Devouring a plate of fried fish and chips, a juicy crab roll, or a dozen ultra-fresh raw clams, ideally alfresco, is one of those succinctly summertime pleasures. Whether thickly beer-battered British pub-style fish and chips, a New England-style roll, or a pound of steamers is the M.O., New York has a pretty impressive roster of seafood joints worth exploring this summer. Ahead, 18 standouts for steamed, fried, and raw crustaceans, bivalves, and more.Read More
18 Fried Seafood Destinations for Fish and Chips
Old-school clam bars, New England-inspired joints, and British fish and chips done right
1. Johnny's Reef
This City Island seafood spot has been around since the 1960s. It dishes up really affordable fried fish — clams, oysters, and other seafood are mostly under $20 — as well as fries and milkshakes, ordered at a counter. Bonus: The outdoor space at Johnny’s Reef has plenty of picnic tables that overlook the Long Island Sound.
2. Lolo's Seafood Shack
Head to this Caribbean-Cape Cod amalgam in Harlem for a pile of snow crab legs in a fiery sauce, ordered at a counter and best eaten at the outdoor backyard bar. The ultra-spicy snow crabs or other seafood boil options (like peel-and-eat shrimp or crawfish) are doused in garlic butter, ginger butter, Old Bay, scallion, or coconut curry sauce. Alternatively, opt for the LoLo’s special sauce, a combination of all of the above. Other options include fried smelt and chips, crab cakes and garlic fries, a soft shell crab sandwich, and a fish fry basket. The cuisine mashup comes courtesy of couple Leticia Skai Young, an entrepreneur, and Raymond Mohan, a chef.
3. Jones Wood Foundry
This British gastropub on the Upper East Side is named after a forest that occupied the space in the mid-19th century, and it serves authentic English pub fare that just so happens to include an excellent rendition of fish and chips, comprised of beer-battered cod and triple-cooked spuds. If dining companions aren’t down for that classic pub dish, other options include a bangers and mash, steak and kidney pie, and a solid burger.
4. Simply Hooked
This fish-and-chips joint from a London restaurateur focuses on sustainably-sourced seafood, elegantly plated and with lots of room for customization. The fish selection features more sustainably sourced options: Boston Mackerel, Atlantic Pollock, and Spiny Dogfish, coated in either dill and lime panko, spicy and smoky Sri Lankan panko, or a classic beer batter tempura. Dipping sauces include classics, like ketchup and tartar, plus subtle twists on familiar condiments, like smoked mayo. There are a few tables for dining in the sleek, blue-hued space, or take that bounty of fish and chips to go.
5. Mary's Fish Camp
This pint-sized space has been serving up well-received seafood since 2000; Mary Redding, a partner at nearby Pearl Oyster bar, opened up the charming West Village seafood joint. Inspired by New England fish shacks, choose from well-executed classics like fried oysters and clams with homemade tartar sauce, steamed clams from Canada with drawn butter and lemon, or a pan-fried Atlantic cod sandwich. More uncommon choices include a memorable fresh sardine banh mi, a grilled shrimp burger spiked with sambal lime aioli and daikon slaw, and a fried clam roll spiffed up with celery root remoulade. Long waits are common at dinnertime, so opt for lunch or brunch.
6. A Salt & Battery
New York, NY 10011
Forget the standard one or two fish options — this dependable British takeout spot in the West Village, from the same owners as Tea & Sympathy next door, serves some of the city’s best fish and chips. There are four different choices (cod, haddock, sole, or whiting), served in two different sizes, and portions are pretty generous. The large size is big enough for two. Order chips separately, or mix it up with another quintessential English side, mushy peas or battered beets.
7. Bait & Hook
A mellow seafood spot in a nautically decorated space, Bait & Hook has a bit more of a bar vibe versus a full-on restaurant ambiance. But the menu at this East Village joint covers lots of quintessential fish shack ground, like fried clam strips, Blue Point oysters, and a pan-roasted or fried cod sandwich. Requisite fish and chips are also available, comprised of cod and offered roasted or fried, served alongside salt and vinegar fries.
