Ten Favorite Spots for Seafood in Greater Phoenix

Red Crab, Barbara Rosenzweig, Art Print, Etsy
Red Crab, Barbara Rosenzweig, Art Print, Etsy

Those who may have heard (and believed) people who say, "You can't get decent seafood in the Valley 'cause we live in a desert," might also want to keep an eye out for while-you-were-sleeping organ harvesters and tendon-slashing gang members who wait under cars at the gas pump. It is an unfortunate myth. And given the number of non-oceanside cities known for outstanding seafood (my last home of Chicago being one of them), one that simply doesn't make sense.

Stellar ocean fare can be found in Phoenix. And to prove it, we've listed 10 of our favorite spots to find it, for believers and non-believers alike.

Cask 63 American Eatery & Wine Bar

This chic restaurant in ​Scottsdale's Gainey Village had better know its seafood -- its owners are Jerry Tingle, formerly a general manager at Eddie V's Prime Seafood restaurants and Wildfish Seafood, and chef Brian Feirstein, ex-executive chef for Eddie V's. Don't-miss dishes include seared Georges Bank diver scallops, Chilean sea bass with a Macadamia nut crust, and rainbow trout from Clear Springs Farms in Idaho.

Wildfish Seafood Grille

In October 2011, this small chain of three restaurants, along with sister chain Eddie V's Prime Seafood, was sold to the world's largest full-service restaurant company for $59 million. We're hoping all those clams won't change a thing at Wildfish's sleek location at the Scottsdale Waterfront, where diners can enjoy Australian barramundi with fresh Jonah crab, seared Pacific ahi steak, and starters like crispy cashew calamari or the signature all-lump crab cake.

Hana Japanese Eatery

At this humble, family-run eatery in Central Phoenix, chef and co-owner Lori Hashimoto makes serving up slabs of fresh sushi selections like sake and buttery hamachi draped over compact rice balls into an art form. A specials board often includes must-haves like abalone, ankimo (monkfish liver), and aji (Spanish mackerel). And don't miss one of Hashimoto's favorites, the Hana lobster, a nine-ounce, warm-water Brazilian lobster sautéed with garlic and asparagus.

Hula's Modern Tiki

This Central Phoenix eatery known for its alluring patio, island-style eats, and tropical cocktails, regularly has its fish flown in from Hawaii. Featuring fan favorites like seared ahi wontons, spicy Thai fish cakes, and Hawaiian lobster bisque, diners can also choose their favorite fresh catch (think ahi, butterfish, mahi, and hapu) and have it prepared to their liking.

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