Sample the Pacific’s rich offerings at casual eateries from salmon country to San Diego.
Breakers Pub, Prince Rupert
What to expect: Try the halibut chowder and the fish-and-chips made from local lingcod.
Check it out: 117 George Hills Drive; 250/624-5990 or breakerpub.ca
Flying Beaver Bar & Grill, Richmond
What to expect: The restaurant sits a short taxi or shuttle ride from Vancouver International Airport and only a five-minute walk from the small South Terminal. Even meat-and-potatoes fans love the salmon burgers.
Check it out: 4760 Inglis Drive; 604/273-0278 or markjamesgroup.com/flyingbeaver.html
The Shady Rest Waterfront Pub & Restaurant, Qualicum Beach
What to expect: Beer-battered fish-and-chips (halibut or cod) in a former truck stop in a seaside village.
Check it out: 3109 W. Island Highway; 250/752-9111 or shadyrest.ca
Go Fish, Vancouver
What to expect: At a blue, corrugated-steel shack at the public fish sales dock, something extraordinary is being served. Take a spot in the long line for crispy fish-and-chips, oyster po’boys, wild salmon burgers, and grilled albacore sandwiches―all using local-caught seafood and served on a no-frills waterfront patio. It’s worth the wait.
Check it out: 1505 West First Avenue; 604/730-5040
Rodney’s Oyster House, Vancouver
What to expect: Tremendous variety of oysters, raw or pan-fried.
Check it out: 1228 Hamilton Street; 604/609-0080 or rodneysoysterhouse.com
Bandon Boatworks, Bandon
What to expect: Pretty view at the mouth of the Coquille River, and a nice variety of locally caught seafood.
Check it out: 275 Lincoln Avenue Southwest; 541/347-2111
Pacific Oyster, Bay City
What to expect: The café at this waterfront seafood-processing plant supplies great food and live entertainment. Big windows let diners watch oysters being shucked (with incredible speed) and packed. Not surprisingly, the menu emphasizes oyster dishes, including a wonderful, rich stew, plus several variations of fish-and-chips.
Check it out: 5150 Oyster Drive; 503/377-2330 or pacseafood.com/locations/baycity.html
Tidal Raves Seafood Grill, Depoe Bay
What to expect: The kitchen does a superb job with such West Coast stalwarts as cioppino and pan-fried oysters. “Superb” doesn't do justice to the oyster spinach bisque.
Check it out: 279 Northwest Highway 10; 541/765-2995.
Pirate’s Cove Restaurant, Garibaldi
What to expect: While you wait for the clam fritters and eggs, or the Alaskan halibut burger topped with flame-roasted peppers, or the grilled Tillamook Bay oysters, or the triple-whammy dungeness, king, and snow crab platter, let your thoughts drift over Tillamook Bay and across to the Bayocean Peninsula.
Check it out: 14170 U.S. 101 North; 503/322-2092
Righetti’s Sporthaven, Harbor
What to expect: Start your day with a crab or shrimp omelet breakfast.
Check it out: 16372 Lower Harbor Road; 541/469-5200
Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach, Newport
What to expect: Try the namesake house specialty, of course.
Check it out: 728 Northwest Beach Drive; 877/433-9881 or newportchowderbowl.com
Scampi's Fish Wagon, Harbor
What to expect: A trailer-turned-kitchen huddles in a corner of a parking lot. The fried fish, most of it caught that morning, comes lightly battered, nongreasy, and delicious.
Check it out: 16333 Lower Harbor Road; 541/412-9530
Mo’s Restaurant, Newport
What to expect: The original in an Oregon chain renowned for New England-style (creamy) clam chowder.
Check it out: 657 Southwest Bay Boulevard; 541/265-7512 or moschowder.com
Newport Chowder Bowl, Newport
What to expect: Tasty fish-and-chips and excellent chowder in the funky, fun Nye Beach neighborhood.
