Shrimp cocktail is a simple but iconic appetizer. A well-made rendition usually involves just three things: fresh jumbo shrimp (which is cooked, peeled, and chilled), lemon wedges, and a side of horseradish-infused cocktail sauce for dipping. It's a straightforward dish that proves a recipe doesn't have to be complicated to be delicious.
Although often associated with seafood restaurants, the popular dish shows up on high-end steakhouse menus, too, making it even easier to get your hands on one. According to Culture Trip, shrimp cocktail hit peak popularity from the mid-1960s through the late 1980s when it appeared at wedding breakfasts and cocktail parties. The history of shrimp cocktail is a bit murky, but the dish likely dates back to the early 1900s and has Prohibition-era ties, according to various reports.
For those times when a store-bought shrimp cocktail won't cut it and you don't want to devein shrimp all day, ordering shrimp cocktail at a respectable restaurant is your best bet. From high-end seafood restaurants to famous steakhouses, these 10 restaurant chains serve the best shrimp cocktail.
Ocean Prime is known for its high-quality seafood, so it's no surprise that the upscale restaurant chain has a wonderful jumbo shrimp cocktail as part of its lunch and dinner menus. This appetizer, which features four extra-large shrimp, is served chilled over dry ice and garnished with fresh lemon wedges. "We had shrimp cocktail (4 jumbo) served on dry ice — delicious," stated one Yelp reviewer.
Opened in 2008 by Cameron Mitchell Restaurants in Michigan, Ocean Prime now has around 20 locations in cities including Boston, Chicago, New York, Beverly Hills, Calif., and Orlando, Fla.
Eddie V's Prime Seafood
Check out Eddie V's Prime Seafood if you're in the mood for a shrimp cocktail with some zing. The popular chain, which started more than two decades ago in Austin, Texas, makes its version of the appetizer with four large wild Gulf shrimp served with Atomic Horseradish and spicy mustard. Order it before digging into one of the chain's perfectly prepared filet mignons or bone-in ribeyes for a memorable meal.
Legal Sea Foods
You must try the colossal naked shrimp cocktail at Legal Sea Foods—it's made to order using pure, natural ingredients. The hearty dish is whipped up with sweet, white shrimp that are cooked, peeled, deveined, and plated. The shrimp are four-star Best Aquaculture Practices-certified. Each order also comes with the restaurant's signature cocktail sauce on the side. If you don't live near a Legal Sea Foods location, don't fret; the appetizer can be ordered via shipping on the brand's site.
Legal Sea Foods has roots in seafood dating to the 1950s when its first restaurant opened in 1968 next to its famous fish market. Besides shrimp cocktail, the brand's other offerings include New England clam chowder, lobster bisque, and stuffed lobster tails.
McCormick & Schmick's
Make McCormick & Shmick's your go-to for shrimp cocktail whenever the craving strikes. Founded in the 1970s, McCormick & Schmick's is known as one of the best spots to enjoy high-quality seafood, steaks, and oysters in a sleek dining room. Besides food, the upscale chain is lauded for its award-winning happy hour.
At McCormick & Schmick's, the wild jumbo shrimp cocktail is a standout menu item, and it's served with fresh lemon wedges and tangy horseradish cocktail sauce. "My appetizer was shrimp cocktail and tuna poke," posted one TripAdvisor user. "Both fresh and delicious."
Truluck's Ocean's Finest Seafood & Crab
Truluck's is a highly regarded seafood chain. Started in 1992, the restaurant uses high-quality sustainable seafood in every recipe, with each fish's origin listed on the menu. Truluck's also never serves endangered or overfished species and follows the Ocean Conservancy guide.
Its shrimp cocktail is a favorite among many restaurant goers. Yelp reviewers have described the dish as "fantastic," "excellent," and "incredible." Truluck's version of the appetizer is made with jumbo shrimp and is served with cocktail sauce on the side.
The Capital Grille
The Capital Grille may be one of the most famous U.S. steakhouse chains, but it also makes an excellent shrimp cocktail. Capital Grille's rendition is prepared using chilled jumbo shrimp and is plated with spicy, housemade cocktail sauce. "I had the shrimp cocktail to start, and the 5 shrimp were fresh, tasty, and large, served on a nice bed of ice," one Yelp reviewer shared.
The Capital Grille has more than 60 locations around the United States. Beyond excellent food, the chain is also known for its restaurant's eye-catching architecture. For instance, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright inspired the Scottsdale location, while the chain's Seattle spot was built in the city's historic beaux arts style Cobb Building.
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is another steakhouse chain that serves top-notch shrimp cocktail. Available on the restaurant's menu under raw and chilled appetizers, the shrimp cocktail at Fleming's features jumbo-sized shrimp served with horseradish cocktail sauce.
"In town for a business meeting and stopped in for dinner," posted one Tripadvisor reviewer. "I had shrimp cocktail and the wedge salad with a glass of red wine. It was the best shrimp cocktail that I have ever had. Large shrimp but very tasty."
Stop by one of The Palm locations to enjoy a delicious shrimp cocktail in a swanky, upscale setting. The chilled dish is prepared using jumbo shrimp and served with zesty horseradish sauce and lemon wedges. If you're in the mood for seafood and want to go all out, you can also order the restaurant's Seafood Plateau appetizer, which comes with oysters on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, fresh tuna and seafood salad, jumbo lump crab, lobster, and more.
The dishes, the drinks, the ambiance—what's not to love about renowned steakhouse BLT Prime? The famous restaurant, unmatched when it comes to serving contemporary steakhouse dishes, has a shrimp cocktail appetizer on its menu that you must give a go. Made with jumbo shrimp and served with cocktail sauce, it is an excellent prelude to a filet mignon or New York strip steak. Other enticing options on the menu include the lobster Cobb salad, served with pancetta and a soft egg, and the creamed spinach, made with a dash of nutmeg.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse
It doesn't get any better than Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse. The award-winning steakhouse has a shrimp cocktail with an unexpected edge. This restaurant chain's version of the popular seafood appetizer is served with cocktail sauce and an out-of-this-world spicy miso mustard sauce.
One Yelp reviewer shared that these "huge" pieces of shrimp are "chilled to the perfect texture" with a "nice snap in each bite." Another reviewer posted, "Blue cheese lettuce wedge and shrimp cocktail to die for. Forget your budget for one night. This is the world-class steak that should be on your bucket list."