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janiekins Mar 15th, 2007 12:40 PM

Looking for a great casual seafood restaurant in New York City
Looking for a great casual seafood restaurant in NYC. I am staying at the Casablanca Hotel near Times Square at 147 West 43rd Street (7th Ave.). Are there any seafood restaurants nearby?

lisettemac Mar 15th, 2007 01:37 PM

Uncle Nick's on 9th Ave is a Greek restaurant that has great grilled fish.

marginal_margiela Mar 15th, 2007 01:38 PM

What is casual? Do you mean a place that you can wear sweatpants and a Steeler's hat? A place where your waitress will yell out, "Hey, Sal, there ain't enough slaw on dis samich"?

I suggest Blue Water on Union Square or Sea Grill in Rock Center. Not my definition of casual, but very good food. Leave the Steeler's hat in the hotel.

janiekins Mar 15th, 2007 01:48 PM

I dont' own a Steelers hat! Do you?

janiekins Mar 15th, 2007 01:51 PM

I mean I am looking for a relaxed restaurant. I never wear sweatpants unless I am in the gym and I am a Patriot's fan, not a Steeler's fan!!!

travelbuff Mar 15th, 2007 02:12 PM

If you walk up 7th Ave north of Olive Garden restaurant, there are a couple of casual seafood restaurants, just can't remember the names and since I have eaten at both, can give a thumbs up to both. Both are on the west side of 7th Ave, and you can't miss them.

If you feel like traveling a bit outside Times Square, there are a few more I can suggest.

One Fish, Two Fish on 97th and Madison Ave, VERY casual, lots of salad and bread and good choices of entre, a fun local spot.

Also Docks, 2 locations, one on Broadway in the 80's and the other on 3rd and 40th St, and I think one of the BEST seafood restaurants in town, a bit more expensive but excellent service and food.

For sushi/sashimi/and anything else you can imagine, Todai, is a Japanese all you can eat seafood buffet on 32nd, between 5th and Madison, $25pp and the table is an entire city block long, (not kidding), one of my favorites!!!

mp Mar 15th, 2007 03:21 PM

Of course the word "great" is subjective, but I have never heard anyone use that term in describing either location of Docks (UWS and midtown) or One Fish Two Fish.

Very good casual seafood restaurants almost always include mentions of Pearl Oyster Bar, Mary's Fish Camp, The Mermaid Inn and The Neptune Room. You can compare menus and reviews at

nytraveler Mar 15th, 2007 03:56 PM

Would agree that "great" would not apply yo either Docks or One Fish, 2 Fish. they're seafood and they're casual and they're not bad.

For best seafood - but not casual - Le Barnardin. for very good seafood, also not casual Sea Grilll at Rock Center. Also like Blue Water Grill - very good fish - but can be kind of noisy.

lizziea06 Mar 15th, 2007 05:56 PM

I'm a huge fan of Pearl and Mermaid Inn. I would also throw in Ocean Grill on the UWS. It would be easy to get there from your hotel via subway.

You can look at menus and prices for all these places at

Ryan Mar 15th, 2007 06:21 PM

Saying Le Bernardin has very good seafood is like saying McDonald's has food with just few extra calories. The place is world famous with a fixed price menu above $100 a person. Unless your name is Rothschild and Rockefeller, I don't think it can be called casual.

I think the Oyster Bar can be good and at worst, it's a NY Institution. I think the Redeye Grill can be good and a few weeks ago I had a nice lunch at Blue Fin in Times Square.

mdn Mar 15th, 2007 07:55 PM

OK. First you need to understand that most places in the Times Sq. area are not the best & mostly cater to tourists. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions but when you say "great casual", you rule out most places in that area. Next, you need to figure out what sort of seafood you want- your typical tuna or salmon filet or harder to find stuff like red snapper, pompano, red mullet, loup de mer(seabass), crabs, etc.
So, my recommendations are: Pearl Oyster Bar, Mermaid Inn, Mary's Fish Camp. All are amazing, American/seafood shack kinda places. Good selection of fish as well... no merely tuna, salmon, mahi mahi etc.
If you're looking for amazing lobster, try Francesco's Centro Vasco. Lobster is expensive in general. Here it'll be cheaper than most places and certainly amongst the best for taste & size.

For Crabs- Nyonya or Fatty Crab
Greek Seafood (whole fish thats usually roasted or baked) : Molyvos (great!!), Uncle Nicks, Pylos are good.

Those are all casual. There are plenty of places where you can step it up a notch but prices will jump too. If you're willing, Esca (!!!!!), Estiatorio Milos & Le Bernardin are my favs.
Anyway, pick from any of these places & you won't go wrong. If you're looking for something specific- like casual sushi or chowder or a certain kind of fish, let us know & we'll try to help.

travelbuff Mar 15th, 2007 08:06 PM

Gang I would never say One Fish is great, it's casual and good, large portions inexpensive and a local hangout kind of place.

When someone says "casual" I understand it to mean good food, but won't have to rob the piggy bank, am I wrong?

monpetit Mar 16th, 2007 02:30 AM

Always surprised by the fact that "big" or "huge" portions are used as criters to describe "good" restaurant...
Two good seafood restaurants, , but which need to walk a little :
-Oyster bar at Grand Central(nice atmosphere, fresh products with a lot of variety...)
-Ocean Grill on Columbus and 80th.street
just rear of the museum of natural history...Great, casual and if weather is nice, possibility to eat outdoor...

Ryan Mar 16th, 2007 05:13 AM

"First you need to understand that most places in the Times Sq. area are not the best & mostly cater to tourists."

10 years ago that might have been true. But, today, you have 2 Investment Banks, Conde Nast, and Rueters that all have their corporate HQ in Times Square.
So while many tourists traps still exist (Mars 2112, for example) plenty of higher quality places have moved into the area (or at least a block east or west.)

mdn Mar 16th, 2007 06:21 AM

I agree that there are plenty of exceptions to the tourist traps located right in Times Sq. However, I can't think of exceptional, casual/cheaper seafood places in that area (Blue Fin's not bad). The investment bankers & Condé Nast publishers that you talk about tend to eat on expense accounts, especially in the vicinity of their offices. Thus, Bernardin, Oceana, Milos etc. are fantastic but also expensive. Not apt for what the OP's looking for.
I think it was the Times or one of the other papers that called Mermaid Inn the Le Bernardin for people on a budget.

williamscb13 Mar 16th, 2007 02:52 PM

There's a tiny little restuarant on the Lower East Side. Tides. Fantastic seafood. Great service. Reasonable prices. I like it much better than Mermaid Inn. It's more casual than Blue Water Grill.

And if you want more upscale, there's always Aquagrill on SoHo with the best raw bar in Manhattan.

NeoPatrick Mar 16th, 2007 03:01 PM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned ESCA. Not cheap, but outstanding seafood, and often highly recommmended. It's on 43rd near 9th.

But of all the recommendations here, for price AND value, I think Uncle Nick's was one of the best suggestions. They have a great variety of fresh fish simply but perfectly prepared and it's reasonable.

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