Check it out: 728 Northwest Beach Drive; 541/265-7477 or nyebeach.org/chowder.html
The Riverhouse Restaurant, Pacific City
What to expect: Steamer clams simmered in garlic butter, parsley, and vermouth lend new meaning to the term “rich.” The clam chowder comes spiked with paprika and laced with cream. If you still have room, try the Dungeness crab or Pacific shrimp sandwiches, broiled open faced on a French roll and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Check it out: 34450 Brooten Road; 503/965-6722 or riverhousefoods.com
Norma’s Ocean Diner, Seaside
What to expect: Excellent clam chowder and pan-fried local oysters.
Check it out: 20 North Columbia; 503/738-4331 or normasoceandiner.com
South Beach Fish Market (Lighthouse Deli and Fish Company), South Beach
What to expect: Try the fish-and-chips combo for a good sampler of halibut, salmon, and tuna.
Check it out: 3640 Southwest Highway 101; 541/867-6800 or southbeachfishmarket.com
Landmark Restaurant & Bar, Yachats
What to expect: Clam chowder, Dungeness crab cakes, fresh-caught fish-and-chips, and blufftop views of a Pacific Ocean cove.
Check it out: 111 U.S. Highway 101 South; 541/547-3215
Storks Restaurant, Anacortes
What to expect: A restaurant in a bowling alley―with the best fish-and-chips in town.
Check it out: 2821 Commercial Avenue; 360/293-7500
The Harbour Public House, Bainbridge Island
What to expect: Seasonal menu always includes top-rated fish-and-chips.
Check it out: 231 Parfitt Way Southwest; 206/842-0969 or harbourpub.com
Landfall Restaurant, Port Townsend
What to expect: Summer (May through October) means barbecued salmon and halibut dinners cooked on an outdoor grill. The barbecued oysters and fish-and-chips also have their fans.
Check it out: 412 Water Street; 360/385-5814 or thelandfallresturant.com
The Tides Tavern, Gig Harbor
What to expect: Alaskan halibut fish-and-chips, clam chowder, and boat watching on the deck.
Check it out: 2925 Harborview Drive; 253/858-3982 or tidestavern.com
Athenian Inn, Seattle
What to expect: Nothing fancy here, but the fish-and-chips are superior in a town where the competition is high. Consider one of the Athenian’s tasty Filipino fish stews.
Check it out: 1517 Pike Place Market; 206/624-7166 or athenianinn.com
Chinook’s at Salmon Bay, Seattle
What to expect: The interior design is Warehouse Revival and the atmosphere Early Pandemonium, but this is the place Seattleites take visitors for authentic seafood. The vast menu features simple, unpretentious fare, such as fishermen’s cioppino, rockfish slathered with salsa fresca, and alder-planked salmon.
Check it out: 1900 West Nickerson Street; 206/283-4665 or anthonys.com/restaurants/info/chinooks.html
Ivar’s Salmon House, Seattle
What to expect: Among its salmon selections, this 35-year-old landmark serves only wild Pacific Northwest species―no farmed varieties. The menu includes an array of other fine fish choices.
Check it out: 401 Northeast Northlake Way; 206/632-0767 or ivars.net
The Lockport Cafe, Seattle
What to expect: Nice fish-and-chips and clam chowder in the historic Ballard neighborhood.
Check it out: 3005 Northwest 54th Street; 206/789-4865
Lowell’s Restaurant, Seattle
What to expect: A fixture for simply prepared regional seafood since 1908 at the famous Pike Place Market.
Check it out: 1519 Pike Place; 206/622-2036 or eatatlowells.com
Spud Fish & Chips, Seattle
What to expect: Known for its ling cod, but the halibut and oysters remain favorites, too. Grab a bowl of creamy seafood chowder and dive into incredible caloric glory.
Check it out: 2666 Alki Avenue Southwest; 206/938-0606 or spudfishandchips.com
Sunfish Seafood, Seattle
What to expect: Sunfish, a cash-only fish-and-chips stand on Alki Beach, provides a choice of Alaskan halibut, cod, or salmon. Like the rest of the fresh seafood (including prawns and oysters), it comes lightly breaded and not greasy. Also worth a taste: nicely flavored clam chowder.
