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Where to buy mussels to make at home?

RenMechan May 1, 2012 09:34 AM

Does anyone have a great source in Chicago for purchasing mussels to prepare at home? The mussels at Jewel and Dominick's always look fairly sad. I love mussels and order them at restaurants frequently (Hopleaf, Vincent, Leopold, etc.), but I'm looking to make them at home. I welcome any suggestions!

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  1. camusman RE: RenMechan May 1, 2012 11:28 AM

    I think Dirk's Fish on Clybourn is the best retail outlet around.

    1 Reply
    1. re: camusman
      chicgail RE: camusman May 1, 2012 04:09 PM


    2. g
      gordeaux RE: RenMechan May 1, 2012 07:09 PM

      There are several places to get fresh ones around town. Good luck on your quest, Dirk's is a fine choice. What I want to add is that you can buy them frozen at a bunch of places. You may be tempted to buy them frozen. Those boxes of New Zealand Green Lipped mussels on the half shell are big and meaty and pretty. Frozen mussels, however, are the Devil's appetizer. They are just gross, lifeless, chunks of yuck. I really cannot stand frozen mussels at all. They have no resemblance to their fresh counterparts. If you do get tempted to buy frozen ones, just remember this thread.

      4 Replies
      1. re: gordeaux
        RenMechan RE: gordeaux May 2, 2012 07:46 AM

        Well that's quite an image. Fresh=good. Frozen=bad. :) Thank you! I'll definitely check out Dirks. It's a bit far from where I live, but I know it's the best fish monger in the city so it's worth the trek.

        1. re: RenMechan
          Possumlad RE: RenMechan May 2, 2012 10:01 AM

          If you're near the loop during the day, I'd check out Issacson & Stein on the corner of Halsted & Fulton Market. Fantastic quality, always fresh, and wholesale pricing. They're really set up more as a wholesale supplier, so their hours can be a bit tricky. It's a fun experience as well:


          1. re: RenMechan
            chicgail RE: RenMechan May 2, 2012 10:03 AM

            I've gotten mussels from WF and from Costco that were significantly smaller and less meaty/juicy than the ones at Dirks. I'm probably going to get some from him tomorrow. The NTY has been featuring mussels recipes all week and I'm inspired.

            1. re: chicgail
              camusman RE: chicgail May 2, 2012 10:29 AM

              To those on the fence about making a long trek to Dirk's, there's the bonus of its being the start of soft-shell crab season. . . .

        2. d
          dulcie54 RE: RenMechan May 2, 2012 12:39 PM

          I know Hopleaf gets its mussels from Fortune Fish in Bensenville, and I believe many other chefs and restaurants use this resource. I am not sure about their procedures for selling to the public, but it's worth a try.

          1. q
            Querencia RE: RenMechan May 2, 2012 04:31 PM

            Mariano's often advertises mussels. Their seafood at the new Benton Place store looks nice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Querencia
              CJT RE: Querencia May 2, 2012 04:51 PM

              Naperville Super HMart regularly has fresh mussels available and they are frequently on sale (2 lb. bag $1.99). I suspect other Super HMart stores in Chicago should be offering them at similar prices.

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