Seafood lovers rejoice—and get ready to impress your friends! A seafood platter is the perfect dish for any end-of-summer party, with all the wow factor of a culinary masterpiece and requiring almost none of the work. 

In fact, it’s perfect for almost any party at almost any time of year. Whether you’re planning a special dinner, a weekend get-together, or just craving a taste of the sea, a seafood platter is a fantastic choice. At N.C. Seafood Restaurant in Raleigh, we’ve been preparing the finest platters in town for 30 years, so we know just what it takes to bring the best to the table. 

seafood platter in Raleigh NC

Seafood Platter Ideas

Classic Seafood Platter

The classic seafood platter is a true crowd-pleaser. It typically includes an array of freshly shucked oysters, succulent steamed or chilled shrimp, tender crab legs, and a selection of dipping sauces such as tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, and mignonette. The key to a fantastic classic seafood platter is the freshness of the seafood, so make sure to carefully source and store what you buy. Serve it on a bed of crushed ice for an elegant touch.

Mediterranean Seafood Platter

Transport your taste buds to the Mediterranean with a mezze-inspired seafood platter. This Mediterranean twist includes items like grilled calamari with lemon and herbs, marinated mussels, anchovies, and tzatziki sauce for dipping. Add some warm pita bread and olives for a delightful Mediterranean feast.

Sushi and Sashimi Platter

For those who appreciate the delicate art of Japanese cuisine, a sushi and sashimi platter is a sushi lover’s dream come true. Include an assortment of fresh sashimi slices and sushi rolls with various fillings. Don’t forget the pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce for an authentic experience.

New England Lobster Bake

If you’re looking for a taste of New England, consider a lobster bake seafood platter. This hearty and rustic dish features lobster, clams, mussels, and corn on the cob, all cooked together in a flavorful broth with spices and herbs. Serve it with drawn butter and crusty bread for a memorable feast.

Cajun Seafood Boil

Spice up your seafood platter with a Cajun seafood boil. This Southern-inspired dish typically includes crawfish, shrimp, crab, and potatoes boiled in a flavorful blend of Cajun spices. Serve it on a communal table covered with newspapers, and let your guests dig in with their hands for a fun and interactive dining experience.

Grilled Seafood Platter

For a healthier twist on a seafood platter, consider grilling your seafood. Include items like grilled salmon, swordfish, shrimp skewers, and even grilled oysters with a garlic butter topping. The smoky flavor from the grill adds a unique dimension to the seafood’s taste.

Best Seafood Platter Sides

Yes, the seafood will be the star of the show, but everyone could use a good accompaniment to really shine. Here are some of the best go-to seafood platter side dishes. 


A light and refreshing salad can be the ideal companion to a seafood platter. The crispness of fresh greens, combined with a zesty vinaigrette, provides a perfect contrast to the rich and often buttery nature of seafood dishes. Consider a classic Caesar salad with its creamy dressing and Parmesan cheese or a simple arugula salad with lemon and olive oil for a more straightforward accompaniment.

Garlic Butter Rice

A serving of garlic butter rice or a creamy risotto can add a touch of indulgence to your seafood platter. The buttery goodness of the rice enhances the flavors of the seafood without overpowering them, while the garlic infusion adds an extra layer of complexity, making it a perfect side dish for lobster tails or crab legs.

Grilled Vegetables

For a side that’s as healthy as it is delicious, consider adding some of your favorite grilled veggies to the mix. We recommend asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, and yellow squash. Add a drizzle of lemon juice and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, and you’ve got a dish that takes your seafood platter to the next level.

Crusty Bread or French Baguette

Don’t underestimate the power of a good bread basket. A crusty baguette or some warm rolls can serve as the perfect vessel for sopping up delicious seafood sauces and juices. It’s an ideal choice when you have saucy dishes like cioppino or bouillabaisse on your seafood platter.


It’s a classic for a reason: A creamy coleslaw with its tangy and slightly sweet dressing can provide a refreshing contrast to fried or grilled seafood. The crispness of the cabbage and the touch of acidity can cut through the richness of fried fish or shrimp, making it a classic choice for seafood lovers.

Nutritional Benefits of a Seafood Platter

Beyond its delicious taste, a seafood platter also offers a ton of health benefits that make it a powerhouse of both taste and nutrition. 


Seafood is renowned for being an excellent source of high-quality protein. A seafood platter typically includes a mix of fish and shellfish, such as shrimp, crab, mussels, and various fish varieties like salmon, tuna, and cod. This diverse selection ensures you receive a well-rounded dose of protein, essential for muscle growth, tissue repair, and overall body function.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Many fish and shellfish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, particularly long-chain omega-3s like EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These essential fatty acids play a vital role in maintaining heart health, reducing inflammation, and supporting brain function. They have even been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline.

Vitamins and Minerals

Seafood platters offer a wealth of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, vitamin B12, iodine, and selenium. Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and overall well-being, while vitamin B12 supports nerve function and helps prevent anemia. Iodine is essential for thyroid health, and selenium acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage.

Heart Health

Seafood is generally low in saturated fat compared to many other animal-based protein sources and is low in unhealthy trans fats. While some seafood, like shrimp, does contain cholesterol, it is important to note that dietary cholesterol has a much smaller impact on blood cholesterol levels than saturated fat. Seafood can be part of a heart-healthy diet when consumed in moderation.

Regular consumption of seafood has even been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 fatty acids in seafood can help lower triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, and prevent the formation of blood clots, all of which contribute to a healthier heart.

Brain Benefits

Those same omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood are not only beneficial for heart health but also for brain function. They are known to support cognitive function and memory and may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Including seafood in your diet may help maintain mental clarity and sharpness as you age.

Visit NC Seafood for Raleigh’s Finest Seafood Platters

Seafood platters are a delicious and fun dish to prepare for any night with friends and family. Experiment with flavors, textures, and cultural influences to create a seafood platter that will leave a lasting impression on your guests and satisfy your seafood cravings.

If you’re feeling more like dining out, you can still find the best seafood platters when you come to N.C. Seafood Restaurant. Our Calabash-style seafood can be ordered a la carte, or as part of a combo plate where you can try some of everything. Visit us at the Raleigh Farmers Market and build your perfect platter!

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