Best bets for seafood in Atlanta

Shiny Dimes “cocktail oysters” are farm raised in Florida by the partners at Kimball House. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

There’s no doubt that Atlanta is absolutely fabulous. The only thing missing is a beach. Although we can’t dip our toes in the sand and smell the salty air, we’re not deprived of incredibly fresh seafood.

Getting fish from the ocean to a restaurant plate in under a day? It’s not only possible, but it’s pretty easy to find here. So, where do we go when we need a fresh seafood fix, and what are we ordering when we get there?

Here are just a few of our favorite things from the sea in the best seafood spots in Atlanta:

Crawfish Shack Seafood: Fried Shrimp

It’s no surprise that a Buford Highway spot would top our list. Crawfish Shack has been serving up top notch seafood for years. Their fried shrimp is some of the best that has ever graced a plate.

Sweet shrimp are coated in a light cornmeal and fried. What emerges is a non-greasy, yet incredibly addiction-inducing product. Get them tucked into a po’boy with lettuce, tomato and remoulade, or skip the bread and just eat the shrimp by the handful with a side of hush puppies.

And if you’re in Gwinnett County and a craving strikes, there’s another location in Norcross.

Location: Buford - 4337 Buford Hwy NE #170; Website:; Contact: 404-329-1610.

Kimball House - Oysters

There’s really no way you can talk about oysters in Atlanta without mentioning Decatur’s Kimball House. Their oyster program is one of the best, not only in Georgia, but also in the entire country. Kimball House stacks their ever-changing menu with a vast variety of these little treats.

You’ll get some from the Gulf, as well as representatives from the east coast and as far north as Canada. And it won’t even break your wallet to get one, two, three or four dozen. For a singular dining experience, try the Maine Belon, which the Kimball House menu calls “Earth’s most rare and intense oyster!”

Location: Decatur - 303 E Howard Ave; Website: Contact: 404 378-3502.

Kyma - Octopus

We’re so beyond happy that octopus has crept its way onto Atlanta’s menus in the last few years. No longer a dish that only the most daring at the table would try, its current prominence puts it right up there next to the scallops.

Buckhead’s Kyma has been putting out one of Atlanta’s best options for years. They cook supremely fresh octopus over an oak wood fire and serve it with marinated red onions, capers and Greek olives. Technically, it’s a plate meant to share, but you’ll probably want to get your own.

Location: Buckhead - 3085 Piedmont Rd NE; Website: Contact: 404-262-0702.

The Optimist - Lobster Rolls

There are plenty of wonderful lobster rolls in town, so we would be remiss if we left one off this list. If you’re on the West Side, head straight to The Optimist for their take on the lobster roll.

They are certainly doing New England proud at this Ford Fry outpost. It’s served on brioche with dill and mayonnaise, and this delicious offering is sure to make this West Midtown eatery your new, go-to dinner spot.

Location: West Midtown - 914 Howell Mill Rd; Website:; Contact: 404-477-6260.

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