Uruguay has a global reputation for its beef and meats, so its seafood often gets overlooked. Being a nation that hugs the coast, its waters are brimming with fish of all shapes and sizes that make their way to your plate fresh from the sea. Uruguay also has different cooking styles and influences in their preparation of fish, from Peruvian and Japanese, to Mediterranean and Spanish. Check out this list of restaurants where you can find the best seafood in Uruguay.
Restaurant, Fusion, Seafood, South American, Spanish, $$$
Es Mercat is an incredible restaurant with character as high as their quality. Many would contend that Es Mercat is one of the finest seafood restaurants in Latin America and they wouldn’t be far wrong! Only a few blocks away from the biggest port in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, the fish are fresher than they’ll ever be when the chefs get them. Its fish of the day special is a certain treat, but there are always other wonderful options like paella, shrimp linguini, and corvina negra.
This restaurant is very popular in Uruguay for its sushi and Mediterranean cuisine. It is elegant and serves only high-quality ingredients prepared exquisitely. Each meal is presented like a work of art with a fantastic selection of wines and cocktails. You won’t be able to resist their rich desserts if you see one as it passes to another table.
‘The Old Man and The Sea’ is named after the novel by Ernest Hemingway and it’s a fantastic place for all things from the ocean. The location is along the coastal promenade of Montevideo, with wide open windows for you to enjoy a full view of the sea while you eat. The building is rustic and has a spacious outdoor seating area in a grassy garden where you’re surrounded by vegetation.
In the lively city of Punta del Este, this restaurant prides itself on its authentic Basque cuisine. The covered exterior is white-washed wooden planks, giving it a nautical atmosphere. Inside there are exposed bricks and wooden beams that enhance an intimate ambiance. Leonardo Etxea serves abundant portions of its wonderful paellas, mussels, and shrimp.
La Marea is in an ideal location along the coastal promenade of Punta del Este where you can watch the gentle lapping waves rush up the beach while you enjoy an array of succulent seafood dishes. For the more adventurous diners their salted octopus is a treat, but for those who don’t like getting their feet too wet there is plenty of scampi, grilled salmon, and fish and chips to go around.
Close to Punta del Este, in José Ignacio, La Huella is definitely worth a visit. This restaurant is found right on the beach so it’s perfect for those who like to eat in the sea breeze. It has a rustic fisherman’s shack atmosphere, but retains all class and quality where it matters: on the plates! There is plenty to choose from, like their grilled corvina or prawn risotto.
Picasso is in one of Uruguay’s lesser known coastal cities, Piriapolis. It is a testament to traditional Uruguayan dining that serves authentic fish, calamari, scampi, and more in a warm environment. Its gardens are a wonder when the flowers are in bloom, and inside the walls are covered in various paintings and pictures. You’re guaranteed to feel like you’re at home.
When you walk through the doors of La Pedrera’s iconic La Pe seafood restaurant you know you’re in for a treat. The walls are overrun with foliage, as if the vines and trees are trying to reclaim the building. This wonderful restaurant transports you to a magical world whether it’s in the gardens or in one of its many beautifully stylized rooms. You can enjoy fish empanadas, seafood salads, and grilled salmon, among others. La Pe surpasses all expectations and is the perfect place to visit, even if you just want to sit at their cocktail bar and soak in the atmosphere.