8. The Atlantic Chip Shop
Satiate that fish-and-chips craving at this solid Brooklyn Heights option, which offers cod, haddock, or plaice (a European term for flat fish, like flounder or sole). Other seafood choices include battered shrimp or scallops and cod and salmon fishcakes. The bar regularly airs rugby, soccer, cricket, and more sports beloved across the pond, and it gets lively when big Brit games are on.
At this stylish seafood spot in Gowanus, expect gussied-up takes on Northeastern clam-shack classics (and beyond). There’s New England clam chowder, Ipswich clam rolls, lump crab rolls, fish and chips served with Old Bay-seasoned fries, and more. Besides full-fledged fish feasts, this is a great option for a drink and some oysters post-work, too. There’s a cafe offshoot in Greenpoint, too. Note: cash only.
10. The Crabby Shack
Choose from a slew of by-the-pound crab options, as this Crown Heights joint’s name aptly advertises, like Alaskan snow crab legs, Dungeness crab, and a shrimp and crab combo. Other ways to consume the crustacean here include a Clobster roll (half lobster and half crab), crab tacos, or a crab BLAT.
11. Brooklyn Crab
This might be closest thing to a Key West-esque, seafood-centric bar and restaurant escape, without leaving the five boroughs. Enjoy seafood options like shrimp cocktail, raw oysters, and steamed crab claws. The prime outdoor seating options include a variety of patios, which have multiple bars serving up beer and mixed drinks.
12. Jus Fishy
Brooklyn, NY 11225
Head to this Prospect-Lefferts Gardens joint for fried or grilled seafood that strays somewhat from traditional New England takes on the dish. Think battered tilapia, topped with a generous handful of chopped herbs and served with a big pile of sweet potato fries.
13. Clemente's Maryland Crab House
As its name designates, head to Clemente’s Maryland Crab House for a bucket of steamed fresh blue crabs coated with Old Bay and accessorized with a wooden mallet and plastic bib for the messy, fun process of cracking parts of the crustaceans open. Stick with the signature item for a successful meal, which on Mondays and Tuesdays, comes all-you-can-eat. The big wooden deck makes this restaurant on Shellbank Creek in Sheepshead Bay feel worlds away from NYC. Cash only.
14. Randazzo's Clam Bar
Opened in 1932, this family-run Sheepshead Bay stalwart excels at raw clams (either Littlenecks or Cherry Stones); the bivalves are also served baked or steamed. Other highlights include the fried calamari, an order of which tends to appear on most tables.
15. Lenny’s Clam Bar
This clam bar-Italian restaurant hybrid in Howard Beach is family-run and has been slinging seafood for over four decades, feeding a mix of celebrities from Frank Sinatra to Selena Gomez. Standout dishes include baked stuffed clams, fried calamari, and steamed scungilli (aka conch).
16. Rockaway Clam Bar
Rockaway Park, NY 11694
The Red Hook Lobster Pound team is behind this clam joint. Though those topnotch lobster rolls are on offer here, too, the main attractions are arguably the clams on the half shell and fried clam roll. There are also crispy clam sliders and New England clam chowder to choose from as well. For the full seaside experience, hit up the Riis Park Beach Bazaar outpost, while in the city, there’s a location at Urbanspace Lex.
17. Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.
This raw bar-seafood market mashup in Greenpoint dishes up fish chowder, raw oysters and crudos, fish tacos, lobster rolls, and more. The space is decked out in white tiling with a marble bar and a handful of high-tops for dining in.
18. Bigelow's New England Fried Clams
This cash-only New England-inflected Rockville Centre institution opened up shop in 1939 and has barely changed since then. The charmingly old-school space is bedecked in nautical-inflected blue and white decor and neon signage outside. Don’t miss the fried clam bellies and fried oysters, nor the expertly battered fish and chips, offered with either flounder, whiting, or Boston cod. When they’re in season, the fried soft-shell crabs are a must order.