The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Gainesville FL

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Welcome to a comprehensive exploration of the top culinary delights that promise to tantalize your taste buds in Gainesville, FL. In this guide, we delve into the gastronomic treasures of this vibrant city, specifically spotlighting the crown jewels of its culinary landscape—the best seafood establishments that offer a symphony of flavors, textures, and freshness. Prepare to embark on a delectable journey as we present reviews of the 10 best seafood restaurants in Gainesville, FL, where each bite embodies a perfect fusion of coastal charm and culinary mastery.

The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Gainesville FL

1. Northwest Grille 

Northwest Grille in Gainesville, FL, embodies the pinnacle of exceptional service and outstanding cuisine, making it an unforgettable dining experience. During our graduation dinner party, Manager Vanessa orchestrated a seamless evening, going above and beyond to ensure our celebration was impeccable. Our server, Maria, exuded patience and warmth, enhancing our experience. The culinary journey began with the Mussels Diablo—33 perfectly steamed mussels in a spicy tomato sauce, delivering a delightful burst of flavors, with just one unopened mussel among the lot.
The Conch Fritters, six generously sized and flavorful fritters brimming with conch, were a savory delight. The St. Augustine Style Shrimp, crispy and perfectly butterflied, paired flawlessly with the tangy cocktail sauce, while the clam chowder, more akin to a hearty stew with an abundance of clams, earned high praise. Our attentive waiter ensured every dish harmonized seamlessly, culminating in a truly pleasant evening.
Northwest Grille - best seafood in Gainesville FL
Northwest Grille – best seafood in Gainesville FL
Consistency proved to be the hallmark of excellence during our visit. Josh, our adept waiter, effortlessly navigated our dining experience. The St. Augustine Fried Shrimp boasted a delicate batter, expertly cooked to perfection, while the Sirloin Dinner showcased tender, precisely cooked meat that left an indelible mark on our palates. Generous portions exceeded our expectations, ensuring a truly satisfying meal that lingered long in our memories.
Returning after a year, Northwest Grille continued to impress, reaffirming its status as a culinary gem. The Collard Greens were hailed as the best since our last visit, a sentiment echoed by the delectable cole slaw. The restaurant’s unwavering commitment to exceptional service and delectable cuisine was evident once again as we revisited with different friends. The consistency in both service and cuisine was a testament to the restaurant’s dedication to excellence. The enticing array of desserts further elevated our experience, leaving us thoroughly contented.
Northwest Grille, with its delectable offerings, attentive service, and consistently outstanding dishes, stands as the pinnacle of dining in Gainesville, FL—a place where each visit promises an exquisite and memorable culinary journey.
Located in: Timber Village Shoppes
Address: 5115 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32606, United States
Phone: +1 352-376-0500

