Welcome to our comprehensive guide featuring reviews of the top 10 dining destinations that serve the best seafood in Salem, MA. From succulent lobster rolls to exquisitely prepared clam chowder, Salem boasts a vibrant culinary scene where seafood aficionados can revel in a myriad of flavors and culinary delights. Join us on a gastronomic journey as we explore the renowned eateries that capture the essence of New England’s maritime cuisine, offering an array of fresh catches and delectable seafood dishes that define the coastal charm of this historic city.
Reviews of the 10 best seafood in Salem MA
1.Finz Salem – best seafood in Salem MA
Finz Seafood and Grill in Salem, MA, offers a quintessential maritime dining experience that’s both a culinary delight and a visual treat. Nestled amid the stunning federal architecture of Salem and overlooking the picturesque harbor, this restaurant delivers a memorable dining affair. The stuffed lobster roll, adorned with just the right amount of butter and served alongside crispy fries, is hailed as a delectable highlight among patrons.
Complementing the meal, the house beer’s citrus-infused notes add a refreshing touch, while the creamy, non-tart key lime pie seals the meal on a sweet note. What makes Finz stand out beyond its cuisine is the attentive yet unobtrusive service, emblematic of Massachusetts hospitality, ensuring a pleasant dining experience away from the bustling October crowd.
It’s no surprise that Finz Seafood and Grill garners high praise from visitors. For those who managed to secure reservations, the wait was brief, allowing them to soak in the ambiance outside while savoring the scenic harbor views. Once seated, the culinary journey continued with outstanding service, delightful drinks, and meals that left an indelible mark. A chilled lobster roll stole the show with generous, fresh lobster chunks, accompanied by homemade potato chips that somehow managed to elevate the entire dish. This experience was so exceptional that it prompted a return visit the following night, where a different array of menu items showcased the restaurant’s culinary diversity. The crab-stuffed haddock, among other dishes, upheld the same standard of freshness and deliciousness.
Observing the inner workings of the restaurant, a discerning diner noted the effective management by a gentleman named Kevin, who exuded an active, hands-on approach that commanded staff respect. This managerial prowess contributed significantly to the establishment’s excellence in service, drinks, food quality, and overall dining enjoyment, earning Kevin high praise from patrons who left with a renewed confidence in the restaurant’s future success under his guidance.
From lunchtime crowds to celebratory family dinners, Finz accommodates various occasions with finesse. Despite the bustling atmosphere and the challenge of parking, the menu’s array of seafood choices, sushi, and nightly specials cater to diverse tastes. Patrons relished appetizers like calamari and crab cakes before diving into main courses spanning from fish and chips to paella, ensuring a fulfilling dining experience. While the bar’s vibrant ambiance might lead to louder acoustics, the back Harbor room offers a quieter setting with a serene view of the boats, providing a tranquil retreat for those seeking a more relaxed dining ambiance.
Overall, Finz Seafood and Grill emerges as a standout destination in Salem, promising excellent cuisine, exceptional service under Kevin’s stewardship, and an inviting atmosphere that beckons patrons back for another memorable dining affair. Whether for a casual lunch or a celebratory family gathering, Finz continues to charm visitors with its delectable offerings and picturesque waterfront setting, making it a must-visit culinary gem in the heart of Salem.
Address: 86 Wharf St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Phone: +1 978-744-8485
2.Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall – best seafood in Salem MA
Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall in Salem, MA, emerges as a beacon of culinary excellence amidst the bustling streets of this historic town, offering a dining experience that leaves a lasting impression. Upon arriving post a Salem walking tour, my daughter and I were pleasantly surprised to find a short wait of less than ten minutes before being seated at the bustling bar. Sensing the Friday fervor before Halloween, we opted for bar seating, expecting a longer wait for a table. However, our choice rewarded us with a vibrant atmosphere and an up-close view of food preparations, adding an exciting element to our dining experience.
Savoring seasonal drinks paired with shared plates of calamari and mussels, we found the dishes to be impeccably fresh and flavorful. Despite the restaurant brimming with patrons, the staff exuded warmth and hospitality, ensuring our comfort and enjoyment throughout the evening. It was evident that Turner’s Seafood upheld a standard of excellence even during peak times, fostering a pleasant and accommodating atmosphere despite the bustling crowds.
The inability to reserve tables during the busy October season seems customary in Salem’s dining scene. However, Turner’s ingenious offering of bar seats proved fortunate for many patrons, allowing an engaging view of food preparation while enjoying the Bridget Bishop-inspired whisky drink and indulging in delectable dishes like seafood fra diavolo and fish and chips. The culinary journey continued with delightful dessert options like key lime pie and creme brûlée, adding a sweet finale to an already delightful meal.
