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Best Seafood in Richmond, VA

What is the best seafood restaurant in Richmond, VA? So far, I've received the following recommendations:

The Hard Shell
Pescados
Crab Louie's
Karsen’s
Bacchus
Edo's Squid
Bookbinder's Grill
Sam Miller's
Bottega Bistro
Buckheads

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  1. Scratch Sam Miller's and Bottega off the list promptly and add Bookbinders (downtown) and Sensi. What type of seafood are you seaking? That would help a lot with narrowing down.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Janet from Richmond

      Okay -- Sam Miller's and Bottega are scratched!

      I'm looking for a restaurant that has a variety of seafood; preferrably prepared in a unique way, or, at a place that has some "atmosphere" to it.

      The only place on the list that I have actually been to myself is The Hard Shell and I thought it was very good.

      I'm hearing really good things about Pescados though. But, I'm just afraid that since it's in the 'burbs that people think it's really good because the only thing they might compare it to is Red Lobster. But, I am game for trying it if others think it's really worth a try.

      1. re: nspen1010

        Pescados can be very good. It can also be very mediocre. And the owner isn't exactly a gracious guy. It's something of Carribean inspired...the crab nachos are by far the best thing there (and are unique in a good way). Crab Louie's has more of a 'burb feel any of the other places listed. Edo's is my favorite but the seafood variety varies daily and is all prepared basically (but consistently great). Based on what you have shared I would go with Sensi on E. Cary St. They take reservations and make some great seafood (and veal chops according to hubby) and also have some good pasta dishes (with and without seafood) that are offered in first course and entree sized servings. I have not been to Bacchus or Buckheads in many years.

        1. re: nspen1010

          Just because something's ''in the burbs" doesn't meant that the clientele automatically has no idea of what a good restaurant might be. What an attitude!

          1. re: MGC

            Didn't say they would (or would not). I live in a rural area outside of Richmond, but like going to the city often to eat for that "vibe". Crab Louie's has a very "suburban", independent Red Lobster feel to it and would probably be less successful outside of the burbs because of it's atmosphere as well as the menu.

            1. re: Janet from Richmond

              Janet - my comment wasn't addressed to you. I clicked 'Reply' for your post rather than the one above it. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

      2. I love Edo's rockfish! That's my vote!

        1. it is VERY suburban in feel - upscale dive kind of - but i have had some good seafood at shacklefords. that said i've also had some very mediocre seafood there but if it's close to you (west end) it might be worth a try. their peel and eat shrimp half price on mon & wed can be fabulous and a great deal. and their seafood specials can be pretty inventive for a divey place. for me its just super convenient. i too have had trouble finding a great seafood place across the board - have had good dishes at upscale restaurants, but not necessarily a great seafood place.

          2 Replies
          1. re: AMFM

            Richmond has not had a great "seafood" restaurant since my childhood (circa late 60's to mid 70's). The old Skilligallee (on Staples Mill that burned down in the 70's) was much better than the one they opened in the 80's on Glenside. Horsepen Road had Fass Brothers Fish House and that was great, but now it's a Mediterranean market or the like. ::::sigh::: I am showing my age and how long I have been a Richmonder.......LOL. Like you, I have had some good meals at Shacklefords and some not so good meals. Years ago I lived in Wellesley and it was convenient. From Powhatan, not so much.

            1. re: Janet from Richmond

              Exactly. It's a really good neighborhood restaurant. But not a destination restaurant. But since I don't know where the OP lives... it's OK! We went to Skillagalee once - tacky place, few things actually surprisingly okay but don't try for anything even remotely updated or it will be prefab and inedible!

              Oh and thank goodness the Carytown Seafood in Innsbrook closed that place was AWFUL!! And I had such high hopes...

          2. I found Crab Louie's pretty mediocre, but I loved Edo's. I had a special (can't remember which type of fish) in a fra diavolo sauce and it was very good and very fresh. I like Hard Shell, too. I totally agree with scratching Bottega off your list. We go there in the winter to have a drink by the fireplace - and then eat somewhere else!

            1. I am surprised that nobody mentioned Escabar & Croakers Spot. Escabar is where Du Jour used to be across from Westhampton theater. They have atmosphere and some great sea food cooked in a unique and creative way. Pescados is a great seafood restaurant. If you eat the voodoo shrimp there and tell me that's not one of the most creative and flavorful appetizer you've ever had, then you need to have your tastebuds examined. :)

              My top 6 would be (in no particular order...)

              Escabar (small, upscale, limited menu but very flavorful)
              Pescados (caribbean flavors are very unique)
              Hard Shell (good casual place with little bit of everything)
              Edo's Squid (wide variety - monkfish, rockfish, branzino, tuna ....)
              Croakers Spot (best lake trout in Richmond)
              Lulu's (Awesome tilapia, rockfish and Shrimp/grits)

              Limani was the best (Cary Street) - wood grilled and fish was never frozen - very fresh. Too bad it closed. The Dover sole at One North Belmont is awesome too but different price range altogether. As much as I hate Copper Grill I would say they do have the best lobster in Richmond.

              2 Replies
              1. re: I_hate_chains

                I have not been to Croaker's Spot, so no vote either way from me (though I would take this time to mention the fried catfish and other seafood at Comfort). I'm not a fan of Escobar, so that was why I did not recommend it.

                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                  I wasn't crazy about Escobar either, but I've only gone once and would certainly give it a 2nd chance. It was a nice place to go after the movies, with live music and outdoor seating (thank goodness, it was packed inside).

              2. One of my favorite places in the city is completely off the beaten path.
                Its in the one of the city's.. scratch that, nation's oldest black working class neighborhoods. The restaurant is on 119 E. Leigh Street. Its just down the street from the famous if boarded up Hippodrome theatre. Everyone from Cab Calloway to Billie Holliday played there in its hey day.
                You go here for fried seafood. Incredible fried fish and shrimp with plenty of onions, peppers and cabbage.
                Get the hot buttered soul wedges.
                This is a destination of a hole in the wall. Great seafood/soulfood

                2 Replies
                1. re: Hamburger James

                  That would be Croaker's Spot. They were at the Broad Appertif festivale Sunday and served some great grub.

                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                    Last time i called Escabar was closed message said indefinitely