With the rising popularity of sushi, it's no surprise that raw bars are becoming increasingly more common. In case you're not quite sure what a raw bar is, it's usually a small bar or restaurant that serves customers raw shellfish that is shucked in-house and immediately served. While it seems similar to sushi, with it being uncooked, raw bars are actually pretty different in that they generally have a much larger menu, offering various types of oysters, prawns, clams, mussels, crabs, as well as various fish and red meats.
To make your raw bar hunt easier, we've compiled a list of six great offerings set all over America, from the West coast to the East. Raw Bars are getting pretty popular, especially since sushi has made its way into numerous hearts. However, the two styles are pretty different, namely due to the much larger menu option at raw bars. To help you with your hunt for the nearest raw bar, we've come up with our six favorites.
GrillMarX Steakhouse and Raw Bar | Olney, Md.
GrillMarX Steakhouse and Raw Bar has a decor of warm brick and wood, complete with an "open kitchen and ceiling." They promise that their raw bar has a great selection of fresh, locally imported oysters, shrimp, and little neck clams. You can also find various types of freshly cut steaks (all seared on their wood burning grill) and various seafood meals, like grilled salmon and ahi tuna steak.
Yelp, OpenTable and Trip Advisor give GrillMarX four stars, while UrbanSpoon give it a 75 percent approval rating.
DUO Steak and Seafood | Maui, Hawaii
Set in the Four Seasons Resort, DUO Steak and Seafood offers guests a poolside location with views of the sea. It features an open kitchen and a private dining room next to a waterfall pool, which would be great for small parties and gatherings. With a wide variety of steak and seafood, this establishment offers breakfast everyday from 6 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. While you can get items like brioche French toast and crab eggs Benedict in the morning, it's in the evening where the real seafood delights appear. Maybe have some steamed clams with chorizo before you move on to their Togarashi seared ahi with Hamakua mushroom or crispy island snapper with potato gnocchi cake.
DUO Steak and Seafood has a rating of four and a half stars on OpenTable and Trip Advisor, four stars on Yelp, and a 79 percent approval on UrbanSpoon, making it a favorite amongst many.
East Coast Grill & Raw Bar | Cambridge, Mass.
East Coast Grill & Raw Bar opened in 1985 and has since become a popular spot for those seeking a restaurant with a neighborhood feel, without having to sacrifice fine foods. The restaurant promises a "relentlessly friendly" staff and "lively food," with fresh seafood and bright flavors. Stop by for dinner and find Island Creek oysters, Asian oysters, littleneck clams, and a raw bar platter that includes a little of everything. The restaurant also has various cooked seafood, like Mahi Mahi and fish and chips, and various red meat choices, like New York strip steak and sparerib platters. While dinner (Sunday to Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday/Saturday 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.) is surely a popular time for dining out, East Coast Grill & Raw Bar also offers Saturday lunch and Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., where you can find many of the same raw bar offerings that you can find in the evening, including crab claws and colossal shrimp.
East Coast Grill has a Yelp and Trip Advisor rating of four stars, and an 89 percent approval rating on UrbanSpoon.
Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar | Bellevue and Seattle, Wash.
With two locations in Washington, Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar definitely seems to be doing well. Chef John Howie promises that they use "local, seasonal, sustainable, quality ingredients to provide [their] guests with innovative menus and memorable experiences." Formerly of the Palisade Restaurant in Seattle, Howie opened the Bellevue location in 2002, with the second location fast on its heels in 2009. Both restaurants offer a wide array of raw bar offerings, as well as various other seafood (from wild Northwest king salmon to hazelnut grilled rainbow trout). On the raw bar menu, guests have a variety of sushi to choose from, as well as scallop ceviche, fresh oysters, giant black tiger prawns, and ahi poke.
Both Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar locations have high ratings, with Seattle getting an 86 percent approval rating on UrbanSpoon and Bellevue getting 83 percent. OpenTable gives them both four and a half stars, while Trip Advisor gives the Bellevue location four and a half.
SUGARCANE Raw Bar and Grill | Miami, Florida
Set in midtown Miami, SUGARCANE Raw Bar and Grill invites you to relax in their warm and inviting atmosphere, achieved by their 4,200 square-foot interior and 850 square-foot outdoor terrace. The decor was inspired by South American Colonial Spanish-style architecture, using many pieces that give the business a vintage feel, like the ironwork and reclaimed shutters. The menu has many different options, with the raw bar offering clams, crab, and lobster in the shell, as well as seasonal oysters. There is also a variety of sushi and tapas to choose from, like the goat cheese croquettes and the crispy quail. The happy hour menu is pretty attractive as well, with oysters and sushi at lowered prices, along with many different cocktails and wines.
OpenTable gives SUGARCANE a four and a half star rating, while Yelp and Trip Advisor give it four stars. UrbanSpoon gives SUGARCANE an approval rating of 85 percent.
Hyde Street Seafood House & Raw Bar | San Francisco, California
San Francisco's Hyde Street Seafood House & Raw Bar has been around since 1985. They have also striven to bring their guests unforgettable meals within a welcoming atmosphere, and considering their fan base, we think they've succeeded. Set between Nob Hill and Russian Hill, one can find an interesting interior design that resembles a ship's cabin. There's nautical maps covering the walls, benches made from wood planks, and dimmed lighting courtesy of lanterns. Open seven days a week for dinner, the restaurant specializes in "en Papillotte" cooking, which is a French method of baking in parchment paper to help seal in the flavor. Cooked this way is the local snapper, king salmon, and various shellfish, like mussels and scallops. On the menu you can also find grilled swordfish, Dungeness Crab cakes, and Atlantic smoked salmon.
Hyde Street Seafood House has a four star rating on OpenTable and Yelp, and a four and a half rating on Trip Advisor. They have a whopping 90 percent approval rating on UrbanSpoon.