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Fresh Fish in Boston

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Hey foodies!

We just moved a few months back from CA, where we were used to getting fresh fish (Carp, Snapper, Mullet, Pomphret, Bass) from Asian Super Markets. Are there any stores around Boston/Cambridge/Brookline area where we could get the same? We tried Ming's but were not impressed at all! It does not have to be an Asian store. We would in fact love to try any local joint where we can get fresh fish/crab/lobster.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions!

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  1. New Deal and Courthouse Seafood in Cambridge. Both on Cambridge Street (closest T stop is Lechmere). Last time I was at New Deal they had live lobster and crab in the case with the fish. Bonus is they are across the street from Mayflower Poultry where you can buy fresh poultry.

    Other options for lobster are James Hook in Boston, Alive and Kickin in Cambridge, and Market Basket (grocery store).

    1 Reply
    1. re: viperlush

      +1 for New Deal. You'll not find fresher or more knowledgeable staff.

    2. Have you checked out the two seafood stores on Hudson street ? They have lobster tanks, and at least one has live fish,crab tanks. They are both a few steps down from street level.

      Here is a link to anothers request
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/409756

      1. Second the recs already made. New Deal, Courthouse and Hook's are all very good.

        In the North End, I like NE Fish Co..aka Mercato de Mare..corner of Salem and Parmenter.

        CTown..I like Happy Family and the big market on Washington St that replaced CMart..Jin Hoa? next to Empire Garden, 690 Washington.

        6 Replies
        1. re: 9lives

          I bought a Spanish Mackeral at Jia Ho; fka CMart today in Chinatown. Beautifull fish.

          I brined it with salt and rice vinegar for 6 hours and its delicious with a little soy, wasabi, scallions.. The Boston Mackeral looked good too.

          This fish grills up nicely too.

          All the fish in the case was not pristine, but that's typical for Chinatown markets.

          1. re: 9lives

            Mercato de Mare is a small shop but whatever fish they have is as fresh as possible. A couple of nights ago they brought in some Pacific black cod (sablefish?) which was outstanding. A kind of sustainable chilean sea bass without the guilt. They will also give you a recipe or two and generally do anything for you with the stock they have, plus they do a lot of cooking there for folks who are on the run and don't have time to cook. Two very nice gals who work as hard as anyone to make their customers happy. Of course it being in my neighborhood makes me somewhat biased but it is a fine fish merchant.

            1. re: Northender

              No argument from me. Fully agree with you.

              I posted very favorably on them upthread.

            2. re: 9lives

              How's the sushi at NE fish co?

              Do they routinely have 'sushi grade' tuna? I'd love an alternative to New Deal as I am south of Boston.

              As a fish market, I'm concerned they market "white tuna" on their menu.

              1. re: Bellachefa

                I've never bought the "in house" made sushi so can't comment.

                I have bought tuna steaks cut from the yellowfin loins and made sashimi or tartare and have always been very pleased. I think that overall they deal in very high quality fish; also good at offering harder to find fish like the Alaskan Black Cod that NEnder bought. Good for shad roe or soft shell crabs in season.

                I can certainly pit together a good sashimi dinner at Ne Fish, but prefer New Deal. ND usually offers a variety of tuna, maguro and fattier like chutoro or otoro, yellowtail, sea urchin..just a much broader variety. Much more in he way of whole fish.

                Both excellent markets but if they were equally accessible for me (they're not, New Deal is not terribly convenient for me), I'd choose New Deal.

                I avoid eating white tuna..escolar..ok in small doses but be sure to be near a restroom if you're going to eat much..:)

                I don't know how South you live but Mullaney's in Scituate is excellent, with a lot of local caught fish. I think they have astore in Cohasset but haven't been.

                1. re: 9lives

                  Thanks 9 lives. Husband was in NEnd today and brought home two rolls - one spicy tuna, and the other a special with fatty salmon/avacado/cucumber and covered with tuna. 6 hours later - they were both really delicious and fresh. No cutting corners with yesterdays tuna on spicy tuna roll, really fresh.

