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Beyond Locally Sourced: 9 Restaurants with Farms

Beyond Locally Sourced: 9 Restaurants with Farms

It’s not uncommon these days for restaurants to tout their allegiance to procuring locally sourced goods, even citing the sources for everything from their tomatoes to the salt on their menus.

See Beyond Locally Sourced: 9 Restaurants with Farms Slideshow

By now, the local and organic food trend is practically passé. But some restaurants don’t just talk the talk; they’re taking local sourcing to a new level by growing their own vegetables and raising their meat themselves. These restaurants have committed to producing high-quality, sustainable food by setting up farms, thereby creating dining destinations unto themselves.

Each story behind these restaurant-farm partnerships is unique, though the motivation was often the same: to create a more direct connection between the restaurant and the producer, and to educate customers and staff on sustainable agriculture.

Olivia Sargeant of Farm 255 in Athens, Ga., explains, "Our goal was to open a conversation on where our food comes from and create a different kind of agriculture."

But as one might imagine, running a restaurant and a farm at the same time is not an easy task. For most, the farm-restaurant relationship is a symbiotic but independent partnership, allowing each to manage its own operations. For others, like Brooklyn restaurant Egg, the farm is an integral part of the restaurant family. Whatever the model, it’s an effort restaurants say is worth the challenge.

So should all restaurants take up the plow in the move toward higher-quality food?

"Our experience has taught us that it’s not easy, said chef Simon Rogan from L'Enclume restaurant in Cumbria, England. "Constant investment and manpower is needed to cope with everything that is thrown at us… but [our advice] is to persevere and remain determined. Having a facility to grown your own food is the most amazing and fulfilling concept that you could ever do."

Others, like Egg founder George Weld, advise that, though rewarding from a product standpoint, the purpose of having their own farm is primarily educational:

"Restaurants and farms operate on completely different time scales," said Weld. "Farms take much longer than restaurants to become efficient and effective. It’s really a long-term investment, and it can be difficult for restaurants to have that perspective."

What matters, most chefs agree, is the dialogue that opens up between chef and farmer, chef and diner, and diner and farmer, about where the food is coming from.

"There’s always the ability for restaurants to have a connection with a farm, whether it’s through a garden, a farm 150 miles away, or a phone relationship; and to educate others via the menu, local schools, or other chefs. Creating this triangle of chefs, farms, and educators is a replicable model," said the folks who run Blue Hill in Tarrytown, N.Y.

We can’t all be a farmer or even be best friends with one, but dining at these nine restaurants with farms could get you one step closer.

Cookie Crazed Mama - Tipp City, OH

Cookies, scones, muffins, cupcakes, mini pies, and bars. From their website: I started as a “Cookie Crazed Mama” but now I’m just a “Sugar Crazed Mama”, baking up treats to share with friends, family, and of course, YOU! But if you’re here visiting then you fall into either category. So I hope you stay and find some sugar inspiration to bake up for yourself!

Oh my. I'm starting a citrus trend, and I blame the warm/hot weather. Orange Brownies. Key Lime Pie. And now these, Frosted Soft Lemon Cookies. I'm just here to make sure y'all are getting your daily dose of Vitamin C. Oh, and sugar. Always sugar.

After this week I may take a little break from all this fruit, but besides these cookies I have one more fruit dessert to share with you. A girl can only live on fruit for so long until she breaks down and goes for the chocolate. And by "girl" I mean "me", and I need chocolate! I'm daydreaming of Oreos.

Anyway, I had these lemons hanging around, and when I received a last minute request for a dessert I knew exactly where to go. However there are so many delicious lemony desserts, where to begin? I shall turn to the mighty Pinterest for inspiration!

And here's what I came up with:

Olive Oasis - Troy, Ohio

The 2012 Stinner Summit - Oct 5, 2012 Athens, OH

(Note -- I post this here because it will appeal to the the vendors at the farmer's markets who focus on sustainable agriculture and communities. As always, I encourage you to grow your own food and buy locally grown produce.)

What is the Stinner Summit?

The inspiration for the Annual Stinner Summit is Ben's vision of collaboration for building relationships based on common interests, his ability to see and understand the big picture, and his passion and enthusiasm for building healthy agroecosystems and sustainable communities.

The Summit, held at a different location each year, is a highly engaging and participatory event that draws stakeholders from around Ohio (and sometimes beyond!). Attendees, all with different expertise and paticular interests, work together to develop projects that will address healthy agroecosystems and/or sustainable communities. At the end of the day, the Ben Stinner Endowment pledges $15,000 in support of one or more projects. Breakfast and lunch are provided for attendees, and always features local restaurants and producers. The event is free of charge and open to any who are interested, though space is sometimes limited. To see photos and agendas of past Summits, check out the links below.

Each year is unique, however the best way to understand the Summit is to experience it for yourself!

In summation (though incomplete), the Stinner Summit provides attendees with:

1. Face-to-face networking opportunities
2. A multi-disciplinary, engaging environment
3. Open space to brainstorm projects related to sustainable agriculture and communities
4. Coffee
5. Food
6. Financial support for projects concieved, developed, and selected by Summit attendees.
7. A springboard for ideas, projects, and connections that can be carried into other aspects of your life.

Best Airport Restaurants Around The World (PHOTOS)

Faced with concourses filled with ubiquitous shrink-wrapped sandwiches, greasy fast-food burgers and processed pastries, the thought of eating at an airport is rarely appetizing. But that may soon change, as airports around the world are revamping aging terminals and the world's best chefs, several of them Michelin-starred, are recognizing the value of serving exemplary meals before liftoff.

The Daily Meal's list of the 31 Best Airport Restaurants Around the World was carefully curated through a six-month-long nomination process. Globe-trotting gourmands that we are, The Daily Meal staff packed its bags, hit the road, canvassed concourses around the world and compiled a preliminary list of more than 100 restaurants. We also consulted food and travel experts like Nikos Loukas of InflightFeed and other trusted sources and added their recommendations to those of The Daily Meal's editors, who have traveled and dined extensively around the world.

Restaurants were judged in two categories: cuisine and style/décor/service. From innovative menu options to plating and presentation to freshness, quality and taste, The Daily Meal evaluated each restaurant's cuisine and only included the restaurants that were deemed to be extraordinary. For the second category, panelists evaluated the dining experience, from the restaurant's interior and dining room ambiance to the service, voting for the restaurants that offer an unrivaled experience. Each restaurant had the chance to be voted on twice. Finally, the percentage scores from each category were averaged to arrive at the final ranking.

From Miami to Munich and Seattle to Singapore, there are dozens of outstanding airport restaurants, many a destination in their own right. From the Full Monty Breakfast (two free-range sausages, crispy smoked bacon, crispy black pudding, "Burford Brown" eggs, potatoes and sticky onions, roast tomatoes, field mushrooms and organic baked beans) at Jamie Oliver's Union Jacks Bar at the U.K.'s Gatwick Airport to the seasonally changing prix fixe menu at Michelin-starred chefs Gilles Dupont and Thomas Byrne's Altitude at Genève Aéroport in Geneva, dining at the 31 Best Airport Restaurants Around the World is likely to make you wonder why you ever settled for a lackluster lunch during your last layover.

"When you're flying, you want something healthy and light," said Iron Chef Cat Cora, whose Cat Cora's Kitchen, located in three restaurants around the country, serves healthy fare made from sustainable, organic and locally sourced ingredients. The grilled avocado Cobb salad and baked jalapeño poppers stuffed with feta cheese and breaded in panko breadcrumbs are enticing enough to make our list and make travelers think twice about eating plane food, unless, of course, you are referring to Gordon Ramsay's Plane Food at Heathrow Airport in London, which also made the list.

Whether you're in the airport for a few minutes or a few hours, make sure you packed your appetite.

Cafe Society: Ventura County restaurants address dining in the time of coronavirus

Margaret Qiu, owner of Peking Restaurant in Ventura, instituted new procedures to help maintain the health of the restaurant's workers and patrons alike by cleaning the whole restaurant with 70% isopropyl alcohol every four hours. Ventura County Star

For the past few years, Yunping "Margaret" Qiu has greeted the arrival of flu season in the usual way: by placing pump bottles of hand sanitizer on each of the tables at Peking Restaurant, the Ventura business she has owned for nearly a decade.

Then came the coronavirus.

In late January, as news about the outbreak in China became increasingly dire, Qiu introduced additional measures to protect diners and employees alike. Signs went up throughout the restaurant stating that staff members had been instructed to reduce or eliminate handshakes. They starting using 70% isopropyl alcohol to wipe down surfaces — starting with the front door handle -- every four hours.

Last week, Qiu upped the schedule to every two hours.

"People say, 'Oh, this is like the flu.' But this is not like the flu. We don't really know what this is like yet," said Qiu. "I want to protect my staff. I want to protect my customers."

A bottle of hand sanitizer is seen in this March 2020 file photo on a dining-room table at Peking Restaurant in Ventura, where owner Yunping "Margaret" Qiu put extra measures in place to help maintain the health of staff and patrons alike amid concerns about the flu and coronavirus. (Photo: JUAN CARLO/THE STAR)

Procedures put in place at the restaurant mirror current recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and other authorities that people help fight transmission of the disease by practicing "social distancing" and by disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The CDC also advises washing one's hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (roughly the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" or a chorus of "Cell Block Tango" from "Chicago"). If soap and water aren't readily available, the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

At Fresh & Fabulous Cafe in downtown Oxnard (221 W. Fifth St., 805-486-4547,, owner and chef Magda Weydt has installed a pump bottle of hand sanitizer on the order counter for customer use. That's in addition to the restaurant's existing process of avoiding cross contamination by having one person deliver food and another clear dirty plates, and by wiping down tables and other common areas with a bleach solution.

