34% Agree This Chain Restaurant Has The Best Quality Seafood

When it comes to seafood, it's safe to say fresh is always better than frozen. There's nothing better than a local seafood market, serving up fresh caught filets, whole fish, and shellfish that are sourced from places you know and trust. On the other hand, if you're ordering your seafood at chain restaurants, chances are it's not the freshest on the market. While we'll always choose a fresh lobster tail over a frozen one, sometimes the universe has other plans for us. This form of divine intervention, we suspect, is how many a chain seafood joint has stayed in business.

But seriously, at some point in your life, voluntarily or otherwise, you're going to find yourself at a seafood chain. And when that happens, you should know which ones are the crowd favorites. So, we took a poll of America's top seafood chains and based on 649 responses, have ranked them based on the quality of their seafood.

Shrimp and crab are at the bottom of the barrel

Coming in at fifth place is Bubba Gump Shrimp, with only 8.32% of the vote for highest quality seafood. Have you ever even been to a Bubba Gump's Shrimp? We haven't either. The chain was originally owned by Viacom, who also owns Paramount Pictures — that's right, the film people behind "Forrest Gump." Let's just say, we'd prefer to keep the film industry out of our seafood. Is that too much to ask?

In fourth place, we've got Joe's Crab Shack, with 15.72% of the vote. Joe's Crab Shack has major vacation vibes, and kind of feels like a restaurant that should only exist in Florida. They do steam pots and crab buckets, mostly. But our guess is, if you find yourself in Florida, there are better places to seek out seafood (the state is surrounded on three sides by three different bodies of water, for crying out loud). Anyway, if you end up at a Joes Crab Shack anywhere else in the country, just know that we can't confirm where they source their seafood or how they cook it.

But Bang Bang Shrimp is a different story

In third place, with 18.80% of the vote, is Outback Steakhouse. We're not going to lie — Outback Steakhouse is fun. Even though it's not really Australian, a grown-up trip to Outback Steakhouse feels similar to a childhood trip to, say, the Rainforest Cafe. It's a guilty pleasure. A special treat you reward yourself with after a truly terrible day. But we aren't going here for the seafood. We're going to Outback for one thing and one thing only — the Bloomin' Onion. Is the seafood at Outback good? Nearly 19% of people said yes, so do with that what you will. Our mouths are too stuffed with fried onion to speak to that percentage.

Coming in at second place, with 22.80% of the vote, is Bonefish Grill. This checks out. For a seafood chain, Bonefish Grill is alright. We like their Bang Bang Shrimp, and their good service. Not to mention, they cut their fresh fish in house, which wins them major bonus points in our book.

A seafood chain endorsed by millennials

Finally, in first place, with 34.36% of the vote, we've got the one and only Red Lobster. Honestly, this is a well-deserved title. The restaurant invented popcorn shrimp, for crying out loud. They must deserve some kind of award for that. Plus, have you ever had their infamous cheddar biscuits? Those alone are worth a trip to your local Red Lobster (or grocery store, since you can now buy the mix and make them yourself). 

Not to mention, Red Lobster is at least somewhat committed to the practice of sustainable lobster farming, which means you can feel a little bit better about the seafood you eat when you're there. Of all seafood chains, Red Lobster seems to be the chosen one amongst millennials (which probably has something to do with Beyonce's 2016 Super Bowl performance, where she mentioned the restaurant in her lyrics). And hey, if Red Lobster is good enough for Beyonce, it's good enough for us.