5 Countries for Seafood Lovers

by Mark Wiens on January 2, 2013 · 7 comments

Fish market in Sri Lanka

Fish market in Sri Lanka

There are 153 countries in the world that have a coastline, and nearly every culture that lives along the ocean includes some form of seafood in their diet.

Seafood is a crucial source of protein and nutrients for many people around the world.

So where should you travel if you are in search of a scrumptious seafood feast?

Now that’s a tough question (with many answers), but listed below are five countries where I’ve enjoyed some seriously fresh and delicious seafood meals.

This is by all means not an exclusive top seafood country list – these are merely places I’ve visited and eaten awesome seafood.

If you have a different country you’d like to highlight for its bounty of seafood, I would love to hear your recommendation in a comment below.

1. Sri Lanka

Known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a tear drop shaped island located just south of India. Surrounded by sea, you can bet Sri Lanka catches some high quality creatures.

One of the first places I visited in the country was a small town north of Colombo known as Negombo.

The town is well-known for its Dutch fort and Portuguese influence, as well its ancient fishing port. The local fish market was a joy to visit and included some amazingly fresh and good-looking fish.

Jaffna, located on the northern tip of the country, was another place where I discovered great seafood. My favorite dish was the carmelized prawns from Hotel Rolex.

Grilled stingray in Malaysia

Grilled stingray in Malaysia

2. Malaysia

Consisting of mainland peninsular Malaysia and two regions on the island of Borneo, seafood plays a major part in Malaysian cuisine.

I admired some of the freshest and most attractive seafood I’ve ever seen at the Kota Kinabalu night market.

The best part about the market was that there were a series of stalls all serving a marvelous selection of the fresh catch marinated, grilled, and ready to be eaten.

Mainland Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur also offer a fabulous selection of seafood cooked into exquisite dishes.

Chilean seafood platter

Chilean seafood platter

3. Chile

One weekend I decided to take a trip from Santiago to the coastal port city of Valparaiso – a city praised for its seafood.

On my first day I went out to search for a seafood packed meal and found a small restaurant right along the water’s edge with a wonderful view.

Though it wasn’t the cheapest meal I’ve ever eaten, the mixed seafood plate was what caught my eye, and there was nothing I could do but order it. It was everything I had hoped for – fresh seafood, cooked perfectly.

Coconut fish curry in Tanzania

Coconut fish curry in Tanzania

4. Tanzania

Whenever I visit Tanzania, I head straight to the Dar Es Salaam fish market to stock up on prawns, crab, and fish.

Every morning, starting before sunrise, fishing boats dock at the market. Thousands of both business owners and individuals come to bid for the finest seafood and scoop up the great deals. Everything is fresh and tempting!

Just off the coast of Tanzania is Zanzibar, an island where seafood is never far away. One of my favorite things to eat in Zanzibar is either fish in coconut curry or fish biryani.

Japanese food

Japanese food

5. Japan

Japan is the only country on this list that I have yet to step foot in.

However, I have eaten many Japanese feasts in my life, have read and watched many books and videos about Japanese food, and have many friends who have visited the country; I can say with faithful certainty that Japan is by all means one of the ultimate destinations to visit as a seafood lover.

Tsukiji Market, the world’s largest fish market, is a place where nearly all things that teem in the sea can be found. Seafood is not only something to eat in Japan, but it’s a cherished part of culture and form of art. When I visit Japan in the future, seafood will be my priority (if I can afford it).

So there you have 5 of my favorite countries for seafood. I’ve heard Portugal and Spain have a nice catch, as does Mexico, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and countless others.

What is your favorite country for seafood?

About the Author:

is the author of 154 posts on Go Backpacking.

Mark was raised in central Africa before migrating back to the US for University. After graduating, he decided to continue traveling the world. On Migrationology, he shares the cultural side of travel from a slow paced local perspective that often revolves around his love for eating all forms of food. Join him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @migrationology, and add him on Google Plus.

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7 Comments

Anita Mac January 4, 2013 at 10:32 am

While not as exotic as the seafood I tried in Valparaiso, I couldn’t get enough of the seafood in Basque Spain – spent a week dining and cooking in San Sebastian. Wow – the flavours were out of this world. Got my hands dirty de-inking squid and loved the melt in your mouth goodness of the black ink sauce we made for our fish stew. Highly recommendable!

Reply

Dave January 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I almost went to the north of Spain at the end of 2012, but ran out of time. Looking forward to getting back see more of the country.

Reply

Carlos January 12, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Japan is a haven of seafood! Fishing is a key industry and the people love seafood. I’ve been there once and I love their sushi.

Reply

Mike January 14, 2013 at 9:56 am

i really love Japanese foods..and seafoods from Japan? that’s a great deal!

Reply

Hugh January 14, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I believe the Caribbean offer some great seafood cuisines. I have tried some very unique and tasty seafood cuisines in Jamaica.

Reply

Stephen August 13, 2013 at 9:06 am

Nice list! South Korea and Spain are my favorite seafood countries!

Reply

Francisco Jose Campelo Magalhaes February 8, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Portugal have the best fish in the world

Reply

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