverse as you’ll bind at Seasons & Regions, you can enjoy any number of seafood specialties and delicacies, but don’t get your hopes up for anything out of season.  As the name implies, the menu is updated daily to ensure you only get the very best ingredients available and when it’s out of season, you’ll have to wait for it to return.  Seasons & Regions will only serve the very best seafood in Portland and nothing less.

Fear not, if one thing is out of season, be assured there are a plethora of tasty dishes that are in season and ready to be explored.  You can get an excellent Shrimp, Chicken & Tasso Gumbo, Rockfish Tacos, a scrumptious Shrimp & Mascarpone Polenta, and when they are in season (of course) those amazing NorthWest Razor Clams you have to expect from any seafood place in Portland.  For our money, our favorite is the Frickin Huge Fish Burrito, but we think maybe its because of the name.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-244-6400
6660 SW Capitol Highway, Portland, Oregon 97219


1. Salty’s on the Columbia

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When they called this place Salty’s on the Columbia River they weren’t kidding.  Up by PDX airport and with some of the dining tables actually out over the water, Salty’s is on the river and you’ve got to come here to enjoy some of the best seafood in Portland.  Directly across the water from Vancouver Washington’s Marine Park and just up the shore from Broughton Beach, the views from Salty’s dining room are nothing less than spectacular, but the food coming from the kitchen is even better that the sights.

Dedicated to sustainable and local fishing practices, you’ll get the freshest and finest seafood in the Pacific Northwest and you’ll enjoy knowing Salty’s is helping turn the industry into a sustainable market.  The Smoked Columbia River Steelhead is a delight and we know for sure that that Steelhead is fresh from the river you’re looking out across.  They’ll bring in seafood dishes from all over, such as the Alaskan crabs or the California calamari, but staying true to their local roots, the PNW oysters are delicious!  The mix and blend of the best seafoods come together in Salty’s World-Famous Seafood Chowder.  Local ingredients, local love, and a dash of excitement makes this one of the best seafood chowders we’ve ever had.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-288-4444
3839 NE Marine Dr, Portland, Oregon 97211


Our Final Thoughts: The Best Seafood in Portland Oregon

We know the best seafood is here in Portland.  These restaurants are merely the tip of the iceberg when you begin looking into what we have available to us here in the City of Roses.  Fine dining, fast food, and even portable trucks serve up fantastic menus full of excellent seafood. 

One of the most common themes we found as we scoured the city for the best seafood in Portland was every restaurant’s dedication to the sustainability fishing market and the willingness to regularly update their menus to reflect only what was fresh and available for that day.  Some people say that’s a bit excessive, but we say, “That’s just how Portlanders do it”.

We recommend these places as a great way to taste some of the excellent seafood restaurants here in Portland.  There are dozens and hundreds more just like them, but there are our current favorites.  Come out and enjoy a southern seafood boil,  Oysters Rockefeller, or a local steelhead or rockfish dish.  Grab a po-boy from a walk up counter or sit down to a delicacy that you’ve been looking forward to all week.  No matter where you go, and especially if you visit the restaurants on our list, you’re sure to get some of the best seafood in Portland.

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