Among the standout experiences recounted by patrons was the exceptional quality of the surf and turf, lauding the excellence of the steak and the overall value for money. The inviting ambiance further heightened by pleasing aromas and a friendly, attentive waitstaff contributed to a memorable dining affair. Notably, the gesture of the owner or manager’s personal visit to ensure a perfect experience left a lasting impression, exemplifying the establishment’s commitment to hospitality and customer satisfaction.
Apart from the delectable menu offerings, Turner’s also won hearts with its delightful bread and dog-friendly dining area, making it a welcoming spot for both locals and visitors alike. The efficiency and friendliness of the staff, coupled with the building’s historical charm, added a distinctive allure to the overall dining experience, further solidifying Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall as a must-visit destination in Salem.
In conclusion, Turner’s Seafood presents a harmonious blend of exceptional cuisine, engaging ambiance, and top-notch hospitality. Whether it’s the delightful dishes, historical charm, or the welcoming atmosphere that draws you in, Turner’s Seafood promises an unforgettable dining experience, making it a highly recommended choice for anyone exploring Salem’s vibrant culinary scene.
Address: 43 Church St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Phone: +1 978-745-7665
3.Ledger Restaurant – best seafood in Salem MA
Ledger Restaurant in Salem, MA, stands as a testament to culinary excellence and remarkable dining experiences, consistently delivering exceptional service and delectable cuisine that captivates patrons time and again. Nestled within a repurposed bank, Ledger exudes an inviting ambiance that beautifully balances its spacious, open-concept setting and lofty ceilings with an intimate and cozy atmosphere, creating a unique dining environment.
Visitors rave about Ledger’s inspired cocktails, with highlights like the Adventure in Tahiti, praised for its balance, sweetness, and delightful fragrance. The culinary journey begins with popovers accompanied by beef drippings, a delightful starter that sets the stage for the bright flavors of the arugula salad. Delving further into the menu, the roasted acorn squash showcases the season’s richness without overwhelming heaviness, while the spicy pork belly earns accolades for its melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, balanced spice, and impeccable crispness, making it a standout dish.
During dinner service, patrons appreciate the thoughtful presentation of shared items plated separately, reflecting the attention to detail in service. Staff members like Sara impress with their attentiveness and valuable menu recommendations, ensuring a seamless dining experience. The extensive wine list garners praise, offering unique selections alongside delightful mocktails and cocktails such as the Surfer Rosa, leaving guests spoilt for choice.
Ledger’s charm extends beyond dinner service, earning accolades for its exceptional Sunday brunch experience. Visitors rave about the incredible offerings, with standout mentions for the friendly and knowledgeable service provided by Tyler and the irresistible donuts that steal the spotlight. The brunch cocktails complement the meal perfectly, adding to the overall appeal of the experience.
What truly sets Ledger apart is its ability to merge an enticing atmosphere with extraordinary cuisine. Patrons express willingness to travel long distances, even from New York, solely to indulge in Ledger’s remarkable fare. The daily donut specials and the exceptional latte serve as highlights, drawing effusive praise and cementing Ledger as a culinary destination worthy of admiration.
In conclusion, Ledger Restaurant in Salem, MA, effortlessly weaves together an inviting ambiance, remarkable cocktails, and an array of delectable dishes, setting a standard of excellence in both service and cuisine. Whether it’s for an evening of inspired dining, a delightful Sunday brunch, or simply to savor a remarkable latte and delectable donuts, Ledger stands as a culinary gem, leaving an indelible mark on all who have the pleasure of experiencing its charms.
Address: 125 Washington St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Phone: +1 978-594-1908
4.Sea Level Oyster Bar – best seafood in Salem MA
Sea Level Oyster Bar in Salem, MA, beckons diners with its picturesque waterfront view and culinary prowess, creating a dining experience that exceeds expectations time and again. Set against the shimmering waters, this restaurant lives up to its glowing reviews, captivating visitors with its inviting ambiance and delectable offerings.
Arriving on a Wednesday evening without a wait, we were promptly seated on the deck overlooking the water, setting the stage for a memorable dining affair. The waitress’s guidance on enjoying steamers, coupled with their recommendation, ensured an adventurous start to our meal, with the sesame tuna, shrimp a la planche, and mussels standing out as beautifully presented and sumptuously delicious dishes.
