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Fresh seafood in the St. Pete area.

  • g

I just moved to St. Pete from up north, and am looking for a place that sells FRESH seafood. I tried publix and Winn Dixie and they both SUCK. you would think that stores near the shore could get something reasonably fresh... but NOOOOOO. There must be a fish wharf somewhere that sells seafood that has NOT been frozen for a few months prior to being thawed and tasteless. Next I'll have to find a REAL Asian market. Lucky I found a few bakeries in the area since french bread should be something crusty on outside and flavorful on the inside.. Publix doesn't know this. and their hard rolls aren't!!! HELP me find REAL GOOD food in the St. Pete area before I go nuts! I got better seafood 500 miles from the ocean than I can 300 yards from it! I thought the gulf was the shrimp heaven... guess they must all go to Texas :)

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  1. http://www.bamasea.com/

    Fresh seafood here (at above link) and I have not been there but a lot of people recommend Mid-Peninsula Seafood.
    I live in Tampa and buy at Cox Seafood on Dale Mabry.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rhnault

      I assume that they have good fresh seafood at cox? I have no issue driving across the bridge to get good food.

      1. re: ghod

        yes, the family owns the boats. I was just there last Friday buying stone crab for the weekend and some smoked mullet. I think the black grouper filets were 17.99 and the red snapper were 18.99. They also sell scamp, flounder, whole fish, shrimp, etc. ..

    2. I've had good luck at Sav-On Seafood, 1449 49th Street, St. Petersburg.

      1. Asian Supermarket try Oceanic in Tampa. http://www.oceanicmarket.com/

        1. We live in Gulfport and NYC (half and half) and have found the seafood at SaveOn, on 49 Street at 15 Avenue South, to be the best in the area. They supply many local restaurants and the fish is very, very fresh. If you ask what's local they will be honest and you'll get fish never frozen and really good.

          For Asian markets, there are 2 very good ones. One is on 62 Avenue North between 34 and 49 Streets on the right side when driving from 34 Street. That market has remarkably fresh veggies, etc. and is Vietnamese oriented. The other is on 34 Street, around 18th Avenue South and this one has Japanese and Chinese ingredients as well. Both are really very good markets--and we do have amazing ones in NYC. These compare well.

          Mid Peninsula Seafood is a good place to take out well prepared and reasonably priced seafood. We haven't purchased any fish there as we prefer SaveOn.

          1. 2 places that I are excellent, Reef's fresh fish in Indian Beach and Shaners Land and Sea in Pas-a grille. They have great line catch norwegian salmon, dover sole filets from boston, fresh local red snapper and fresh red and black grouper

            1. We were in culture shock when we first moved here from up north. The fresh cold water fish you can get in the market up there is just not available here. Fresh fish is going to be warm water fish.

              And, don't even get me started on hard rolls! I've been here 8 years and still haven't found a decent hard roll. :-)

              3 Replies
              1. re: LJBTampa

                Try Mozart cafe on 4th street around 70th ave N. German bakery that has very good ones.
                fresh baked every day.They only have Rye and 6 grain bread too but all of those items are VERY nice... as I lived in Germany for many years and they are very nice alternative.

                1. re: LJBTampa

                  Hi, LJBTampa:
                  Let's be fair to Florida. You're going to get better warm water fish (i.e., Gulf coast and south Atlantic fish), like grouper, snapper, and redfish, than you are going to get up north. Conversely, up north you are going to get better haddock, cod, and bluefish, etc.

                  I don't know about the rolls in particular, but it seems to me in general that bread products do not fair as well in the humidity of Florida as they do in the less humid climate up north. So I suspect you on the rolls.

                  1. re: gfr1111

                    What a shocking idea! You mean I will be more likely to get better warm water fish closer to their source? And likewise, more cold water fish will be available to me in areas nearer their origin?

                    The bread thing, though, is more due to cultural values than humidity. Go to a panaderia in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and you'll find plenty of great crusty breads (and it is further south and just as humid). People here are content to eat doughy bread by and large, so the good stuff is hard to find. Good, crusty Cuban bread used to be findable in the Tampa area, but I don't think that there are as many Cuban bakeries as there used to be.

                2. I would never rely on a chain grocery store to give you anything but barely adequate fresh food. the reason being they buy in bulk, and for consistency, and especially for best price this is not a recipe for quality. It would be like going to Appleby's and expecting a great steak. An individual store's proximity to a source of great fresh food is meaningless due to the fact that they get all of their food shipped in from a warehouse somewhere else.

                  This is why while I shop at one of the big chains for non perishables, I avoid them like the plague for anything I want to be high quality. that includes meat, fish, baked goods, and Vegies.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: willdupre

                    While that is good advice I have seen some (from up north) big chain places that have serviceable bakeries and veggies.. bakeries are in house so if they KNOW how to make it it should be good not great but GOOD. (read usable) As for veggies where I was up north, in the DC area, the markets got veggies local for like 7-8 months of the year and had a good selection. Publix , WD and such just do NOT. As for fish I have had better shrimp in the local big chains up north that what I have found down here (4 purchases) at local stores now local distribution centers can fix many of those issues down here but I would guess either they don't have that or it just gets to hot during transport I have also been to a few local markets and to be honest they don't excite me even a little bit..
                    The original queaston is where to find it... not that Publix/WD do not have them and why.
                    I would still buy all those items in a big chain, up north, if in a rush and not interesting in great food, but down here I will NOT. Publix wrapped veggies almost assures you that they are A0 old and rubbery or not in the quantity that you want. so quantity and quality suffer. The only veggies that look OK are at shops with stands at the saturday fair in downtown St. Pete. As for meats and fish they are hit and miss ANYWHERE I have shopped so far and mostly MISS. Don't blame the Big chains for food food cause they are big chains blame them cause they do not have local distribution centers, or refrigerated trucks. Planes can get you fresh LIVE Maine lobsters here they can get anything else here FRESH too.; (not that expensive in BULK and other places do it.)
                    Now I will give you that the area I came from what much high in population but still...

                  2. Look you are in luck! There is one of the finest seafood markets I've ever been in, it's on
                    Gandy Blvd., just a mile or so down from the dog track, I.C. Sharks Seafood Market. They have by far the freshest seafood I've ever eaten. Fresh grouper, snapper, stonecrabs, live blue crabs...heck they even have fresh HOGFISH!