2. Mr. & Mrs. Crab – Gainesville 

Mr. & Mrs. Crab in Gainesville, FL, stands out as a beacon for seafood enthusiasts, offering an immersive and flavorful experience that captures the essence of delightful indulgence. Initially recommended by my son, an avid fan of this gastronomic haven, our visit left an indelible mark. Opting for the tantalizing “Seafood Boil,” each dish presented an abundance of savory delights, pleasing every palate at the table. To personalize the experience, my son brought his own nitrile gloves, a minor detail amidst the overall enjoyment. Intrigued by the seasoning, I seized the chance to bring home a couple of containers of the MMC Seasoning, aiming to recreate the magic in Canada.
Mr. & Mrs. Crab - Gainesville - best seafood in Gainesville FL
Mr. & Mrs. Crab – Gainesville – best seafood in Gainesville FL
Venturing beyond Gainesville, we embarked on a consecutive-day adventure at the Pinellas location, where the warm reception by Mr. & Mrs. Crab themselves added a touch of familiarity to our visit. Following my son’s glowing reviews, my daughter and I indulged in the culinary extravaganza, selecting the half-pound mussels luncheon special with the inventive Mr. & Mrs. Crab Special sauce. The addition of sausage, generously infused with garlic, was a piquant delight, though perhaps potent enough to fend off vampires in distant lands—a testament to their unapologetic use of garlic, which suited our tastes perfectly.
Service proved commendable, with a personable and relaxed waiter who elevated our dining experience. The provision of plastic bibs and gloves underscored the restaurant’s commitment to ensuring a hassle-free and enjoyable feast. The lemon towelettes provided a refreshing conclusion, ensuring our departure left no traces of the delightful messiness that ensued.
Despite its unassuming location in a strip mall, the culinary journey offered by Mr. & Mrs. Crab was far from ordinary. The seafood bakes, especially the Combo featuring crab legs, lobster tail, and shrimp seasoned with garlic butter and mild seasoning, delivered an exquisite medley of flavors. Accompanied by potatoes and corn, the freshness of the seafood was undeniable. The staff’s friendliness and attentiveness further enhanced the overall experience, solidifying this establishment as a true gem for seafood aficionados.
In summary, Mr. & Mrs. Crab exceeded expectations, delivering delectable seafood creations that promised an adventure for the taste buds. From their immersive seafood boils to the personalized service and inviting ambiance, this establishment epitomizes a culinary haven that demands multiple visits, leaving patrons eagerly anticipating their next flavorful excursion.
Located in: Butler Plaza Central
Address: 3246 SW 35th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32608, United States
Phone: +1 352-554-5968

3. Embers Wood Grill 

Embers Wood Grill in Gainesville, FL, is an exquisite culinary gem that seamlessly blends exceptional service with an array of delectable dishes, creating an unforgettable dining experience. During our maiden visit, the waitstaff, characterized by their friendly demeanor and helpfulness, guided us through the menu with insightful suggestions, providing attentive service without being intrusive. Our meals, cooked to perfection as requested, delighted our taste buds, leaving an indelible mark of culinary excellence.
Despite the culinary delights, the positioning of the substantial wine selection proved a minor inconvenience. Situated behind our seating area, it required other staff members to reach over occasionally, interrupting our dining experience. However, this hiccup did not overshadow the enjoyable evening we had and the exceptional quality of our meal.
Embers Wood Grill - best seafood in Gainesville FL
Embers Wood Grill – best seafood in Gainesville FL
Embers Wood Grill undoubtedly stakes its claim as Gainesville’s premier dining destination, evident from the meticulously prepared food that captivates the senses. From the appetizers featuring the Florida gator tail and coconut panko fried shrimp to the impeccable blue crab bisque, each dish resonates with exquisite flavors. For main courses, the cumin crusted Chilean sea bass and the succulent prime porterhouse leave an enduring impression, complemented by delectable dessert options like the flaming creme brulee and banana foster cheesecake.
During a celebratory occasion for three birthdays, the diverse selection of entrees continued to impress. The short ribs, 10oz filet, rib steak, salmon, and scallops, all grilled to perfection on the wood grill, showcased unique and tantalizing flavors. A noteworthy improvement was the inclusion of perfectly portioned sides with each entree, enhancing the overall dining experience. The accompanying bread was enticing, although it demanded restraint to not overindulge.
The exceptional service and culinary prowess extended even to a transient visit, where the coconut shrimp appetizer and the flavorful bisque left a lasting impression. The 6oz filet, described as tender and perfectly cooked, underscored the restaurant’s commitment to quality.
Embers Wood Grill is a haven for food enthusiasts seeking a delightful blend of sophistication and flavors. Despite minor logistical hiccups, the establishment remains a pinnacle of culinary excellence in Gainesville, beckoning diners with its upscale ambiance, attentive service, and a tantalizing menu that promises a memorable dining affair. If ever in Gainesville again, a return to Embers will undoubtedly be on our dining itinerary.
Address: 3545 SW 34th St Suite A, Gainesville, FL 32608, United States
Phone: +1 352-380-0901

