Why It's A Good Idea To Order Local Fish At A Seafood Restaurant

When dining at any restaurant that is known for serving seafood dishes, ask your server for what is local. Ingredients that have been caught or farmed in the region carry benefits not only for diners but also for the restaurants, chefs, and local business owners involved with preparing your dish. Whether feasting on lobster from Maine or enjoying red snapper caught along the coast of Florida, locally sourced produce has a significantly shorter distance to travel before being prepared and set onto your plate. Fresher seafood means better-tasting dishes and a reduced likelihood of illness from improperly kept products. Plus, an abbreviated supply chain translates into a much simpler line tracing exactly where your proteins came from; so the fish will be fresh as it enters the kitchen doors of the restaurant.

Local dishes also mean special knowledge from those who are familiar with working with local produce. These chefs are well-versed in the tastes and textures of ingredients caught and harvested regionally. As a result, their menus will reflect perfected cooking approaches and recipes to match whatever ingredients are in season

When your dinner benefits the community

Think about your seafood order as a direct investment in the local economy. Money spent on locally sourced dishes helps support not only the restaurant but also local fish houses, farmers, captains, and distributors involved in moving fish out of the water, into the kitchen, and onto your place. Restaurants often have meaningful relationships established with local fisheries, so your culinary choices have a significant ripple effect — not simply within the restaurant itself but throughout the community. 

Without needing to fly fish in from other parts of the world, supporting local seafood businesses results in a lower carbon footprint. Fewer middlemen and brokers are involved with the sales and movement of the fish, translating into more money for those putting the actual labor and time in to ensure your steaming bowl of cioppino is as fresh and as flavorsome as possible. As tempting as it might be to ask for the salmon special, learn what is local before deciding on your meal order.