What Is The Best Tasting Fish? FULL Species List Ranked!

In this article, i’m sharing my ranking of the best tasting fish…and my results may surprise you!

This data is compiled after years of experience fishing and cooking seafood in my home state of Florida, as well as my travels and research into the seafood industry.

Some of the fish on my list you may be very familiar with…and others may shock you. Let’t take a closer look (you may be hungry after reading this).

Table of Contents

Ranking The Best Tasting Fish

The taste and flavor of fish is highly influenced by the ingredients used, recipe and method of preparation.

But this chart is not about recipes, it is about the taste and texture of fish; and how that translates into palatability and likability.

Some people prefer fish that are very mild, with flakey white meat and delicate flavors…others like a strong flavored fish, with a firm texture and taste of the ocean.

The list of fish I’ve compiled and ranked is based on the physical characteristics of each type of fish fillet and its universal appeal.

That being said, there is no right or wrong answer; so please take this chart with a ‘grain of salt’!

What Is The Best Tasting Fish? FULL Species List Ranked!

About This Chart

Fish Name

The Common name of the fish.


This describes the taste profile of fish (not to be confused with seasonings used in cooking).

  • Mild: Flavor that is subtle, and not overpowering. Usually associated with white meat fillets, great for seafood beginners.
  • Medium: A more pronounced seafood flavor; versatile and salty.
  • Rich: A robust flavor, that is savory, aromatic; No doubt you are eating something from the ocean.
  • Strong: Strong flavors, typically associated with a high oil or fat content, dark, or exotic fillets. Often described as fishy flavor, salty or briny.


Texture describes the overall physical feel of the fish fillet. Think of it like the density and firmness of the meat.

  • Mushy: Fillet quality that is very soft, without rigid structure or large flaking patterns in the meat.
  • Delicate: More rigidness than mushy fillets; must be handled with care and best when eaten fresh. Has some flaking characteristics.
  • Medium: An all around firm, and robust fillet. The most versatile texture for a wide variety of cooking methods.
  • Firm: An above average fillet in denseness, rigidity; Closely resembles steak (beef) like qualities.

Overall Rating

The overall rating is based on the report card scale.

  • A: Universally liked for its taste, texture and cooking qualities. An excellent fish.
  • B: Widely liked for its taste, texture and cooking qualities. A good fish.
  • C: Considered okay to eat; not highly desired by the masses but still perfectly edible.
  • D: Less than desirable; may have qualities that most people dislike.
  • F: Widely disliked, or rarely eaten. An uncommon fish to eat due to taste, texture and other qualities.

Fish Taste Ranking Chart

Fish NameTasteTextureOverall Rating
Atlantic SpadefishMildDelicateC
Black DrumMediumMediumB-
Blue MarlinMildFirmB-
Bermuda ChubRichMushyC-
Blue RunnerMediumMediumB-
Blackfin TunaRichMediumA
Black Sea BassMildMediumA
Dogfish (Shark)Mild-MediumDelicate-MediumB
Gag GrouperMildMediumA
Golden TilefishMildDelicateB+
Goliath GrouperRichMediumB-
Hardhead CatfishStrongMediumF
Jack CrevalleStrongFirmC-
Kelp GreenlingRichMushyC
King Mackerel RichDelicateB-
Ling CodMildMediumB+
Mangrove SnapperMildMediumA
Mutton SnapperMildMediumA
Red SnapperMediumMediumB+
Rock BassMildDelicateB
Sail CatRichMediumC+
Sand TroutMediumDelicateC
Sea RobinMediumMediumC+
Skipjack TunaRichMediumC
Spot FishDelicateRichB-
Spotted Sea TroutMildDelicateB
Spanish MackerelRichMushyC+
White SnapperMildMediumB

How To Find Fresh & Tasty Fish

If your craving some fresh fish, I always recommend trying local. So, if you live near the coast, or other waterway with commercial fishing then chances are there is a seafood market in your area.

Start off by asking the fishmonger what seafood they have in stock, and to tell you about what types of fish they have for sale. And don’t be scared to ask questions!

Assorted fresh fish at the local fishmonger

Most seafood markets are proud of their commercial fishing heritage, and want to showcase the freshness of their products and educate the consumer.

Seafood choices often change depending on the season, so by learning about your local fishery and asking questions, you can determine what type of fish you like best, and get tips on recipes and preparation (some markets will even prepare it for you right on the spot!).

If you are buying from a grocery store, or acquiring fish from a friend be sure to check the fish for freshness and edibility. Use the smell, touch and taste test to double check you are eating delicious and fresh fish safe for consumption.

What If I Don’t Live Near The Coast?

If you don’t live near the coast, don’t let that stop you from including fresh fish in your diet!

With companies like Sizzlefish, you can get fresh seafood delivered right to your door.

There is always something in season, and they guarantee 100% top quality fish and shellfish…(they even have beef products too!).

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Tasting Saltwater Fish In The World?

The best tasting fish in the world is subjective; and largely depends on how it is prepared, and how fresh it is.

A few fish always make the top of the list and those include pompano, seabass, halibut, and many species of grouper and snapper.

What Is The Best Tasting Fish In Florida?

Cobia, snook, grouper, snapper and mahi-mahi are very popular in Florida.

What Fish Is The Least Fishy Tasting?

Mild flavored, cold water fish are the least fishy tasting. These include popular fish like cod, halibut, and seabass.

What Fish Tastes Most Like Meat?

If you want your fish to taste more like meat, look for firm textured fillets with a dense texture. Swordfish, Tuna and Wahoo all take on meat characteristics when cooked, especially on the grill.

What Fish Tastes Like Lobster?

Anglerfish, sheepshead and various species of rockfish are said to taste similar to lobster, especially when prepared in butter.

How Do You Make Fish For People Who Don’t Like Fish?

If you have a friend or family who despises fish, try introducing them to a mild flavored fish cooked in a simple way. Fried cod,

What Is The Worst Tasting Saltwater Fish?

Any fish can taste terrible if it is not properly prepared, or worse yet, if it is not fresh and unsafe to eat.

What Is The Most Unhealthy Fish To Eat?

Fish with high mercury content are considered unsafe to eat; these include many species of sharks, billfish, and other large predatory fish like the barracuda.

Other reef species of fish found in the south Atlantic and Caribbean may contain Ciguatera, a potentially fatal micro-algae toxin. These include eels, parrot fish, hogfish and mackerel.

Other fish may be unsafe to eat due to toxins in their meat or organs. These include the pufferfish, blowfish (fugu), stonefish and even lionfish.

Final Thoughts

Well, if you haven’t been able to tell yet, I LOVE seafood! And i’m lucky enough to live on the east coast of Florida where I have access to amazing fishing opportunities where I can catch and cook my own fish.

I know there are a TON more species of saltwater fish available to eat, so I do plan on updating this list regularly with more taste profiles.

In the meantime, I hope this article was helpful and you get your hands on some delicious fish fillets!

Thanks for reading.

Growing up in Florida, I’ve been surrounded by saltwater my entire life…and I love sharing my passion with others.

To learn more about why I started Saltwater Mecca, visit the ABOUT page.

Thank you for reading this article. Browse around & have some fun!