Saltbox Seafood JointBy: The Local Palate
What may appear as an unassuming fish shack with pale green paneling is home to one of the most bustling restaurants in Durham, North Carolina. Saltbox Seafood Joint may have single-handedly placed Durham on the map when it comes to fresh-caught seafood and down-to-earth fixings.
Chef Ricky Moore grew up in coastal North Carolina, and it’s easy to say Saltbox Seafood Joint is an extension of his personality, travels, and story. From traveling through Singapore, to serving at upper echelon restaurants throughout the states, Moore landed in his home state to start on his own. Clearly, he found his niche, garnering nation-wide acclaim and winning Best Chef: Southeast by the James Beard Foundation in 2022.
Saltbox is known for treating their ingredients right: celebrating locally-caught seafood and highlighting indigenous fish species, even if they aren’t commonly used. Moore also introduces nostalgic ingredients into his dishes like 7-up, Ritz crackers, and Southern sweet tea. Simply stated, Saltbox Seafood takes high quality ingredients and makes them accessible, if not downright homey to the masses.
Sit outside on their bright blue picnic tables to chow down on crispy blue crab, fried brussel sprouts, and “hush honeys”, or, wander inside to chat with Moore as he slings seafood on the line while jamming to Motown classics. No matter where you take your seat at Saltbox Seafood, you know you’re home.