America’s Best Seafood Shacks – 24/7 Wall St.

Seafood shacks seem emblematic of summer, offering no-frills gustatory delights. But what, exactly, qualifies as a seafood “shack”? The definition is incorrect. In general, seafood shacks – whether specifically crab, lobster, clam or whatever or all-purpose – are casual places, usually by the water, often with windows to order (or order at the counter inside), and with mostly outdoor seating (if only open seasonally) or picnic table style seating inside.

Some places that call themselves “shacks” are obviously much more formal – more restaurant than cabana. Perhaps they came from more humble origins and retained the original description – or perhaps they refer to themselves as shacks as a trademark device, just as some bars prefer to call themselves “speakeasies “.

To identify the best seafood shacks in America, 24/7 Tempo reviewed listings, ratings and reviews from websites including The daily meal, gayot, Food Network, Eater, EDF guides, Gourmandize, Tasting table, cheap, men’s diaryAnd Yelp, as well as many regional and local sites. The resulting list covers seafood shacks in much of the country, but not in New England – whose shacks have a story of their own: “New England’s best seafood shacks.

Click here to see the best seafood shacks in America

In general, the shorter the distance from the fishing boat or shellfish farm to the plate, the better the seafood shack. Proximity to the ocean makes a big difference, and almost every entry on this list are located in coastal areas – five of them in New York State, six in Florida. (If you’re looking for something a little fancier than a cabin, here’s a list of the best seafood restaurant in every state.)

Some menu items common to the majority of these seafood shacks include oysters, clams, shrimp, and various types of fish – often catfish or flounder. However, some serve more exotic options. Florida seafood shacks may offer frog legs, alligators, or conch. Louisiana shacks celebrate crawfish (freshwater crayfish). Calumet Fisheries in Chicago offers eel.

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