Dining destinations specializing in succulent seafood have always held a prominent place in the Las Vegas restaurant landscape—and in the hungry hearts of Las Vegas visitors. After all, what other city in the world is more closely identified with the shrimp cocktail?

That iconic dish and other familiar favorites are only the beginning of the oceanic offerings now available on and off the Strip as this culinary category has expanded and diversified beyond a seafood lover’s wildest dreams.

Begin a fish-focused adventure at one of the all-time top spots here, Michael Mina at Bellagio (702.693.8865). As one of the signature experiences at the luxury resort, this fine dining favorite has always been hailed for superior service, excellent wine and a delightful atmosphere, while the innovations to classic seafood dishes shine above all else. Move in a slightly different direction with a hot charcoal-grilled shellfish platter, southeast Asian-style crispy spot prawns or tuna and foie gras Rossini, or indulge in the chef’s masterpieces of ahi tuna tartare and lobster pot pie.

One door down on the Strip at Caesars Palace, Bobby Flay’s new Amalfi (702.650.5965) is taking diners on an authentic tour of the Italian coast through salmon carpaccio with pistachio breadcrumbs, charred octopus with pancetta, and squid ink fettucine fra diavolo loaded with lobster, shrimp and squid. The satisfying, market-fresh, whole grilled fish with a variety of side dishes is the centerpiece of this menu, utilizing products flown in constantly from the Mediterranean. Amalfi is an experience in its own category.

But you don’t have to make a reservation at a fancy casino restaurant to get terrific seafood on the Strip. Stroll down the boulevard to the outdoor promenade at FSLV—Fashion show Las Vegas to discover the addictive lobster rolls at Luke’s Lobster (702.866.6602), a kiosk also serving East Coast-style crab and shrimp sandwiches plus mac and cheese, chowder and more. Who said Las Vegas doesn’t do street food?

You can also find scrumptious seafood away from the Strip, starting at an always-buzzing institution that’s as popular with locals as it is with tourists. The Oyster Bar at Palace Station (702.367.2411) is a must-eat in Vegas, a 24-hour spot serving fresh, raw oysters and clams, one of the best versions of that shrimp cocktail, and specialty pan roasts with shrimp, crab or lobster in a memorable creamy tomato broth.

With a downtown Las Vegas location and another restaurant in the southwest on Blue Diamond Road, Bajamar Seafood & Tacos (702.331.4266) is becoming the valley’s prime destinations for Baja-style cuisine like ceviche tostadas, shrimp aguachiles and fish tacos. And when it comes to tacos, this is the place to go beyond battered and fried white fish, although they do that well, too. Explore spicy shrimp, smoked marlin and sautéed octopus tacos at Bajamar and you’ll discover why it has so many regulars that keep coming back for more.

From Mexican flavors to Southern staples, take the trip to Chinatown (or Henderson for a different location) to feast on shellfish at the beloved Hot N Juicy Crawfish (702.891.8889). Get ready to get your hands dirty and enjoy spicy, buttery crawfish, shrimp or snow crab legs by the pound along with fried seafood platters and giant softshell crab or catfish po’ boy sandwiches at this longtime locals favorite. Seafood in the desert has been a big deal for a long time, and you can taste the evolution at restaurants like this one.

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