Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fish Market Near You

One of the most frequently asked questions in my Fish class is "Do you have a recommendation for a fish market near X?" Most often X = Cambridge, Boston, and Metro West and the answer is "Of course, I do." New Deal in Cambridge and Captain Marden's in Wellesley are fabulous. But sometimes X = some suburb I am completely unfamiliar with. On occasion, it's not even in Massachusetts. I've had students come from as far as New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. We do go over all the signs of a good fish market, and good questions to ask the fishmonger, but it helps to know where one can find such a fish market to try. Everyone knows their closest supermarket, but Mom and Pop fish markets are often small and not easy to find unless you at least know their name.

That's when a friend of mine who works for the seafood business came to the rescue. He sent me a list of markets located in suburban Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut that get their fish from reputable vendors. That's not a guarantee that the fish you'll buy from them will be excellent (they do need to store it properly and sell it quickly), but that's a good start.

This is not an exhaustive list. If your favorite fish market is not on it, leave me a comment and I'll add it to the list. Also, if you've tried any of these places, please let me know how was your experience. I'd love to compile a list of good fish markets that goes beyond Cambridge and ubiquitous Whole Foods.

What do you do when you go into one of these markets? What are good questions to ask the fishmonger? Is it a bad sign if the fish market smells fishy? What about Fresh vs. Frozen fish? What about Farm-Raised vs. Wild fish? Is prepackaged fish any good? How much fish should I buy per person? Here is a post that addresses these issues.

For location, phone numbers, and hours, try googling for the name of the fish market and its town.


Cambridge / Boston
New Deal Fish Market - Cambridge
Courthouse Seafood - Cambridge
Wulf's Fish Market - Brookline
Mercato del Mare - Boston (North End )

North Shore
Cherry Street Fish Market – Danvers
David’s Fish Market – Salisbury
Andy’s Seafood – Saugus

South Shore
Rocky Neck – Hingham / Milton
Mullaney’s Seafood – Scituate / Cohasset
Burke’s- Quincy

West Suburbs
Captain Marden’s – Wellesley
Quarterdeck Seafood - Maynard

Way West
West Boylston Seafood – West Boylston
Masse’s Seafood – Chicopee
Foster’s Supermarket – Greenfield

Cape Cod & Islands
Cape Fish & Lobster – Hyannis
Nauset Fish – Orleans
Net Result – Vineyard Haven
Sayle & Henry - Nantucket
Glidden’s – Nantucket
Falmouth Fish – Falmouth
Lobster Trap – Bourne
Chatham Fish – Chatham
Hatch's Fish Market - Wellfleet

Outside of Massachusetts

Stowe Seafood - Stowe
Earth & Sea – Manchester Center

Rhode Island
Dave’s Marketplace – 5 locations
Wilfred's Seafood - Woonsocket

New Hampshire
Mark’s Seafood – Salem
Seaport Fish - Portsmouth
Sanders Fish Market - Portsmouth

City Fish Market – Wethersfield
The Fish Market – Willimantic

Brown Trading Company - Portland
Harbor Fish - Portland
Free Range Fish - Portland


applecrumbles said...

Living in Upstate New York we are not so fortunate to have a fresh fish market. BUT... we have "Owls Head Fish" who parks his truck in local areas and we are able to get fresh fish 1 day a week from March - December. I believe he brings it in from Boston.

Jennifer Hess said...

I'm completely in love with Mercato del Mare in the North End of Boston. It's not huge, but it's got a well-curated selection of beautifully fresh seafood. It's one of the best fish market's I've shopped at.

Helen said...

Thanks Jennifer! I created Boston/Cambridge section and added Mercato del Mare there.

Corey said...

I just wanted to say thanks for posting this list! On Saturday, after reading your post, we went to Wolf's, and finally..... found a fish market which my recovering marine biologist husband would shop at! :) We picked up a couple of pounds of scrod which became a yummy dinner with a fennel ragu. Anyways, thanks!

Helen said...

Hi Corey,

So glad you enjoyed Wolf's! Isn't Alan (the owner) wonderful?


Anonymous said...

Sanders Fish Market in Portsmouth, NH is worth adding to the list, too.

stephen said...

Hi Helen...great idea...
Browne Trading in Portland has exquisite fish, often exotic and fresh from an overseas flight and almost always extremely pricey. (They supply a lot of the high end restaurants here and in Boston and as far away as NYC.) I wouldn't recommend it for everyday fresh fish unless you have to have something out of the ordinary. (Their caviar selection and smoked fish are worth the trip, however.) When you're in Portland there are several excellent choices for well-handled boat-fresh fish. My two favorites are Harbor Fish and Free Range Fish. You'll think you're in heaven. Come visit us soon! (PS sorry I couldn't come to the seafood show this year! and PPS - Stephencooks will be reborn this year with a new niche focus...stay tuned!), S

Helen said...


So good to hear from you :) Thanks for the fish market recs. I added them to the list. I really miss Portland. It's a shame that we've never found a B&B or hotel that we were happy with. Otherwise, we'd visit all the time.

Maybe we'll come over for a few days in the summer. I'll let you know.


Concord Prime said...

Thank you for putting Concord Prime & Fish on your list of local fish markets. I'm curious to know the identity of your friend in the seafood business. I've personally spent 20 years in the industry working at my family's company, Sunny's Seafood.

randi.speaks.colors said...

Hi! :) I'm new to making sushi, and of late, I can only use cooked fish, because I'm not sure of the freshness of the raw kind near me. Do you perhaps know a really good fish market in Texas?? :) I'd be super grateful.

Helen said...

Hmm -- unfortunately, I don't have Texas fish market recommendations. If you have a whole foods near you, they might carry sushi grade tuna and salmon.


Anonymous said...

Nothing better than Wulfs in Brookline Please note the spelling.

Anonymous said...

My friend works for constitution seafood in south boston down past harpoon brewery.. they buy daily from all the auctions (portland,gloucester,boston,new bedford) Oh my !!Talk about FRESH Absolutely the best i have ever purchased.They have everthing and mostly sell to rest. or wholesalers but they also will sell to walk-ins!!! Ask for my pal Keith i'm sure he will take care of you,

Jessica said...

Hi Helen,

Matt and I enjoyed taking your fish class the other day! Matt is fond of Connolly's in Gloucester. Unfortunately for us we're not up that way often! We'll let you know what we find near us.

Helen said...

Thanks Jessica! Let me know what you find in your area.