Ten places to try fish and seafood
Luxembourg may be landlocked but there are some pretty good fish and seafood restaurants within its borders, where you can sample an array of dishes, seafood platters, grilled prawns aplenty, oysters, and a local favourite, friture de la Moselle, plus places to buy fresh fish if you fancy preparing something at home.
OpusMer and Mar – the biggest selection
Head to the capital of culture, Esch, for what some reviewers say are seafood platters beyond compare at this fish and grill. It’s not a place to cosy up as the décor is fairly basic and bland, but you’re here for the food. Try clams with white wine and garlic, lobster, rice with monkfish, seafood paella, octopus cataplana (a special metal tagine dish used in Portugal for cooking seafood), bacalao, skewers with monkfish, prawns and octopus, or a hearty fish stew.
Sister establishment Mar, tucked away in Rollingergrund at the foot of the hill rising to Limpertsberg, is definitely more high-brow with brown leather chairs and wooden tables, and a nicely appointed summer terrace. The range of seafood isn’t as mind-boggling as at the Esch establishment, but you can still try out grilled octopus with garlic oil, fried wild prawns, or scampi in whisky, and grilled tuna steak. They also have seafood and fish rice dishes, and several traditional Portuguese cod dishes.
Lisboa II – the home of bacalao
Lisboa II is enormous, and yet its size does not mean bad service, on the contrary, the waiting staff can’t do enough to make sure you feel welcome. This Bonnevoie favourite serves up its signature bacalao dishes which come in nine varieties. But the extensive fish and seafood menu also offers flambéed shrimp, grilled octopus, fish stew and cassoulet, sea bream, salmon, and even friture. There is literally something for everyone, and if you don’t like fish, there are vegetarian and meat options, plus a kids’ menu too.
Brasserie Guillaume – high-class seafood platters
High-class city favourite, styled like a French brasserie, with a staggering selection of seafood options from oysters, to lobsters, to scallops. It’s an eye-watering €149 for the biggest seafood platter but you’ll get a mouth-watering selection including an entire lobster, a crab, langoustines, clams, prawns, oysters and mussels.
Cheaper platters incorporate a mix of either crab, prawn and langoustine, or oysters, scallops, mussels and prawns. If you’re on a tighter budget you can opt for sardines, or a tuna or salmon tartar. The prices are worth it for the lovely city location, especially a seat on their summer terrace, and it's definitely a great place to celebrate a special occasion.
Amarine – the oyster king
Tuck into four types of oyster delivered fresh daily from the coast, at this Kirchberg establishment. You can start with a sharing platter of fried prawns or squid, or even a few oysters, and some smoked salmon. Mains include all of these but the “tête-à-tête” sharing platter for €65 includes 12 oysters of two different varieties, two half crabs, four langoustine and several types of prawn or shrimp. Other platters include lobster.
Amarine also has a host of classic French seafood recipes and can go one step further by delivering the fish for you. They have smoked fish prepared on site and sliced by hand, and a catch of the day. You can also order tailor-made seafood platters with lobster and oysters, or try some caviar.
Restaurant La Gamba/ Chez Bacano – prawns in all their glory
If you are a lover of prawns, then look no further than three Portuguese places that offer amazing grilled prawns as their signature dish.
Clausen-based Chez Bacano offers tempura scampi for a starter but serious scampi lovers should try their flambéed platter which comes in Royal or Classic styles and the most giant prawns (forget tiger, these are elephant size). You can also get scampi nuggets or bacalao.
Bonnevoie-based Restaurant La Gamba, has prawns sautéed in garlic, and you can try grilled monkfish, pan-fried cod, octopus, and the seafood platter. The mixed fish grill for two people has lobster, prawns, monkfish, squid and salmon, whilst the paella for two comes with either seafood or vegetarian options. The secret’s in the sauce, and you can buy jars of their garlic sauce in normal or hot varieties.
Chez Isabelle Bacano in Hesperange also serves up juicy tiger prawns butterfly style, and in this case on fire – flambéed at your table.
Koeppchen – traditional friture de la Moselle
Overlooking the Moselle on a hilltop at the edge of Wormeldange, Koeppchen has been serving up its unique “friture de la Moselle” (fish fried in a batter made with Riesling) since 1907. You can dine inside with candlelight or take a seat on the sunny terrace on a Sunday afternoon.
Start with fried smelt (smaller fish) or try the larger fried freshwater variety or some grilled sea bream as a main. If your dinner guests don’t care much for fish, then there are plenty of vegetarian and meat options on the menu, and Luxembourgish specialities such as kniddelen with bacon, or sausage served with mustard. Needless to say, given the location, there’s a good selection of local Moselle wines to wash it down with.
Not dedicated to seafood as whole-heartedly as most of the restaurants above, but worth a mention.
In addition to the funky tribal style deco and wicker chairs, Batacuda’s menu includes flambéed tiger prawns, and a fish festival dish with sea bream, prawns, plus rice and lobster in wine sauce, and several grilled dishes including squid, octopus and prawns.
Buy fresh fish or seafood platters
In addition to Amarine’s online offering for ready made seafood platters, head to Kraken on rue de Strasbourg in the Gare district for fresh fish. Managed by Thym & Citron grocery store opposite, the fish comes from the Rungis market on the outskirts of Paris. You can pick up a selection of fish, prepared seafood platters and fresh sushi.
The Poissonerie Arctic in Sandweiler has been shipping in fresh fish since 1994, and stocks frozen varieties too, including shellfish, seafood, fish and ready made dishes. Environmentally conscientious they even have a list of fish by season here. Who knew anchovy and tuna season is in the summer months, whilst shrimp, cod and hake season is in spring?
Check out our article on local fish dishes for more recipes.