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Oct 10, 2007 05:22 PM

Where to buy sustainable seafood in SF?

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. 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. 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

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

        1. re: Melanie Wong

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

      2. 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

            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

              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: Robert Lauriston

                  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. 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

                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

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

                2. re: Lori SF

                  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

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