"Everything we do has to be clean and sanitary, no matter what," said Weydt, who worked for a food-safety inspection company before opening a restaurant of her own. "We are definitely being conscientious about giving customers a way to be safe, too."

Dayana Salguero, hostess at Peking Restaurant in Ventura, wipes down menus with 70% isopropyl alcohol. It's one of several measures put in place by owner Yunping "Margaret" Qiu to help maintain the health of the restaurant's workers and patrons amid fears about the flu and coronavirus. (Photo: JUAN CARLO/THE STAR)

In the days following the announcement of Ventura County's first confirmed case of COVID-19, owners of restaurants from Camarillo to Westlake Village sought to reassure patrons by detailing their respective infection-control measures in email blasts and social-media posts.

At The Manhattan of Camarillo (5800 Santa Rosa Road, Suite 140, 805-388-5550,, those measures have included adding bottles of hand sanitizer throughout the restaurant and wiping chairs, table tops and menus with sanitizer after each use.

AZU Restaurant in Ojai (457 E. Ojai Ave., 805-640-7987, is helping diners practice social distancing by seating them not just in the main dining room but also at tables in auxiliary indoor and outdoor spaces. General manager Elizabeth Haffner, daughter of restaurant owner Laurel Moore, said in a Facebook post and website update that customers are also being encouraged to use Apple Pay and "scan to pay" systems to minimize contact.

As owner and executive chef of Cammarano's Neighborhood Grill, a gastropub in Simi Valley's Wood Ranch neighborhood (575 Country Club Drive, 805-581-4745,, Mark Cammarano said in a video posted to Instagram and Facebook that he would be placing tables further apart, removing pre-set placemats and utensils from tables, and installing pump dispensers for hand sanitizer on the walls of the dining room.

At Spasso Cucina Italiana in Ventura (1140 S. Seaward Ave., 805-643-2777,, owner Francesco Cionti's initial response to Gov. Gavin Newsom's directive to practice social distancing was to remove tables from the dining room, reducing seating capacity by half.

But Cionti later made the decision to temporarily close the restaurant from March 15-19, and possibly longer, as a protective measure inspired in part by watching the devastating effects of coronavirus in his native Italy.

"I might open next weekend . or maybe just do only to-gos starting March 20. I will also offer discounted gift cards," Cionti wrote in a direct message sent via Facebook.

Meanwhile, as he prepared last week for the scheduled March 17 grand opening of Pedals & Pints Brewing Co. at the former Red Lobster in Thousand Oaks, co-owner Brad Cristea said that "buy hand sanitizer for the taproom" was on the to-do list.

"And if we can't find any to buy, I guess we'll be making our own," he said.

The brewery's patrons will appreciate the effort, judging by diners' reactions to the regularly scheduled wipe-downs at Peking Restaurant.

"We haven't had any complaints. Just, 'Thank you for doing this'," Qiu said.

The restaurant's orders for take-out and delivery are on the rise, especially on the weekends, she added.

"People are still going out, but some are staying in. It will be a while before things feel normal again," Qiu said.

Peking Restaurant is in the Victoria Plaza shopping center at 5960 Telegraph Road in Ventura. (Photo: JUAN CARLO/THE STAR)

Peking Restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 9:30 p.m. Sundays (5960 Telegraph Road, 805-644-7777,

The Ag Week that was

They came, they saw, they remembered — for the most part — to greet one another with coronavirus-inspired elbow bumps instead of the usual hugs and handshakes.

That was the scene Tuesday, when farmers, ranchers, chefs, representatives from nonprofits like Food Share of Ventura County and others gathered at the Museum of Ventura County's Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula for the Excellence in Agriculture Awards presented by Totally Local VC as part of the fourth annual Ventura County Ag Week. Organizer Kat Merrick thanked the 112 attendees for showing up on a day that saw a smattering of rain and, later, the announcement of Ventura County's first confirmed case of COVID-19.

A viral threat of a different sort was the focus of the keynote address by John Krist, CEO of the Ventura County Farm Bureau. A disease-causing bacteria spread by a tiny insect called the Asian citrus psyllid has been found in local orchards, but growers are in a good position to combat it, Krist said. (In their tool kit: dogs trained to sniff out early stages of the ailment, known as huanglongbing, or citrus greening.)

Lunch by Michelle Kenney, chef and owner of La Dolce Vita 1901 in Oxnard, started with tangerines in a spring-mix salad tossed with lemon-marjoram dressing, followed by roasted fennel with coriander and Parmesan, garlic mashed potatoes and what Kenney called an Italian coq au vin: chicken braised in red wine with onions, carrots, garlic and tomatoes.

Awards were presented between the courses to Helen McGrath for Farmer of the Year, Bud Sloan for Rancher of the Year and Phil McGrath for Agricultural Hero. The Sustainability Award went to Deardorff Family Farms of Oxnard for its implementation of solar power and reusable packing materials, among other initiatives.

The UC Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center, which offers workshops for 4-H groups, serves as the home of the Ventura County Master Gardener program and provides land, labor and facilities for researchers at the former Faulkner Farm property near Santa Paula, was named Educator of the Year.

Kelly Briglio, right, chef and co-owner of Paradise Pantry in Ventura, poses with business partner Tina Thayer after being named Chef of the Year during the fourth annual Excellence in Agriculture Awards presented as part of Ventura County Ag Week. (Photo: LISA MCKINNON/THE STAR)

Chef of the Year honors went to Kelly Briglio, chef and co-owner of Paradise Pantry in downtown Ventura, where her chalkboard menu of organic salads, sandwiches, soups and dinner specials routinely namechecks farms like The Abundant Table in Camarillo, Petty Ranch of Saticoy, Rio Gozo in the Ojai Valley and Underwood in Somis and Moorpark.

Raised in Ojai, Briglio trained in local kitchens before running a place of her own during a four-year stay in Costa Rica. She and business partner Tina Thayer opened an early version of the combination restaurant and wine-and-cheese shop in 2007. It moved to its current location six years later.

"It means so much to me to be acknowledged by the farmers and ranchers of this ag community, which lives by the real farm-to-fork movement," said Briglio. "What I do in the kitchen is try to honor all the people that do the hard work in the fields."

Petty Ranch Meyer Lemon Pie on walnut-rosemary crust is served with berry sauce and mascarpone-vanilla whipped cream at Paradise Pantry in Ventura. (Photo: LISA MCKINNON/THE STAR)

Dishes currently on the Paradise Pantry menu include a dinner special featuring black garlic aioli, spring nettle purée and fingerling potatoes with diner's choice of protein (price varies) and Petty Ranch Meyer Lemon Pie served on a walnut-rosemary crust with berry sauce and mascarpone-vanilla whipped cream ($13).

In addition, Thayer is creating weekly wine-flight specials through March that showcase the work of female winemakers. The focus this weekend: Northern California.

Restaurant hours at Paradise Pantry are from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays (222 E. Main St., 805-641-9440,

Other Ag Week events through March 15 were expected to include demonstrations and tastings by culinary students and members of the Ventura Chefs Association, a farm-to-glass mixer for farmers, ranchers and members of the public, a careers-in-agriculture workshop and, at participating restaurants, food and drink specials highlighting local ingredients. For information, click on

Changing of the guard

In Moorpark, the pizza-centric Custom Pie restaurant and its aptly named neighbor, The Bar Next Door, are getting a new owner. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control lists EAV Business Partners Inc. as the pending new beer-and-wine licensee, with Hakob Zakaryan named as president, treasurer and stockholder.

Source Guide

Brian S. Kelley Photography
Brian Kelley is a photographer based in Travelers Rest, incorporating several different processes to document his subject matter. His work gives us a snapshot of the world, and of his own visionary eye. 864-907-3386

Far & Beyond
Locally-based, 100% all-natural products company featuring essential herb blends to keep the bugs away (as well as the aches and pains), health-promoting herbs and teas, and a wide variety of handcrafted bath and body products. Convenient online shopping. 864-201-2034 [email protected]

Sparkleberry Bath Essentials
Natural, chemical-free and handcrafted bath goodies made right here in the Upstate. Tantalizing scent combinations of ginger-lime, peppermint, cranberry-fig, strawberry sorbet and many more in their lip balms, body scrubs and lotions. Online catalog for easy ordering. 864-363-5043 [email protected]


The Community Tap
Craft beer and carefully selected wine, on-site pours and growlers to go. A rotating schedule of tastings, special event room and now covered outdoor seating in their new space. The neighborhood joint for libations. 217 Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville 864- 631-2525 [email protected]

Quest Brewing Co.
American and Belgian-style craft beers, made right here in Greenville. Quest Taproom offers growler fills, live music, weekly tours and special events. Tu-Sa. 55 Airview Dr., Greenville 864-272- 6232 [email protected]

Swamp Rabbit Brewery
The Pierson family’s new craft beer hub in northern Greenville County. Take a tour, enjoy a tasting, leave with a growler. Open mic weekend music, an open-air beer garden and a location just off the Swamp Rabbit Trail make this space extra-inviting. 26 S. Main St., Travelers Rest 864-610- 2424

The Tasting Room
Exclusive wines, gourmet cheeses and craft beer…what’s not to love? And smack dab in the middle of charming downtown Travelers Rest. Join in (bike in on the Swamp Rabbit Trail!) for a tasting and don’t miss the Sunday Funday $5 mimosas. 12 S. Main St., Travelers Rest (864) 610-0361 [email protected]

Friends Farm & Catering
Dynamic duo Val Lowe and Katie Tillman bring decades of combined experience as chefs and farmers to their catering, prepared food, organically-produced vegetables and CSA operation. No better option for farm-to-fork catering (for 3 people or 3,000) in our region. 1215 Prater Ln., Townville 864-231-0663 [email protected]

