Best Seafood Restaurants In Austin
Growing up on the Gulf Coast, I developed a palate for fresh seafood at an early age. Local-caught Gulf shrimp, oysters and red snapper (just to name a few) are staples at restaurants where I’m from along Galveston Bay. Back in my 20s, when I tried & failed at being a Vegan, I found a healthy balance in going Pescetarian for several years. For those unfamiliar, Pescetarianism is eating Vegetarian but still keeping seafood as a part of your diet. –I just couldn’t bring myself give up my favorite type of food, y’all! I love it so much, that if I could choose my last meal on Earth, it would be King Crab legs with drawn butter.
Safe to say, I’m a big seafood fan and know where to find it. Here are my picks for Best Seafood Restaurants in Austin, by occasion:
Best Date Night: Truluck’s – Arboretum. Truluck’s newly renovated Arboretum location offers Austin’s finest seafood, steak, and crab. Truly, if you want to find somewhere to celebrate a special occasion, look no further! The hubby & I recently went here on a double-date night with friends and the service was impeccable, the atmosphere was romantic, yet sophisticated, and they had live piano playing in the lounge. Sometimes us moms need a fancy night out, ya know? Well, they do things extra fancy here: think white tablecloths, offer to swap a black napkin if you’re wearing dark clothing, and “Proper Attire Required” kind-of place. Plus, they are champions of the sustainable seafood movement.
Best Family-Friendly: Salt Traders Coastal Cooking. This Round Rock gem has something for everyone: the freshest Gulf Coast fish, raw bar, and happy hour specials. A sister restaurant to Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Salt Traders stays true to the team’s focus on locally sourced ingredients and sustainability. They’ve got cheat day-worthy desserts (I recommend the key lime pie) and amazing cocktails, too…order the Bloody Mary: perfect spicy tang & paired with a beer shooter. Plus, I adore their high-quality kids menu with goldfish crackers served as a pre-dinner snack for the littles.
Best Concept: Mongers Market + Kitchen. No matter if it’s for date-night dining, enjoying cocktails & the raw bar, or to pick up a platter for your next big event, Mongers is definitely worth checking out. Keeping with the vibe of Austin’s cool Eastside, this part restaurant/part market is so unique! Don’t miss out on their starter called “angels on horseback” and be open to their chef’s specials, they don’t disappoint. Their wine list is eclectic too — we enjoyed a Pinot Blanc for the first time and sipped an amazing Port with dessert.
Best Lunch: Freda’s Seafood Grille. Locally owned & operated, this Northwest Austin spot has been serving up “Southern-style” seafood since 2003. For dinner, I recommend starting with the Shrimp Diablo (smoked bacon, swiss cheese, roasted jalapeño remoulade) followed by the Blackened Red Snapper with crawfish étouffée, rice, and sautéed green beans. They have patio, bar, and private party seating available, but I especially love lunch in the main dining room — the lunch menu offerings are priced right, are expansive & inventive, and the convenient location is close enough to the house for a quick (but still special!) lunch date out.
Best View: Bon Temps Creuset. I had to include this special restaurant within The Oasis because of it’s outstanding atmosphere. Specifically, the sunset dining experience offered on Lake Travis. Decorated inside like a chic beach house with tones of beige and blue, the dining room of this restaurant is visually pleasing, too. Now, let me clarify that this restaurant specializes in Cajun cuisine, but modern interpretations of Creole classics keep it interesting. Any seafood lover is sure to enjoy the fare as much as the incredible views at “the Sunset Capital of Texas.”