Nashville would be the perfect city if only it had a coast (and no, the Cumberland River doesn’t count). But despite the fact that the city is woefully landlocked, there are several surprisingly great options for fresh seafood around town. Whether you’re after an oyster special, an impressive seafood tower, or a daily fresh catch, we’ve gathered 12 of Nashville’s top spots for seafood lovers.Read More
Where to Find Excellent Seafood in Nashville
Living in a landlocked state doesn’t have to mean a life without lobster.
Joe Muer Seafood - Nashville
Nashville has welcomed this Detroit-based newcomer with open arms since its doors opened in August 2023. Marking the restaurant’s first venture outside of Michigan (where it’s been a staple since the 1920s), Joe Muer brings fresh, sustainably sourced seafood to Capitol View. You’ll find a raw bar with shrimp the size of your fists and mains like lobster pot pie, ginger-seared Hawaiian yellowfin tuna, and king crab legs on the daily menu. But make plans to visit for “golden hour” weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. — just as the setting sun pours into the ritzy restaurant, Joe Muer offers a handful of discounted snacks and drinks in the bar area only.
Nestled in the lowest level of the Gulch’s Thompson Hotel, Marsh House has become a staple for excellent seafood in Nashville. Groups can opt for impressive seafood towers packed with oysters, clams, dips, and ceviche, or small plates like shrimp toast and calamari to share. Pop in for a happy hour on weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m. for $1.50 oysters and a collection of cocktails including a cheeky Chambong.
One of Nashville’s tried and true seafood staples is The Optimist from Atlanta-based Rocket Farm Restaurants. Tucked inside the former TD&W Handle Company, the historic property has been brought into the modern age through a dining room that emulates the interior of a ship. Settle into a tufted booth to enjoy fresh oysters or a crudo before moving onto mains like mahi mahi, lump crab-topped halibut, a whole flounder, or duck fat poached swordfish served with sides ranging from butternut squash to sunchoke puree. During the summer, you can head outside for a frozen nightcap at the patio bar, Jacqueline.
The happy hour at Henrietta Red is a seafood lover’s dream with discounted oysters and cava every Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 6 p.m. Afterwards, stick around to order the snapper with hazelnut, romesco, summer squash, and eggplant. This Germantown favorite also serves a seafood-forward brunch including smoked fish rillette, crab cakes, and gulf shrimp alongside traditional brunch favorites.
The Southern Steak & Oyster
The name says it all — regionally-inspired steaks and oysters fill the menu at The Southern, which also boasts an impressive downtown patio. The daily selection of fresh oysters is available for either lunch or dinner, but the menu varies between meat and three-style meals during the day and hearty southern entrees like fish n’ grits or steaks for dinner.
Ludlow & Prime
This steak and seafood spot may be tucked into a corner of a Brentwood strip mall, but the menu keeps locals and visitors alike returning time and again. The raw and grill bar options span fresh oysters and shrimp cocktail (or both in a seafood tower), while the mains form an impressive list of dishes — i.e.blackened redfish, lobster tail, sea scallops, and grilled salmon. A second location is slated to open in Franklin’s Berry Farms neighborhood this fall.
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Eddie V's Prime Seafood
This franchise favorite found its home in Nashville’s Fifth and Broadway development when it opened in 2021. Expect an evening of opulence at Eddie V’s, beginning with the stylish interiors, nightly live music, advanced sommelier-driven wine list, and fresh seafood options flown in from around the world. Enjoy a multi-course seafood smorgasbord, starting with a shellfish tower followed by lobster bisque, a Mediterranean-influenced branzino, and a side of crab-fried rice.
Don’t let the exterior fool you, East Nashville’s Juicy Seafood is a must for those looking for classic Cajun dishes. Warm up with a cup of gumb, then grab a fried basket of calamari, shrimp, catfish, or tilapia trimmed with onion rings or hush puppies. Or, opt for boiled crab, shrimp, or crawfish (when in season) appropriately served with corn and potatoes. Add cajun, lemon pepper, garlic butter, or all of the above for an extra kick.
Nashville’s 12 South neighborhood has plenty of dining options whether you’re window shopping at brunch time or heading out for date night. Urban Grub has you covered for both — the brunch buffet is a seafood and charcuterie bar (need I say more?) with an all-you-can-eat option, and the dinner menu includes both raw and wood-fired oysters and a DIY seafood tower.
The Hampton Social - Nashville
The Hampton Social is arguably as close to coastal ambiance as you can get in Nashville, bathed in shades of blue with lighting held by fishing rope and nautical touches throughout. The menu mirrors the aesthetic, with items like grilled octopus, calamari, crab cakes, oysters, shrimp cocktail, and a seafood tower. Come for the food but stay for the party — the Hampton Social is famous for its shots served in a flaming pink guitar.
Coastal meets casual at Red Perch, which had its first home in downtown Nashville’s The Arcade before moving to a permanent spot in Sylvan Park in 2021. Known for its fish and chips, this laidback eatery also serves a rotating fish of the day, poke bowls, shrimp banh mi, calamari, and clam chowder when the weather cools. From a husband and wife duo who met and married in Hawaii before settling in Nashville, Red Perch is a perfect spot for grabbing seafood, a pint, and catching up with friends.
Steak and seafood often go hand-in-hand, and River House does both perfectly in a setting so ritzy it carries a dress code. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer stunning views of the city while diners sip a craft cocktail or a perfectly paired glass of wine, all while enjoying dishes like panko-crusted sea bass, lobster tails, pan-sauteed halibut, or Chilean sea bass. Be sure to save room for dessert — the menu here includes warm chocolate chip skillet cookies, carrot cake, bread pudding, and more.