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OK.....so where do you like to buy fresh fish?

I have had very good luck buying fresh fish at WH in Brighton. But it seems that my experience is not shared by many others. Where are your tried and true fish markets?

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    1. captain marden's in wellesley

        1. New Deal in Cambridge. My reasons have been covered in other threads.

          1. Courthouse Fish on Cambridge St, East Cambridge.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BBHound

              I would endorse both New Deal and Courthouse, but I think New Deal is largely superior to Courthouse. Here's but one example of the difference: at New Deal, I got cuttlefish with ink sacks intact (but you can have them remove them and put them in a separate baggy); at Courthouse I could get only squid (not as good as cuttlefish IMO), with ink FROM A JAR, offered separately. In general, also, I've found freshness and quality to be a notch higher at New Deal.

            2. Whole Foods or Captain Marden's in Wellesley.....both excellent.

              1. Wulf's Fish Market in Brookline. Some chick named Julia Child used to shop there. Cash only but very good stock, very fresh, and killer Maine shrimp when they're in season (with roe even!) <http://www.goodcooking.com/wulfs.htm>. And Whole Foods in Cambridgeport. For the more adventuresome, there's the Super 88 in any of its branches though the South Bay Center is probably best. Dirt cheap, and often doesn't get much fresher, though buying the fish is something of an adventure.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Dr.Jimbob

                  I'm curious. What do you mean by adventure?

                  1. re: onefineleo

                    For me, the adventure in buying at Super88 is that I don't speak Chinese of any variety and the folks at the fish counter don't speak much English. Smiles and pointing go a long way though and there is always something amazingly fresh -- although not everything is, you have to know how to judge it. They also have live fish swimming around in tanks although I have never gone that route. Has anyone else? How does it work -- do you just get someone and point to a tank and smile?

                    1. re: GretchenS

                      I buy fish regularly at the Chinese groceries - C Mart is my favorite, but I've also bought fish at Super88. The Dorchester store has a good selection, though even fewer of the salespeople speak any English. The bottom line is that the fish is always very fresh or customers will complain. At all of the Chinese groceries it is common for customers to be very specific about which fish they want, or demand to inspect it close up before buying. No-one thinks it weird that I inspect each squid before putting it into my bag, or ask to feel the lobster before having it weighed and bagged.

                      When buying live fish I pick out the fish I want and ask for it. It's that simple. I get whole fish which I ask to have gutted and scaled but not cut or filleted. I usually have to go over the fish myself when I get it home to make sure they didn't miss any scales or intestines.

                      1. re: cheryl_h

                        I just bought a lovely-looking pound of scallops at the Super 88 in Allston. Firm, dry, no visible cracking and only $7.99 a pound. Scallops are the one thing I'm often leery of buying at the Shaw's next door (I have real problem with their filets and steaks), because they're often quite slimy-looking there.

                        Personally, I find that as long as you speak clearly (that's clearly, not loudly), you can get perfectly fine service at the butcher and fishmonger counters at Super 88. The one trick I've learned at the butcher counter is that if I want a half-pound of ground pork, I'm sure to say "half pound" instead of "one-half pound"...on more than one occasion, that's gotten me 1.5 pounds of ground pork.

                  2. re: Dr.Jimbob

                    After a series of increasingly poor experiences with Wulf's fish, I've given up on them, even though they're extremely close by. Their current standards are not up to their storied reputation, and every time I go in, the fixtures are just a little bit dirtier and the smell is just a little bit funkier. Fish markets are supposed to smell like fish, not like yesterday's bait.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      Sadly, I've seen a decline in Wulf's quality over the last few years too..shame.

                      They used to be 1 of the best in the area.

                      James Hook is where I go most often. I like New Deal a lot too..just not as easy for me to get to.

                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        I was unimpressed when I lived in the neighborhood around 15 years ago. Especially when I was escorting my parents (who catch their own) on a tour of my 'hood and they recoiled instantly. Points for trying, demerits for execution.

                    2. i've always been happy with morse fish co. in the south end for both fresh fish as well as fried seafood plates.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: rebs

                        Recently got a great piece of halibut from Morse Fish. As with all seafood cases, it helps to know what fresh fish should look like and pick a place with decent turnover.

                        1. re: yumyum

                          I go to Morse as well. It's definitely not the best place in the world, but if I go there without a particular item in mind... I can always find something that is fresh. I think it is the best option in the South End (ie. better than Foodies or the Prudential Shaws).

                      2. Steamers on Watertown street , Nonantum. Excellent fish at better prices than WF. Bonus points for its nearness to de Pasquales Sausage.

                        4 Replies
                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                            311 watertown street in Newton (Nonantum). I usually get swordfish or salmon but have also bought halibut, tilapia bluefish etc. It's all been fresh and a few dollars less per pund (and better) than Whole Foods. They also do cooked fish and the fish and chips is a decent version and inexpensive (~$6).

                            1. re: gourmaniac

                              Excellent! Totally checking this out the next time we go to Russo's. Thanks!

                              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                Connelly's in Gloucester or Rowan's in Beverly

                                (I do get fresh haddock fillet delivered to my door every Thursday that was caught Wednesday - we have a "fish guy")

                        1. Kam Man has a good spread of fresh fish.

                          Kam Man Marketplace
                          219 Quincy Ave, Quincy

                          1. I tend to get my fish from Whole Foods in Fresh Pond for convenience, with generally good results. There have been a couple of sketchy purchases, but overall things are fresh.

                            Frankie's Catch of the Day in Belmont Center has been good the few times I've tried it. He usually sells out of most things by the end of the day, which is a good sign.

                            Twin Seafood in West Concord has also been decent when I've gone there. Neither place is cheaper than WH, sadly, and Twin can be pretty pricey.

                            The Fish House on Cambridge St. in Burlington doesn't have much of a variety, but the fish has been great and the prices terrific when I've gone there.