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Best Fresh Seafood Market

Tango Dec 6, 2004 08:54 AM

Slightly OT...

Where can I find a great, fresh-as-possible seafood market in Manhattan? I'm looking for the store to have great product, good service with excellent knowledge of the differences among the varities offerered and good know-how regarding cooking strategies.

I need AK King Crab Legs, Lobster tails, halibut, larger scallops, etc for Christmas Eve dinner. Price is not a factor (yet).

Thanks in advance for any recs.


  1. j
    josh L Dec 6, 2004 05:03 PM

    right now the black fish is incredible at wild edibles.

    1. n
      Nancy Dec 6, 2004 02:50 PM

      I vote for Wild Edibles -- I've had the best success there overall. I find it helpful to have a discussion with the fishmonger to decide which is the freshest fish available, and then I make my decision. However, I've always been happy with the scallops and cockles.

      1. d
        dkstar1 Dec 6, 2004 01:29 PM

        I happen to like the Gramercy Fish Market on 2nd Ave bet. 22nd and 23rd. Right next door is my favorite organic butcher...the Gramercy Meat Market. Kill two birds/fish with one stone.

        At the GFM, I've had their salmon, arctic char, little neck clams, lobster, crab, crab cakes, tuna (sushi grade) and something else, but I can't remember...all of it very good and very fresh. Helpful staff too. Oh, their shrimp is great too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dkstar1
          Steph Dec 6, 2004 03:50 PM

          I also like Gramercy Fish, but I've had a couple of questionable experiences with their tuna steaks. When you purchase from them, I find that it's best to confirm *how fresh* the fish is - some weeks, he may not get such great stuff. He'll be honest, though, if you ask.

        2. i
          it it Dec 6, 2004 11:31 AM

          Got a little education this weekend. For those who like to get good & fresh fish in Chinatown. Myself included, and I still will on ocassion ... HOWEVER.
          The fish purveyors down there, or at least the retail ones you can see from the street & sidewalk usually take what is leftover and unwanted from what the restaurants and larger merchants buy from THE BIG fish market in the morning. I still believe a smart consumer is the best consumer especially when knowing how to spot fresh fish, just sharing what I've learned.

          3 Replies
          1. re: it it
            babarajean Dec 6, 2004 12:21 PM

            I was told years ago that the you can always find a good fish market by the smells...or lack of smells.
            Fresh fish does not smell, just go into Wild Edibles or Citarellas. No smell. A pleasant experience. But when I am in Chinatown, the aromas are nauseating. Extremely pungent. Ech! I can not afford for myself and my family to get sick. Well worth the "uptown" prices to be safe and healthy.

            1. re: babarajean
              City Chef Dec 6, 2004 02:17 PM

              They will also bleach the fish literally in Chinatown to remove odors, do not ever buy fish there...

              1. re: City Chef
                kateanne Dec 6, 2004 03:09 PM

                That's disgusting! Why anyone would want to purchase fish there is beyond me. You might save a few bucks, but your life is certainly in jeopardy.
                ECHHHHHH ! ! ! ! !

          2. b
            bystander99 Dec 6, 2004 10:38 AM

            The seafood counter at Oppenheimer's Meat Market (Bway and 99) is also excellent. At one time it was supplied by Wild Edibles, but I'm not sure now. The fish is still good, and the guy who runs it knows his biz.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bystander99
              bystander99 Dec 6, 2004 01:19 PM

              I should also add Jun, a fish market at 98th and Amsterdam. Reliable if not exciting.

            2. t
              Tango Dec 6, 2004 10:14 AM

              Thanks for the quick replies. I'm headed over to GCS this afternoon, so I'll stop by at Wild Edibiles.

              1. c
                Caitlin Wheeler Dec 6, 2004 09:56 AM

                I think Wild Edibles in the Grand Central Market (there's also a branch on third avenue in the high 30's) has impeccable freshness and really good customer service. If you go to the Grand Central Market branch, the other fish seller, Pescatore, is also quite good.

                Link: http://www.wildedibles.com

                1. r
                  rocky Dec 6, 2004 09:56 AM

                  By far the best around is Wild Edibles. Many of the city's top restaurants by wholesale from them. Very knowledgable. Grand Central Market is the best location, but there is a store on 3rd Avenue around 35th street.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rocky
                    wendywhite Dec 6, 2004 10:30 AM

                    Also a new location on Lexington and 84th

                  2. b
                    bluedog Dec 6, 2004 09:51 AM

                    The market at Chelsea Market is excellent although a little pricey. There are a few on 9th ave in the 40's that I also frequent and haven't been dissapointed. And lastly if you realy know your fish Chinatown is CHEAP and varried. Just be sure you know what you are buying.
                    Good Luck

                    1. c
                      clancy Dec 6, 2004 09:46 AM

                      Citarella has the most knowledgeable counter help. Fairway has better prices but most of the counterstaff are not that knowledgeable with cooking instructions.

                      I also like the selection and help at Whole Foods, Columbus Circle location.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: clancy
                        bluedog Dec 6, 2004 09:55 AM

                        Citarella, Wild edibals, and Wholefoods are all overpriced for standard seafood. If you were looking for something special say walleye or fresh-water perch then fine...

                        1. re: bluedog
                          josh L Dec 6, 2004 09:59 AM

                          so where do you buy your fish?

                          1. re: josh L
                            brad Dec 6, 2004 12:32 PM

                            you get what you pay for, right ??????

                            1. re: brad
                              josh L Dec 6, 2004 05:00 PM

                              That goes without saying with fish and seafood.

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