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Jun 28, 2006 08:56 PM

Where to buy fresh seafood in Monterey? (and other recos?)

We're heading down to Salinas/Monterey this Saturday for a night before camping in Big Sur on Sunday & Monday. Probably will get to Salinas around 3 or 4pm. Going to check into our cheap motel and then drive into Monterey to check things out.

I'd like to pick up some fresh seafood on Saturday afternoon and/or Sunday morning to bring along on the camping trip. I'd especially love to find some fresh local prawns, and possibly some nice fish and calamari would be cool, too.

Any suggestions of where to go?

Is Sea Harvest Fish Market & Restaurants (598 Foam St) any good?

I also noticed that there's a Whole Foods which figure might have a pretty good seafood selection being so close to the ocean.

I'm also interested in any sort of fish shack type places for a quick meal of fresh seafood.

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  1. Heading down from where? San Francisco? If you are taking Hwy One, go to Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing, just south of Watsonville and north of Marina. Phil's has excellent fresh local fish. They can pack it in ice for your camping trip. They also have great seafood in their restaurant. I love the halibut and chips. Check them out at

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rocky

      What fresh local fish is Phil's selling ?

      1. re: Alan408

        According to their website they have rockfish, petrale sole, local prawns, halibut, seabass, etc. It also says they have salmon, although I believe salmon season (shortened this year) is over for now.

    2. This recent discussion of Sea Harvest, with a mention of Phil's, might be of interest:

      However, if you are coming from Salinas and headed to Big Sur, Moss Landing will be out of your way. There is another Sea Harvest in the Rio Road Shopping Center, right to the left hand side of Highway One at Rio Road in Carmel. Just look for Safeway, it is in the same Center, and right on your way as you head to Big Sur.

      1. I've never been to the Sea Harvest in Monterey, but the one in Moss Landing is solid based on my one experience. See link here for Melanie's post w/ some elaboration by yours truly:

        Based on other posts that I've read in the past, the Monterey one sounds solid too. I personally would choose Sea Harvest's fresh fish selection over Phil's in Moss Landing, but you can go to both places and compare before buying. There's a boat in Moss Landing's harbor that sells commercially. I wasn't that thrilled w/ their selection or prices when we went.

        You might see if Monterey has a weekend farmer's market w/ a fish vendor. Have fun camping and please report back! Highly recommend that you check out Big Sur Bakery.

        1. looks like there's possibly a farmer's market close to our hotel on sunday in salinas @ the northridge mall. at least according to this site:

          there's also one in monterey on sunday called Harvest Farmer's Market at the Marina Transit Station, 280 Reservation Road.

          does anyone know if either are still going?

          1. If you can't find what you want from the above recs, Whole Foods in Monterey is not a bad option. You may get lucky and be able to get some Monterey Bay Spot Prawns, albeit not cheap. I would look out for Wild Salmon over anything right now, if you can find it, it's been a bad year for the fisherman.