The choices are nearly as vast as the ocean

There’s something about food from the ocean and other bodies of water that people are drawn to. Perhaps it’s the seemingly endless variety of delicacies or maybe it’s the brininess of each bite that evokes images of sandy beaches and radiant skies. Equally, for chefs, there are waves of opportunities to create diverse and complex dishes.

Though Chicago is far from the East and West coasts, many places fly in fresh catch daily so the city is still home to some of best seafood restaurants in the country. New additions to the list include longtime favorite Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House, Mexican-style specialist La Palapa, and Portsmith from The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group.

Shaw’s Crab House

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise’s venerable crab house is still a standard bearer for pristine seafood more than three decades after opening. The space is split into a formal dining room and a lively oyster bar, where diners can crack into crab legs, lobster, and seasonal items like Virginia soft shell crab and Alaskan halibut. Live blues is played on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and the weekend brunch buffet is popular as well.