Seafood shacks appear emblematic of summer season, offering no-frills gustatory delights. However what, precisely, qualifies as a seafood “shack”? The definition is inexact. Normally, seafood shacks – whether or not particularly crab, lobster, clam, or no matter or all-purpose – are informal locations, often by the water, typically with walk-up home windows for ordering (or counter ordering inside), and with principally outdoors seating (in the event that they’re solely open seasonally) or picnic desk type seating indoors.
Some locations that decision themselves “shacks” are clearly a very good deal extra formal – extra restaurant than shack. Maybe they got here from humbler origins and stored the unique description – or perhaps they type themselves shacks as a branding machine, a lot as some bars desire to name themselves “speakeasies.”
To determine the very best seafood shacks round America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed lists, scores, and evaluations from web sites together with The Daily Meal, Gayot, Food Network, Eater, FED Guides, Gourmandize, Tasting Table, Cheapism, Men’s Journal, and Yelp, in addition to quite a few regional and native websites. The ensuing checklist covers seafood shacks throughout a lot of the nation, however not in New England – whose shacks are the topic of a narrative of their very own: “The best seafood shacks in New England.”
Click here to see the best seafood shacks in America
Normally, the shorter the gap from the fishing boat or shellfish farm to the plate, the higher the seafood shack. Proximity to the ocean makes a giant distinction, and virtually all the entries on this checklist are positioned in coastal areas – 5 of them in New York state, six in Florida. (For those who’re searching for one thing somewhat fancier than a shack, right here’s a listing of the best seafood restaurant in every state.)
Some menu gadgets widespread to nearly all of these seafood shacks embody oysters, clams, shrimp, and varied sorts of fish – typically catfish or flounder. Nevertheless, some serve extra unique choices. Florida seafood shacks may supply frogs’ legs, alligator, or conch. Louisiana shacks have a good time crawdads (freshwater crayfish). Chicago’s Calumet Fisheries options eel.