Five Oaks Academy
From nursery to middle school, this Montessori program focuses on academics and personal development. Imaginations nurtured, connections to nature made with outdoor access from every classroom. 1101 Jonesville Rd., Simpsonville 864- 228-1881

Furman University
With it’s idyllic campus just north of Downtown Greenville, connected by the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail to charming downtown Travelers Rest, Furman University is much more than a stellar institution for higher learning. It’s a great place for runners-bikers-walkers, for anyone to grab a bite, a cold beer at the Paddock, hear an outdoor concert, and engage in one of the many continuing ed offerings, whether you are eight or 80. 3300 Poinsett Hwy., Greenville, SC 864-294-2000

John C. Campbell Folk School
Where your inner homesteader, artist and crafter must go someday to feel complete in life. A folk school founded in 1925 in the Danish folkehojskole tradition, this harmonious, charmed mountain enclave offers weeklong and weekend classes (with room & board) in everything from blacksmithing to felt making to photography to wood-fired cuisine. One Folk School Rd., Brasstown, NC 828-837-2775


Farm to Table Event Company
Offering signature farm-to-table outdoor dining experiences year-round in the Columbia area, this company sets the bar for high quality collaborations and experiences for farmers, chefs and diners alike. Worth the trip. 1202 Main St., Columbia 828-301-2328 [email protected]

Cultivate Conference 2016
Cultivate organic growing practices, sustainable culinary arts and a vibrant local food economy right here in the Upstate. Get a jump on your growing season in the new year ahead with expert instruction, timely networking and fantastic local feasting. Saturday March 5, 2015. Hosted at Greenville Tech’s NW campus. Early bird tickets on sale through January 15!

Restaurant Week
Over 30 area restaurants offer a food lover’s feast of a week with seasonal specials and incredible dining deals. Go online to the interactive website and plan your attack. January 7-17, 2016. [email protected]

The Community Tap Craft Beer Festival
Now in its 4th year, this quick-to-sell-out gathering for serious local craft beer drinkers is put on by The Community Tap and offers small batch and seasonal samples from over 40 breweries from across the country. Saturday, April 23, 12-4pm.

Beechwood Farms
50 years of dedicated family farming with U-pick, roadside stand, farmers market presence and a commercial operation based in the rolling foothills of northern Greenville county. Spring strawberry U-pick tradition is not-to-be-missed. 204 Bates Bridge Rd., Travelers Rest 864-836- 6075 [email protected]

Earth Blooms
From garden design services to wedding floral arrangements, Earth Blooms is y our source for high-quality, locally-grown flowers, from a farm dedicated to sustainable means and organic practices. 106 Townes Ferguson Rd., Mountain Rest 864-723-0909 or 864-718-1191 [email protected]

Forx Farm
Small-batch aged Gouda cheese from local grass-fed dairy cows, as well as local honey from Ron and Tammy Lubsen of Anderson, long time fixtures at Anderson area farmers markets. Now available at select retail outlets. 5575 Dobbins Bridge Rd., Anderson 864-328-1475 [email protected]

Greenbrier Farms
Roddy Pick and Chad and Amy Bishop run this 300-acre farm, CSA, farm store and event space in Dacusville, a darling of the Upcountry. With great produce and grassfed livestock, Greenbrier is a source for many local restaurants. 772 Hester Store Rd., Easley 864-855-9782 [email protected]

Happy Cow Creamery
Farmer Tom Trantham and family run this on-the-farm milk bottling operation, complete with cheerful cows and an on-site store that offers a variety of tasty products from around our region. 332 McKelvey Rd., Pelzer 864-243- 9699 [email protected]

Hurricane Creek Farms
Your source for hydroponically-grown lettuce, as well as fresh cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes all winter. A new grist mill grinds yellow and white cornmeal and grits. Also selling Angus beef from their own herd. Call for a tour, or visit the farm store, Th-Sa. 220 Moores Mill Rd., Pelzer 864-933-1343

Milanesi Farms
Pelzer-based wholesale supplier—only one in the state—of high quality, Kobestyle Akaushi beef. Considered one of the healthiest types of beef in the world and known for intense marbling. Custom butchery available. 864-372-9040 Pelzer, SC

Milky Way Farm
This family-owned dairy is located near Lake Hartwell, with natural raw milk for purchase at delivery locations, select retail stores and at the farm. 220 Hidden Hills Rd., Starr 864-352- 2014

Southern Oaks Jersey Farm
A family farm in Abbeville with a Jersey herd producing Grade A raw milk, pasteurized milk, buttermilk and chocolate milk. All Certified SC Grown. 1458 Hwy 20, Abbeville 864-391- 1898 [email protected]

Split Creek Farm
This Grade A goat farm conjures up award-winning cheeses, milk, fudge and yogurt. Stop by the farm to do some shopping, chat with owners Evin Evans and Pat Bell, and meet the goats. 3806 Centerville Rd., Anderson 864-287-3921 [email protected]

Walker Century Farms
From a farm that’s been in the Walker family since 1898, grass-fed, grass-finished beef and pastured pork, raised with an eye towards the future. Cut-comb honey and goat meat, too. Visit the farm store M and Th-Sa. Host your next farm-to-table event at this picturesque setting in Anderson County. 110 Walker Rd., Anderson 864-226-2668 [email protected]

Whispering Pines
Raising South Carolina’s only dairy sheep along with dairy goats, offering classes on care for both. Specialists in individual and group horseback riding lessons, these folks also have community outreach at heart. Host a Birthday-in-the- Barn for your next shindig. 206 Adams Mill Rd., Mauldin 864-288-7458 [email protected]

AgSouth Farm Credit
Located in SC and GA, this lending cooperative provides financial services for farmers and ag-related businesses. 1325 Pearman Dairy Rd., Anderson 866-585-6234


Black Bird Specialties
Co-owned by Kristi Inglis and Matt Bird, this Greenville-area food broker and distributor specializes in providing healthy, unique and emerging products to large supermarkets as well as specialty markets. Visit company Facebook page to connect. 117 Charmar Way, Taylors 864-616-9532


Belue Farms Natural Foods Market
For over 50 years, the Belue family has grown, sold and shipped perfect peaches and strawberries. Their on-farm market also sells fresh-baked breads, grass-fed beef, artisan cheese, raw milk, pastured eggs, pressed fruit ciders, hot boiled peanuts and gift baskets to go. 3773 Parris Bridge Rd., Boiling Springs 864-578-0446

Ingles Markets
Founded in 1963, Ingles is a regional grocer that takes pride in providing its shoppers with the best products and prices. All stores are located within 250 miles of Asheville’s distribution center to promote freshness. 2913 US Hwy 70 W., Black Mountain, NC 828-669-2941

Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery
The perfect pitstop off the Swamp Rabbit Trail. With a fierce attention to accessibility, you’ve never had an easier time eating or shopping for local food. 205 Cedar Lane Rd., Greenville 864-255-3385 [email protected]

Whole Foods Market
America’s first nationally-certified organic grocer. This Austin-based standard bearer is your stop for high-quality natural and organic foods, home and body care, along with top-notch customer service. 1140 Woodruff Rd., Greenville 864-335-2300


Bubbly Dry Bar
Meagan Hughes and team have you covered with their full-service salon as well as newly renovated 2nd floor event space. Perfect private downtown spot for your next girls’ night out. 20 W. McBee Ave., Greenville 864-509- 0101

Creative Living Wellness
Your self-care specialists providing one-on-one expert consultation in healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices. Family and partner consultation available. Group classes, private yoga and meditation instruction, infrared sauna therapy, herbal supplement products and more. 700 E. North St., Unit 11, Greenville 864-313- 8812

Franz Family Spinal Care
Near Woodruff and Batesville, Drs. Benjamin and Monika Franz collaborate to provide their clientele with gentle and effective chiropractic care based on holistic principles of health. 205 Bryce Cir., Simpsonville 864-987-5995

Greenville Health System
With eight major health campuses, a network of MD360 Urgent Care locations across the Upstate, and the most extensive network of doctors around, GHS is a regional healthcare force to be reckoned with, and grateful for. 877-GHS-INFO

Bleckley Inn
Elegantly appointed and full of Southern charm, this 14-room inn, wedding venue and conference facility is conveniently located in the heart of charming downtown Anderson. 151 E. Church St., Anderson 864-225-7203 [email protected]

Kehl, Culbertson, Andrighetti, LLC
A full-service law firm founded and staffed by people with a sense of place and a true passion for community. Whether it’s real estate, corporate, family, probate or beyond, they have you covered. 114 Manly St., Greenville 864-370-8222 [email protected]


City of Anderson
A delightful enclave of historic architecture, vibrant local food options, a new craft brewery, fantastic farmers market shopping in a signature downtown pavilion, a vibrant events calendar and serious city pride make this community a special destination.

City of Landrum
Brimming with unique antique and speciality shops, delicious local eateries, beautiful bed and breakfast escapes, vibrant equestrian culture. Nestled in the Blue Ridge foothills, charming downtown Landrum awaits.

City of Travelers Rest
A town on fire with energy and development, TR’s newly inaugurated Trailblazer Park boasts a permanent farmers market pavilion and grassy amphitheater to host an amazing lineup of food, music and movies for the season ahead. With the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail hugging Main Street, it’s no wonder the community is abuzz with new shops, restaurants and visitors galore.

