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Aug 1, 2006 12:03 AM

Where to buy softshell crabs

I was looking to make some softshell crabs tomorrow night and was wondering if there was a good place to buy some fresh softshell crabs in Manhattan? Any help would be appreciated!

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  1. Citarella on 6th Ave and 9th Street has them. I imagine the other locations have them also.

    1. I would think Chinatown!
      Also, the Chelsea Market.

      1. agree with laguera, i've had good softshell crabs from citarella--in my case the location in the east 70's. chinatown also definitely has them.

        1. When I lived on the west side (or anywhere in the city for that matter if I had time to get there), I used to go to a fish market on 39th and 9th that I loved. I think it was Central Fish... Haven't been back in a few years, hope it is still there...if so, I am going to make a special trip...

          Saw dust on the floor, men in rubber boots, seemed like an old timer type of place. Excellent fresh fish, great prices, great serrvice, and they did whatever you needed to do to the fish/ prep wise...

          The soft shells were ALWAYS amazing...they started smallish and then grew as the months went on but always wonderful.
          We have bought everything from there, including fillets to whole fish...tuna to bass name it!

          6 Replies
          1. re: Michele4466

            Best prices anywhere in NYC for fish ... (besides Chinatown)

            Central Fish Market
            527 9th Ave At 39th St
            (212) 279-2317

            Sea Breeze Incorporated
            541 9th Ave At 40th St
            (212) 563-7537

            Call before you go and ask if they have soft shells.

            1. re: Cheese Boy

              Any comments on the difference between these two neighboring shops? Price? Selection? Specialization?

              1. re: meatme

                I haven't been to either one in a while, but quite honestly they're almost carbon copies of each other. I do remember one being much cleaner though than the other. They're your typical fishmonger. Don't expect upscale. Think more 'sawdust on the floor type of place'. Stop in both locations since they are very close in proximity, and do some comparison shopping first before buying. Pricewise and selection, they're almost the same. Your $ goes a little further on 9th Ave, at least for seafood it does.

                1. re: meatme

                  I go to both frequently, though I prefer Seabreeze probably only because it's next door to International Foods, (Greek Specialties and Spices). They are less than a block apart, and have a terrific selection of fish and shellfish.

                  1. re: meatme

                    I like Sea Breeze for whole fish and Central Fish Market for shellfish, but it is true that the shops are very similar, so this is not a hard and fast rule-- just a trend.



                  2. re: Cheese Boy

                    Thanks for the confirmation... Good to know it is still alive and kickin'...

                2. I get mine at Grace's Marketplace...I prefer the smaller size called "hotels"...Grace's fish/seafood dept is superb! They really know what they're doing & it shows.