Did you know seafood is an important source of animal protein around the world?
Also, fish is known to be some of the healthiest foods on the planet. Not only is it overloaded with nutrients, it’s a rich source of protein that can easily be fused into many cultural cuisines.
In addition, there are semi-vegetarians (pescetarianism) who also consume seafood in their diet as the only source of meat as well.
When we say seafood, it is regarded as any form of sea life, including fish and shellfish. The list of sea life categorized under shellfish includes clams, oysters, mussels, octopus, squid, shrimp, crabs, lobster, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins.
Some benefits from eating seafood includes a good source of vitamin D. Yes, sun exposure can provide us with vitamin D but too much of the sun’s rays and it can be bad for our skin as well. Also, in the winter it can be difficult to get the needed vitamin D. This is where seafood comes into play, as consuming seafood is an excellent alternative option.
It’s also rich in omega-3, which are essential to our health – support for good eyesight, fight inflammation, and can help boost brain function. Although there are supplements available, it’s always best to get these nutrients naturally.
With so many ways to enjoy these sea life – cooked or some can be consumed raw, and each method offers a different experience and taste, it comes to no surprise why people crave for seafood.
Good thing that Toronto is blessed with many restaurants that specializes in seafood. Below you will find a handful of restaurants we have found that we believe are the best seafood restaurants in Toronto. Go check them out and what’s your favorite seafood?
1. Diana’s Oyster Bar and Grill
Image by: A.
Address: 2105 Lawrence Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1R 2Z4
If you were in the market looking for fresh seafood or craving fresh raw oysters, then you would’ve heard about Diana’s Seafood. If you haven’t, well, now you know.
Prior to the restaurant business, Diana’s was a retail seafood market that stocked a multitude of products from under the sea – whole fish, live lobsters, fresh fillets that were cut in-house, frozen seafood, and shellfish.
However, this was THE place to go if you wanted to buy oysters in bulk and shuck them at home. They were known for carrying the largest selection of oysters in the city.
With their reputation in the seafood market, they later opened a restaurant, Diana’s Oyster Bar and Grill, that is just a few steps away from their Lawrence retail location in 2010.
Now you could get your oyster fix without the inconvenience of shucking one oyster after another. Of the many oyster selections, we recommend Fanny Bay, Pacific Tiger, and Malpeque.
The oysters were extremely fresh and creamy – you could taste the saltwater as you slurp down the oysters. Add a touch of lemon and it elevates the taste – yummy!
Another item worth recommending on their menu is their Lobster, Crab & Shrimp Tagliatelle Pasta. The pasta was cooked perfectly, seafood toppings were fresh, and the saffron cream sauce was delicious. The combination of this dish was perfectly executed.
If you find the Lawrence location to be an inconvenient travel for you, then you might want to try their Markham location – near Woodbine Ave and Esna Park Drive intersection, which opened in 2015.
2. Oyster Boy
Image by: Michelle Chan
Address: 872 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G3
Just like in their name, Oyster Boy is another establishment where you could enjoy some wonderful oysters. Which is located in the bustling Queen West District of Downtown Toronto.
They source their shellfish daily from small farmers in the east and west coast of Canada, so the quality of their food is of the freshest quality.
Oyster Boy is a cozy restaurant where you can enjoy some great seafood dishes. Their Oysters are super fresh and there’s a large variety to choose from as well. Some recommended items to try during your visit are their selections of oysters, Grilled Squid, Scallop Crudo, Fish Tacos, P.E.I. Lobster Bisque and Crispy Crab Cakes.
The oysters were creamy and fresh, and each dish were deliciously prepared – they were not overcooked or mushy.
If you’re looking for a place to celebrate special days, then Oyster Boy could be the place for you. However, just be mindful that this cozy restaurant may not be able to accommodate large group settings.
3. Rodney’s Oyster House
Image by: Rodney’s Oyster House
Address: 469 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K4
Can’t get enough of oysters and seafood? Don’t worry, here’s another restaurant for you to add to your list – Rodney’s Oyster House.
Located on King St W, this restaurant could easily be missed by many as it’s sandwiched between two taller buildings. Although the exterior of the restaurant may make this place look a bit small, it is spacious and they have an outdoor section with a lot of greenery creating a relaxing atmosphere while you enjoy your meal.
In addition, the dine-in ambiance is nicely decorated as well creating a wonderful vibe.
Some of the items we recommend are their variety of oysters – which ever one may pique your interest, The Atlantic Lobster Roll, White Plate Specials – this item may change daily as it depends on what’s available that day, Shrimp and Grits, and the Sea Fry.
The dishes were pleasant, appetizing, and most importantly fresh – Rodney’s definitely knows how to conjure up some delicious seafood.
The prices may be higher than similar establishments, however, the friendly service and fresh quality seafood does make up for it.
4. Fisherman Lobster Clubhouse
Image by: Joyce L.
Address: 4020 Finch Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1S 3T6
If you love eating lobsters or dungeness crabs, or both, then you’ll love Fisherman Lobster Clubhouse. It’s literally one of the best Chinese Restaurants in Toronto!
Once you step inside this place, you’ll be in a spacious environment surrounded by fish tanks filled with lobsters and dungeness crabs that are stacked together.
To make your stay more memorable, when you order one of these items, they will showcase it to you before it’s cooked – this will give you the opportunity to take some selfies. Best to take them because the next time you see it again, it’ll be on your dining table ready to be consumed.
Once it’s perfectly cooked, you will be ecstatic when you see the two people carrying the dish to your table. As your servers slowly approaches your table, your eyes will slowly widen and start to drool as you see the mountain full of succulent shellfish you ordered.
However, be careful of the piece you pick first. If you choose one from the bottom of the pile, you might cause an avalanche effect.
