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May 31, 2011 09:44 AM

Jersey Shore (Keyport) - Amazing Fish

Locals know all about Keyport Fishery:

Dating back to 1936, these folks also had a booth up at the Fulton Fish Market in NYC. That is how my Dad learned about them.

This tiny little "fried fish" shack, served just about some of the best seafood anyone has ever tasted. Scratch that. Just about the best food anyone has ever tasted. Just that good. People would literally drive down from Connecticut just to get some.

Unfortunately the original owners finally sold the place. The quality of the food dropped. But we just went back. I don't know what changed, but it is back to very very tasty stuff. Not quite what the original owners had, but still probably the best fried fish you will ever taste.

I would particularly recommend the fish cakes, the crab cakes and the scallops. The fish cakes are just about as good as they used to be. Basically, until you have eaten these, you have never eaten a fish cake. They shouldn't even call it a fish cake, because it is just something else entirely.

They also have tons of fresh fish if you want to buy.

No seating! Buy some stuff, walk across the street and eat the food sitting right by the bay, like we regulars have been doing for years (me since the mid-60's). It may not sound like gourmet, until you take that first bite of the single best scallop (fried or otherwise) you have ever tasted.

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  1. I love this place. I almost always order soft shell crab, oysters, clam chowder or scungilli salad. My husband always gets the fried shrimp.

    I'll have to try the fish cakes and I'd love to hear anyone else's favorites too. I feel like I've only scratched the surface of the menu.

    1. We're regulars since the late 70's. Cole slaw is outstandingly simple and spiked with just the right about of vinegar (if you're a slaw lover). We often buy the flounder platter and shrimp/scallop platter with an extra slaw and bring the fries home; sit by the bay and enjoy.

      During the summer they offer a lobster sandwich. If you notice a counter sign for it, order it. Small sandwich but top notch.

      I buy all of my fresh fish from Keyport Fishery. We love the place.

      1. Dropped by the place with a friend (from northern NJ) when I visited NJ last week. I regret to say I and my friend were underwhelmed. We both had the lobster sandwich - it was not what we expected (think Maine Lobster sandwich - with mayo, lobster chunks, celery etc) but was a fried battered piece of lobster on a soggy ordinary bun. The meat was interesting & nice, the bun horrible. I asked the guy there what was particularly good that day; I got a death stare and he suggested he get me a combo/miscellaneous platter. Little bits of this and that, everything battered & fried. The scallops were fine, the fish pieces scarce and thin-fleshed, just this side of dry. The shrimp & etc were unremarkable. Huge mountains of fries, they were fine initially but rapidly became soggy and mealy as they cooled. Yes, We ate our orders right away in that car park across from the place sitting at one of those tables besides the roadway. We also got some fried fish (to go) for my friend's hubby and a young fellow whom my friend consulted suggested that he underfry it so it wouldn't get too done by the time we got back home. That fish was also OK but again not earth-shattering by any means. I guess we found it decent overall but not something we would drive there for specifically.

        3 Replies
        1. re: huiray

          Wow, you're experience was really blah. I've never had a blah meal at the Keyport Fishery. Sorry to hear you were underwhelmed.

          1. re: huiray

            I had the same experience as you unfortunately. My boyfriend's fried fish was underdone to the point that he could really only eat about 1/2. And EVERYTHING is fried. I was hoping for a grilled scallop sandwich. It seems unlikely we will ever go back.

            1. re: ohthatsgood

              you're right ohthat''s all FRIED. And while that's ok once in a while (say a flounder sandwich), I prefer my fish (flounder, cod, haddock, halibut, bass, monkfish, tilefish, et al), and shellfish broiled, baked and prepared infintisimal ways

              I remember living up there and always going on a Friday nite for my fried flounder sandwich - my tastes have long sincechanged. Ever wonder how much breading one consumes with their Seafood platter? That's awfully filling, high in calories and sugars as well.