Our Carolina Foothills
An NC-SC, four-community partnership (Saluda, Columbus, Tryon and Landrum) to promote the incredible equestrian and wine industries of the area, along with a bevy of great restaurants, events and beyond. Super helpful website for planning your next visit. 828-817-1079 [email protected]

Providing renewable water resources to the Upstate community. Public outreach programs promote clean waterways, public health and general environmental stewardship. 561 Mauldin Rd., Greenville 864-299-4000

SC Agritourism Association
Exciting new initiative by the SCDA to promote agritourism across the state. Website with over 140 farms and search function by county. Get out, take the kids and explore! Contact director Jackie Moore to join the new SC Agritourism Association and to get your farm listed. 803-734-2144 [email protected]

South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA)
YOUR state resource for all things agriculture. Promoting and enabling SC farmers and food products, consumer safety and access. Look for Certified SC Grown and Fresh On The Menu labels wherever you buy or dine. State Capitol Complex, Wade Hampton Bldg., 5th Floor, Columbia 803-734-2210


1826 On The Green
Thoughtful bistro fare, well paired with wine and craft beer, served in on the square in historic, quaint Pendleton. A charming culinary destination most definitely worth the trip. 105 Exchange St., Pendleton 864-646-5500

American Grocery Restaurant
Chef/owner and husband/wife Joe Clarke and Darlene Mann-Clarke are responsible for this bonafide treasure, a restaurant that celebrates seasonal cuisine and locally-sourced products from table to glass. 732 S. Main St., Greenville 864-232-7665 [email protected]

Bocca Pure Italian
Classic, family-friendly Italian cuisine prepared fresh daily by Chef Horacio and team just north of Cherrydale on Poinsett Hwy. Weekly specials always on offer, as well as handmade salad dressings bottled to take home. 2660 Poinsett Hwy, Greenville 864-271-7877

Leopard Forest Coffeehouse
A hub for coffee (proudly serving TR’s own Leopard Forest brand) and community along the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Enjoy your caffeine, a local artisan-baked snack, grab a paper or conversation and refuel thyself. 27 S. Main St., Travelers Rest 864-834- 5500 [email protected]

Greenfield’s Bagels & Deli
Iconic Greenville deli providing some of the best homemade spreads, Jewish-style sandwiches, smoked fish, gourmet soups, salads and Jewish pastries around. Open seven days a week to get your bagel fix when you must. 101 Verdae Blvd., Ste. 180, Greenville 864-987-0064

Mr. Rivers Breakfast Joint
From the dynamic duo, Summer and Joe Fredette, comes their newest creation, a breakfast spot in downtown Anderson right next door to SummaJoe’s. 125 N. Main St., Anderson 864-965-9030

You’ll find something for everyone at this family restaurant in the heart of downtown TR. From wings and flatbread pizzas to a full slate of specialty salad and entrées, the team of John and Marvin Short and Cory Satterfield bring their longtime catering expertise to a full-service, sit-down outlet. 24 S. Main St., Travelers Rest 864-834-4050

Sidewall Pizza
Brick-oven goodness, handcrafted to order with authentic Italian and high quality local ingredients, all enjoyed along the main drag of bustling Travelers Rest. Fresh, inventive salads, a solid selection of beer/wine and delightful outdoor seating complete the experience. 35 S. Main St., Travelers Rest 864-610-1406

Southern Pressed Juicery
The latest creative debut from the Table 301 restaurant group, this healthy and hip oasis offers 100% cold-pressed juices made from organic fruits and vegetables along with a robust menu of vegan, raw hand-crafted, quick-grab snacks, energy bowls, salads and more. 2 W. Washington St., Greenville 864-729-8626

Owners Joe and Summer Fredette work closely with local farmers to create their seasonal menu. Pizza, sandwiches, and the best shrimp cakes around. With half-price bottles of wine on Saturday nights, well worth the trip to Anderson. 127 N. Main St., Anderson 864-965-9030 [email protected]

Tandem Creperie and Coffeehouse
On the corner of delightful and delicious, this sunny spot serves up some of the tastiest sweet and savory crepes around. Complement yours with a house-made soda or thoughtfully crafted Counter Culture coffee. 2 S. Main St., Travelers Rest 864-610-2245

Tom’s BBQ
Called Greenville’s catering headquarters for a reason, Tom’s BBQ makes anything, from a family picnic to a corporate function, smokey good. 1143-D Woodruff Rd., Greenville 864-288-2652

Upcountry Provisions
This bakery and bistro serves up a mean breakfast, lunch and dinner and caters to boot. Fresh breads are out of this world. Great stop near the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. Open Tu-Sa. 6809 State Park Rd., Travelers Rest 864-834-8433 [email protected]

Whistle Stop at the American Café
Newly-renovated café by the third generation of Styles family to own the location, this is truly a piece of Travelers Rest history. Visit the vintage steam engine out front and enjoy Southern-inspired cuisine inside, or on the rooftop deck overlooking the bustling GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. 109 S. Main St., Travelers Rest 864-WHISTLE


Kuka Juice
These lovely local ladies now have a physical store to help you satisfy your fresh, cold-pressed juice fix in steady fashion. Delicious flavor combinations like “Kick Some Acid” and “Skinny Genes” keep you and your belly smiling. Connect on social media, visit the store or order home delivery. 101 W. Camperdown Way #102, Greenville 864-905-1214 or 864-787-9746 [email protected]

Miss Bee Haven Honey Bones
What happens when a serious dog-lover is also a master beekeeper. Hand-crafted dog treats, birthday cakes and other caninecare products made with a special touch of local honey. Show your pooch some sweet love with these locally made goodies. [email protected]

Spice Society
Elegantly packaged in beautiful canisters and glass bottles, these hand-selected spices are sourced with a fervent commitment to organic and non-GMO practices. Check out this glorious new line that’s landed in a few select outlets: Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery, Rick’s Deli & Market, Café at Williams Hardware and The Cook’s Station. 864-508-4091

Incredible local food visionaries and Slow Food enthusiasts Jan Wesley and Renato Vicario artfully craft, then directly import, their delectable red wines, grappas, fruit brandies and liqueurs and estate-bottled, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil from their farm in Tuscany.


Couture Cakes of Greenville
Your go-to place for the ultimate cake or custom cupcake creation. From the smallest gatherings to the most elegant weddings, this outfit specializes in inventive and personalized designs. Family recipes welcome! 1325 Miller Rd., Ste. H, Greenville 864-288-6610 [email protected]

Front Porch Fixins
Cute, seasonally-inspired and homey gifts and groceries that celebrate a sense of place in Powdersville. 10205 Anderson Rd., Easley 864-558-0332

Kitchen Hours

Monday through Thursday 11:00am – 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday 11:00am – 11:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 9:30pm

Bar Hours

Monday – Thursday 11:00am – 11:00pm
Friday & Saturday 11:00am – 12:00am

The newest member of the McCray’s Tavern family, our East Cobb location is raising the bar when it comes to American cuisine and cocktails served in a laid-back tavern atmosphere.

Located in the Parkaire Landing shopping center off Roswell Road in Marietta, McCray’s East Cobb opened in 2020 as the restaurant franchise’s fourth location. A locally-owned eatery, McCray’s offers made-from-scratch meals with farm fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

The chefs at McCray’s East Cobb focus on bringing a modern twist to each dish: our diverse lunch and dinner menus feature mouth-watering favorites including juicy burgers, texture-rich salads and chef entrees that are carefully crafted and oh-so-scrumptious.

Weekend brunch at McCray’s is always a hit with The Week-Ender menu that includes breakfast favorites like eggs and pancakes as well as sandwiches, sides and Bloody Marys.

Welcome to McCray’s East Cobb, where time is happily spent and memories are forever made! Featuring luxurious oversized booths, an expansive bar, and more than a dozen big-screen televisions, McCray’s Tavern East Cobb location is the perfect spot for brunch, lunch, dinner, and late night burgers and beer. Our chefs create made-from-scratch dishes daily using modern recipes and incorporating only the finest, freshest ingredients. Looking for the best bar in Marietta? McCray’s Tavern goes above and beyond with a superior selection of drink options, including stiff spirits, fine wines, local beers, and artfully crafted cocktails. If you’re looking for a great burger place near you, you’ll find it all seven days a week, with a kitchen that’s open late on the weekend!

We’re proud to offer an enticing food menu and an impressive drink list. With a comfortable atmosphere, plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, plus loads of televisions to catch every sports game, you won’t find a better place to gather with friends and family in East Cobb! Featuring a relaxed, friendly vibe, a seemingly endless assortment of local, craft, and import beers, and an inventive menu featuring the best East Cobb brunch, McCray’s Tavern offers guests a truly next-level pour house experience. It’s the perfect place to escape and catch your favorite game, and with 360° views of sports at all times, game night is even better with a beer or craft cocktail in hand.

Explore our robust tavern food menu, where we’re offering tasty small plates, seasonal entrees, unique burgers, fresh salads, and an assortment of southern comfort foods prepared with our signature twists. Don’t forget to follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on current happenings! We’ve got kids’ night, trivia, and more throughout the week, plus food and drink specials and other fun events all year long!

Stop by our local restaurant and bar for a burger and a beer, and catch a game while you’re with us. We’ll keep a seat open!

Best restaurants in Taos

1. The Love Apple

What is it? Housed in a 100-year-old adobe chapel, The Love Apple is a cozy restaurant serving New Mexico dishes using locally sourced produce and meats. There&rsquos a cash-only policy but an upscale atmosphere.

Why go? The Love Apple embodies Taos&rsquos quirkiness and focus on local sourcing. Its menu changes to reflect ingredients that are in season, and includes dinners such as grilled ruby rainbow trout, wrapped in corn husks with lime butter, and homemade baked tamales with Oaxacan-style mole sauce.

Price: Pricey

2. Lambert’s of Taos

What is it? This casual fine-dining restaurant&rsquos dinner menu caters to well-heeled carnivores with regionally sourced filet mignon, herb-crusted lamb rack, grilled duck breast and jumbo crab cakes.