Check it out: 2800 Alki Avenue Southwest; 206/938-4112
Breakwater Inn Restaurant, Sekiu
What to expect: Enjoy the fried Captain’s Platter and the views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Check it out: Highway 112; 360/963-2428.
The Three Crabs Restaurant, Sequim,
What to expect: Fresh Dungeness crab on Dungeness Bay.
Check it out: 11 Three Crabs Road; 360/683-4809 or the3crabs.com
Harbor Lights, Tacoma
What to expect: Famous for halibut and chips and buckets of steamed Puget Sound Manila clams.
Check it out: 2761 Ruston Way; 253/752-8600 or anthonys.com/restaurants/info/harborlights.html
Seabreeze Market & Deli, Berkeley
What to expect: A deli/seafood shop/snack bar/produce market/smoothie stand made from shipping containers, believe it or not; good fish sandwiches.
Check it out: 598 University Avenue; 510/486-8119
Spud Point Crab Company, Bodega Bay
What to expect: This out-of-the-way takeout shack serves the best clam chowder. Ever. Also try the smoked salmon and the crab sandwich, made with a Thousand Island dressing–based sauce.
Check it out: 1860 Westshore Road; 707/875-9472 or spudpointcrab.com
Coast Café, Bolinas
What to expect: Only in West Marin County would a surfer’s hangout serve organic beer with fish-and-chips (made from the catch of the day). On weekends, the café offers all-you-can-eat Dungeness crab or mesquite-barbecued oysters, depending on the season.
Check it out: 46 Wharf Road; 415/868-2298 or bolinascafe.com
Chart Room, Crescent City
What to expect: The four-egg Dungeness-crab-and-shrimp omelets at breakfast will satisfy the hungriest travelers. Windows overlook the harbor and its resident sea lions.
Check it out: 130 Anchor Way; 707/464-5993
Nantucket Restaurant, Crockett
What to expect: A cozy building in a working marina with great cioppino, great service, and great views of the Carquinez Bridge.
Check it out: The foot of Port Street; 510/787-2233
La Cabaña Taquería, Davenport
What to expect: A favorite of the surfing crowd, La Cabaña serves some of the best fish tacos this side of Baja. Try the red snapper or salmon, wrapped in your choice of flour or corn tortillas.
Check it out: 500 Highway 1; 831/425-7742
Gill’s by the Bay, Eureka
What to expect: No-frills but well-prepared breakfasts and lunches right on Humboldt Bay.
Check it out: 77 Halibut King Salmon; 707/442-2554
The Vista, Eureka
What to expect: The halibut is always great. Check the daily specials for whatever’s fresh and intriguing to the chef that day.
Check it out: 91 Commercial Street; 707/443-1491
Cap’n Flint’s, Fort Bragg
What to expect: “Family dining at family prices,” including great chowder, under the high bridge in the fishing village of Noyo.
Check it out: 32250 North Harbor Drive; 707/964-9447
Sharon’s by the Sea, Fort Bragg
What to expect: Sharon’s surprises with its large wine list and filling seafood salads. Try the crab Louie, a seemingly bottomless bowl of asparagus spears, tomatoes, and cucumbers topped with mounds of sweet crab.
Check it out: 32096 N. Harbor Drive; 707/962-0680 or sharonsbythesea.com
What to expect: On California’s Pacific Coast Highway between Jenner and Point Arena, Oceansong is one of the few restaurants that offers ocean vistas. Start with a cold brew and clam chowder, then round out the meal with hot fish-and-chips.
Check it out: 39350 South Highway 1; 707/884-1041
Princeton Seafood Company, Half Moon Bay
What to expect: This restaurant/market is justifiably proud of its “award-winning” clam chowder and ought to boast about the fish and chips as well.
