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Know of any great fishmongers in NH?

Hi there! I'm looking for a fishmonger in NH - anyone out there know of any? Looking specifically for whole fish and high quality - we've moved here from NYC where we were spoiled rotten by the availability of umm... everything! Thanks!

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  1. I lived in NH for 20 years (while the kids were growing up), moved back to Boston a while back. NH has come a long way, but don't know exactly where you are located. I would assume that you could hook up with someone near the ocean/pier, around Seabrook, Portsmouth area.

    Here's a link to a thread, but there isn't much on it:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/160039

    And if you are inland, up and coming areas that may have something? My guess might be Concord, Litchfield area.

    I have seen whole Salmon in Costco and Market Basket here. The Market Basket I go to (which isn't often), always has a line for the fish dept., so I feel like it's really fresh.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mcel215

      I live a couple hundred yards from the Saunders Fish Market in Portsmouth. If I'm buying something like haddock filets, I use Market Basket. They do 100x the volume so their fish is always fresh with daily turnover. The prices are also much lower. Everyone is buying the same fish from the same auctions. They're all using the same distributors. I don't think it particularly matters whether a fish house fillets the fish for a big grocery store chain or if a local shop does it on site. What you care about is the age of the fish. Everything around here comes from the auctions and processing houses in Portland, Gloucester, Boston, and New Bedford. Nothing is being transported more than 120 miles.

      Of course, I prefer catching it off my own boat and having it for dinner that evening. I served bonito for 8 on Friday night on Martha's Vineyard. The seagulls had a fine feast from the remains. Cod, haddock, tuna, and striped bass caught that day are a couple of orders of magnitude better than anything you can get in NYC since "you can get anything" doesn't mean the fish could possibly have come out of the water within the last 7 or 8 hours. It's not particularly difficult to filet a fish. With the fuel burn, the fish often costs me around $50/pound if I'm going offshore for tuna or cod/haddock so I tend to eat an awful lot of $5/pound Market Basket haddock.

      1. re: GeoffD

        While I appreciate the insight, I'm pretty well versed with the basics of food distribution and how to select fresh fish. I'm not entirely certain that you've ever seen any of the upper end fish markets in NYC or perhaps heard of the Fulton Street fish market but I'd assume that the catch to counter time is quite a bit longer as fishmongers at Market Basket are waiting for the 18 wheeler to arrive from the regional warehouse. What we're looking for is probably a pipe dream, suprising being so close to the ocean .

        1. re: wongadon

          Funny...a topic praising a recent wave of good fish at Market Basket - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/547838# .

          I am actually grateful that can deliver something acceptable since there are few other local alternatives!

          To further your point, the lack of fish markets or mongers with good quality AND variety is even harder to find along the coast...at least there are a few spots inland.

          The closest thing I have found to markets in NYC is Harbor Fish Market in Portland.

    2. I've always had great luck at Seaport Fish in Rye, NH.

      1. Where are you? There are fish trucks that station themselves throughout - fresh that day. But you could call them to place an order too. I know of one just outside Manchester - cn't find his card though (sits at the Candia Circle gas station and store). there is also a nice one on Thurs. in Meredith NH just off Rt. 25. both of these come from the coast that morning and sell out wiht a crowd.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lexpatti

          In Concord on Fridays one of those fish trucks comes in from the coast with the fresh catch of that morning, plus some prepared things like lobster and corn chowders etc. She's off of exit 14 on 93, in the parking lot of the Everett Arena. Head up loudon road from the exit and you can't miss the arena, she's on the farside of it in her truck.

        2. In Manchester NH there is a Korean Market named Saigon on Maple St. They always have different whole fish (and even LIVE fish) which they get daily. As well as crabs, prawns, conch, and squid...etc

          17 Replies
          1. re: gryphonskeeper

            I've been wanting to get in that place. Keep hearing great things. The International Market in Lowell is same, huge fish (whole) department in back.

            1. re: lexpatti

              Lex I love this place and shop there often for meats, produce, seafood and any asian ingredients I may need. The prices are MUCH better than any local large grocery store for these items. I was even able to get dried abalone!

              1. re: gryphonskeeper

                I also enjoy that store though I don't get down to manchester enough to make it a constant thing. I think I fell in love with the store when I found a gallon size jug of sambal oelek for 10 bucks or so.

                1. re: Whydon

                  Saigon Market is a Viet Namese market (not Korean--there is a good Korean Market in downtown Nashua, but no fish counter there),

                  Saigon has branches in Manchester (Maple Street) and Nashua (Pine Street) and the fish counters are pretty good, especially on Fri/Sat after their main weekly delivery comes in, Overall though, Battambang Market in Lowell (it is primarily a Cambodian market--I think it may be the same store that Lexpatti refers to as International Market) has the best fish counter around the Route 3 corridor i.e. Lowell/Nashua/Manchester. They get deliveries at least twice a week, although which day of the week varies. Their stock is typically whole fish, some fresh, some frozen, depending on time of year/species/size etc. The species vary, some are regional regulars like flounder, but others, like red snapper and pomfret definitely aren't.

