Go To Market
Here are Nine of the Best Seafood Markets in the Country
Any good fishmonger worth his or her weight in shrimp should more or less be able to get you any fish you desire. They may have to fly it in from around the world and it will likely cost you a good deal, but they could do it. Or, if you have a local market — big or small, wholesale or open to the public — you could pop over and get your best catch there.
For decades, some seafood markets, like Pike Place in Seattle or the New Fulton Fish Market in New York, have attracted chefs, cooks and even locals to pick up fresh fish sourced daily, whether locally off fishing boats or flown in from around the world. Here, we find some of the best markets available to you.
Pike Place Market, Seattle, Wash.
One of the most famous markets in America — with one of the most iconic neon signs — Pike Place Market opened in 1907 and has been serving and delighting visitors ever since. Set just off downtown near museums and, ironically, the Seattle Aquarium, Pike Place has four seafood markets including City Fish Co., Jack's Fish Spot and Pure Food Fish, but it's at Pike Place Fish where the fishmongers famously toss oversize fish to each other. Here, you can purchase freshly caught salmon, Alaskan halibut, swordfish, crab, tuna, scallops, squid, shrimp and more. [pikeplacefish.com]
Municipal Fish Market at District Wharf, Washington, D.C.
Whether you call it Municipal Fish Market, Maine Avenue Fish Market or simply the Fish Market, this is the oldest, longest-running outdoor seafood market in the country, originally opening in 1805. Set at District Wharf in Southwest D.C., the market comprises a variety of individual seafood barges including Captain White's Seafood City, Jessie Taylor Seafood and the Virgo Fish House, where you can stock up on fresh catch of all kinds like oysters, shrimp and, of course, Maryland blue crab. [wharfdc.com/fish-market]
Superior Fish Company, Royal Oak (Detroit), Mich.
Family-owned Superior Fish has served the Detroit area for more than 75 years from its now 16,000 square-foot seafood plant. But its retail operation is where you'll find fresh fish flown in daily from around the world as well as caught in nearby waters of the Great Lakes. If you're looking for caviar, various smoked fish, perch, whitefish, trout, herring, lobster, crab, flounder, grouper, eel and so much more, you can get it here. [superiorfish.com]
Browne Trading Company, Portland, Maine
This family-owned seafood purveyor set at Merrill's Wharf in Portland's Old Port services some of the country's top chefs like Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert and Thomas Keller with the world's finest caviar, diver scallops, peekytoe crab and Maine oysters and lobster, but also fresh catch from around the world, including Scottish salmon, Dover sole and Spanish sea bass. [brownetrading.com]
Universal Seafood, Los Angeles
This 30-year-old business draws chefs, restaurateurs and locals to its warehouse in the San Fernando Valley for a variety of wild-caught fish like Alaskan halibut, skatewing, Spanish octopus and big eye tuna; shellfish like king crab legs, langoustine and Maine scallops; and farm-raised fish including Faroe Island salmon and loup de mer. [universalseafoodinc.com]
Supreme Lobster & Seafood, Villa Park, Ill.
One of Chicagoland's top seafood purveyors since 1973, Supreme has a walk-up retail store at its 100,000 square-foot suburban wholesale facility. The company receives daily shipments and its buyers are in constant contact with fishermen around the world, especially along the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the U.S. to stock its 3,000-strong inventory. Supreme prides itself on truly being able to source most anything from around the world, so if they don't have it, they likely can get it. [supremelobster.com]
Joe Patti's Seafood, Pensacola, Fla.
Being on the Gulf of Mexico, it's no surprise Joe Patti's has been serving up some of the freshest seafood to its patrons since 1931. This multi-generational-run market offers a range of fresh whole fish and filets like pompano, flounder, Caribbean grouper, amberjack and cobia; octopus, shrimp, crab, Maine lobster and more — not to mention a full sushi bar. Best part? Joe Patti's sells seafood to the public at wholesale prices. [joepattis.com]
The New Fulton Fish Market, Bronx, N.Y.
After 180 years, the Fulton Fish Market, one of the country's longest running and largest grossing markets, relocated to its current location in the Bronx in 2005. At 400,000 square feet and housing 37 wholesale businesses, the market remains a commercial force for seafood arriving daily from around the world. Chefs, restaurateurs, seafood retailers and everyday people shop for upwards of 300 varieties of fish and shellfish. [newfultonfishmarket.com]
Catalina Offshore Products, San Diego
What started 40 years ago primarily as a source for some of the best California sea urchin has grown into one of the country's premier importers of seafood from Baja, Mexico. Catalina Offshore specializes in species found up and down the California coast, including Pacific swordfish, yellowtail, white sea bass and tuna, but also sources exotic items including opah, abalone, rock crab and barracuda. Their retail market features rotating seafood like mahi-mahi, California halibut and wild Mexican shrimp. [catalinaop.com]