Check it out: #9 Johnson Pier; 650/726-2722 or princetonseafood.com
Yankee Pier, Larkspur
What to expect: Don’t miss the signature lobster roll or the fabulous New England clam chowder. The crab Louie is unforgettable. Monday nights feature all-you-can-eat fish-and-chips.
Check it out: 286 Magnolia Avenue; 415/924-7676 or yankeepier.com
The Marshall Store, Marshall
What to expect: A tiny grocery, deli, and oyster bar on stilts over Tomales Bay, with fresh oysters, barbecued or on the half shell.
Check it out: 19225 State Route 1; 415/663-1339 or themarshallstore.com
Nick’s Cove, Marshall
What to expect: Nick’s, closed for nearly a decade, is back―and truly better than ever. Last year, famed San Francisco restaurateur Pat Kuleto and partner Mark Franz reopened this 1930s-era restaurant and its cluster of rental cottages on Tomales Bay. White tablecloths and other ritzy touches fancy up the building. But mostly it retains the feel of an authentic Northern California waterfront saloon. Sit at the marble-top oyster bar, and don’t miss the buttery clam chowder.
Check it out: 23240 Highway 1; 866/636-4257 or nickscove.com
Tony’s Seafood Restaurant, Marshall
What to expect: Legendary barbecued oysters and fresh-caught fish.
Check it out: 18863 Highway 1; 415/663-1107
Phil’s Fish Market and Eatery, Moss Landing
What to expect: Moved to a new building since our review, but still serves the same great cioppino.
Check it out: 7600 Sandholdt Road; 831/633-2152 or philsfishmarket.com
Quinn’s Lighthouse Restaurant & Pub, Oakland
What to expect: Former lighthouse building. Elegant dining downstairs. Upstairs has the same excellent seafood, a boisterously casual atmosphere, and sea chanteys on Thursdays.
Check it out: 1951 Embarcadero Cove; 510/536-2050 or quinnslighthouse.com
Olema Farm House Restaurant & Bar, Olema
What to expect: Fried prawns, creamy clam chowder, and enormous barbecued oysters.
Check it out: 10005 State Highway 1; 415/663-1264 or olemafarmhouse.com
Barbara's Fish Trap, Princeton-by-the-Sea
What to expect: Huge portions. Try the chowder and the fish-and-chips. Cash only. On pilings above Half Moon Bay.
Check it out: 281 Capistrano Road; 650/728-7049
Ketch Joanne Restaurant, Princeton-by-the-Sea
What to expect: Fried specialties include fish-and-chips, scallops, and jumbo prawns.
Check it out: 17 Johnson Pier, Pillar Point Harbor; 650/728-3747 or ketchjoannesrestaurant.com
Fisherman’s Wharf crab stands, San Francisco
What to expect: These sidewalk grottos peddle a smorgasbord of seafood gold: crab cakes, fried shrimp, and overstuffed crab sandwiches. We suggest fresh-caught Dungeness crabs, cracked to order and costing half what you'd pay in the nearby sit-down restaurants. Feeling clammy? Boudin’s clam chowder in a sourdough bowl and Pompei’s hearty cioppino are San Francisco classics.
Check it out: Taylor Street at Jefferson Street
Kelly’s Mission Rock, San Francisco
What to expect: Considerably spiffed up from its days as Mission Rock Resort, when we first visited, but still relaxed and casual. Terrific fish-and-chips―and water views.
Check it out: 817 Terry Francois Boulevard; 415/626-5355 or kellysmissionrock.com
The Old Clam House, San Francisco
What to expect: Heavenly Lazy Man's Cioppino, so-called because everything but the crab legs is shelled, steamed open, or otherwise made accessible.
Check it out: 299 Bayshore Boulevard; 415/826-4880
Pier 23 Café, San Francisco
What to expect: In a party-hearty atmosphere, the crab cocktail gets down to basics: crabmeat accompanied only by hot sauce. Steamed mussels pair well with Anchor Steam beer.
