Seasonal Seafood: A Comprehensive Guide on What to Eat When

Seasonal Seafood: A Comprehensive Guide on What to Eat When

Suffolk, Virginia, with its prime location near the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, offers a bountiful array of seafood that changes with the seasons. Every seafood restaurant in Suffolk VA offers the freshest of seafood delicacies. Knowing what seafood is in season not only ensures the freshest and most flavorful dining experience but also supports sustainable fishing practices. Here’s an elaborate guide on what seafood to enjoy during each season in Suffolk, Virginia.

Spring: A Fresh Start

As the waters warm up, spring brings a delightful variety of seafood that marks the beginning of the fishing season.

  • Oysters: While oysters are often enjoyed year-round, spring is a great time for these briny delights. The colder waters of early spring yield oysters with a clean, crisp taste.
  • Shad and Shad Roe: Spring is prime time for Shad, a fish that migrates from the ocean to rivers to spawn. Shad roe, the fish’s egg sac, is a delicacy often sautéed with butter and herbs.
  • Blue Crab: As the weather warms, blue crabs become more active. Soft-shell crabs, which are blue crabs that have recently molted their hard shell, are particularly sought after in spring for their tender meat.

Summer: A Seafood Feast

Summer is a peak season for seafood lovers in Suffolk, with a plethora of fresh catches available.

  • Blue Crab: Summer is synonymous with blue crab feasts. Steamed crabs seasoned with Old Bay and served with melted butter or vinegar are a local favorite.
  • Flounder: This mild, white-fleshed fish is abundant in the summer months. Flounder is versatile and can be baked, grilled, or fried.
  • Clams: Both hard-shell and soft-shell clams are in season during the summer. Enjoy them steamed, in chowders, or grilled.
  • Mahi-Mahi: Known for its firm texture and slightly sweet flavor, mahi-mahi is perfect for grilling and makes for a light, refreshing summer meal.
  • Scallops: Sweet and succulent, scallops are at their best in the summer. They can be seared to perfection or enjoyed raw as sashimi.

Fall: A Bounty of Flavor

Fall brings a new wave of seafood, offering rich flavors and hearty meals.

  • Oysters: The “R” months (September to April) are traditionally considered the best time for oysters, as they are plump and flavorful during the cooler months. Most private event restaurants near me offer oysters all season round.
  • Striped Bass: Also known as rockfish, striped bass is abundant in the fall. Its firm, white flesh makes it ideal for grilling or baking.
  • Shrimp: Fall marks the season for plump, juicy shrimp. Whether boiled, grilled, or sautéed, shrimp is a versatile seafood option.
  • Tuna: Tuna, particularly yellowfin, is in season during the fall. Its meaty texture and rich flavor make it perfect for steaks or sashimi.
  • King Mackerel: Known for its rich flavor and high oil content, king mackerel is excellent for smoking or grilling.

Winter: Rich and Robust

Winter’s cooler temperatures bring in some of the most flavorful seafood of the year.

  • Oysters: Winter oysters are at their peak, offering a rich, briny taste that’s perfect for raw consumption or baked dishes.
  • Rockfish (Striped Bass): Rockfish continues to be a winter staple, providing a hearty option for cold-weather meals.
  • Spiny Lobster: While not as common as Maine lobster, spiny lobster can be found during the winter months and is a treat for lobster lovers.
  • Crab: Winter is an excellent time for harvesting stone crabs and Dungeness crabs, which offer sweet, tender meat.


Understanding the seasonality of seafood ensures that you enjoy the freshest and most flavorful dishes while also supporting sustainable fishing practices. In Suffolk, Virginia, each season brings its unique bounty, allowing seafood lovers to savor a variety of tastes and textures throughout the year. So, whether you’re dining out at a local seafood restaurant or cooking up a storm at home, keep this guide handy to make the most of Suffolk’s rich seafood offerings. Embrace the seasons and enjoy the culinary treasures that the waters of Suffolk have to offer!…

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