Where to Find the Best Seafood in Charlotte: 2021

Fresh seafood is low in saturated fats, high in protein, and packed with important nutrients. It also tastes spectacular deep-fried, wrapped in a taco, or smothered in Cajun spices. Fortunately you can satisfy each of these cravings at different spots across the city. Here is a sampling of the best places to get your seafood fix in Charlotte.



Sea Level
The restaurant’s name is a nod to a seaside town, but it’s fitting for Charlotte’s most consistent seafood restaurant. Every head in the dining room turns whenever a server emerges with the Truist Tower, a three-tier, $135 seafood tower with 24 oysters, 12 mussels, 10 raw clams, shrimp cocktail ceviche, salmon poke, Maine lobster, and caviar. Azure Cassidy, aka the “Barmacist” runs the beverage program, and Happy hour—when oysters from Sea Level, North Carolina, are $1 apiece—draws in an after-work contingent. Top that all with a beautiful interior punctuated with Edison bulbs, and Sea Level is a dependable uptown favorite. 129 E. 5th St., 704-412-2616


Hello, Sailor
Feast on calabash shrimp in a mid-century modern dining room with sweeping views of Lake Norman. 20210 Henderson Rd., Cornelius, 704-997-5365

Fin & Fino
At any given time, Fin & Fino’s raw bar serves no less than 12 types of oysters, but as a “social seafood house,” its sweet spot is shareable plates like grilled banh mi shrimp and scallops and latke. 135 Levine Avenue of the Arts, 704-800-5680

​​Caroline’s Oyster Bar
Head to the second level of uptown’s 22-story JW Marriott hotel to sip a cocktail and enjoy fresh daily selections from the raw bar. 120 E. Stonewall St., 704-499-6633 

Prime Fish
Chef Robin Anthony is a certified sake adviser who pairs the Japanese rice drink with fish the same way a sommelier pairs food with wine. Reserve a place at the eight-seat sushi bar to watch the master at work and let him recommend a sake for you. 11212 Providence Rd. West, Ste. B, 980-339-5822

Charlotte Nc September 4th 2021 Chef Michael Chanthavong And His Food At Mizu Photographed In Charlotte Nc On September 4 2021. Photo By Peter Taylor

Mizu’s Robata Grilled Lobster Tail. Photo by Peter Taylor.

Grab a seat at the chef’s counter to see the Robata grill sizzle with lobster, shrimp, and charred vegetables, or enjoy a line-up of maki rolls and chilled and raw seafood. 3100 Apex Dr., 9th Floor, 704-981-9299 

Southern Pecan
This menu is heavy on shrimp, catfish, and oysters, but it’s cornmeal crusted, not deep fried. Think Texas-meets-Louisiana packaged for an upscale SouthPark customer. 6705-C Phillips Place Ct., Ste. C, 704-749-2949

Head to this cozy spot in the back of Park Road Shopping Center for the spacious patio and fresh seafood—from the raw bar, with several varieties of oysters on the half shell, or the daily catch. 512 Brandywine Rd., Ste. 500, 704-503-9945

Skrimp Shack
Charlotte got its first “fast-casual fish camp” when the popular seafood chain opened in East Charlotte, and entrees like the Skrimp N’ Catfish Po Boy taste just right. 3718 Central Ave A, 980-298-6418


Freshwaters Restaurant In Charlotte, Nc. Photographed In Charlotte, Nc On 21mar18. Photographs By Peter Taylor

Many of the recipes at Freshwaters are family recipes. Photo by Peter Taylor.

Owners Sharon and Cliff Freshwaters serve crab cakes, cornbread, and their best seller, the blackened Cajun catfish. 516 N. Graham St., 704-503-9629 

LuLu’s Maryland-Style Chicken and Seafood
The name, LuLu’s, is a nod to owner Jay Davis’s mother, and the Baltimore native makes the best (and only) Maryland-style crab cake in Charlotte. 2400 Tuckaseegee Rd., 980-498-0838

Cajun Queen
A jazz band plays upstairs every night, and the entrée menu has creole favorites like shrimp étouffée and crawfish Diane that you can order as spicy or as mild as you want. 1800 E. 7th St., 704-377-9017

Cabo Fish Taco
This NoDa “Baja seagrill” with a second location in Ballantyne serves up the title dish as well as quesadillas, burritos, and salads in a fun, surf-themed atmosphere. 3201 N. Davidson St., 704-332-8868

The Waterman
South End’s oyster bar has all of the essentials: lobster rolls, fried fish sandwiches, and oysters four ways. At sunset, head up to the rooftop terrace for a signature cocktail and views of uptown. 2729 South Blvd., 704-275-5558


The Waterman’s lobster rolls can be made classic Maine-style (shown) or Connecticut-style. Photo by Peter Taylor.



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