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Seafood Suggestions? (Phoenix)

Howdy, all!

I am looking for some suggestions for a pleasant seafood dining experience in Phoenix metro. The parameters are fairly simple:

1. Sit down place.

2. Quality seafood.

3. Price isn't much of an issue, but I would like the cost to be worth it.

4. Not particularly looking for a sushi restaurant.

5. Open on a Sunday.

So far, I can think of The Fish Market, Wildfish or McCormick and Schmicks, but I am not really that much of a seafood person so I don't know the quality of the places.

Any suggestions?


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  1. Boy. I saw this in Reader and didn't realize it was you asking. Seems odd. :)

    My seafood is usually sushi (yum), but what about maybe Ocean Club in Kierland or Eddie V's in DC Ranch. I've never been to OC, and all I've had at Eddie V's is their chocolate lava cake, but that is really good.

    Eddie V's Edgewater Grill
    20715 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

    Mastro's Ocean Club
    15045 N. Kierland Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254

    1 Reply
    1. re: Firenza00

      Heh. I can see you thinking it odd, but I don't eat much seafood (nothing against it, just prefer other things) and so J. is in town and wants seafood.

      I completely forgot about Ocean Club and will have to look in that.

      Thanks, Firenza!

      1. re: aztami

        They weren't bad. I just hated the long walk up the stairs after dinner. :)

      2. In reply to your query asking about fish/seafood restaurants in the Phoenix, AZ area, I must say that over the years I have tried them all and it has been my experience to say that they have been all "under par" according to my discerning palate. The last place was the Ocean Club at the Kierland area of Scottsdale. Six adults (my family) were out to enjoy a family dining experience. $400 and 45 minutes later (in a loud and boisterous venue) we were served undercooked and tasteless fish to which five of six had to send our meal back. We all ordered other things and that also was "tasteless". I would probably venture to say that the best fish fare would be had at a fine hotel restaurant.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Discerning Tastes

          Your experiences mirror mine, almost to the tee. I feel the same regarding Eddie V's, as per my review about FBR time.

          The best seafood that I have had in Phoenix has been at various non-seafood restaurants. Some of it pretty good, but up to my par.

          Vincent's has done good seafood dishes (Seth, I am NOT recommending it to you, as I have too much respect for your wonderful reviews), as has elements, but neither IS a seafood restaurant.

          Thinking, as I type, SeaSaw has had the most noteworthy, and enjoyable seafood in Phoenix. Not your typical seafood joint, but they have come through at all levels.

          Still, I save myself for dining in CA, NOLA and Hawai`i, so I am probably horribly jaded. I probably have 25 great restaurants that feature, or specialize in seafood, but none is, alas, in Phoenix.

          Seth, if you find one, please, please let me know!

          Good luck,


        2. I prefer to eat mostly fish and seafood, especially when dining out and I have to say this has been one of the hardest things for me since moving here from Seattle.

          I actually like McCormick and Schmicks. In Seattle we mainly went forthe great happy hour as we had so many other options for seafood dining but...we have been to the one here several times since moving to Phoenix. It's consistent, the fish is always top quality and fresh and the preparations good(and usually simple for the most part which I prefer). Being wild salmon season I'd consider this for sure. Service has always been good at his location.

          I've had great fish dishes around town. I was impressed with the number of seafood options at Tarbells and thought again they did a nice job handling it.

          I've had fish everytime we've been to Kai and never been disappointed there either...limited selection however.

          The Fish Market doesn't do a lot for me as a dining location. The fish is fresh and if you keep it simple usually prepared well. If this is a special occasion, I'm not sure I'd choose it.

          I liked Deseo a lot...we haven't been there in some time but the ceviche options particularly were excellent!

          We ate at Steamers once, several years ago now, and thought it was pretty good.

          I haven't tried any of their offerings as I can't get past the carne adovado when I we get up there, but i'm always impressed with the number of seafood offerings on the specials board at Richardson's when we've been there. Have no idea how they are though.

          On the whole as a seafood/fish lover I find I have better luck with individual seafood offerings from chefs that do a good job with everything on the menu than with seafood restaurants here in Phoenix. Not sure why. This is why we often end up at McCormick's when we're looking for a seafood focused restaurant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ziggylu

            News flash: I like Richardson's. In my experience, the fish is good - excellent.