Check it out: Pier 23, On the Embarcadero; 415/362-5125 or pier23cafe.com
PPQ Dungeness Island, San Francisco
What to expect: The real deal is a fixed-price dinner for two, which includes whole-roasted Dungeness crab in a delicious garlic broth, equally tantalizing garlic noodles, fresh cabbage and chicken salad, and deep-fried banana dessert.
Check it out: 2332 Clement Street; 415/386-8266 or ppqdungeness.com
The Ramp, San Francisco
What to expect: No longer the bait and hot-dog shop it was years ago, The Ramp will dish up hot clam chowder for those foggy days, some fried Alaskan pollack and chips, and an array of salads starring tiny bay shrimp.
Check it out: 855 Terry Francois Street; 415/621-2378 or ramprestaurant.com
Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco
What to expect: Super fresh seafood, super nice service.
Check it out: 1517 Polk Street; 415/673-1101
Sushi Sam’s Edomata, San Mateo
What to expect: Surprisingly innovative nigiri (raw fish pressed onto a pad of rice) lies just a half-hour south of San Francisco. Grab a seat at the sushi bar and request the chef’s choice.
Check it out: 218 E. Third Avenue; 650/344-0888 or sushisams.com
Duarte's Tavern, Pescadero, California
What to expect: Plump, succulent mussels swim in a garlicky, oniony, white wine broth. (Usually available as a special.)
Check it out: 202 State Road; 650/879-0464 or duartestavern.com
Sea Chest Oyster Bar and Seafood Restaurant, Cambria
What to expect: Rustic and very popular; go for the catch-of-the-day fish, with mango salsa on the side.
Check it out: 6216 Moonstone Beach Drive; 805/927-4514 or cambria-online.com/seachestrestaurantandoysterbar
Zelda’s Restaurant, Capitola
What to expect: You can sit outdoors, right on the beach. The clam chowder and fried calamari reveal a kitchen that lavishes some care on what could otherwise have been standard bar food.
Check it out: 203 Esplanade; 831/475-4900 or zeldasonthebeach.com
Loulou’s Griddle in the Middle, Monterey
What to expect: The squid (or crab cake) and eggs reels in fishermen as early as 7 a.m. Ultra-rich clam chowder and flaky white sand dabs appear at lunch.
Check it out: Municipal Wharf No. 2; 831/372-0568 or loulousgriddle.com
Totoya Japanese Restaurant, Monterey
What to expect: The sushi’s delectable at this tiny restaurant across from Monterey Bay Aquarium. A crew of three can sample as many sushi rolls and slices of ruby red tuna as they can hold, and still get out for less than $50.
Check it out: 867 Wave Street; 831/375-7024
Li’l Hut, Morro Bay
What to expect: At this oddball stand in the parking lot of the Harbor Hut restaurant, the thick and tasty clam chowder shines. This homemade creation finds delicious synergy with the sweet pineapple coleslaw.
Check it out: 1205 Embarcadero; 805/772-3488 or lilhut.com
Splash Cafe, Pismo Beach
What to expect: Famous for chowder, but also try the steamed clams and fish-and-chips.
Check it out: 197 Pomeroy Avenue; 805/773-4653 or splashcafe.com
Aldo’s Harbor Restaurant, Santa Cruz
What to expect: Aldo’s sits on the water in Santa Cruz. It’s a plain little box of a place with excellent calamari and great harbor and lighthouse views. A huge outdoor deck and lots of windows take full advantage of the setting.
Check it out: 616 Atlantic Avenue; 831/426-3736 or aldos-cruz.com
Harbor Fish Cafè, Carlsbad
What to expect: Order the large plate of fish-and-chips―three pieces of lightly battered fish, a mound of fries, and homemade tartar sauce. It weighs about 5 pounds, but it’s worth every calorie-laden bite.
