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Oct 30, 2012 10:38 AM

Seeking great local seafood market

Hi, I'm a military wife relatively new to San Diego, living in the Gaslamp District, looking for a great seafood market. High on my wish list: fresh-TODAY oysters and mussels!

All suggestions welcome, except Whole Foods (I utterly refuse to shop there for reasons which have nothing to do with the quality/freshness of their products). Thanks in advance!

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  1. Look for farmers markets attended by the Carlsbad Aquafarm:

    or go to Catalina Offshore Products:

    or try Poppa's Fresh Fish:

    or Bo's:

    or Blue Water:

    or The Fishery (look that one up yourself :))

    2 Replies
      1. re: notjustastomach

        I'd add El Pescador in La Jolla to that list, but given that Blue Water is a lot closer to the Gaslamp, that probably is a better choice.

      2. 1. Welcome to San Diego.
        2. Thank you for your family's service.

        You want to get to know Catalina Offshore Products. It's a little funky (right now) as it is primarily a wholesale seafood distributor, but they've made serious efforts to bring retail clients in- and their space is changing to be much more retail oriented.

        Southern California is not known for shellfish like the PacNW or eastern seaboard or the gulf. But as pointed out, Carlsbad is doing some aquafarming and I'd had good items from there.

        Thanks again. Military wife is one of the hardest jobs in the service.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Fake Name

          Thanks -- this sounds like my kinda place :)

          Thanks also for understanding the military-spouse thing, but my job is NOTHING compared to the work that my husband does as a combat medic! He's leaving for another deployment next month (sigh), and I'm really hoping to be able to make him at least ONE killer seafood dinner before he leaves...

          1. re: Spikeygrrl

            One thing to know about Catalina OP is that the retail/walk up business is only open to the public until 3 pm M-F (not sure about Saturday).

            On Weds, Sat & Sun., you will find Carlsbad Aquafarms at either Little Italy Mercato or the farmers market at the San Diego Public Market in Barrio Logan. Both of these farmer's markets are very close to you. CA usually sells both mussels and oysters at those markets. Last time we bought there, I seem to remember oysters about a buck a piece and mussels around 4.99 lb.

            Poppa's is also at the Little Italy Mercato and sometimes has a couple of varieties of oysters (both east and west coast, on occasion).

            1. re: Stiflers_Mom

              Catalina OP is the fresh seafood hook-up. They also carry Carlsbad Aquafarm products. You can check them out on-line, but it's actually better to call them to discuss what you want and what is especially fresh. I always ask for Tommy (Gomes) or Dan (Nattras) as they seem to have the best advice and knowledge. Once you decide what you want and how much you want, they will have it packaged nicely for you to come in and pick up. Must get there relatively early if you want to pick up on a Saturday as I think they close around 11:30 AM.

          2. re: Fake Name


            Except for scallops. Ask at Catalina for their diver scallops. Best, by far, I've ever had.

            1. re: Fake Name

              +1 on Guerrero Negro Diver Sea Scallops. They are plump, moist and sweet. Best I've ever bought anywhere! You can get these baby's huge, fist size . . . like a four count, but I prefer their 8 count because I think they are sweeter and more tender. And of course they never use KCL, so you never get that disgusting, thin, milky liquid oozing out when you cook them.

          3. Welcome Spikey!
            If you don't feel like shucking and want to take your honey bun to the Fish Market Downtown and Market and dine at the Oyster Bar for a dozen kumamotos, steamed mussels, chowder with some cheesy garlic bread, that is an excellent place..also, drinks and apps on the bayfront patio.
            Do NOT eat at the pedestrian restaurant downstairs..sushi bar is quite good and the pricey Top of the Market is lovely.

            Catalina Offshore is excellent.
            Point Loma Seafood has off the boat great seafood but it is pricey..great scallop sandwich.
            Brigantine in Shelter Island has everyday happy hour for fish tacos and oyster bar..
            Bay Park Seafood and Market...great happy hour and fresh fish.
            Mc Cormicks and Schmicks at the Omni next to Petco Park has an great happy hour with oysters everyday..along with Tin Fish for fish tacos.

            Thank your beloved husband for his service and for you spikey for holding down the fort while he is deployed..


            3 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick

              YOW, did somebody just say RAW BAR?????

              I am literally salivating. Ewwww ;-)

              The Fish Market Downtown sounds like a GREAT idea for a dinner "out." I honestly can't remember our last dinner out. Had to be over half a dozen years ago.


              1. re: Spikeygrrl


                Since you are downtown and like the raw bar, don't miss Oceanaire's Happy Hour (5-6pm) where they have tons of different oysters on the half shell for a dollar each. The oysters change daily. If you like briny little guys, try some of the Baja kinds - they are very tasty (and local)! But remember to get there right at 5pm - most seats are taken by about 5:15.

                1. re: salustro

                  Good call on the $1 oysters happy hour at Oceanaire...crab cakes are fab too.