4. Gators Dockside Gainesville

Gators Dockside in Gainesville, FL, emerges as a quintessential sports bar and culinary haven, delighting patrons with an extensive menu and an inviting atmosphere. During our visit, set against the backdrop of my daughter’s UF graduation, Gators Dockside proved to be an ideal choice for a family gathering. Positioned conveniently near our weekend rental, the Saturday evening rendezvous showcased the restaurant’s vibrant ambiance, offering high-top seating near the bustling bar area.
Gators Dockside Gainesville - best seafood in Gainesville FL
Gators Dockside Gainesville – best seafood in Gainesville FL
The menu boasted an array of delectable offerings, and I indulged in their renowned wings—a generous portion impeccably seasoned with just the right balance of flavors and heat. Meanwhile, my wife savored the expertly prepared fried shrimp, showcasing a crispy coating without compromising the shrimp’s succulence. Our daughter and her boyfriend relished the gator tail dinner, paired with refreshing salads that left them thoroughly satisfied.
However, the undisputed star of the evening was the fried pickles—a culinary revelation with a perfectly crispy exterior enveloping the warm, juicy, and crunchy pickle inside. This dish alone could have constituted a meal and has since become a benchmark for fried pickles, unmatched by any other we’ve encountered.
Gators Dockside has become a staple for our family in Gainesville, delivering consistently excellent experiences. Their catering service, which we’ve utilized for a graduation, was punctual and provided hot, delicious food, earning further accolades. The establishment’s staff and management consistently shine, even amid the buzz of football team visits. The abundance of TVs ensures you won’t miss any sporting action while indulging in their diverse menu offerings.
During our recent visit, we were pleasantly surprised by new additions to the menu—the Pierogis, a must-try for me as a Polish individual. Lightly fried in butter and adorned with bacon, onions, and sour cream, it was a delightful culinary journey that resonated with my heritage. The BIG Pretzel, served as a starter, tantalized our taste buds, accompanied by delightful sauces like sweet Bavarian Mustard and Wisconsin Beer Cheese sauce. The Steak Bites, a personal favorite, showcased fat iron steak cooked to perfection, served on garlic bread with a sumptuous cream y bayou sauce.
The dining experience at Gators Dockside is a testament to its consistent quality, offering a blend of exceptional food, welcoming staff, and an inviting ambiance. Whether for a casual outing or a private party, this establishment continues to exceed expectations and remains a steadfast choice for our dining adventures in Gainesville. Two snaps up—we loved it, and we’ll undoubtedly return, continuing our tradition as loyal patrons for years to come.
Located in: Royal Park Plaza
Address: 3842 Newberry Rd #1a, Gainesville, FL 32607, United States
Phone: +1 352-338-4445

5. The Top 

The Top in Gainesville, FL, stands as a local gem, radiating warmth with its inviting atmosphere and a team dedicated to providing a delightful dining experience. With a menu that consistently hits the mark and bartenders who craft both classics and innovative drinks, this spot has carved its place as a cherished haunt for locals and visitors alike.
The Top - best seafood in Gainesville FL
The Top – best seafood in Gainesville FL
On multiple visits, I’ve savored the consistently good food, and the Key Lime Martini has been a standout—truly a must-try. The staff, always friendly, manages to maintain the vibe even during peak hours, although at times, the dim lighting can prove challenging. While the ambiance is cozy, a tad more illumination would certainly elevate the dining experience, especially when perusing the menus.
During a bustling graduation weekend, The Top delivered an exemplary dining experience. The accommodating manager swiftly arranged a table for my family, despite our early arrival. The food arrived hot and fresh, surpassing expectations, with Tyler, our exceptional waiter, ensuring our needs were met with finesse. The drinks added a delightful touch to the evening, accentuating the flavorful dishes.
Regarding the culinary offerings, each dish excelled in its own right, earning this establishment high praise. The sweet potato fries with creamy horseradish proved to be a winning combination, while the Blackened Salmon and Chimichurri Tuna dishes were nothing short of outstanding. The decadent finish with chocolate vegan cake and carrot cake added a sweet crescendo to an already phenomenal meal—truly, a symphony of flavors.
In all honesty, The Top earns one of my highest ratings to date. The quality of the food, the inviting ambiance, and the overall dining experience leave an indelible impression. It’s a testament to this place’s excellence that it beckons for a return visit as soon as possible. In sum, The Top in Gainesville is simply awesome—a place where every aspect, from the cuisine to the service, earns well-deserved accolades, making it a must-visit spot in the city.
Address: 30 N Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601, United States
Phone: +1 352-337-1188