Why go? Lambert&rsquos lets its hair down with a happy hour featuring gourmet appetizers, margaritas and drinks for $6. Housed in a historic building just off of the Taos Plaza, Lambert&rsquos is perfect for a date night or if you&rsquore meeting friends at the upstairs Treehouse Bar.

Price: Pricey

3. 192 at The Blake

What is it? Located within The Blake hotel in Taos Ski Valley, 192 at The Blake offers a casual lunch for skiers, or an intimate après-ski experience with a communal fireplace and windows overlooking a snowy mountain landscape.

Why go? Dinner entrées are shared plates, and include thin-sliced rib-eye steak, quinoa mushroom tamales, seared yellowfin tuna with mango-mandarin chutney, veal and pork meatballs, wild boar stew, and gourmet pizzas and flatbreads.

Price: Pricey

4. Doc Martin’s

What is it? Named for the beloved Taos physician who lived here in the early 1900s, Doc Martin&rsquos is loved today for its upscale take on classic New Mexico recipes such as deep-fried green chiles stuffed with cheese, chicken enchiladas, and beef and pork dishes. Salads star locally sourced ingredients and the wine list has won numerous awards.

Why go? If you're staying at the historic Taos Inn, it makes good sense to dine in-house. Plus, you may just be sharing a table with former famous guests Greta Garbo, D.H. Lawrence and Pawnee Bill.

Price: Pricey

5. Common Fire

What is it? A lovely, relaxed restaurant in the shadow of the mountains that boasts a seasonally led local menu.

Why go? There&rsquos a good variety on offer here: from hearty dishes like pasta and rustic pizzas to lighter options like roasted asparagus and pork and noodle soup. Not forgetting, of course, the absolutely breathtaking views of Taos Mountain. They also know their wines at Common Fire and the owner, Andy Lynch, even has a series of one-minute podcasts about various vinos on the website.

Price: Pricey

6. Aceq

What is it? Serving one of the Taos area&rsquos most diverse menus, Aceq favorites include chicken and waffles, fresh Alaskan king cod, bison tacos and local grass-fed beef pot pie. This farm-to-table restaurant sources its ingredients from the Taos Farmers Market and local ranches.

Why go? Owner and sommelier Michael Wagener brings ski-town chill with a rustic-hip decor. Tabletops are made from reclaimed wood from his grandfather&rsquos Wisconsin barn, which also explains the perennial Wisconsin cheese curds on the menu.

Price: Pricey

7. Michael’s Kitchen Restaurant and Bakery

What is it? This local favorite serves traditional New Mexican breakfast plates such as huevos rancheros and breakfast enchiladas smothered in house-made red or green chile. The lunch menu consists of thick sandwiches, and the fresh-made pastries, including hubcap-sized cinnamon rolls, are a hit any time of day.

Why go? Beyond solid chile-based meals, Michael&rsquos is where locals catch up, and some staff have been working here since the place opened in 1974. The local art on the walls makes this Taos go-to even better.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s culinary trek through the Med

Once he describes the recipe –his take on a classic minestrone –it’s perhaps understandable why he lost track of time. “We’re very nearly there with this one,” he says. “The recipe will be on my website soon, which is just so satisfying. So much work goes into perfecting these recipes.”

It’s a process the Israeli chef has been through countless times in recent months. He spent most of June and July filming Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Island Feast, his second series for More4, the sequel-of-sorts to Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Feast broadcast almost exactly a year ago.

“I went to Sardinia, Corsica, Majorca and finally Crete,” he says of the new series. “Each island was a journey in its own right, and we spent 10 days in each place. I’d come back to London for a few days before going back out again. My friends saw me with a tan and thought I’d just been holidaying, but honestly, I was working very hard!”

On each island, Ottolenghi, 44, tried to unravel the local food culture and understand the essence of the place, focusing not only on the cuisine, but why it had evolved as it had.

On Corsica, he was surprised to discover a rich shepherd’s culture, but due to regular invaders, locals moved inland to work the hills rather than live off of the fruits of the sea. “The terrain is so mountainous, lush and fertile, so the diet is lots of lamb and chestnuts, a lot like Spain in many ways,” he says. “Crete feels much more Middle Eastern, with spices, herbs and pulses, as you might find in Lebanon or Israel.”

Sardinia, meanwhile, confounded Ottolenghi’s expectations. Where he thought he might find beaches, bland tourist resorts and wall-to-wall restaurants, he came across stunning landscapes and a wealth of other ingredients beyond locally-caught fish. He feels sorry when people don’t leave such a resort, saying: “It’s easy not to make an effort because you’re on holiday and you want to relax, but in doing so you can miss so much.”

While on the island, the Mediterranean’s second- largest – it’s just slightly bigger than Wales – he drove up into the hills to spend the day with a goat shepherd. They milked goats and, after returning to the shepherd’s rudimentary home, made ricotta, which is formed from whey left over from cheese production. “It could’ve been 2,000 years ago and fresh ricotta is out of this world,” he says. “I used it to make little fritters mixed with orange and Sardinian honey. It was incredible. The surroundings were so basic, but the food I’ll remember forever.”

Despite establishing a string of famous delis in London over the past 12 years, two of which with award-winning adjoining restaurants, this is only Ottolenghi’s second TV series.

He explains that while offers came in thick and fast after he moved to the UK (in 1997, after completing his Israel military service), he had been reluctant to get involved. “I didn’t think it was about the food,” he says, “so I was always a little put off by the idea. I’m glad I gave in, because I’ve really enjoyed these two series and we’ve managed to make the shows more about the food than just stylish production. I’ve realised it’s completely worthwhile on that front.

“Not just that, when I come back from travelling with new ideas for myself, I think I’ve done something worthwhile. These are ideas I can use again and again. On a personal level, some of the experiences I’ll never get to do again.”

He adds: “Whether I was learning a new dish or about the island’s history, or recreating a local dish with my own twist, it was all about discovery. My favourite recipe was a grilled fish, brushed with herb-infused oil as it cooked. Like the rest of my summer, it was a revelation.”

• Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Island Feast continues on More4 on Thursdays at 9pm

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50 States of Seafood

With nearly 100,000 miles of shoreline, it's no surprise that Americans are into a multitude of diverse seafood specialties. From Maine lobster rolls and Alaska fish and chips to Florida-style coconut shrimp and Idaho sturgeon, here are the 50 United States of seafood.

Related To:

Photo By: Grove Bay Hospitality Group

Photo By: Julie Qiu / Hama Hama Company

Photo By: Mary Tennis and Cher Matamoros

Photo By: Ryan Johnson for Ann Coen Photography

Photo By: Andrew Thomas Lee

Manhattan Beach, California: Fishing with Dynamite

As a kid, Chef-Owner David LeFevre spent his summers fishing on Virginia's Eastern Shore. After going on to travel the world and earn a Michelin star for Water Grill in Los Angeles, he opened his own seafood-centric spot, Fishing with Dynamite, in Manhattan Beach. There, the Iron Chef serves a menu of old- and new-school seafood representing the best of both coasts. The menu ranges from classic New England clam chowder to whole stuffed and fried Thai snapper for two, and also includes one of the best raw bars in the entire state.

Portland, Maine: Eventide Oyster Co.

This tiny gem of a restaurant proves the old adage "Good things come in small packages" by serving some of the finest seafood in seafood-obsessed Portland. Its signature brown-butter lobster roll is an all-time favorite of many chefs, and its oysters are pristine. The clambake is considered one of the best in all of New England: Locals cozy up to Eventide's outdoor picnic tables to pig out on the restaurant's rendition of that summertime beachside staple, which features sweet Bangs Island mussels, plump steamers from nearby Casco Bay, a lobster tail, Maine potatoes, salt pork and egg.

Las Vegas: Once

Two of the most-seafood-obsessed countries on the planet are Peru and Japan. When large numbers of Japanese immigrants settled in the South American country and essentially created a new kind of fusion cuisine, called Nikkei, they incorporated a lot of oceanic flavors. That's the focus at famed chef Ricardo Zarate's new restaurant, Once, located in the desert of Las Vegas. Inside the Venetian, he serves upscale Peruvian Nikkei fare like bigeye tuna sashimi with black truffles, Peruvian fried rice with lobster and snow crab, and an aromatic seafood stew with grilled striped bass in a tomato sauce with spicy rocoto-pepper aioli.

New York: Le Bernardin

Considered the top place for seafood in the entire United States &mdash heck, arguably the Western Hemisphere and maybe even the world &mdash Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin is considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience for dining aficionados. Its visually stunning tasting menus, featuring intricate dishes like crispy black bass and the Greek salad-inspired Kampachi sashimi with crushed nicoise olives (pictured above) start at more than $150 per person for dinner. For those who don't have that kind of cash to throw down, the restaurant offers more affordable lunch tastings and excellent a la carte dishes in the lounge.

Philadelphia: Oyster House

For 42 years, this Philadelphia oyster house has been the city's top pick for upscale seafood. Third-generation owner Sam Mink overhauled the restaurant in 2009, modernizing the place while continuing his family's tradition. It serves new takes on old-school dishes like snapper soup and Southern-fried oysters with chicken salad, a dish that was popular in the private clubs of 19th-century Philly, as well as other regional classics, such as a chilled New England-style lobster roll and the $35-per-person clambake known as a Dump Dinner. But the crown jewel of the Oyster House is the raw bar that sits in the middle of the restaurant: It boasts the city's largest selection of oysters, harvested from East Coast waters stretching from the nearby mid-Atlantic all the way up to Canada.

