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Aug 17, 2008 11:24 AM

Fresh Seafood in Cleveland???

I am from Florida and I can't find a fish market that sells fresh ocean fish. Everything has been frozen and I can't find things like swordfish, ahi, etc!!! Am I just out of luck??

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  1. not at all.

    too bad i heard the 75yr old business state fish just closed last month. wow thats a shame to hear.

    but never fear, you can try these:

    euclid fish

    nick the fish guy

    and also make sure to check out the west side market:

    you'll be fine.

    ps -- since you are from out of state i'll mention that besides local great lakes fish like walleye and perch it's very interesting to know that because of cleveland's new england roots take home clambakes are very popular in the fall. something to look for!

    1. In response to mrnyc's post, nick the fish guy is not baylobsters. Baylobsters is run by the Dziorney family. I believe Nick the fish guy buys a lot of stuff from Blue Ribbon - I have seen him down there buying a lot of fish.

      1 Reply
      1. People say nice things about Kate's at the West Side Market. Mister Brisket has been bringing in awesome diver scallops, and salmon in season.

        1 Reply
        1. re: NancyH

          I shop at the West Side Market almost every week, and have always found the selection and quality at Kate's Fish excellent. Fish/seafood I have purchased there include: striped bass, escolar, opa, various wild salmon, arctic char, top grade tuna, grouper cheeks (yum!) and scallops. The fish place at the west end of the market is also good, though the selection at Kate's is better.

        2. I have tried most of the places mentioned thus far and have not had much luck-it just does not taste as good. My fish consumption plummeted since I moved from a coastal region to the midwest. I am sure you can get something shipped in for $20 a pound, but come on! I am trying to eat more locally anyway, so this makes it easier.

          8 Replies
          1. re: lyn

            Whole Foods on the corner of Cedar. Go on Tuesdays or Wednesday.

            1. re: uhockey

              Thanks for the info everyone. I believe I've tried all of the and more except for Whole Foods. I will go this Tues. Thanks again!!

              1. re: gqpolo

                I will also tell you Kate's has great fish. Most (though maybe not all) she gets shipped in fresh, not frozen. Have you tried her stand? If you want something specific, ask her for it. She can be a little grizzly, but in the end does like to help.

                1. re: gourmanda

                  I agree about her grizzly manner -- very off-putting for someone in this line of work!! I try to deal with her son, who is much more helpful.

                  1. re: ClevelandRandy

                    I have been to Kate's although I didn't ask for anything in particular. I bought a mess of perch which was very fresh. I will try her this weekend!

                    1. re: gqpolo

                      glad to see you cultivating a liking for the fish that are available where you live now. when in rome...right?!!

                    2. re: ClevelandRandy

                      I agree about her son and husband too (I think it's her husband). Though I did order a 3lb. piece of halibut with the son over the phone...when I picked it up she gave me a 3 lb piece of salmon. I explained and she said "i have it written right here, 3 lb whole piece of salmon". Not sure if it was her error or the son's, really teed me off though. Still got some halibut just not the whole piece I wanted. At the end of the day, though, the fish is the best, most reliable source I've found this side of the river.

                    3. re: gourmanda

                      My First Time in Cleveland

                      I'm a patent agent from Arlington VA who was invited by my Hanover High School [PA] 1969 Classmate Kate McIntyre and her sister Tricia Allen to come see Cleveland. Of course, we started at Kate's Fish, sampled some chowder and selected some swordfish. And we ate this, and that, and a lot of other fine food from West End. Then we retired to her home for days of fine dining in the first-class tradition of her career in haute cuisine and hospitality. I'm kind of biased toward a girl I adored in high school, but I think you'd be wrong _not_ to shop at Kate's. Thanks a bunch!

                      Jeff Spangler,
                      Arlington, VA

                      P.S.: Please don't call Kate names or mischaracterize her manner. I have known her over forty years and she is an angel. Have you ever had a bad day?

