Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >
Apr 26, 2003 03:30 PM

Fresh seafood in Chapel Hill

  • m

My husband and I are moving to Chapel Hill from Boston this summer, and I'm already starting to miss the abundent fresh seafood. Any suggestions for restaurants or (more importantly) good retail outlets for good fresh fish or shellfish?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I missed the thread on Tom's in Carrboro. Sounds like that's the place.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MelissaR

      Tom Robinson's in Carrboro is the place. Located one block south of Main Street in a cinderblock hut. Only open Thursday through Sunday. Very good. Nice folks too, very helpful.

      1. re: Tom from NC

        I have to say that I have been less satisfied with Tom's. The place looks the part, but it sometimes has an unpleasant odor (which seems to me a bad sign) and many items are frozen rather than fresh. I've walked in two or three times and never been tempted to buy. I wonder whether the store's partisans can recommend specific items to be tried. The place to lament is the Squids fish market, which regrettably closed a few months ago.

        To the new resident from Boston: the scarcity of fresh fish will be the least of your problems. Wait till you arrive at the question of Chinese or Italian food! That will really depress you. In other ways, of course, I expect that you'll find Chapel Hill very pleasant. For one thing, the people are awful nice.

        David A.

        1. re: David A.

          Have you gone on Thursday? When I lived in Carrboro that was the day he got in his seafood and the good, fresh stuff went pretty quickly.

    2. t
      Tom (From Raleigh)

      Mostly we get our seafood from Wellspring, or Whole Foods as it's now called. The quality is always very good, although a bit expensive.

      I'm guessing the one in Chapel Hill would be the same as the Raleigh store:

      Whole Foods Market
      81 South Elliot
      Chapel Hill, NC 27514
      919.967.0228 fax

      1. b
        Bill Falconer

        We moved here from Hingham in 1987 and the best fish we've eaten since then has been on our trips back to MA to see our son and grandkids. Chapel Hill is a great place to live in but you won't find that fresh moist fish that you get in Boston. You will miss the seafood but enjoy the rest! Welcome to NC!

        1. Whole Foods is definitely your best bet year-round... But if you head down to the beach in the summer (which you must) you can bring back an abundance of fresh-caught fish. Good luck!

          1. What about the seafood stand across from the Famer's Market in Carrboro? It looks interesting, but I already had my menus planned so I didn't stop there.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Panski

              Go next weekend - ask what's fresh, and advice on how to cook it. You won't be disappointed!

              1. re: inmybackpages

                I say that if Tom supplies some of the best restaurants in the area with seafood, then we can probably feel safe to shop there. I have never had anything but super fresh product from him.

                1. re: Pigloader

                  Tom Robinson has the best and freshest seafood in town. I used to work there, and we went through literally gallons of bleach. Not only is Tom fastidious, he is very vested in ocean conservation of NC -- his father grew up in the Inner Banks, and Tom feels strongly about preserving his heritage.

                  The market is hosed down regularly and the fish iced constantly -- if there was any (bad) fish odor, it must have been in the summer after a busy day. But, I mean, it's a fish market -- should it smell like a bakery?