6. P.F. Chang’s 

P.F. Chang’s in Gainesville, FL, emerges as a welcoming haven for exceptional dining experiences, surprising even those skeptical of chain restaurants. Visiting on a quiet evening, we were greeted by an empty restaurant and a waiter, Daniel, who transformed the night into a memorable culinary journey. The Mongolian beef was a highlight, its flavors exquisite, complemented by the unexpected treat of green beans, courtesy of Daniel. To cap off the meal, the shared indulgence in the wall of chocolate cake proved decadent and abundant, leaving us eager to return for more.
P.F. Chang's - best seafood in Gainesville FL
P.F. Chang’s – best seafood in Gainesville FL
My experience extended beyond the restaurant walls through their home delivery service. Promptly arriving at the scheduled time, the food was impeccably prepared, maintaining its deliciousness and warmth, packaged with care. This consistency in quality, both in taste and service, whether dining in or ordering delivery, has been a constant delight, never failing to impress.
P.F. Chang’s reputation precedes itself, and the Gainesville location lives up to expectations. The outstanding service paired harmoniously with delectable dishes, confirming its status as a go-to spot. Its proximity in Gainesville compared to other locations further adds to the appeal, providing exceptional service and quality food that leave an enduring impression.
The restaurant’s pleasant décor set the stage for an enjoyable evening, especially during a bustling Saturday night. Despite the wait for a table for two, the option to dine at the bar was seamlessly offered. The attentive bartenders swiftly attended to our needs, ensuring prompt service from drinks to appetizers and finally to the sumptuous entrees. The overall experience left an indelible mark, guaranteeing future visits whenever in town.
In summary, P.F. Chang’s in Gainesville impresses on multiple fronts—exquisite food, exceptional service, and a warm ambiance. The consistent quality of both in-person dining and home delivery, coupled with remarkable attention to detail, reaffirms its status as a must-visit restaurant. Whether for an intimate dinner or a bustling Saturday night, this establishment promises a delightful dining experience that warrants repeated visits without hesitation.
Located in: Butler Town Center
Address: 3597 SW 27th Ln, Gainesville, FL 32608, United States
Phone: +1 352-570-7785

