Seafood 101:
What Seafood Is Not Fish?

When we think of seafood, our thoughts tend to go mainly to fish, especially with so many delicious options. Seafood is so much more than just fish, however. It’s technically defined as any non-mammal that comes from the ocean that humans deem to be food. This description opens us up to new experiences outside the bounds of typical fish preparations. Presumptions and generalizations about seafood are holding you back from delicious and exciting new cuisine that’s waiting for you to enjoy.

View our menu to see the range of fish and non-fish dishes offered at Aqua Seafood & Caviar Restaurant.ood & Caviar Restaurant.

Think you hate all seafood? It might be time to think again. There simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to the flavor stories seafood has to offer. While you may be turned off by fishy tastes and fishy smells, this isn’t the case for all seafood.

One of the best ways to explore new types of cuisine is to get out and explore new restaurants. There is no shortage of wonderful seafood-specific restaurants on the Strip willing you to come to visit. They offer meals beyond the scope of traditional fish-based entrees, and it’s time to learn more about what’s in store.

What type of seafood is not considered to be a fish?

So what types of seafood aren’t actually classified as fish? Some you might already know, but others might surprise you. While certain varieties of seafood are grouped together by their similarities, each has its own distinct and interesting taste that makes it unique. The following are non-fish seafood that can allow you to branch out and expand your flavor palette.

Lobster, Crab, and Shrimp

  • All members of the crustacean class with the distinguishing feature of their hard, shell-like exteriors.
  • They have a meatier texture than many other kinds of seafood.
  • Lobster is quite tender, and when steamed, it has a uniquely sweet taste.
  • Crab has a distinct flavor that is pleasantly sweet and aromatic.
  • Shrimp is incredibly versatile and pairs well with seemingly limitless types of dishes.
  • These are arguably the most popular, widely-enjoyed non-fish seafood options.

Oysters, Mussels, Clams, and Scallops

  • All of these non-fish friends are classified as mollusks and known for their external, hinged shells.
  • None of these should have a harsh fishy taste or fishy smell when they’re being served.
  • Properly prepared mollusks have a very subtle fish flavor, which could help introduce to and acquaint you with the taste of fish.
  • Mollusks are known to taste distinctly like the ocean and be quite salty.
  • Scallops stand out by being sweet and buttery, and they also very easily take on the flavors of the food they are paired with.

Squid and Octopus

  • These are actually close cousins to the mollusks, and they are known as cephalopods.
  • Can be tricky to prepare, but incredibly delicious when done right.
  • When cooked properly, squid can have a sweet taste, almost comparable to shrimp.
  • Octopus is known for being sweet and salty.
  • There are many misconceptions about squid and octopus, and many people make hasty judgments about how they think it will taste.
  • When properly prepared, they are not fishy, tough, or rubbery.


  • Caviar has a slightly fishier taste than any of the aforementioned varieties, but it’s mostly known for its saltiness and its crunch.
  • Caviar is commonly served as an hors d’oeuvres.
  • Its unmistakable oceanic flavor is followed by a richness that most people find surprising.
  • It is incredibly nutritious and is known to be packed with vitamins and omegas.
  • Caviar is intended to be savored and eaten slowly, giving you a chance to process all the flavors you’re experiencing.

Best Non-Fish Seafood to Eat and How to Eat Them

Some of the best and most intricate flavor profiles come from seafood that is not classified as fish. While these can be outside of your ‘normal’ choices, it doesn’t make them any less delicious. In fact, many seafood dishes that are considered uncommon in western restaurants are delicacies in other cultures.

The best part about non-fish seafood is how versatile it can be; there’s no limit to flavors, textures, and preparations. Seafood can be incorporated into any style of food that you can imagine. Culturally, seafood is utilized in incredible ways all around the world.

Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Indian, and Vietnamese are just a few of the incredible cultures that bring seafood into their cuisine to make magical dishes. Thankfully, you can find a  seafood restaurant in Las Vegas that specializes in almost any nationality of cuisine that intrigues you.

Eating seafood doesn’t mean you have to settle for a boring plate of grilled fish. There are so many gorgeous, colorful, and delicious variations out there when it comes to seafood dinners: lobster ravioli, seafood boils, calamari salad, cioppino, Singapore chili crab, paella, shrimp pad thai – the list of options is almost endless.

What is the best fish to try if you don’t like seafood?

If you’re interested in giving seafood a try but are not ready for a big, bold step, you can still find something to love. Texture and smell are two of the most significant factors, beyond taste, when it comes to determining if you like a certain food. These are also two of the most common reasons why some people don’t like specific types of seafood.

Some of the most beloved non-fish seafood options are lobster and shrimp. While they do have a distinctly oceanic flavor, they also have tender meat with a sweet and buttery taste. It’s common to see restaurants offering surf n’ turf options like a sirloin and shrimp combination. This is because these beloved seafood flavors are versatile but can also stand on their own. 

What about some recommendations for actual fish? Salmon is one highly versatile type of fish that is beloved, even by people who aren’t seafood lovers. It has a mild taste that takes on surrounding flavors easily, meaning it can be paired well with a variety of different regional-specific recipes. It can be sweet, savory, spicy – whatever you want it to be.

White fish like bass and cod are two great starting points for a seafood newbie. Bass is mild in flavor, making it easily approachable for someone who is unsure about fish. Cod is one of the most commonly loved types of white fish. You probably know it best as the fish used for Fish n’ Chips. Even people who claim to hate seafood often have a soft spot for a classic Fish n’ Chips platter.

Let’s give seafood another try, together

Giving seafood another chance can also do your health a favor. Many different types of seafood are nutrient and protein-dense. Fish, in general, is known to contain healthy fats and omegas. Many types of seafood have been linked to health benefits like improved heart health, increased energy levels, boosted moods, and better brain development.

If you’re thinking about trying new types of seafood but are unsure how, the best place to start is at a local seafood restaurant. Exploring new cuisines and flavors is always better with good company. You can also find dishes that you already love being reimagined with the flavors of the sea. Trust the chefs to prepare your seafood-based dish with their expertise so you know you’re eating these meals the way they’re truly meant to be enjoyed.

When you find a great seafood restaurant, you’re not just eating delicious food. You’re making memories. It’s hard to narrow down the best seafood Las Vegas Strip restaurants have to offer because the menus are so diverse. Even if you’re still feeling skeptical about seafood, the right seafood restaurant can completely change your mind.

Come join us for dinner at Aqua Seafood & Caviar Restaurant and try one of our wide variety of dishes with seafood and more!