Arizona: Mariscos Chihuahua

While landlocked Arizona may not have fresh-caught salmon, oysters or shrimp like coastal states, it still has some excellent seafood. Here, it's all about the bright flavors and subtle spice of Mexican-style seafood. The best place in the state to get a taste is Mariscos Chihuahua in Tucson, Nogales and Phoenix. The restaurants feature wild sea-themed murals, a giant fiberglass fish floating from the ceiling and a pleasantly extensive selection of hot sauces to go along with refreshing dishes like ceviche tostadas. The crispy deep-fried tortillas are topped with heaping piles of briny shrimp marinated in lime juice and accompanied by onions, cilantro, tomatoes and avocado.

St. Louis: Broadway Oyster Bar

Locally owned and operated for more than 40 years, Broadway Oyster Bar is one of the top New Orleans-style restaurants, bars and live music venues in the Midwest. (Hey, it would make sense that St. Louis leads the Cajun pack, given its historical French connection with the Big Easy.) This laid-back hangout is adored by locals for flavorful Creole-style seafood like po' boys, crawfish etouffee and BBQ shrimp. While some dishes stick to tradition, this creative place also does its own thing with fun cross-cultural dishes like crawfish enchiladas. There's also a roasted oyster medley that lets diners sample oysters with three different cream sauces: crawfish, spicy shrimp, and spinach and bacon.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii: Da Poke Shack

Poke may be found at hundreds of fast-casual joints spread across the mainland these days, but it originated in Hawaii, still the best spot on the planet to get a taste. This appropriately titled shack offers the freshest example of poke in the state. Fishermen will often walk up with the day's catch while customers wait in line for The Wet Hawaiian, fresh cubes of fish with a simple inamona (kukui nut) mix. In addition to its selection of poke plates, Da Poke Shack also offers cut-to-order sashimi to eat on-site and uncooked fillets to take home and enjoy later.

Whitefish, Montana: Stillwater Fish House

Montana is red-meat country &mdash in fact, the 2.5 million heads of cattle in this state outnumber humans by nearly three to one. You wouldn't know that if you visited this Whitefish restaurant, located in mind-bogglingly beautiful Flathead Valley on the doorstep to Glacier National Park. It serves sustainable, never-frozen fish sourced from near and far. "When we moved here, we knew we couldn't eat the scenery, and so we wanted to bring all of our favorite seafood cuisines from a plethora of coastal areas," says Stillwater co-owner Adrienne Felder. The seasonally changing menu offers diverse dishes, such as the local trout pan-fried with a pretzel crust and the black cod marinated in a miso-and-sake reduction.

Houston: Cajun Kitchen

Set right near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, just a short drive from the Louisiana border, Houston is home to the country's best Viet-Cajun cuisine. Vietnamese chefs and restaurateurs who came to the area tinkered with the local techniques for cooking crawfish, tossing the Cajun spice-coated crustaceans in buttery sauces filled with aromatics like garlic, onions, peppers and lemongrass and serving them with a salt, pepper and lime dipping sauce. That's what you'll find at Cajun Kitchen. The place serves customizable spicy Cajun boils with varying spice levels, flavors and seafood options that go beyond mudbugs. Explore the menu with an order of crawfish cooked however you like and an XL Fatass Combo: a pound of king crab legs, a half-dozen oysters Thailand (served raw with fried shallots and a sweet and spicy Thai-style sauce) and salt-and-pepper Dungeness crab.

Miami Beach, Florida: Stiltsville Fish Bar

Celeb-chef power couple Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth, owners of several Root & Bone locations and Sarsaparilla Club, have brought the old-school Florida seafood shack back to the glitzy waterfront of Miami Beach. Drawing inspiration from McInnis' childhood on the Florida panhandle and from the city where they both rose to fame, this Sunset Harbor restaurant serves straight-off-the-boat seafood in simple preparations ranging from smoked-fish dip and beer-battered soft-shell crabs to whole fish for two. The crispy coconut shrimp, wrapped in roasted coconut and kataifi and then fried in coconut oil, is the best example of this dish in the state, and probably the world.

Madison, Connecticut: The Clam Castle

You know it's good if Jacques Pépin sings its praises. That's right, the godfather of celebrity chefs is a fan of this Madison seafood joint. For more than 50 years, The Clam Castle has been doling out traditional New England seafood-shack eats like fried whole clam bellies and chowders. Five years ago, brothers Patrick, Chris and Dave Donahue and Dave's wife Sloane took over and breathed new life into the indoor-outdoor restaurant that's conveniently located next to Hammonasset Beach. The BYOB place has been reinvigorated with made-to-order dishes including renowned fish tacos, excellent lobster rolls and a slew of freshly prepared daily specials.

Leawood, Kansas: Bristol Seafood Grill

With four Kansas and Missouri locations, Bristol Seafood Grill is the place to go for the freshest premium seafood in the area. The chic Town Center Plaza location in Leawood boasts rich wood accents, a brick fireplace and a stained-glass dome that set the mood for upscale preparations like Maryland-style jumbo lump crab cakes, Georges Bank scallops and fresh fish grilled over mesquite wood and served with just Maldon sea salt, fresh lemon and a touch of herb butter. Daily selections may range from Hawaiian wahoo and seared Alaskan halibut to Mississippi fried catfish and Idaho rainbow trout.

Hagerman, Idaho: Snake River Grill

Snake River Grill may be categorized as a steakhouse or grill, but 60 percent of its sales stem from seafood. The Hagerman Valley in which it is located is home to hundreds of geothermal hot springs and numerous aquaculture operations, so the inland region boasts extremely fresh fish, like trout and sturgeon, raised on nearby farms. Because of his penchant for &mdash and skill in cooking &mdash local fish, Snake River chef Kirt Martin has been dubbed the Sturgeon General. He goes through 135,000 pounds of the firm-fleshed fish per year, serving it in various preparations such as deep-fried in nuggets with tartar sauce, stuffed with shrimp and coated with roasted red pepper cream sauce or as the "surf" served alongside an aged sirloin steak.

Seabrook, New Hampshire: Brown's Lobster Pound

New Hampshire's coastline might be short, but its seafood shacks are statuesque. And Brown's Lobster Pound cannot be missed. Since 1950, the family-owned place has been serving fried clams, four kinds of chowder and countless orders of pristine seafood. Live lobsters pulled from a tank, dunked into a steaming iron cauldron of salted water and served with a cup of drawn butter on the side remain the most-popular order, but those in the know add steamers and fries to their orders. On any given day, you'll see the evidence: The rows of picnic tables inside and on the waterfront deck are filled with piles of lobster and steamer shells and remnants of drawn butter, and seated at them are guests who look like they've never been more satisfied in their lives. Make sure to bring your own beer and wine, and plenty of cash this casual place still doesn't take plastic.

Lilliwaup, Washington: Hama Hama Oyster Saloon

Opened in 2014 to give oyster lovers a place to eat Hama Hama's impeccable product, this saloon pays homage to the history of the laid-back, rustic oyster eateries common in the early 20th century. Rustic it most certainly is. The restaurant is completely outdoors &mdash a bold move, considering it's located in a Pacific Northwest rainforest right near Olympic National Park &mdash overlooking the oyster beds as well as the seals and eagles that hang out in the estuary. It's open year-round, so the folks here build bonfires and serve hot smoked-salmon chowder in the winter months and cover the deck with shade sails when the weather warms up. It may be exposed, but you can't find a better place to cozy up with a beer and a dozen oysters, some clams and killer crab cakes after a hike.

Whittier, Alaska: Varly's Swiftwater Seafood Cafe

There's no dearth of fresh seafood along Alaska's coasts, but Varly's Swiftwater Seafood Cafe in Whittier is considered one of the best spots to find it. This place serves only fresh fish harvested locally from Prince William Sound that's why you won't find any lobster, crab or scallops on the menu here. The kitchen uses a secret-recipe batter for its hand-dipped fillets, which turn out perfectly golden and immaculately crisp, and become the star ingredient in Varly's world-class fried fish sandwich and its fish and chips. And with prime views of the harbor, you might even spot the fisherman who caught the halibut, Pacific cod or shrimp that's sitting on your plate.

Salt Lake City: Current Fish & Oyster

Given its distance from the ocean, it makes sense that Utah lacks its own deep-rooted style of seafood. That hasn't stopped Chef Alan Brines at Current Fish & Oyster from digging deep into the coastal culinary traditions that span the Pacific and Atlantic seaboards. The downtown Salt Lake City restaurant features freshly jetted-in, sustainable seafood in its creative spins on classic dishes, such as bacon-infused New England-style clam chowder, crab cakes accented with bright lemon aioli, and lemongrass- and coconut milk-based fish stew. The modern seafood is enough of a draw, but the expansive restaurant also boasts one of the coolest atmospheres in the city, with an open kitchen and a ceiling that mimics the hull of a ship.

Topping, Virginia: Merroir

Rappahannock Oyster Company has been spreading like wildfire across the U.S., opening locations in Washington, D.C. Charleston, South Carolina and as far away as downtown L.A. Each new locale makes it way onto the lists of hottest new restaurants in its city. It all started at Merroir, on the banks of the Rappahannock River overlooking the farm. The tasting room offers a small menu of raw and cooked seafood paired with great wines. There's a selection of shellfish, crab cakes and other small plates. The namesake oysters are served raw, roasted with garlic butter, "on horseback" with herb butter and Edwards ham, and barbecued as an "ode to Hog Island" in California.

Des Moines: Splash Seafood Oyster Bar & Grill

Serving seafood jetted in daily from seaports like Boston, Seattle, Key Largo and Honolulu, Splash Seafood Oyster Bar & Grill has been Des Moines' top destination for fresh catch for two decades. Owner Bruce Gerleman has long traveled to the Florida Keys for fishing trips, and he fell in love with varied styles and flavors of seafood on his journeys through the southern tip of the Sunshine State. That devotion is evident in tropical-inspired dishes like sesame tuna, blackened swordfish and sake-grilled colossal shrimp with sweet potato and black bean mango salsa.

