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Considered a delicacy by many, scallops are known for their sweet flavor and tender texture. These bivalve mollusks—the same family as oysters, clams, and mussels—have an external covering that is a two-part hinged shell, which protects the soft-bodied invertebrate inside.

The shells have a beautiful fan shape covered in ridges. The adductor muscle within is responsible for opening and closing the shell, and that’s the sweet, succulent, edible part of the scallop.

This bivalve is versatile in the kitchen and can be prepared in many different ways, including grilling, sautéeing, baking, or serving it raw in ceviche or sushi. Scallops are often served with simple seasonings to highlight their natural taste, making them a popular choice among seafood enthusiasts.

Scallops can be fished for year-round, although late fall and winter is peak season. Most restaurants keep them on the menu, but they may go on and off due to availability. Dig into this tantalizing list of the best chain restaurant preparations for this sweet, delicate treat to enjoy scallops wherever you are.

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood

scallops at Eddie V's
Eddie V’s/Facebook

Nutrition:
Georges Bank Scallops (Per Order)
Calories: 460
Fat: 35 g (Saturated Fat: 19 g, Trans Fat: 1 g)
Sodium: 950 mg
Carbs: 10 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g)
Protein: 26 g

With more than 30 locations around the U.S., primarily in major cities, this established seafood chain delivers excellently prepared fish, and its scallops are no exception. Sourced from Georges Bank, the renowned North Atlantic fishing area, the scallops are served simply: sautéed with citrus fruit and Marcona almonds and topped with rich brown butter.

Barcelona Wine Bar

barcelona wine bar scallops
Barcelona Wine Bar/X

Nutrition information unavailable.

With locations in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., this tapas-focused wine bar is a growing chain that seafood lovers should add to their list. The menu is packed with rustic shareables, which include a small plate of scallops paired with sweet butternut squash and pepitas for a Spanish-inflected crunch.

Davio’s Italian Steakhouse

a plate of davio's scallops.
Davio’s/Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

This Italian-leaning steakhouse chain has locations in Georgia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. Known for its high-quality seafood and raw bar selection, the restaurant isn’t serving seafood as an afterthought. Its scallop entrée with sea scallops from Georges Bank is served over creamy corn and crispy parsnips for a hearty, lightly sweet meal.

Eventide Oyster Co.

scallop waffle-yaki at Eventide Oyster Co.
Eventide Oyster Co./Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

With locations in Boston and Portland, Maine, this seafood mini-chain is one of the best spots to enjoy remarkably fresh seafood on the East Coast. While the restaurant is best known for its amazing oyster selection, the scallop waffle-yaki is a must-try for fans of the sweet bivalve. You’ll find fresh, super soft, tender scallops sprinkled on top of a small waffle, alongside scallions, onions, bonito flakes, bacon, and an eel sauce with hints of teriyaki and ginger.

Jaleo

jaleo scallops
Jaleo / X

Nutrition information unavailable.

From famed chef José Andrés, this Spanish tapas restaurant has locations in Chicago, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Fla. There’s even an outpost in Dubai. On the fish and seafood menu, you’ll find the chef’s savory take on the bivalve, which sees the scallops lightly seared and served with a rich butternut squash purée that has been kissed with fresh orange and topped with toasted pumpkin seed for crunch.

Legal Sea Foods

legal sea foods scallops on a plate.
Legal Sea Foods / Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

What started as a family-owned fish market in Cambridge, Mass., is now a mid-size chain centered mostly in the Northeast. Legal Sea Foods focuses on fresh, sustainable seafood when selecting products to serve at its 25-plus locations. The chain has evolved from its early days serving classic New England-style fried seafood to grilled fish, sushi, and a beautiful plate of sweet scallops fished from the coast of Maine. They’re served with Tuscan kale, whipped sweet potatoes, pancetta, cranberry, and sweet potato hash for a hearty lunch or dinner.

McCormick & Schmick’s

McCormick & Schmick's scallop appetizer
McCormick & Schmick’s/Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

One of the top fine-dining seafood chains in the country, McCormick & Schmick’s 20-plus locations serve a starter that’s a unique take on the classic oysters Rockefeller, using scallops instead. The scallops are served in the shell with prawns and broiled with bacon, garlic aioli, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Nobu

nobu scallops arranged on a plate.
Nobu / Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

Sushi chef Nobu Matsuhisa teamed up with actor Robert De Niro in 1994 to turn his sushi restaurant into an empire, and today, the celeb-favorite spot has more than 50 restaurants worldwide. Scallops are often served broiled or seared. Preparing them raw, as they are here, brings a buttery, sweet revelation. One of Nobu’s signature dishes is the tiradito, a Peruvian take on sashimi, prepared with fresh scallops, yuzu, lemon juice, and chili.

Ocean Prime

ocean prime risotto scallops
Ocean Prime / Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

With a hearty selection of seafood and prime meats, Ocean Prime has locations from Beverly Hills to Kansas City to Boston (and lots of places in between). It’s a big favorite of sports stars and celebrities. For dinner, the restaurant offers a pairing of scallops and risotto. The risotto is prepared simply with English peas, and the dish gets a drizzle of citrus vinaigrette for an acidic punch.

Seamore’s

Seamore's scallops
Seamore’s/Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

With locations in Connecticut, New York, and Virginia, Seamore’s is a relative newcomer to the growing seafood chain business. Its operators are proudly committed to serving local, sustainably farmed fish. The restaurant offers classically prepared scallops that let the richness of the meat stand out. The scallops are seared and served with parsnip puree, caramelized leeks, and beurre blanc.



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