By Kim Windyka

New England is known for many things: its unpredictable weather, its sports teams, and perhaps most of all, its incredible seafood. There’s no shortage of eateries that offer up fresh fare from the Atlantic, so how do you choose? Have a look at some of the region’s top spots to find great catches.

S&P Oyster Co (Mystic, CT)

Tucked into the beautiful Mystic seaport, S&P patrons enjoy gourmet dishes with five-star views. Tried-and-true favorites like seared scallops and jumbo lump crab cakes meet fully-loaded dishes like seafood bouillabaisse and lobster alfredo on the mouthwatering menu. In season, a patio provides the perfect setting to chat and chow down.

The Daily Catch (Boston, MA)

Combining traditional Italian cuisine with fresh seafood, this intimate, cash-only spot in the city’s North End gives diners the best of both worlds. You might have to endure a pretty lengthy line to snag a table during peak hours, but once you pick a dish out from the colorful and ever-changing chalkboard menu, the wait will be a distant memory.

Island Creek Oyster Bar (Boston, MA)

A farm-to-table fishery that opened in 2011, Island Creek quickly rocketed to the top of many of Boston’s hot lists. The restaurant focuses on locally-sourced food for brunch, lunch, and dinner, and the selection extends far beyond its namesake. If it’s oysters that you’re looking for, though, you’ll find an overwhelming variety of them at the chic raw bar.

Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier (Kittery Point, ME)

It’s no frills and big portions at this coastal favorite, popular with locals and tourists alike. Boasting a BYOB policy and waterfront picnic tables, its casual atmosphere is all part of its charm. Bring your appetite and dig into a full-on, family-style lobster bake, or keep it simple with some steamed clams, a bowl of chowder, or a crab roll as you breathe in the ocean air.

Surf Seafood (Portsmouth and Nashua, NH)

With two Granite State locations, Surf serves up super-fresh seafood along with an global flair — on the menu, you’ll see nods to Asia, Europe, and South America. Of course, fish and chips and classic fried seafood dinners are available as well. If you’re feeling adventurous, sidle up to the raw bar for oysters, shrimp cocktail, king crab, and ceviche, or get a little bit of everything with the sampler plate.

Image via Panoramio