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Good places to buy fresh seafood in Boston?

toffifay Jun 9, 2007 10:42 AM

I've been to Sea to You on the wharf to buy sashimi fish, and I discovered that fish is fresh and cheap at the Chinese grocery store under the Chinatown garage....

Are there other places that you might recommend to find fresh seafood at reasonable prices? I'm tired to paying an arm and a leg at Whole Foods to make simple things.

Help! I'd appreciate any advice.


  1. b
    BBHound Jun 9, 2007 10:54 AM

    Courthouse Fish, 484 Cambridge St (near 6th St.) in East Cambridge, is great. Not cheap but excellent merchandise and service at reasonable prices. An old fashioned fish monger sort of place. Also has an interesting collection of Portuguese specialities.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BBHound
      cookboat55 Jun 11, 2007 06:19 AM

      Do they usually carry sashimi-grade salmon? Making a salmon tartare amuse bouche for a dinner party this weekend.

      1. re: cookboat55
        toffifay Jun 12, 2007 06:53 AM

        If you're looking for sashimi grade salmon- then check out Kotobukiya in Porter Exchange. They have very fresh cuts of sushi grade fish for sale. 1815 Massachusetts Ave # 1, Cambridge, MA 02140. In the back corner of Porter Exchange across from Blue Fin.

        Or go to Sea to You on the Boston wharf - you can buy direct from them. Just call ahead to make sure that they have what you need. You can also get fresh uni, shiso leaf, fresh wasabi root, etc...http://seatoyouboston.com/ NB: they are only open for retail on Fridays and Saturdays.

    2. p
      psora Jun 10, 2007 09:53 PM

      Morse Fish 1401 Washington Street South End is a fish market with counter service cooked seafood on the other side, and while I haven't bought from the market because of how long it will typically take me to get it home after, the counter service seafood is just impeccably fresh and delicious. And since they'll go to the market displays to get a fillet if they're running short at the counter, it's clearly the same stuff. Prices not necessarily cheap level bargains but reasonable for quality IMO (I do look at the market, even if I haven't bought there yet).

      1. s
        stephenlinn Jun 11, 2007 09:40 AM

        Where is this Chinese grocery under the Chinatown garage? sounds interesting

        1. s
          Splendid Spatula Jun 11, 2007 10:11 AM

          New Deal, just up Cambridge Street (direction Cambridge) from Courthouse, in East Cambridge. Outstanding, fresh, delicious, much sushi-grade. Can't recommend it highly enough.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Splendid Spatula
            tallullah Jun 11, 2007 10:31 AM

            This is my recommendation too. We got some tuna for tuna tartar this weekend. It was amazing...so fresh and velvety. The black seabass, calamari, and steamers were delicious, too.

            1. re: Splendid Spatula
              yumyum Jun 11, 2007 10:34 AM

              Heartily second New Deal. I used to give my East Cambridge business to Courthouse, and I find I prefer ND a bit more.

              But for Boston proper, I have bought fish and shrimp from the Morse Seafood counter and (if you know what you are looking for in fresh fish) it's very good. Some items are REALLY expensive, but others are good value for money. The fish counter at C-market in chinatown gets some positive reports, but I've not tried it.

              1. re: yumyum
                twentyoystahs Jun 12, 2007 01:17 PM

                Yeah, Morse is excellent quality, but it's not cheap. Swordfish running around 16 bucks a pound now. Yikes.

            2. Bob MacAdoo Jun 11, 2007 11:10 AM

              Here's a useful recent link on the subject:


              I prefer New Deal but it can be pricey.

              1. 9
                9lives Jun 11, 2007 11:13 AM

                I buy a lot of my fish/shellfish at James Hook on the waterfront.

                I think the E Cambridge places are excellent..slightly favor New Deal. over Courthouse..but it's not that convenient for me..so I don't get there as often as I'd like.

                The CMart near South Station is under a parking garage. I sometimes buy from them, the other Cmart or Super 88 downtown. You can find good fish there..but generally not the the kind of quality as at the places I mentioned above.