7. Metro Diner

Metro Diner in Gainesville, FL, embodies the essence of a culinary haven, promising an upbeat atmosphere, delectable dishes, and exceptional service. During our quick lunch visit, the service provided by the fabulous server left a lasting impression. I opted for a customized avocado toast, and the server’s suggestion of a half order with eggs was a delightful treat—a burst of flavors that left me craving more. Meanwhile, my husband savored the amazing meat omelette, an indulgence he found truly satisfying, already prompting plans for a return visit.
Metro Diner - best seafood in Gainesville FL
Metro Diner – best seafood in Gainesville FL
Ryan, our breakfast maestro, impressed us with his culinary finesse. The Eggs Benedict served on a biscuit instead of the traditional muffin was a pleasant twist, perfectly paired with hubby’s breakfast bowl boasting crispy potatoes, bacon, avocado, and a delectable hollandaise sauce—a true symphony of flavors that left us content. Despite the bustling nature of the diner, Kyle managed to juggle multiple duties, yet his warm smile remained a constant, adding a touch of hospitality that made the experience even more enjoyable.
Opting for an outdoor seat on a beautiful day, the vibe at Metro Diner was nothing short of upbeat and fun. The impeccable service and the amazing food reinforced our desire to return, especially given the tempting offerings on the lunch menu, promising another gastronomic adventure worth savoring.
During a family visit, the initial bustling ambiance almost led us to reconsider, but the efficient movement of staff quickly seated us within a mere 10 minutes. Julia, our exceptional waitress, ensured a seamless dining experience, swiftly delivering our orders. The kids relished the pumpkin pancakes, while the fried chicken dishes captivated our palates with their incredible flavors and juiciness. The portions proved to be generous, bordering on colossal, prompting thoughts of sharing next time. While not the healthiest choice, our satisfied bellies bore witness to our delightful indulgence, leaving us eager to return if our travels ever bring us through Gainesville again.
In essence, Metro Diner impresses on all fronts—an inviting ambiance, stellar service, and delectable, generously portioned dishes that ensure a memorable dining experience. Whether for breakfast or lunch, this establishment beckons as a must-visit spot, promising culinary delights that warrant multiple return trips without hesitation.
Located in: 34th Street Plaza
Address: 2130 SW 34th St, Gainesville, FL 32608, United States
Phone: +1 352-353-2889

8. Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company

Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company in Gainesville, FL, is a hidden gem that captivates patrons with its fantastic dining experience, exemplary service, and exquisite culinary offerings. From the moment we stepped in, the energetic ambiance and prime location set the stage for a remarkable evening.
Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company - best seafood in Gainesville FL
Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company – best seafood in Gainesville FL
Our server, Jo, proved to be a true gem, boasting an impressive knowledge of the menu. Her recommendations guided us to culinary delights that exceeded expectations. The Black Dragon roll for dessert was a standout, a testament to Jo’s expertise and the culinary finesse of the establishment.
During our road trip to Florida, this restaurant stood out as a highlight. Sampling various plates, including the shrimp and chicken skewers alongside appetizers, each dish showcased incredible flavors, although the portion sizes leaned towards the smaller side. The attentive server adeptly accommodated our dietary preferences, steering us towards delectable options like the beef tataki and the tantalizing mango tango roll.
The Tuesday night experience proved to be a revelation, as the 20-minute wait hinted at the restaurant’s popularity, which became abundantly clear upon dining there. The vibrant energy permeated the space, complemented by the delectable dishes. Our waitress, Lucy, delivered an exceptional experience, recommending the mouthwatering sweet potato tempura with spinach, avocado, and mushroom—an absolute delight that showcased culinary prowess. Customizing our orders, we omitted the spicy sauce and substituted eel, a testament to the accommodating nature of the staff.
In essence, Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company captivates with its energetic atmosphere, prime location, and delectable offerings. The expertise of servers like Jo and Lucy, paired with the remarkable flavors of each dish, leave an indelible mark, beckoning patrons to return for more culinary adventures. Whether passing through Gainesville or seeking a memorable dining experience, this restaurant promises a delightful journey through the diverse and delicious world of sushi and Japanese cuisine.
Address: 201 SE 2nd Ave #104, Gainesville, FL 32601, United States
Phone: +1 352-371-3359