Check it out: 3179 Carlsbad Boulevard; 760/729-4161
Catalina Fish Kitchen and Seafood Deli, Costa Mesa
What to expect: A huge array of moderately priced seafood, prepared any way you can imagine, packs the menu. The tacos, gumbos, and chowders all draw rave reviews. The mixed seafood skewer deserves consideration, too.
Check it out: 670 W. 17th Street; 949/645-8873 or catalinafishkitchen.com
Fat Face Fenner’s Fishack, Hermosa Beach
What to expect: Clam chowder, fish-and-chips, and messy but delicious blackened fish tacos with cilantro-lime salsa.
Check it out: 53 Pier Avenue; 310/379-5550
The Crab Pot, Long Beach
What to expect: Bring a friend and order a “Seafest for Two.”
Check it out: 215 North Marina Drive; 562/430-0272 or thecrabpot.com
The Crab Cooker, Newport Beach
What to expect: “World's best” clam chowder, according to the menu, and pretty good broiled seafood too.
Check it out: 2200 Newport Boulevard; 949/673-0100 or crabcooker.com
Duke’s Malibu, Malibu
What to expect: Concentrate on what stretches out in front of you: unobstructed views of the Pacific, and dish after dish of delicious island-inspired fare. From the chicken spring rolls to the coconut shrimp, the spicy Asian slaw, and the crisp, flavorful Baja fish tacos, Duke’s has freshness down pat.
Check it out: 21150 Pacific Coast Highway; 310/317-0777 or dukesmalibu.com
Malibu Seafood, Malibu
What to expect: Seafood market and takeout stand. Get what’s fresh and eat at picnic tables or across the highway on the beach.
Check it out: 25653 Pacific Coast Highway (State 1); 310/456-3430 or malibuseafood.com
Neptune’s Net, Malibu
What to expect: Steamed shrimp, lobster, fish-and-chips, and creamy clam chowder.
Check it out: 42505 Pacific Coast Highway; 310/457-3095 or neptunesnet.com
Paradise Cove Beach Café, Malibu
What to expect: Wide-screen views of the Pacific. The clam chowder and crispy-skin salmon are well worth the trip down the mile-long access road.
Check it out: 28128 Pacific Coast Highway; 310/457-2503 or paradisecovemalibu.com
Pier View Café & Cantina, Malibu
What to expect: Every table provides a great view of the Pacific. An appetizer of clams (a full two dozen comes deliciously steamed in beer with lots of garlic. The “chiopino” resembles cioppino (the classic California fisherman’s stew), except that the salmon, shrimp, clams, and other seafood rests on angel hair pasta with lots of red sauce. It may not be authentic, but it sure is good.
Check it out: 22718 West Pacific Coast Highway; 310/456-6962
Reel Inn Restaurant, Malibu
What to expect: Very fresh, inexpensive seafood served in innovative ways.
Check it out: 18661 Pacific Coast Highway; 310/456-8221
South Beach Bar & Grill, Ocean Beach
What to expect: Everyone―from business types in suits to surfers damp from the waves―converges here for fabulous fish tacos.
Check it out: 5059 Newport Avenue; 619/226-4577
World Famous, San Diego
What to expect: Prime ocean views, lobster tacos.
Check it out: 711 Pacific Beach Drive; 858/272-3100 or worldfamous.signonsandiego.com
Harbor Fish & Chips, Oceanside
What to expect: Serves consistently good fish-and-chips and tasty if not overly clammy clam chowder on Oceanside Harbor.
Check it out: 276-A Harbor Drive South; 760/722-4977
Gladstone’s, Pacific Palisades
What to expect: Giant portions of never-frozen seafood. No ties allowed.
Check it out: 17300 Pacific Coast Highway; 310/454-3474 or gladstones.com
Captain Kidd’s Fish Market and Restaurant, Redondo Beach
What to expect: A no-frills seafood market. They’ll cook whatever you buy however you like it.
Check it out: 209 N. Harbor Drive; 310/372-7703 or captainkidds.com
Brophy Bros. Clam Bar and Restaurant, Santa Barbara
What to expect: Regulars love the spicy oyster shooters.