Chicago: Calumet Fisheries

Second-generation owner Mark Kotlick carries on the work of his dad and uncle by slow-cooking the luscious, ruby-hued, black pepper-scented Alaskan salmon that helped this icon win a James Beard Award. The famed eatery has fed celebrities ranging from John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd (a Blues Brothers scene was filmed right out front) to Anthony Bourdain. Calumet Fisheries, which opened in 1928 and was purchased by the Kotlick family in 1948, is one of the last businesses in the city of Chicago that are allowed to use wood to smoke their products. Their trout, whitefish and eel, plus a wide selection of other seafood delicacies, come out of blackened smokehouses charred by almost a century's worth of fire.

Arkansas: Eat My Catfish

Though neighboring Mississippi is considered the "Catfish Capital of the World," Arkansas loves its catfish. In fact, it would almost be a fun accomplishment to find a place that doesn't serve it on a Friday &mdash if it weren't so darn delicious. Eat My Catfish serves its namesake item every day of the week. Multiple times per week, its four locations get fresh, farm-raised catfish delivered straight to its doors. Small, well-seasoned fillets are fried in a cornmeal batter until perfectly crisp, then served with the restaurant's signature tartar sauce on the side. Although that omnipresent Arkansas fish is the star of the show, everything on the seafood-focused menu, from the fried or boiled shrimp to the crabs and crawfish, is seriously delicious.

Avon, Colorado: Hooked Beaver Creek

With no sea in sight, one would think it would be hard to find fresh seafood on the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. It is &mdash unless you go to Hooked Beaver Creek. This fish-centric restaurant gets fresh catch flown into Denver and driven over Vail Pass nearly every day. It serves composed dishes like cioppino, spicy tuna tacos and pan-fried salmon coated with macadamia crust and a vanilla beurre blanc. The real specialty, though, is the whole fish. The in-house fishmonger carts over a tray of the day's catch, walking guests through the flavor profile, texture and size of each species, so they can choose one for dinner. The chefs then slice it up, serving the evening's pick in a tasting of different cold and hot preparations.

South Kingstown, Rhode Island: Matunuck Oyster Bar

You know it's going to be fresh with a slogan like "Farm to table and pond to plate." That's the ethos of Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown &mdash and the proof is in the videos on its website and in the on-site pond (where Matunuck oysters are grown). The place takes advantage of the rich waters and farmland of the Ocean State to serve up regional classics like chowders, stuffed lobsters and steamers. The sleeper hit is the clams casino, a prime example of a ubiquitous Rhode Island dish: a sherry-infused mix of bacon, breadcrumbs and house-grown peppers stuffed inside clams that are almost as fresh as they'd be if you had just dug 'em up yourself.

Mackinaw City, Michigan: Keyhole Bar & Grill

Mackinaw City is one of the top tourist destinations in the U.S. If you come to town and ask locals where to dine, chances are they'll suggest Keyhole Bar & Grill, one of the few eateries in town that stay open through the winter months. The nearly 50-year-old favorite specializes in freshwater fish from Northern Michigan. Its broiled whitefish is a top seller, available blackened for those who want a bit of spice. Parmesan-crusted walleye, rolled in cheese and seasoning and then seared, is both tender and crisp. Many guests choose to add golden-brown Great Lakes perch to their entrees for an extra charge. That well-prepared local fare has earned the laid-back restaurant countless accolades from local and national press.

Duluth, Minnesota: Northern Waters Smokehaus

This unique specialty market and cafe digs deep into the world of smoking and curing. Local and sustainable meat is used for its smoked lamb, housemade salumi and bison pastrami. But because it's set right on Lake Superior, the real specialty here is fish. The smoked lake trout and whitefish garner rave reviews from seafood-adoring locals, and Northern Waters goes through thousands of pounds of Atlantic salmon per year. That wood-kissed crimson fish is the basis of the most-popular item on the menu, the Cajun Finn, in which Cajun-seasoned smoked salmon is combined with scallion cream cheese, sliced roasted red peppers, sliced pepperoncini and mixed greens on a freshly baked stirato roll.

Charleston, South Carolina: The Ordinary

James Beard Award-winning chef Mike Lata's Southern seafood hall and oyster bar, The Ordinary, has a lot going for it. First off, it's housed in a bright and airy converted 1920s bank building (the kitchen is behind the doors to the vault). The seafood is some of the freshest in Charleston, and Lata strives to support local and regional fishermen. Their just-caught seafood is highlighted in the head-turning shellfish tower, blue-crab toast and crispy oyster sliders sandwiched between sweet Hawaiian rolls. It all adds up to make this buzzy spot &mdash which does get kind of loud &mdash one of the hottest restaurants and bars in this scorching-hot restaurant town.

Manahawkin, New Jersey: The Old Causeway Steak & Oyster House

The Jersey Shore may get a bad rap from its eponymous reality show, but those in the know adore the Garden State coast for its gentle dunes and delicious locally sourced seafood. Just over the bridge from Long Beach Island, The Old Causeway Steak & Oyster House is one of the best places to dig in. It serves a fantastic selection of Barnegat Light scallops, clams straight out of the bay and a selection of high-quality oysters from the East and West coasts. Those bivalves are served in a variety of preparations, starting with raw and moving on to fried and fire-roasted with shallot herb butter. And just this year, the folks behind the popular restaurant launched the first harvest of their own signature oyster.

Tybee Island, Georgia: The Crab Shack

Set underneath a thick canopy of Spanish moss-covered live oaks overlooking the marsh of Chimney Creek, this former fish camp feels like a mix of tiki bar and pirate's den. In fact, Tybee Island was a favorite hideout for buccaneers during the golden age of piracy. Slightly more subdued but no less exciting (for the taste buds, at least), The Crab Shack is known for its low-country fish boils and for the Captain Crab Sampler, a huge platter of snow, Jonah or rock crab with shrimp, mussels, crawfish, corn, potatoes and sausage, all boiled in the traditional low-country style with a secret seasoning blend. Don't worry: No one will judge if you pretend the claws are pirate swords at the end.

Indianapolis: Caplinger's Fresh Catch

This family-run seafood market is hailed as the best place to buy fish in all of Indiana. Father-and-son duo Nick and Andrew Caplinger and Andrew's wife, Courtney, receive a rotating stock of sea creatures, such as clams, tuna steaks and colossal king crabs, delivered daily. All of that fresh catch is featured on the menu at the on-site cafe in dishes like the blue crab melt, the lobster roll and the smoked tuna salad sandwich (pictured above) made with sushi-grade yellowfin tuna that's smoked in-house for four to six hours, mixed with mayonnaise and served inside Caplinger's special-recipe bun.

New Orleans: Bevi Seafood Co.

Honoring the tradition of following New Orleans' seasons, Bevi Seafood Co. is a classic neighborhood seafood joint that serves a rotating cast of crawfish, crab, shrimp and oysters with a chef-y twist. Owner Justin LeBlanc has spent time in the kitchens of such esteemed local restaurants as Chateaubriand, Peristyle and the Southern Yacht Club, and developed relationships with top-notch suppliers. Carefully sourced ingredients are the reason why his two laid-back restaurant-markets have been hailed by local critics for their excellent boiled seafood, po' boys and platters with items like soft-shell crab and other delicacies from the Gulf.

Albuquerque, New Mexico: Mariscos Altamar

New Mexico's fiery, chile-infused fare is some of the most flavorful in the United States. Unlike oceanic states, the Land of Enchantment doesn't have its own style of seafood however, what it lacks in indigenous marine creatures, it makes up for in regional Mexican cuisine hailing from up and down our neighbor's coastline. With two Albuquerque-area locations, Mariscos Altamar is a top pick for Latin-influenced seafood like crab enchiladas, shrimp cocktail and Altamar soup filled to the brim with fish, shrimp, octopus and real crab legs in a tomato-based broth.

Baltimore: Costas Inn

There is no food more synonymous with Maryland than blue crab, the Chesapeake Bay crustacean that makes you work for a taste of its sweet white meat. Annual catches have been on the decline in recent decades, but conservation efforts are helping to bring this state treasure back in force. Try 'em in all their glory at Costas Inn just outside Baltimore. This longtime fixture is hailed for its steamed crabs that are dumped atop newspaper-covered tables, as well as for its pan-fried soft-shell crab and its jumbo lump crab cakes made with a spice-filled sauce and just enough breadcrumbs to hold it together in patty form.

Boston: Yankee Lobster Company

Yankee Lobster Company is hailed for its extra-fresh lobster pulled from tanks that get water pumped straight in from the ocean. The lobster roll is a favorite, and Guy Fieri praised the lobster mac 'n' cheese as "ridiculous." But the sleeper hit at this classic New England seafood spot is the fried fare. The Fisherman's Platter, with fish, shrimp, scallops and whole clam bellies, is the stuff dreams are made of, with the rare combination of perfect crunch and extremely fresh seafood steaming inside the golden-brown crust.

Taylor, Mississippi: Taylor Grocery

You've probably already heard that Mississippi is the catfish capital of the world. The mild, clean-tasting farm-raised fish has been an integral component of the state's economy since the 1960s, when locals pioneered the industry. But long before Mississippians began raising fish on former cotton farms, old-school catfish houses dotted throughout the state were serving hefty platters of whole fish and fillets fried in cornmeal jackets or grilled with Cajun spices. Experience that traditional style at Taylor Grocery. People come from all around to trek up the dirt road that leads to the Taylor shack for excellent fried catfish and hushpuppies.