          2. Your short list meets your specs, with the Fish market being the least expensive. I'd give the nod to McComick & Schmick for its combination of quality, species variety, value, comfort and leve of service -- a solid choice all around.

            Once place that has been around a long time -- not as long as the Salt Cellar, though -- is Taylor's Chowder House over on 35th Ave. near T-bird. It's more traditional New England-style emphasizing fried preparations, but it's possible to get a decent piece of broiled fish there, and it's a family-type pplace, reasonably priced. I don't know whether they are open Sundays.

            1. I am seafood person...I really like Eddie V's...high quality, interesting, simple preparations, good size portions. I have eaten there about 6 times in the last year. Entree prices 24-34 for seafood. I have not been to WIldfish or Ocean Club.
              Also recommend "Elements"....not strictly a "seafood" restaurant, but offers sophisticated seafood preparations in the $34-36 range. Very nice atmosphere.

              1. Put me in the McCormick and Schmicks' camp. Low on originally points being a chain, but it's consistently fresh and the service is always attentive. The only thing I would warn against is their ahi tuna preparation - the flavors don't work imo.

                1 Reply
                1. re: azhotdish

                  We've had several good meals there, and they ARE a seafood restaurant. Of that specificity, they probably get my nod, especially over Eddie V's and Ocean Club. Having experienced great seafood, I do not find anything to like about either of those. Matter of fact, when someone starts a "Most Overrated PHX Restaurant" thread, those are always near the top of my list.

                  Yeah, McCormik and Schmick's is probably as good as it gets, other than "seafood dishes" at non-traditional seafood restaurants.

                  I'd also add Pappadeaux (also a chain) out west, off I-17. For sorta' New Orleans seafood, they do not do a bad job. OK, there are some Cajun and NO influences, and it IS a chain, albeit a mini-chain. Still, if you do not want politically correct seafood, they are not bad. Very casual and loud, but I'd rather dine there, than get a free pass at a couple other PHX seafood spots (mentioned at the start of this post).


                2. No brainer: The Salt Cellar. Just North of McKellips on west side of Hayden Road in South Scottsdale (550 N. Hayden, I think. 480-947-1963, I'm pretty sure.)
                  Same owner, same chef, same cooks, same servcie staff, and for decades where most are concerned. The trick is to take advantage of appetizer deals at bar during early happy hour (there are two daily: 4-7 p.m., 10 p.m.- 1 a.m.). Enjoy house specialties like smoked marlin, stuffed clams, oysters Rockerfeller (a must!), and Manhatten (red) clam chowder at bargain prices before sitting down to dinner. Once you do, order old school blackened fish (Halibut, Ahi, or Snapper, say I), and for a few bucks etxra, add a similarly-spiced petite filet mignon. Sides (Baked potato, pilaf, veggies) can range from so-so to solid, but it's the oyster bar happy hours and the retro-chic seafood recipes that have kept the Salt Cellar cool since the '70's. Dinner for two, including a few happy hour apps and alcohol; $75-$125.

                  Robert Stempkowski, Urban Campfire

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cabbageking

                    We had reservations at the Salt Cellar. This took some doing, as the first three calls, over the last 10 years ended up the same way. I'd call, anywhere from 1 to 6 days in advance and always in the Summer. I'd inquire about reservations, and the person on the phone would state,"We're booked until September!" and then hang up. This went on for years with the same response and a curt hangup. "OK, I thought, they were popular, and were booked 24/7/365. Some day, I'll get in." Last weekend, I scored reservations on line with only two weeks notice. I pointed out that one of our party was in a wheelchair and could not walk. I mentioned that she would have to dine from the wheelchair. Nothing in response. I got a call to confirm the reservation - nothing about my mention of the wheelchair - nothing. During the day, my wife mentioned the reservations and her mother's wheelchair to another person. They commented that there was no way that a wheelchair could get down to the Salt Cellar. Wife called, and was assured that it was no problem. Well, we arrived, and the stairs would accommodate a wheelchair, but there was no way for anyone else to be one them. They were very narrow. Rather than put my 88 year old mother-in-law over my shoulder, we just canceled and went to Flemings. Obviously, Salt Cellar does not read the details on their reservations, like most of the restaurants around the country do with Open Table. I can walk into any Open Table restaurant in the US, and they know what my wife cannot eat, and also how many times we've dined there. Most also know when our birthdays and anniversaries are. Salt Cellar had no idea that we had an older lady, who was confined to a wheelchair.