                  If there is a good "yankee" fish store in this area, I've yet to find it. (have tried Milford Fish market-yuck in my opinion, and Tinker's, worse, again in my opinion)

                  I am curious about this fish truck in Candia (a little out of the way for me, but for good fish worth it). Do they really sell day boat fish?

                  Market Basket's fish counters do sometimes have good fish, for example I got some very good monk fish there earlier in the summer, and they were carrying fresh wild silverbrite salmon for all of July, but the availability and quality vary day to day store to store.

                  1. re: qianning

                    There is a fishguy that comes to the circle, right off the highway and sits there only on weekends, and yes it is all day boat fish... he and his sons go out the day before, and that is what he sells... "If we didn't catch it, you ain't gettin' it" That is one of his lines. Same with his clams.. he digs them himself.

                    1. re: qianning

                      This truck isn't in Candia, but out Candia Rd. in Manchester at the circle that Gryphonskeeper is mentioning.

                        1. re: qianning

                          Check out Liberty Fish--they have a stand at the Amherst Farmer's Market, but also take orders. It's the freshest fish we've found in the area. http://www.libertyfish.net/index.html. My only quibble is she never carries whole, head-on fish. Have to agree with you about the Milford Fish Market--it has gone into a steep decline.

                          1. re: whs

                            would anyone know if either the truck on Candia Road or Liberty Fish ever carry blue fish? Usually it is available in the summer months, but this year I'm having real trouble finding it. sometimes the asian stores have had it, but it is one fish that i don't like to buy whole, since an entire blue fish is too big for my needs, and doesn't freeze well.

                            PS-I couldn't get the Liberty Fish link to work, but haven't tried "goiing direct" yet.

                            1. re: qianning

                              In Portsmouth, there is Fresh Market. It's on Route 1, just south of the traffic circle at exit 5. Very fresh fish. John & David are very knowledgeable about fish, which I find helpful.

                              1. re: qianning

                                Elisha (the Liberty Fish lady) has bluefish--you may have to request it.

                                1. re: whs

                                  thanks for the info. i finally got to their web site, but its not on the list...i'll try to contact them directly. again, thanks for the tip.

                                  1. re: qianning

                                    well it turned out that liberty's delivery day for my town wasn't so good for me, although she defintely can source blue fish in the summer, but when that fell through, i asked about availability at my local market basket, and it turns out they were happy to order it for me. just had it for dinner this evening-delicious!

                        2. re: qianning

                          Hi, All,
                          I used to get fish from the folks who actually own their fishing boats, and sell the catches they got the same day. I can't recall the name, can someone help? Located in NH area, I am looking for fish with heads.
                          Thanks.

                    2. re: lexpatti

                      say Lexpatti could you give me an address on this int market
                      thanks in advance

                      1. re: foodperv

                        i'm pretty sure she's refering to Battambang in Lowell:
                        Battambang Supermarket at 125 Church St, Lowell, MA 01852
                        Sigon Market's in Manchester and Nashua also have a fish counter and some asian groceries, but not as extensive as lowell. btw, battambanngs fish counter is almost always at its best late on Friday/ early on saturday.

                        1. re: foodperv

                          Yes, sorry I didn't see this, never popped up with new comments..... Yes, as qianning says, right there on church st. Manchester's is I believe on Maple just off S Willow St.

                    3. Try Sanders Fish Market (www.SandersFish.com) in Portsmouth, NH and Seaport Fish (www.SeaportFish.com) in Rye, NH. Both fish markets get fish and other seafood out of Boston (and sometimes Portland) on a daily basis. Seaport cuts fish in-house so they might be able to help you out with a whole fish if you give them ample notice.

                      Not sure about getting fish from Market Basket... I'd at least go to Philbrick's Fresh Market in Portsmouth on Rt. 1 or the new Hannaford's in Portsmouth on Islington Street!

                      -----
                      Philbrick's Fresh Market
                      775 Lafayette Rd, Portsmouth, NH

                      Seaport Fish
                      13 Sagamore Rd, Rye, NH

                      Sanders Fish Market
                      367 Marcy St, Portsmouth, NH

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: snopromofo

                        Thanks for the advice, all! Saigon market is our place for whole, live fish. Since we're in Concord we've checked out the Sander's truck, have gotten some good stuff and it's kinda fun! Will check out Seaport as well... We were able to get a seafood fix on a short vacation from Mac's in Truro - oysters, dayboat scallops and local fish every day... yum yum!

                        1. re: snopromofo

                          I think you're paying a big premium for the gold-plated store when you go to Sanders or Philbrick's. The presentation may look great in that shiny-new case but that doesn't necessarily make the fish fresher. Have you ever been in either of those places 10 minutes before closing? There's a lot of fish in the case. They're still selling that fish to you the next day as fresh fish.

                          1. re: GeoffD

                            what do you think Hannafords, Shaws and other places do... throw all their fish away at the end of the night?