With the Lenten season upon us, there has been a lot of talk about fish. This made me realize I have never rounded up my favorite seafood places, and seafood is my favorite! These are year round places so any seafood lover can get down with some sushi, lobster mac, or crab cakes. I’ve been to each of them personally and have GREAT things to say 😊
The Vibe: A fixture in the Strip District, Roland’s is a great place to catch a nice seafood bite on Penn Ave. It’s a casual vibe with its indoor and outdoor seating. They even have a balcony upstairs (the Iron Landing) for outdoor seating on a nice summer weekend. If you’re down in the Strip doing some shopping, this is the perfect place to stop and eat.
My Food Choice: Roland’s prides itself on fresh, locally sourced seafood. I have been here several times and always find myself ordering the Roland’s Famous Hot Lobster Roll (which comes on Mancini’s bread 😏) or the Italian mussels with marinara. You can’t go wrong with any of their fresh seafood!
The Vibe: Set atop Mt. Washington, this upscale restaurant has stunning views of Pittsburgh. Monterey Bay is perfect for a birthday celebration or a date night. The food and drinks are a bit pricey because the menu focuses mainly on seafood and because the views are incredible, day or night. I went with three other friends and we each ordered an entree, ordered family style sides for the table, 2 bottles of wine and one dessert for the birthday boy. With tip, the total came to $100 each. Nothing too crazy for the amount of food and alcohol, but upscale nonetheless.
My Food Choice: I recommend their Signature Crab Cakes. I ordered the crab cakes paired with the shrimp and added a lobster tail. We ordered roasted carrots and lobster mac and cheese to share, which were both incredible. The mussel pot was a great way to start the evening as well.
The Vibe: Cioppino is a cigar bar, seafood and chop house located a block back from Smallman Street in the Strip District. The wine selection is not lacking by any means at this restaurant. The pricing is slightly above average, but for the food you are getting, it is very worthy. The lights are low in this restaurant so it’s best for an evening meal. There are limited hours, so be sure to check ahead of time for their availability. You could definitely wear jeans here, but my friend said it best when he described this restaurant as somewhere he would take his girlfriend’s parents to tell them they were engaged.
My Food Choice: The restaurant is named Cioppino so how could you order anything other than their signature dish, the Cioppino. This meal was a bowl of crab meat, lobster, scallops, mussels, clams, sea bass, and shrimp with a broth pour over. You feel full after but not bloated because of the lack of carbs in the meal. As a starter I recommend the crab dip. It was very light, refreshing, and lemony. Not a cheesy heavy dip like one might expect.
The Vibe: Grand Concourse is an old train station turned upscale restaurant located in Station Square. There are many different areas of this restaurant, so it is perfect for hosting a private dining gathering. I was seated outside of the main room with a view of the city next to me. The prices are high here, but as with Monterey Bay, the views and food are worth it. I wore a sundress when I attended dinner with a friend.
My Food Choice: Start off with the Firecracker Shrimp appetizer, hands down. The sweet chili glaze really brings the plump tempura shrimp over the top! For an entree I recommend the Lobster & Shrimp Carbonara. The saltiness of the smoked bacon with the creaminess of the Parmesan pasta was the perfect blend for a lobster and shrimp dish.
The Vibe: Slippery Mermaid is located in Sewickley and has a very fun and chill vibe. The theme is tiki and tropical which makes this the perfect place for drinks and sushi with friends. The pricing varies depending on how intense of a roll you want, but trust me you want the big ones. This sushi is arguably one of the bests in the burgh, in taste and in looks.
My Food Choice: I opted for two rolls when visiting. I got the Crazy Mermaid and the Rainbow Mermaid. I love sushi topped with fresh fish so the Rainbow Mermaid was perfect! I always love a spicy tuna roll as well so I decided on the Crazy Mermaid which has a spicy tuna base. My sushi is pictured on the top plate!
The Vibe: Shaka is located in Federal Galley, a food court style eatery in the North Side. They have indoor and outdoor seating. Federal Galley has a happy hour/Sunday funday vibe. You order at their counter, take a number, and sit down or grab a drink at the bar while you wait for them to bring your meal out to you. Shaka itself is progressive Asian cuisine inspired by the trips the owners have taken around the world.
My Food Choice: I ordered the spicy tuna poke and added avocado. It was the perfect fresh lunchtime meal. The bowl was packed with protein and topped with fresh spicy tuna.
Honorable Mention Dishes
Täkō– Baha Fish Tacos
Shady Grove– Jamaican Jerk Mahi Mahi Tacos
The Lot at Edgewater– Oysters on the Half
Ichiban– Hibachi Shrimp lunch special
If you’re a seafood fan, you cannot go wrong with any of these spots around the city. Enjoy!