Where to Eat Seaweed

Try creative seaweed dishes in San Francisco, London, Vancouver, New York City and Shelley, B.C.

Wild seaweed and sea-vegetable salad at Aqua Kyoto, photo by David Bebber

As a cooking ingredient, seaweed is on the rise. Diners have discovered its umami-rich flavours and the powerhouse nutrients of kombu, wakame, nori, kelp and dulse. Here are just a few places to enjoy this superfood.

Vancouver Aquarium Café, Vancouver

Kelp adds a salty-savoury note to Ocean Wise executive chef Ned Bell’s popular chocolate brownies. “It’s the same flavour experience as salted caramel,” he says of the dark, umami-rich treats. He is also experimenting with seaweed in pasta and other dishes and encouraging the aquarium’s Ocean Wise recommendation program to approve sustainably harvested wild seaweed. 

High Street on Hudson, New York City

Chef and owner Eli Kulp turns seaweed into pastalicious art. The glossy black strands of seaweed-and-squid-ink bucatini come topped with the rosy-hued ’nduja (spreadable salami), mussels and lobster bottarga (pressed roe). If you crave sea-salty flavours and toothsome textures, it’s the dish for you. 

Aqua Kyoto, London, UK

Seaweed is a popular garnish at this Japanese restaurant as it is used in many of the dishes as an alternative to salt. It is also a main component of starters and mains. Try it in the wild seaweed and sea-vegetable salad served with black sesame dressing and soya mustard swordfish belly with avocado and sesame seaweed.

The Progress, San Francisco

Seaweed is a regular feature on the ever-changing, family-style menu at this Michelin-starred eatery. Try the Hog Island oysters, which are topped with pickled nori and yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit) or go for the Monterey Bay abalone served with Mendocino nori-anchovy bagna cauda sauce.

Sheringham Distillery, Shirley, B.C.

The subtle saltiness of locally harvested winged kelp mingles with notes of juniper, wild rose petals and lavender in handcrafted Seaside Gin. Visit the distillery to sample the gin, or enjoy it in a classic or dirty martini at the new Q Bar at Victoria’s Fairmont Empress. 

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