During a leisurely lunch after a morning of exploration, the view continued to enchant as we indulged in margaritas and fresh raw oysters, relishing their exquisite flavors, especially appreciating the cold water oysters, a delight even for Floridian oyster aficionados. The clam chowder added to the culinary delight, leaving a lasting impression of the restaurant’s commitment to exceptional seafood and attentive service.
Opting for lighter fare, the crab cakes and calamari became a shared delight, complemented by chilled white wine against the waterfront backdrop, offering a perfect combination of flavors and ambiance. The service remained exceptional, adding to the overall pleasurable experience.
Amidst a string of dining experiences, Sea Level Oyster Bar stood out as a remarkable find, offering impeccable food quality and exemplary customer service. The variety of dishes, especially the rotating oyster selection, showcased the restaurant’s dedication to culinary excellence. The ambiance was elevated by the presence of Hayley, a server and bartender who effortlessly balanced efficiency with warmth, making every interaction memorable. Her attentive service added an extra layer of enjoyment, making guests feel welcomed and appreciated.
A standout recommendation from patrons was the Scary Mary, a cocktail not to be missed, further testament to the restaurant’s creativity and commitment to crafting delightful libations.
In summary, Sea Level Oyster Bar in Salem, MA, emerges as a gem along the waterfront, offering a delectable array of seafood delights against a stunning backdrop. The combination of exceptional food, refreshing drinks, picturesque views, and outstanding service, exemplified by staff members like Hayley, solidifies Sea Level as a must-visit destination, leaving guests eagerly anticipating their next visit to indulge in its culinary pleasures once more.
Address: 94 Wharf St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Phone: +1 978-741-0555
5.The Lobster Shanty – best seafood in Salem MA
The Lobster Shanty in Salem, MA, is a vibrant local gem that captures the essence of New England’s seafood tradition with its inviting atmosphere, top-notch service, and delightful culinary offerings. Nestled among the bustling streets of Salem, this restaurant exudes a lively charm that beckons both locals and visitors alike.
During a cruise exploration, stumbling upon The Lobster Shanty and noticing a line, I knew it had to be promising. Seated at the bar, the bartender’s attentive service and swift delivery of delicious food, especially the sought-after lobster roll, validated the initial impression. The warmth of the Connecticut-style lobster roll, accompanied by crispy tater tots, left an indelible mark, prompting a return visit that further affirmed the restaurant’s reputation. Though the tots and fries were lighter on the second night, the enjoyable meal and excellent service remained consistent, showcasing the dedication to culinary excellence even during busier times.
One standout aspect of The Lobster Shanty is its refreshing service, characterized by efficiency, attentiveness, and a sincere apology for any delays despite the remarkably quick meal service. The friendly staff’s dedication to ensuring a pleasant experience added an extra layer of enjoyment, setting a new standard for vacation dining experiences.
The praise extends to the adept bartending skills of Mike, whose meticulously crafted cocktails, like “the perfect storm,” stood out for their delightful flavors, perfectly balanced sweetness, and great value. Meanwhile, Hannah, the attentive and efficient waitress, contributed significantly to the overall exceptional dining experience.
Situated in a prime location, The Lobster Shanty offers a dynamic ambiance, attracting families, groups of adults, and patrons seeking both indoor and outdoor seating. Live music on Fridays adds an extra layer of vibrancy to the atmosphere, creating a welcoming space for all.
In conclusion, The Lobster Shanty in Salem, MA, stands out not only for its mouthwatering dishes but also for its exemplary service, vibrant ambiance, and well-crafted libations. The dedication to providing an enjoyable dining experience shines through in every aspect, making it a must-visit destination for seafood enthusiasts and anyone seeking a delightful culinary adventure in Salem’s bustling dining scene.
Address: 25 Front St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Phone: +1 978-745-5449
6.Rockafellas Restaurant – best seafood in Salem MA
Rockafellas Restaurant in Salem, MA, emerges as a culinary gem, housed within a tastefully restored historic building that once served as a bank, exuding elegance and offering a delightful dining experience. Nestled in a prime location, this restaurant delights patrons with its varied menu, attentive service, and delicious cuisine, earning praise and becoming a highlight of many visitors’ trips to Salem.
Amidst a vacation rule to try something unique, the Crabcake BLT and an unnamed pasta dish left a positive impression, offering both novelty and quality in taste. The pricing, comparable to home standards, added to the appeal, ensuring a satisfying culinary experience without breaking the bank.