Omaha: El Dorado

Given that just 11 percent of Nebraska's population is Hispanic (according to U.S. Census data), the state has a surprisingly rich array of Mexican restaurants. What's even more astonishing for this landlocked state is that many of those places specialize in flavorful seafood. El Dorado in Omaha is known for its mariachi bands, bold al pastor tacos and a giant tower of seafood for a crowd (or, at least, a minimum of two) at a price that is hard to beat. Those platters are chock-full of different styles of shrimp, sometimes layered with crab legs, oysters, clams, octopus and even abalone. Others are piled high with lobster. Eating here is like visiting the shores of Baja without leaving the Cornhusker State.

Mobile, Alabama: Wintzell's Oyster House

This 1938 oyster house has become an iconic landmark in 300-plus-year-old Mobile. It started as a six-stool oyster bar and has expanded significantly in size and presence since, with a total of 10 locations throughout the state. Best known for its oysters served "fried, stewed or nude," Wintzell's now sells 182,000 pounds of fresh oysters per year, as well as 93,000 pounds of shrimp and 21,000 gallons of gumbo. But one of the most-distinctive dishes on the menu is the West Indies Salad, a cold crabmeat dish that originated in Mobile. It combines jumbo lump crab with chopped onion and spices, blended together with oil and vinegar and marinated for at least 24 hours.

Burgaw, North Carolina: Holland's Shelter Creek Restaurant

Long before the term "pop-up" was used to describe short-term shops and restaurants, fish camps would "pop up" along river shores where fishermen pulled up to sell their catch. While there is no dearth of delicious seafood for sale up and down North Carolina's Outer Banks and beyond, catfish is by far the most-ubiquitous fish in the state. Holland's Shelter Creek Restaurant, a permanent fish camp since the 1980s, serves some of the best fried catfish, shrimp platters and frog's legs in the state while maintaining its laid-back old-school vibe. Eating here is like traveling back through a delicious time warp, just a 30-minute drive from the beach.

Fargo, North Dakota: Deep Blue Seafood

Deep Blue Seafood started as a truck selling flown-in fish on the side of the road, transitioned into a statewide wholesale operation and, in 2016, became a brick-and-mortar market and restaurant. Husband-and-wife team John and Bea Mittleider get fresh seafood delivered via plane every other day for dishes like surf-and-turf salad with generous portions of steak and shrimp, as well as authentic British fish and chips styled after the impeccable versions found in Bea's native United Kingdom. This is the only serious seafood restaurant in Fargo other than Red Lobster, and in the two short years since it opened, demand has already forced the Mittleiders to expand Deep Blue's seating capacity.

Leipsic, Delaware: Sambo's Tavern

Its namesake river and bay make Delaware heaven for crustacean lovers. At backyard parties and waterfront crab houses across the state, you'll see locals of all ages, from ringleted toddlers to gray-haired octogenarians, picking sweet meat from Old Bay Seasoning-scented shells. For a classic First State experience, head to Sambo's Tavern in Leipsic. The rustic 21-plus pub offers local crab in all its various forms, from crab bisque and juicy crab cakes to fried soft-shell crab and classic whole crab covered in salty seasoning. Get a seat near one of the windows to enjoy idyllic views of the Leipsic River.

Kelleys Island, Ohio: The Village Pump

Taking advantage of Lake Erie's bounty of fish &mdash more are caught in its waters than in all the other Great Lakes combined &mdash this Kelleys Island watering hole serves around 3,000 diners on prime summer weekends. The circa 1969 dockside restaurant consistently ranks as one of the best seafood spots on the giant lake. Most Village Pump guests go for a "famous" Brandy Alexander, rich bowls of lobster chowder and freshly caught fried lake perch served in sandwiches, tacos and dinner baskets with heaping piles of fries and coleslaw. If those popular dishes don't fit your fancy, you can choose from plenty of other aquatic dishes, like walleye bites, oysters, clams and shrimp.

Tulsa: White River Fish Market and Restaurant

White River Fish Market and Restaurant began selling fresh fish straight out of nearby Arkansas' White River in downtown Tulsa in 1932. Several years later, the place expanded, adding a small restaurant that served fried fish. When it moved to its current location near the Tulsa airport in the 1960s, the seafood market and restaurant cemented its reputation as the place to get the best seafood in town, cooking fried, broiled and grilled seafood flown in from all over the place. The fried catfish and shrimp entree is a perennial favorite, as is the grilled salmon, but White River now boasts dozens of options, ranging from sea scallops and fresh oysters to halibut, swordfish and mahi mahi. In February 2017, White River opened its second location (in Broken Arrow, just outside Tulsa), and it's already become another big hit.

Newport, Oregon: Local Ocean Seafoods

The frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest are home to some of the best seafood in the United States. The oysters are world-class, the Dungeness crab is excellent, and the variety of clams available could make any bivalve lover drool with envy. It's all available fresh off the boat at Local Ocean Seafoods in Newport, a market and restaurant that gets most of its seafood from the fishing boats that pull into the harbor across the street. The place draws crowds seeking a taste of its roasted garlic and Dungeness crab soup, tomato-based Fishwives Stew and bacon-wrapped tuna mignon, along with all the other delicious items on the menu.

Pierre, South Dakota: Spring Creek Resort and Deep Water Marina

South Dakota's section of the Missouri River is teeming with walleye, the state fish. Anglers travel from far away to reel 'em in, and then bring them to Spring Creek Resort and Deep Water Marina to have their catch prepared in one of four ways: Cajun, butter and herb, lemon-pepper pouch or beer-battered and broasted. The latter option is the crunchiest, most-popular way to get the flaky white fish cooked. But there's no reason to stress if you come back from the water empty-handed, or if you hate fishing but like eating fish &mdash this steakhouse and seafood spot that overlooks Lake Oahe has walleye in the kitchen, ready to go.

Nashville: Henrietta Red

Chef Julia Sullivan's buzzy American restaurant is hailed for its seafood- and vegetable-centric small plates, many of which take a turn through the wood-burning oven. The food is simple, honoring the high-quality ingredients, and whimsical, offering fun riffs on classic seafood dishes rooted in contemporary seasonal cooking. What does that mean? Things like roasted oysters with green curry butter and lightly cured red snapper crudo with seasonally changing accoutrements like radishes, horseradish, tarragon and Cara Cara oranges. And Henrietta Red's raw bar is hard to beat, generally featuring 12 to 16 varieties of oysters from all three coasts and serving them with lemon, classic mignonette, watermelon mignonette and the house cocktail sauce.

Essex Junction, Vermont: Ray's Seafood

Lake Champlain locals have been absorbed with fishing for as long as anyone can remember. Not even the thick winter ice can stop them: It's dotted with small ice-fishing huts when the water freezes over. Family-owned Ray's Seafood has been buying the local bounty of lake fish from anglers since 1951. To this day, the market and restaurant is one of the best places in the state to get yellow perch. Its exemplary fried fillets are airy and crunchy, cooked to the ideal golden-brown hue. But the menu goes well beyond the local catch, with selections ranging from stuffed haddock and broiled scrod to fried clam bellies and oyster stew.

Morgantown, West Virginia: Flying Fish and Co.

West Virginians love fish. This Morgantown deli and market is a top pick for those seeking the freshest seafood from the coasts: The team heads to Baltimore multiple times per week to pick up the catch that fills its gleaming cases, in which guests will often find salmon, tuna, swordfish and grouper. Although many locals pick up seafood to cook at home, the place is a popular pick for lunch, doling out "Fresh fish fast" in well-prepared dishes like the oyster po' boy, crab cake sandwich and blackened fish or shrimp tacos stuffed into chewy tortillas with cilantro, scallions, tomato, spicy mayo and Flying Fish's signature slaw.

Milwaukee: St. Paul Fish Company

"More fish, better fish and cheaper fish" is the motto of this fish case, wholesaler and restaurant set in the Milwaukee Public Market. Founded by Tim Collins in 2005, the place is known for having the widest variety of seafood in the state. It's hailed for its live Maine lobster meals, creamy New England clam chowder and Alaskan king crab dinners, all featuring some of the freshest catch flown in from out of state. But St. Paul is also a top pick for one of Wisconsin's most-popular dining experiences, a Milwaukee fish fry. It's a Dairyland cultural tradition passed down by the state's large Catholic population that is exactly what it sounds like &mdash fish that is fried. The place offers fried local perch and walleye as well as coastal picks like grouper, shrimp and cod.

Afton, Wyoming: Rocky Mountain Seafood

When husband and wife Frank and Helen Magee saw 25-year-old Rocky Mountain Seafood was for sale in Afton, they decided to pack up their lives in Nevada and move home to Wyoming. The couple now own their home state's premier seafood place. Multiple times per week they get orders of fresh fish flown into nearby Salt Lake City and trucked up to their small town, home of the "World's Largest Elkhorn Arch." The restaurant has received rave reviews from seafood lovers from all over the region for its blackened Canadian salmon, Alaskan halibut fish and chips, and Cod Parmesan. While the list of options is short, there's no need to worry if there are "fish haters" in your party: Rocky Mountain offers a special menu just for them, with rib-eye steak and a couple of other non-seafood dishes.

Eddyville, Kentucky: Willow Pond Southern Catfish

Fried catfish is a staple throughout the South. That allegiance holds true in Kentucky, especially in the western part of the state, where those bottom-dwelling creatures are abundant in the many freshwater rivers and lakes. The best restaurant version is found at Willow Pond Southern Catfish in Eddyville. The folks here use a light breading for their catfish fillets, fry them to a crisp brown and serve them accompanied by impeccable sides like hush puppies, vinegar slaw, baked potatoes and white beans. Each table has a container of sweet red pepper relish that most guests use to spice up the beans and whatever else they please.

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