              2. I love fish and shell fish. If I had my druthers, I'd eat it every day. I've lived in Cleveland for 5 years have tried almost every seafood outlet. The pickings here are very slim. Whole Foods at Cedar and Warrensville Ctr Rd is your best bet for freshness and variety. It's one of the few places you can actually buy an unprocessed whole fish. Most of the others get their stock from wholesale processing plants. It's come a long way and it's not that fresh. The various seafood "markets" including West Side Market are just OK. I've bought terrific clams and fish from Mitchell's seafood restaurant on Chagrin Blvd (has over the counter sales - they claim they buy their stuff directly from the docks) and some very unfresh fish and shellfish as well. Metropolitan Market in Pepper Pike has a limited selection of fish and is usually reliable. Sword is a personal favorite fin fish and I find myself disappointed with the quality/freshness 90 % of the time, even from Whole Foods. I end up buying farmed Atlantic salmon or tuna if it looks good when I can't get to WF. Suggest you avoid the fish counter completely at the chain groceries unless you are using it for stock or stew.

                With the exception of a few fresh water varieties, all seafood in this town has travelled a long distance to get here.Often it's gone through middle men for processing, further delaying time to restaurants as well as stores. I've been disappointed with the freshness of the sushi (although there are a few excellent sushi restaurants here), compared with NYC, Florida, the west coast and even Chicago.
                My advice, if possible, only buy your seafood from Whole Foods if at all possible. Limit your intake of sushi to the few very good restaurants. Good luck!

                FYI - Without exception, all shrimp in Cleveland is frozen. Virtually all calamari (except when occasionally offered by Whole Foods) is frozen as well. Most of the scallops sold in the stores are heavily treated with chemicals and taste like it. Clams and oysters are a crap shoot - sometimes very fresh, frequently just Ok. Mussels are always old, musky tasting - avoid them completely in this town. (Didn't know how good they could be until I went to Prince Edward Island earlier this summer). Good luck!

                4 Replies
                1. re: atievsky


                  How can you compare Florida and the West Coast to Cleveland? Last I checked, they are on the OCEAN which is where the fish you prefer reside. As to NYC, most fish do not go directly from fishing boat to market, they must go through one or two middlemen enroute to get there.

                  Farmed fish????? Not if you want quality and good taste...bad for the fish, bad for the environment, bad for your health.

                  You should be frequently disappointed with swordfish as it is terribly overfished (still). You probably aren't even getting swordfish half the time.

                  Where do you get your information that Whole Food doesn't use a processor? I find it hard to believe that a store in a national chain buys fish directly from a fishing boat without going through a middleman.

                  If you dislike the offerings in this area so much then A. why do you still consume fish here and B. why are you so cheap? Order directly from the docks.

                    1. re: gqpolo

                      Hawaii Seafood Company 808 329-2042

                    2. re: gourmanda

                      No one is dissing Cleveland because the fish isn't as fresh as coastal cities. It just shoud be born in mind: Let the buyer/consumer/eater beware. Fish (even farmed!) is low in fat, has high nutritional value and tastes good. Those are the reasons that I make it a staple of my diet. I urge everyone else to do the same.

                      Don't discount the nutritional value of farmed fish in the American diet. Also, although it may not taste as good as wild in many cases it makes a perfectly adequate, tasty and much less expensive substitute for daily eating. Good quality, fresh farmed fish is also quite tasty.Yes it's bad for the environment, but I guess we all have to draw the line somewhere, and most people can't afford to eat $20 a pound wild salmon for routine dinners.

                      The fish coming into WF stores is off the boat with or without a middle man and is shipped whole for processing in the store. The fish sold by just about everyone else (except a few restaurants) in this town has been cleaned and often cut into portions by processers, which one would anticipate would delay delivery. I found this out on a search for fish bones and heads for cooking soup stock. Ask for the bones and heads and you will see who has freshest fish!

                      I suspect you could do as well at Mitchell's as ordering directly from the docks, for a lot less money.

                      Also - be conscious of what is seasonal, you are much more likely to find the fish to be really fresh, as it is moving in large quatities when it's in season. E.g. last week I had some fantastic PEI farmed mussels from Heinens, best I've tasted by far (including NYC oyster houses) since I eating on the docks in PEI in 2008.