                1 Reply
                1. re: 9lives
                  toffifay Jun 12, 2007 07:07 AM

                  The only drawback of the C Mart under the parking garage is that the guys behind the counter don't speak english. If it's not busy, then they do have a translation sheet showing the english name and the chinese name next to each other. Otherwise, you have to rely on your own knowledge and pointing. Fish is good and fresh and cheap!

                2. h
                  hoplover Jun 11, 2007 05:04 PM

                  Super 88 has a very large selection of seafood that looks and tastes very fresh. There are crates of crushed ice and many different whole fishes available. They have shrimps a few different ways and ones with the heads still on. Whole red snappers, whole grey sole, whole flounders, whole sea bass. There are also many things that I have never seen or tasted before.

                  1. Dr.Jimbob Jun 12, 2007 12:03 PM

                    Here's a more specific question which is a subset of toffifay's query: does anyone know of a source for tuna, of good enough quality to be able to sear and leave raw to very rare in the middle, that isn't super-expensive cf Whole Foods? What kind of money would we be talking about for New Deal, Courthouse, Sea to You or any of the other above mentioned shops?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Dr.Jimbob
                      tallullah Jun 12, 2007 02:27 PM

                      I got sushi grade tuna at New Deal last weekend at $19 a pound. It was excellent. I used it for tartare it was nice and velvety, but not smooshy. Worth every penny.

                      1. re: Dr.Jimbob
                        9lives Jun 12, 2007 02:53 PM

                        "Sushi grade" is a marketing term...not a USDA grade like prime or choice. The quality of fish that I like to eat raw is going to be expensive..probably a minimum of $18-20 lb. I've bought it at New Deal, Courthouse, Hook's, and Sea to You. Sea to You will often have fattier more expensive grades too..Sometimes toro at $40-50lb. Occassionally they sell tuna for about $12-14..but it's a little "tired" and I don't like to buy it.

                        New Deal also carries fattier grades of tuna.

                        I've shopped at Sea to You for years and have found that you need to be careful..more so in the last few years. There is a lot of good fish sold; but there is also a little that is past peak; and they are trying to move it on Saturday.

                        1. re: 9lives
                          tallullah Jun 12, 2007 07:17 PM

                          And oh how I love marketing, it is my bread and butter after all. :)

                      2. t
                        taxi Jun 13, 2007 05:05 PM

                        In Malden on Salem Street is the Maplewood Fish Market and on Route 1 in Saugus is Andy's Seafood. Hope this helps and is not too far away.

                        1. j
                          jimboston Jul 17, 2013 02:02 PM

                          Check out Cape Ann Fresh Catch. They are like a CSA, and have a bunch of pickup locations around Boston. They are supposedly the largest Community Supported Local Fishery in the US (out of Gloucester). I don't think you can get any fresher since their fish comes off of day boats.


                          3 Replies
                          1. re: jimboston
                            lc02139 Jul 17, 2013 05:23 PM

                            by my calculations this is a 6 year old thread any reason you decided to post this here?? I think things have changed alot since then and sea to you isn't as good and Kotobukiya is closed.

                            1. re: lc02139
                              jimboston Jul 17, 2013 10:34 PM

                              Do you have any updates to add? I didn't even see it was so old, you would think there would be easier access to fresh fish in Boston, but it's not well known. Seem to be more and more coops etc popping up though.

                              1. re: jimboston
                                lc02139 Jul 18, 2013 06:12 AM

                                Are you looking for fish in general or sashimi grade that this post is looking for?

                                I think this post covers most of the places to recommend http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/909626.

                                H mart in Burlington, as well as many of the market baskets do pretty well for fish in general.

                                I did cape ann with a friend a few years ago great fish but a little much too scheduled for me these days.

                                I while ago I thought there was a post about a fisherman north of boston that would tweet his catch and where you could find him but a quick search didn't find it again.

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