The front patio of the restaurant, situated in the beautifully restored building, provided a charming setting for an enjoyable evening. Despite a minor encounter with a woman seeking money nearby, the overall ambiance, good drinks, and varied menu offerings, coupled with attentive service from waitress Melanie and engaging conversations with the owner, made for a pleasant dining experience.
Rockafellas impresses with its tasteful decor, reflective of its historic past as a bank, while offering an extensive menu that includes vegetarian options. Zac, an exceptional server, ensured a memorable dining experience, recommending delicious choices like the Angus burger and roasted pear & spiced walnut salad, leaving a lasting impression with the flavors and quality of the dishes.
For many visitors, Rockafellas stood out as the culinary highlight of their trip to Salem. Despite the crowds, the restaurant efficiently accommodated patrons, offering a table suitable for families. Douglas, an exemplary server, elevated the dining experience with impeccable attentiveness, appropriate recommendations, and timely service, making it the best restaurant encounter during their visit.
In summary, Rockafellas Restaurant in Salem, MA, sets itself apart with its historic charm, diverse menu, attentive service, and consistently delicious offerings. Whether it’s the delightful dishes, engaging service, or the captivating ambiance within a restored historic building, Rockafellas leaves a lasting impression, becoming a must-visit destination for those seeking an exceptional dining experience in Salem.
Located in: Colonial Hall at Rockafellas
Address: 231 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Phone: +1 978-745-2411
7.Longboards Restaurant & Bar – best seafood in Salem MA
Longboards Restaurant & Bar in Salem, MA, emerges as a delightful dining destination on the wharf, charming patrons with its exceptional seafood offerings, lively atmosphere, and commendable service. A visit here promises a memorable culinary experience that lives up to the East Coast’s reputation for delectable seafood.
During a lunch visit, the lobster flatbread stole the spotlight, offering a burst of flavors with every bite, thanks to the generous serving of lobster, Gorgonzola, and fig reduction that harmoniously complemented each other. Meanwhile, the classic lobster roll impressed with its abundance of lobster meat and minimal mayo, staying true to New England’s seafood tradition. The mystery behind the uniquely puffed-up fries intrigued patrons, leaving them in wonderment about the culinary magic that made them so irresistible.
Longboards’ charm extends to its vibrant setting on the wharf, where visitors can relish not just the drinks and appetizers but also the exceptional service provided by the long-haired waitress. The scorpion shot and free shirts added a fun touch to the already enjoyable experience, creating an ambiance that perfectly complements the flavorful food and drinks.
Even amidst the bustling crowds on a busy Saturday before Halloween, Longboards managed to offer a pleasant and casual experience. Despite the wait for the delightful skillet cookie desserts, the sun-soaked outdoor seating and the variety of servers maintained a comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere. The rave reviews of the chowder alongside the lobster roll, the quality burgers, and the generously portioned dishes underscored the consistency and quality of the restaurant’s offerings.
The accolades continue with praises for the diverse and delicious menu items, including the pretzel bites, French dip, chicken fajita pizza, macaroni and cheese, and the surf and turf burger, each earning high marks for taste and quality. Coupled with attentive service, Longboards proves to be a standout dining establishment, earning strong recommendations from patrons.
In summary, Longboards Restaurant & Bar in Salem, MA, impresses with its delightful array of seafood and diverse menu offerings that cater to varying tastes. Combined with an inviting atmosphere and commendable service, this establishment solidifies its position as a must-visit spot for those seeking a flavorful and enjoyable dining experience along Salem’s wharf.
Address: 76 Wharf St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Phone: +1 978-745-6659
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8.99 Restaurants – best seafood in Salem MA
The 99 Restaurants in Salem, MA, stands as a beacon of exceptional dining experiences, delivering great meals at reasonable prices with attentive service that leaves a lasting impression on patrons. Known for its friendly staff and varied menu offerings, this establishment draws consistent praise from visitors seeking a satisfying and enjoyable dining affair.
During multiple visits, patrons have consistently lauded the courteous and accommodating service, with waitstaff making appropriate suggestions without rushing diners. The fish tacos received accolades for their perfect blend of spice, crunch, and savory flavors, complemented by a Moscow Mule crafted to perfection, enhancing the overall dining experience.
The genuine warmth and professionalism of the staff, particularly highlighted by a kind and engaging young girl named Shanie, resonated with guests, leaving a lasting impression with her thoughtful gesture of arranging for a colleague to greet patrons while she was occupied—an exemplary display of customer service that enhanced the dining experience.