9. Bonefish Grill

Bonefish Grill in Gainesville, FL, stands out as an exceptional dining destination offering not only exquisite cuisine but also an unparalleled dining experience. From the moment we stepped in, the cleanliness and attention to safety were evident, with all staff donning masks and vigilant disinfection protocols in place.
Bonefish Grill - best seafood in Gainesville FL
Bonefish Grill – best seafood in Gainesville FL
Our experience was marked by exceptional service from start to finish. Kendra, our server, was a true standout, enhancing our meal with her attentiveness and warmth. The cocktails were a delight, setting the tone for a memorable evening. The crisp house salad adorned with hot salmon and the delicious mahi-mahi exemplified the restaurant’s commitment to outstanding flavors and quality dishes.
The attention to detail extended to the culinary precision of the kitchen staff. The perfectly cooked steak and the flavorful fries and macaroni and cheese, expertly crafted by chefs Fidel and Celly, earned high praise, making the dining experience truly enjoyable. The dedication to maintaining high standards, cleanliness, and exceptional taste made this visit an unequivocal success.
The management’s commitment to safety and hospitality was evident when greeted by Jade, the manager, who provided a warm welcome. The staff’s diligent efforts in maintaining a safe environment were commendable, ensuring a comfortable dining experience. The Bang-Bang Shrimp, a delightful appetizer with a perfect blend of spice and freshness, was a highlight, setting the stage for an evening of culinary delights.
The variety and quality of dishes continued to impress. From the Corn Chowder with Lump Crab to the Crab Crusted Cod, each dish showcased fresh flavors and culinary finesse. The recommendation comes with high praise, especially for those seeking a memorable dining experience.
For a special birthday celebration, Bonefish Grill proved to be an ideal choice, delivering exceptional service and delectable meals. From the tantalizing Bang shrimp appetizer to the flavorful fish, scallops, and vegetables, every aspect contributed to a wonderful and enjoyable birthday celebration.
In summary, Bonefish Grill in Gainesville exceeds expectations, offering a harmonious blend of excellent service, delectable dishes, and a relaxing ambiance that ensures a memorable dining experience. Whether for a special occasion or a casual gathering, this establishment promises culinary delights and warm hospitality that warrant enthusiastic recommendations and return visits without hesitation.
Located in: Butler Enterprises
Address: 3237 SW 35th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32608, United States
Phone: +1 352-377-8383

10. Ballyhoo Grill

Ballyhoo Grill in Gainesville, FL, beckons seafood enthusiasts and steak aficionados alike with its inviting sea-themed ambiance and flavorsome offerings. The charming décor and nautical elements set the tone for a delightful dining experience.
Ballyhoo Grill - best seafood in Gainesville FL
Ballyhoo Grill – best seafood in Gainesville FL
Opting for the Seafood Pescatore, my husband and I were met with a plate brimming with delectable seafood, perfectly complemented by a flavorful sauce and accompanied by delightful garlic bread. Despite a brief disappearance of our server, our dining experience remained pleasant, leaving us hopeful that nothing untoward happened.
Consistency seems to be the hallmark at Ballyhoo Grill, evident not just in its seafood but also in its stellar ribeyes. Surprisingly outstanding for a seafood-centric establishment, the ribeyes have proven to be a delight on multiple occasions. Our server Eric, a true gem, brings not just impeccable service but also a wealth of culinary knowledge and a fantastic sense of humor, making every visit a joyous affair filled with laughter.
Recommended by a local, this charming spot with its nautical décor reminiscent of the Keys impressed my family during our short stay in town. The delectable food paired with the opportunity to enjoy live music on the patio made for a memorable evening, a much-needed respite after a year devoid of such experiences.
After a college football game, our group stumbled upon Ballyhoo Grill—a haven for both locals and visiting team fans. Despite being in the minority, we were welcomed warmly, embodying the inclusive nature of this popular spot. The bustling atmosphere, excellent service, and diverse menu options, ranging from sushi to seafood dishes and burgers, catered to everyone’s palate. The Bull Gator Burger I ordered was a treat, while others indulged in an array of delightful dishes.
In summary, Ballyhoo Grill boasts a welcoming ambiance, stellar service, diverse menu offerings, and a delightful atmosphere that caters to diverse tastes. Whether craving seafood or steak, seeking a fun evening with live music, or a post-game gathering, this spot offers a memorable dining experience that strikes the perfect balance between quality, service, and a vibrant atmosphere.
Located in: Royal Park Plaza
Address: 3700 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32607, United States
Phone: +1 352-373-0059
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