The cost of these mountain dishes can be fairly costly. For those faint-hearted, you may want to prepare yourself before seeing the bill.
This place could get quite busy at times. If you’re hoping to walk in and get a table, that might not happen or it could be a long wait. So, best to call and make a reservation.
5. Captain’s Boil
Image by: Captain’s Boil
Address: 476 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y 1X5
Want a quick seafood fix with a small group of friends, then Captain’s Boil may be the perfect place for you.
Don’t expect anything fancy at Captain’s Boil as the ambiance is your typical restaurant and the food comes served in a plastic bag.
However, the food is still delicious if you know what to get.
We highly recommend you get the shrimps with the corn addon with any sauce of your choice. The shrimps are big and plump, and the corn absorbs the sauces making it taste great as you take a bit into it – the sweetness from the corn infused with the sauce is just delicious. Their sweet potato fries are also a good option here.
What’s also nice is that they provide you bibs and plastic gloves so you don’t get your clothing and fingers dirty.
A word of advice, we don’t recommend the crawfish option. They were not as meaty as the shrimps, it was messy, and a hassle to open them – IMO, just wasn’t worth it. In addition, the crawfish cost more than the shrimp options as well. It’s best to stick to the basics here.
6. Market Street Catch
Image by: Signe L.
Address: 14 Market St., Toronto, ON M5E 1C3
Located near St. Lawrence Market is where you can find Market Street Catch.
For a small restaurant, Market Street Catch offers a wide selection of seafood choices for their customers and the food they concoct is delightfully hearty and delicious.
Being a small restaurant, the available seating is also limited – this goes for dine-in and their patio options. If you’re thinking of hosting a large gathering, then they may not be able to accommodate your request.
Of the vast options available, these are some of the items we recommend from their menu – the Shrimp PO Boy, Fried Halibut, or the Lobster Grilled Cheese sandwiches, BBQ Octopus, Grilled Calamari, and Grilled Seafood Platter.
The taste for each item was spot-on and the portions were generous as well.
If you’re a seafood lover looking for reasonably priced food that comes in generous portion, then you should definitely hit up Market Street Catch.
7. Pearl Diver
Image by: Anthony S.
Address: 100 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C 1K9
Depending on which seafood and how many you order it can get quite expensive quickly, however, Pearl Diver offers daily special that might fit the budget for you.
Since the daily special can get quite popular, you may want to call in advance to make reservations. Also, they only run from 5pm to 10pm.
From their daily special menu, we recommend the items on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Tuesday you can enjoy their Seafood Tower, which consist of a dozen oysters, pickled mussels, crab leg cluster, shrimp cocktail and seared tuna at a discounted price. For Thursday, you can enjoy 100 Oysters for $100 – that’s $1 per oyster and it’s shucked for you too. Unless you can eat 100 yourself, you might want to bring a friend or two.
Aside from these daily specials, there are a few dishes on their regular menu that are also delicious and is worth trying – Grilled Whole Sea Bream, Calamari, and the Sautéed Shrimp.
Across from Pearl Diver restaurant is St. James Park. After your meal on a nice day, you can also enjoy a walk around this park before calling it a night.
8. Olde Yorke Fish and Chips
Image by: Olde Yorke Fish and Chips
Address: 96 Laird Dr, East York, ON M4G 3V3
When it comes to fish and chips, Olde Yorke Fish and Chips, is the place to be in Toronto.
Olde Yorke has been around for quite some time, with their first shop opened in England, now they are in Toronto and have been serving the community for more than two decades.
Their menu consists of three fish – cod, haddock, and halibut, which are battered in their family recipe. The fish are perfectly deep-fried where the batter is crispy but not too oily, and the fish is nice and flaky. Served together with their coleslaw and you have yourself one delicious meal.
Some of the other items that is worth trying at Olde Yorke are the Calamari that is tzatziki marinaded and hand breaded, Poutine, and their Homemade New England Style Clam Chowder.
If you haven’t been to Olde Yorke, you should definitely add this on your list of fish and chip restaurants to visit.
9. Saigon Star
Image by: Saigon Star
Address: 330 Hwy 7, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 1S1
Located near Hwy 7 and Bayview Ave, is where you can find Saigon Star Restaurant.
Saigon Star may not be the restaurant that comes to mind when it comes to satisfying your seafood itch and although they specialize in Vietnamese cuisine, there is one dish they make that is really good and known for…
If you love dungeness crab, some of you may refer to them as Vancouver crab, then you’ll love their Curry Crab!
Their curry sauce is absolutely amazing and the dungeness crab is perfectly cooked. Together it makes one beautiful dish. The curry sauce is so good, you may want to consider ordering a rice dish as well. Add the curry sauce on top of the rice and that’ll make another simple dish that is awesome.
This dish is a bit pricy as the cost is seasonal, however, we believe this is a dish you should try it at least once.
10. Tinuno Restaurant
Address: 31 Howard St, Toronto, ON M4X 1J6
Looking for a unique experience, then Tinuno Restaurant has got something for you. They have three locations, but their downtown location is the one we normally visit.
Parking at this location may not be driver friendly and they are located on a one-way street too. If you’re lucky you can find pay street parking near the restaurant. However, if it’s packed you can try the pay public parking on Selby Street – which is not a far walk from the restaurant.
During your visit, we highly recommend the Kamayan option. You get milkfish or talapis – both if your group is larger than two, squid, shrimp, mussel, pork belly, pork skewer, okra, eggplant, and mango salad all served on top of garlic rice that is spread on top of banana leaves.
There are no eating utensils, instead, you are given plastic gloves and you use your finger to pick up the food and eat.
There’s not much seating at this location as well – even though they have an upper floor with additional dining space. So, it’s best to call and make reservations, especially if you have a medium sized gathering, otherwise you may be waiting for a long time.