                  Not all sushi can hold up to a 6 hour wait for consumption without showing compromise.

                  I look forward to checking the market out soon. I usually line up at New Deal for tuna christmas eve, but can't make it that far this year. Perhaps this is the year to try Ne Fish, as we are both working Chrismas Eve day in boston.

                  I'm actually southwest, but if in Scituate, that is good to know. Almost bought a house years ago. The ocean claimed it.

            3. New Deal is great, but parking (especially in winter months) can be a bit of a pain.

              As you've mentioned, Asian supermarkets can be good sources of fresh fish. If you go to the Super 88 in Allston you will find a fair variety. However, if Burlington is not too far, check out the H-Mart there. You'll find a huge variety.

              Finally, very close by to the H-Mart is a large Market Basket with a very good seafood counter. The variety is not as broad as H-Mart, but the prices are excellent and the turnover is very high.

              1. I know you are looking for a store, but the cape ann fish csa is great and you will be getting fresh fish. They have pick up areas around Boston.

                http://www.capeannfreshcatch.org/fres...

                1 Reply
                1. re: lc02139

                  Same with the Cape Cod fish share, which also does scallops and lobster.

                2. The trick about cold water NE lobster is freshness. You want a place that gets good turn around so they don't spend too much time in the tanks. If that lobster is not flapping in protest being pulled out of the tank, then send it back.

                  New Deal is the ONLY place locally I buy fresh tuna - especially around the holidays. Although I have flown in fresh ahi from Honolulu Fish Co for an extravagant 7 fishes feast.

                  Buy your fresh haddock skin on. Lots of places like to sell it skin off, but as it sits on ice it absorbs way too much water.

                  Go buy some nantucket bay scallops (or cape cod bay scallops) very soon. It is the season and they are amazing. Simple sauté with a hint of butter is nice as is raw. If you've never tried them, go for it. It is worth the tariff.

                  1. Great fish, crab and lobster @ Cherry Street Market in Danvers! A bit of a ride but always excellent. They do it right and provide a wonderful customer service experience!

                    Cape Ann CSA is wonderful!

                    Fresh fish is god!

                    1. I don't know if it's convenient for you, but Fresh Pond Fish in Arlington is very good. They are going to have more local-type fish like haddock, halibut, schrod, etc. than the varieties you mention.

                      1. few of the fish on your list are going to be super-fresh here, if you even find them.

                        you've gotten good rec's for stores, but need to start looking for east coast species. :)

                        markets baskets generally have very cheap prices on lobster and good turn-over. they also will steam them free of charge for you.

                        1. The freshest I've found in the area is the once-a-week vendor, Cyndi the Fish Lady. During the warmer months she sells at the Brookline farmers market, and in the colder part of the year she sets up a table in the back of the When Pigs Fly bakery in Coolidge Corner. She has a somewhat limited selection, but she's affiliated with a local fishing company and the quality is always outstanding.

                          Currently she sells on Tuesday afternoons from 1 to 6PM, and you can get on her mailing list for pre-ordering (she sends out one e-mail a week with a list of items and prices) at fishlady19@verizon.net.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: BobB

                            Love Cyndi and her fish is excellent but it is limited to fillets and boneless fish and shrimp. but if you want whole fish (snapper, bronzino, fresh sardines) you need New Deal. I use them both and, occasionally, Court House, Captain Marden's in Wellesley, and Brighton Fish on Chestnut Hill Avenue. I don't care for Wolfe's as much, though I have gotten some decent trout there.

                            1. re: teezeetoo

                              Red's Best Seafood does quite a few farmers markets in the area, and I've gotten some very nice fish and scallops from them. I can't remember who was at the Cambridge Winter Farmers Market, but there were two decent suppliers there.