Best places to eat seafood like a local

Published 1:27 PM ET, Thu March 14, 2013
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Join vendors and tuna auctioneers from the neighboring Tsukiji Fish Market queuing up at dawn for a post-shift sushi breakfast at this 13-seat spot. You won't find fresher toro in all of Tokyo. 81-3/3547-6797. $$$ Courtesy Kaelyn Ong
Squeeze in amid the regulars at this outdoor fish stall—they're all devouring massive plates of perfectly steamed mussels. $$ Courtesy Noordzee / Mer du Nord
Northern Vietnam's signature seafood dish takes a star turn at this Old Quarter canteen. Firm white snakehead fish is marinated in galangal, shrimp paste, and turmeric, then sautéed at your table over a charcoal burner and served with vermicelli noodles, fish sauce, and a mountain of dill. $ Courtesy Brown Cannon III
Pleasure yachts from Capri and Positano drop anchor for lunch perched over the Mediterranean. The only thing fresher than the peppery wild arugula salad is the ricci (sea urchin) in the spaghetti. $$$ Courtesy Dan Costin
A chalkboard menu behind the counter tells you what's on offer (fish pies; grilled herring; a crab sandwich with chips) at this classic holiday spot. $$ Courtesy Jim Wileman / Alamy
On a tiny, car-free isle between Patmos and Bodrum, Turkey, this harborfront restaurant is a popular stop for the sailing crowd. Everything is impossibly fresh, from the crawfish sautéed in lemon oil to the creamy local goat cheese. $$ Courtesy Pantelis Marathi
Sabina Bandera has crafted complex and flavorful seafood cocktails and ceviches—pismo clam, sea urchin, octopus, mussels, and more—from her humble street stall for almost 40 years. Don't miss her house-made salsas. 52-646/174-2114. $ Courtesy Steve Kepple
Chic South Americans congregate amid the dunes for languorous midday meals that can last until dusk. Keep things simple with sea bass cooked over coals and a pitcher of clericó. $$$ Courtesy David Nicolas
At this family-run shack, tables in the sand are piled high with deep-fried red snapper and irresistible khoei jii (shrimp paste, crabmeat, coconut, and spices, roasted over a fire in a coconut husk). 66-77/420-010. $ Courtesy Andrea Fazzari
The oysters alone (from a farm up the road) are worth the hour-long drive from San Francisco to a dockside shanty on Tomales Bay. But a bowl of clam chowder feels particularly restorative on a foggy northern California day. $$ Courtesy Thayer Allyson Gowdy