New Survey Shows 33% People Prefer This Seafood At Restaurants

Unless you're a culinary land-lover when it comes to food sourcing, seafood likely makes its way onto your plate as often as possible. Double that surmisal if it means that someone else is cooking it for you. From fine dining to fast food, crab shacks, fish-camp hideouts, raw bars, and even cockle sheds, there's no shortage of venues sizzling, frying, or boiling-up aquatic palette pleasures.

That's why Tasting Table had no trouble scooping up the intel on which type of seafood diners prefer to order. Seafood aficionados aren't shy about digging in and dishing out opinions, after all. 

In a survey of 626 dine-out eaters, we got a pretty clear consensus on which marine morsel lands on the most restaurant plates. Here's a hint: It's definitely not cockles or mussels. Instead, seafood fans are tending to order something that is typically thought of as an appetizer option — but can be served in a number of different ways.

Crustaceans rule the plate

Those who like carving things into neat percentages will like this statistic: One-third of people responding to the Tasting Table survey prefer shrimp when eating out. At 33.39%, the curled-up crustacean is a clear favorite, no backbone required. Chefs have wide versatility in the kitchen, dishing out everything from piled-high fried-shrimp baskets to grill-fresh platters, Japanese stir fries, and steaming bowls of Cajun Etouffee.

If you thought another crustacean would claim the second survey spot, that didn't happen. But hang tight; Respondents lauded five seafood favorites in all, and the hard-shelled honeys do make another appearance. Meanwhile, swimming its way into second place is the ever-abundant fish. From wild-caught to farm-raised, saltwater, or freshwater, fish is the preferred restaurant seafood among 29.07% of surveyed diners. Of the 626 study participants, 182 chose fish. The study didn't differentiate between species, but it likely netted favorites across the fishy spectrum, whether salmon, trout, cod, halibut, or even the humble bottom-feeding catfish.

Rounding off the list of preferred restaurant seafoods are lobsters, crabs, and oysters, with lobster claiming 18.05% and crab clutching the heartstrings of 15.18%. As for the oyster, that landed in fifth place, garnering just 4.31% of the vote.

So, it's all on the table now: According to the Tasting Table survey, most people prefer shrimp when dining out.