                    I hear the seafood is good. However, I doubt that I'll live long enough to try it. Heck, they're always booked until September!

                    Go for it and tell me what I'm missing. Me, well I'd rather drive to San Diego, than try to dine there again.


                  2. I'll echo the recommendation for the Salt Cellar. I think it's the best seafood at a reasonable price in a reasonable location (i.e. not in far North Scottsdale)

                    I can't join in the love for M&S. I've been disappointed in my handful of visits to the Phoenix location, and found myself equally unimpressed during a recent business lunch at the M&S in Anaheim. It may be that M&S works only when ordering something just plain grilled off the fresh list. When the kitchen tries more ambitious preparations, it seems to falter.

                    Salt Cellar Restaurant
                    550 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

                    1. I like Wildfish, although I think the place can do better by tempering down the oversized portions.

                      Should also consider Pappadeaux and maybe even Roy's.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Just went to wildfish the other night during their happy hour. I was very impressed. I had the oysters, calamari and crabcakes. It was delicious. I highly reccomend it!

                        Happy hour is everday 4-all night?? GREAT prices and totally worth it. Have fun!

                        1. re: drewb123

                          I missed Roy's, too. We like the one in CHandler, have not been to the Scottsdale location. We always get the butterfish and in doing so have never been disappointed. Avoid the crab crusted halibut if it's still on the menu.

                          1. re: ziggylu

                            We've done the Scottsdale location, the old, gone now, Galleria spot, and the Desert Ridge spot, but never Candler - guess that N. Phoenix is a bit far. Also, we've done a half-dozen other Mainland locations, plus almost all in Hawai`i. The Desert Ridge gets my vote for the recent locations, with Pebble Beach a close second.


                        2. re: ipsedixit

                          Shoot! Why did I not think of Roy's? My opakapaka was a tad dry, but wife's butterfish was excellent, and the appetizers were wonderful. Duh, what a dumb moment. Thanks for slapping some sense into me.

                          I'd nominate Roy's!


                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              (disclaimer: i write this having just eaten a freshly dug lunch of steamers from the beach as i enjoy a cape cod vacation)

                              personally, while the raw bar at fish market is great, the restaurant is really lacking in all other respects.

                              mccormick and schmidts is pretty decent. i'd say stay away from the more "prepared dishes" and stick to straightforward stuff... broiled fish, etc.

                              roy's really impressed me.... salt cellar is good, if not very expensive..

                              by FAR< taylor's chowder house is my favorite place and where you'll get the best seafood, IMO.

                              and now back to our regularly scheduled lobster dinner...

                              1. re: hzp

                                I grew up a mile from the Atlantic on the coast of Maine and my grandparents' property is right on the flats at low tide. We used to dig steamers and get quahogs in the surf. I'm not jealous of you at all. :) Yum.

                                1. re: Firenza00

                                  good year for cherrystones, quahogs are few and far between.... most of the area is overfished if its any consolation....

                                2. re: hzp

                                  I've heard good things about Taylor's, but we've not been. Maybe it's time to change that.



                          1. Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions.

                            We ended up going for ... pizza.

                            These things happen when there are - um - distractions and it gets too late to go to a seafood restaurant on a Sunday night. :o)

                            That being said, this is a great resource for J.'s next visit.

                            Again, thanks for the input. It is greatly appreciated.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Seth Chadwick

                              Hey, if it was a good pizza, who cares?


                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                Just went to the salt cellar happy hour last night. I had the oyster shooter, stuffed clams, steamed mussels, oyster rockafeller, bread basket,escargot, shrimp cocktail and shrimp san remo.

                                There were 4 of us and we all had 2 drinks each or 3. The bill came to around $91!! That is a steal. I have been going there for years and the food is great best place to beat the heat in the summer.

                            2. San Carlos bay ,best mexican seafood i have ever had

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: mistered123

                                Is this the San Carlos Bay in Guadalupe? What do you recommend there?

                                1. re: achicken

                                  San Diego Bay is in Guadalupe.

                                  San Carlos Bay is at 1901 E Mcdowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ

                                  San Diego Bay Restaurant
                                  9201 S Avenida Del Yaqui, Guadalupe, AZ 85283

                                  San Carlos Bay Seafood Restaurant
                                  1901 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006