Regular patrons commend the consistent quality of the food, recommending favorites like the New England Fried Shrimp and Baked Haddock, while also emphasizing the friendly and personable service. Specific mention is made of Angel, a kind and down-to-earth server, contributing to the establishment’s welcoming atmosphere.
The review emphasizes the restaurant’s friendly and well-trained staff, attributing the enjoyable experience to the warm reception and competent service provided. The bar area, known for its convivial ambiance, offers complimentary popcorn, inviting patrons to enjoy a wide menu selection and socialize with fellow diners. The menu, packed with diverse options, features delectable Parmesan-crusted dishes, well-prepared steaks, and irresistible boneless wings, all generously portioned at affordable prices.
In conclusion, the 99 Restaurants in Salem, MA, shines as a family-friendly establishment offering delightful meals, attentive service, and a welcoming atmosphere. With its diverse menu, well-trained staff, and consistent quality, this restaurant is a crowd-pleaser for families, couples, singles, and retirees alike, earning strong recommendations from patrons seeking a fulfilling and enjoyable dining experience.
Address: 15 Bridge St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
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Phone: +1 978-740-8999
9.Ugly Mug Diner – best seafood in Salem MA
The Ugly Mug Diner in Salem, MA, stands out as a charming breakfast and brunch spot, captivating patrons with its quirky decor, efficient waiting system, and delectable offerings. This diner, renowned for its personality and delicious menu selections, has become a favorite among visitors seeking a delightful morning meal.
A testament to its popularity is the efficient online waiting system that minimizes wait times by sending timely notifications, allowing patrons to monitor their place in line—a feature greatly appreciated during busy periods. The fun and eclectic decor, complete with the eponymous “ugly mugs,” adds character to the dining experience, contributing to its unique and inviting atmosphere.
The attentive and personable service adds to the charm, with servers going above and beyond to ensure a pleasant dining experience. Patrons rave about the delightful apple cider mimosas, perfectly setting the tone for a memorable breakfast. Despite a few unavailable menu items, the expansive menu provides ample choices, ensuring guests still find delectable options like eggs Benedict, biscuits, and sides to savor.
Dinner recommendations leading to a subsequent breakfast visit highlight the diner’s appeal throughout the day. Patrons praise the crab cake Benedict, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes, and flavorful steak and eggs, all contributing to a positive experience complemented by humorous mugs and attentive staff.
For those navigating the bustling October crowds, arriving early proves advantageous, as highlighted by those who secured counter spots with minimal wait time. Dishes like the eggs in a basket with bacon and the unique ‘this ain’t no chicken & waffles’ with duck confit and waffles garnered rave reviews, emphasizing the diner’s culinary excellence even in seemingly simple dishes.
Overall, the Ugly Mug Diner leaves a lasting impression with its hot, delicious, and classic diner-style fare. Despite potential wait times, the restaurant’s charming ambiance, location, and diverse offerings consistently win over guests, making it a highly recommended spot among friends seeking a delightful dining experience in Salem.
Service options: Dine-in · Kerbside pickup · Delivery
Address: 122 Washington St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Phone: +1 978-745-6844
10.Brothers Taverna – best seafood in Salem MA
Brothers Taverna in Salem, MA, is a culinary treasure, earning high praise from patrons for its exceptional food quality, attentive service, and welcoming ambiance. Positioned as a hidden gem on Derby Street, this establishment proves to be a delightful culinary destination for visitors seeking a memorable dining experience.
Patrons rave about the impeccable cleanliness and excellent service, emphasizing the extensive menu selection and outstanding quality of every dish. From delectable omelets to chocolate chip pancakes and homemade corned beef hash that redefines expectations, each item on the menu earns high marks, leaving a lasting impression. The standout iced coffee, endless ginger ale refills, and other delectable offerings like bruschetta, garlic mussels, and the irresistible oreo cake receive glowing accolades, further underscoring the restaurant’s culinary prowess.
The restaurant’s inviting atmosphere is complemented by the warm and friendly staff who provide exceptional service, catering attentively to patrons’ needs. Visitors highlight the welcoming and professional demeanor of the staff, enhancing the overall dining experience. The availability of a full bar adds to the restaurant’s appeal, providing patrons with a well-rounded dining experience.
Visitors describe Brothers Taverna as a place where exceptional food quality meets attentive service in a warm and inviting setting. The culinary delights, attentive staff, and welcoming atmosphere collectively contribute to making this establishment a standout dining experience in Salem, earning it high recommendations and leaving patrons eagerly anticipating their next visit.
Address: 283 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970, United States
Phone: +1 978-741-4648