Check it out: 119 Harbor Way; 805/966-4418 or brophybros.com
El Indio Mexican Restaurant, San Diego
What to expect: Heavenly fish tacos come wrapped in two just-made corn tortillas.
Check it out: 3695 India Street; 619/299-0333 or el-indio.com
The Green Flash, San Diego
What to expect: You just might glimpse that elusive moment that gave the restaurant its name―when the setting sun appears green for an instant. Delivering your heaping seafood platter, bowlful of steamed clams, or fat burger, your server will tell you to “look quick, it's awesome.”
Check it out: 701 Thomas Avenue; 858/270-7715 or greenflashrestaurant.com
Point Loma Seafoods, San Diego
What to expect: Lunchtime crowds favor the crab, tuna, and shrimp sandwiches, and the creamy and tomato-based chowders.
Check it out: 2805 Emerson Street; 619/223-1109 or pointlomaseafood.com
Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, Santa Barbara
What to expect: Yummy serviche (seafood marinated in citrus juice) and cioppino nearly a half-mile into the Pacific on Stearns Warf.
Check it out: 230 Stearns Wharf; 805/966-6676 or sbfishhouse.com
Enterprise Fish Co., Santa Monica
What to expect: For more than a quarter-century, diners have thronged the airy brick building, a former trolley station just steps from the beach. The menu includes live lobsters and raw shellfish, but the focus is on fresh Pacific fish, prepared with a range of influences from Cajun to Asian, Italian, and all-American “golden fried.”
Check it out: 174 Kinney Street; 310/392-8366
Chez Jay, Santa Monica
What to expect: A quirky meeting place for long-time regulars, young hipsters, and the occasional celebrity. Excellent sautéed sand dabs almondine.
Check it out: 1657 Ocean Avenue; 310/395-1741 or chezjays.com
Stacky’s Seaside, Summerland
What to expect: Light, crisp fish-and-chips, plus fish burgers and crab melts.
Check it out: 2315 Lillie Avenue; 805/969-9908 or stackys.com
Andria’s Seafood Restaurant and Market, Ventura
What to expect: A big variety of seafood―almost all of it fresh from the market half of the business―comes fried, charbroiled, or stir-fried. We love the fish-and-chips, especially the halibut.
Check it out: 1449 Spinnaker Drive; 805/654-0546 or andriasseafood.com
Pier Beach Grill, Ventura
What to expect: Pick up some chowder or fish-and-chips at this no-frills snack bar at the foot of the 1,958-foot Ventura Pier. Then enjoy the sea breeze, the cries of the gulls, and the rhythmic rush of the waves.
Check it out: 668 Harbor Boulevard; 805/648-3177
Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Southern California and Honolulu
What to expect: This regional chain has a surprisingly healthy Mexican-Brazilian-Asian-Californian menu. The casual surfer vibe adapts to each location, giving stores a neighborhood feel.
Check it out: Various coastal locations in Southern California and Honolulu, HI; wahoos.com
Hot Bite, Auke Bay
What to expect: Since 1983, Southeast Alaskans have headed here for juicy buffalo burgers and halibut cheek sandwiches with cusabi (cucumber-and-wasabi dressing). A few miles north of downtown Juneau, the café's small pink building lies beyond the cruise-ship crowds.
Check it out: Auke Bay Harbor; 907/790-2483
The Bamboo Room Restaurant, Haines
What to expect: Justly famous for halibut fish-and-chips.
Check it out: 14-15 Second Avenue; 907/766-2800 or bamboopioneer.com
The Hangar on the Wharf, Juneau
What to expect: The menu features “Hangar Wraps” encasing king crab and other fixin’s; “Pre-flight Snacks” of steamers, crab dip, and the like; and “Water Landings” for halibut, salmon, and crab.
Check it out: 2 Marine Way; 907/586-5018 or hangaronthewharf.com
Updated May 2009