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Where to buy sustainable seafood in SF?

gbsf Oct 10, 2007 05:22 PM

This seems like a no-brainer, but i can't think of where to buy good quality seafood (preferably sustainable harvested) in San Francisco, other than Whole Foods and some other high end grocers. Surely there must be a fish market or the like along the bay somewhere?
I live in Cow Hollow and work downtown, so ideally some place close or between those two?

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  1. Windy RE: gbsf Oct 10, 2007 07:22 PM

    There are two fish markets in the ferry building, and of course Swan Oyster Depot, if you can get there in time.

    My preference is Berkeley Bowl, but I've bought good if pricey seafood from both Bi Rite and Canyon Market.

    1. f
      Fig Newton RE: gbsf Oct 10, 2007 07:52 PM

      Swan Oyster Depot is a great option. For about 6 months last year, the lovely guys there would call me whenever they had fresh anchovies in. It was like I had my own personal fishmonger.

      I really respect the buying decisions that the Cal-Mart meat counter makes, and they have fish.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Fig Newton
        Melanie Wong RE: Fig Newton Oct 10, 2007 08:23 PM

        What's the seasonality for fresh anchovies? I wanted some two weeks ago . . .

        1. re: Melanie Wong
          Fig Newton RE: Melanie Wong Oct 10, 2007 08:50 PM

          The Patricia Unterman Food Lover's Guide says May - October. I know they get much more difficult to find around now.

      2. t
        tstrum RE: gbsf Feb 17, 2011 11:39 AM

        This is not SF proper, but Sausalito. Fish is very thoughtful about sustainability and will tell their story in a understandable way. Furthermore, the food is delicious. The only drawback is that it is pricey and they only take cash.

        350 Harbor Dr, Sausalito, CA 94965

        5 Replies
        1. re: tstrum
          Lori SF RE: tstrum Feb 17, 2011 12:33 PM

          I agree.

          1. re: tstrum
            artemis RE: tstrum Feb 17, 2011 02:37 PM

            I had the most spectacular mussels from there a few weeks ago in the restaurant, and spent many minutes longingly gazing at their fish case. There was a lot of really beautiful fresh fish that also happened to be totally sustainable in there.

            1. re: tstrum
              Abby0105 RE: tstrum Feb 18, 2011 08:22 AM

              San Francisco Magazine had a really good (if disheartening) article about sustainable seafood, featuring Kenny Belov, co-owner of Fish. It might not help you find a place to shop, but it's well worth a read. Eye opening.


              1. re: Abby0105
                Robert Lauriston RE: Abby0105 Feb 23, 2011 09:38 AM

                Here's Monterey Fish's response, which is pretty damning:


                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  SteveG RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 23, 2011 11:54 AM

                  Great link. Next time I buy local Sand Dabs, which Molie Stones and Falletti carry off and on, now I'll know to ask who is fishing them.

            2. Lori SF RE: gbsf Feb 17, 2011 12:32 PM

              Local fish and wild fish would be the best options. I am still unclear as the debate continues on harvested.
              SF Fish Company in the Ferry Plaza is a good option
              Bryan's market carries wild and local fish

              Here is a good resource for sustainable choices

              5 Replies
              1. re: Lori SF
                Robert Lauriston RE: Lori SF Feb 17, 2011 12:43 PM

                That's an out-of-date copy of a Seafood Watch pocket guide. You can always find the current versions and detailed recommendations for various kinds of fish here:


                The Monterey Fish Market (local wholesaler with a Berkeley retail shop) site is also a good reference:


                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  JasmineG RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 17, 2011 02:39 PM

                  They also have a free iPhone app, which is great and easy for when you're at the store.

                  1. re: JasmineG
                    Robert Lauriston RE: JasmineG Feb 17, 2011 02:49 PM

                    Or you can just bookmark their "mobile" Web site: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/mo...

                2. re: Lori SF
                  wolfe RE: Lori SF Feb 17, 2011 12:47 PM

                  The guide to sustainable seafood has several regional editions. The one you sumitted is for the Southwest. Here is a link to other areas courtesy of Monterey Bay Aquarium.

                  1. re: wolfe
                    Lori SF RE: wolfe Feb 17, 2011 12:56 PM

                    Yes you are right I sent the wrong link, I had that for my visit to the South last Oct. The Monterey one is a great resource. Thanks.

                3. v
                  vulber RE: gbsf Feb 18, 2011 12:24 AM

                  I guess it would fall under high-end grocers, but Bi-Rite wil deifnitely have some, albeit a limited selections

                  1. majordanby RE: gbsf Feb 23, 2011 08:57 AM

                    here's an interesting piece on NPR on the subject


                    Note that Monterey blasted Belov and Vance on their website. And the chef from Delfina looked awfully bad after this.

                    Delfina Restaurant
                    3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

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