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Seafood Markets across the US

Photo by Jana Wilde

I hope you’re not hungry as you read this because we’re talking seafood. Loads of fresh-off-the-boat seafood displayed right in front of you, so close you can practically taste it. But there’s one problem. If you’re from a landlocked area, the idea of a market full of fresh, locally sourced seafood may be foreign. However, as travelers, we can experience seafood markets in many spots around the US. Here are a few of the best-known seafood markets that you can check out on your next trip!

Pike Place Market

—Seattle, Washington

Ever heard of the fish throwing in Seattle? Well, this is where to do it. When you walk into this bustling market, you see a conglomerate of many local Seattle businesses, which have everything from clothing and jewelry to flower shops and restaurants. But the heart of this place is Pike Place Fish Market, which offers many seafood choices such as salmon, shellfish (including local mussels), crab, and even specialties like swordfish and squid. Most of these choices are from local fisheries, but some are brought to Seattle from Alaska. The Market ensures that its products are harvested under local fishing and harvesting requirements in order to promote a sustainable environment.

San Pedro Fish Market

—San Pedro, California

This market, which is in the top ten most-Instagrammed restaurants, has several restaurants across California, but its main location is right in San Pedro. You can choose from a huge selection of fresh seafood that is caught daily, or you can purchase smoked seafood. The market features renowned smoked shrimp trays, which are perfect for sharing with family and friends. You can also select from the smoked calamari, scallops, salmon, mussels, lobster, and other seafood. On a regular day, this market seats and serves over 3,000 people a day, so you should head to California and become one of them.

Empire Fish & Seafood Market

—Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Though it’s in the Midwest, Empire Fish & Seafood Market tries to emulate a coastal market by giving a feel for the ocean with various shades of blue. The market sells to multiple upscale restaurants and seafood purveyors in Wisconsin. When you walk in, there are seafood displays on either side of the market. On one side is the fresh seafood display with locally sourced fish like whitefish, smelt, and trout, along with imported crab, salmon, Dover sole, oysters, and other seafood varieties to choose from. On the other side is the frozen seafood. If you’re wanting something a little more budget friendly, the frozen section is a great option!

Joe Patti's Seafood

—Pensacola, Florida

If you come to this market on a hot Pensacola day, be prepared for a crowd. Behind the doors is a long counter with a bunch of employees ready to help the excited customers. If you walk past the counter to the back of the market, there’s also a sushi bar! The market has many varieties of seafood from local fisheries, other harvesters on the gulf, and East Coast purveyors. The fresh seafood sells out quickly, so go early in the day and hit the beach later!

Brown Trading Company

—Portland, Maine

Browne Trading Company may not be as large as Pike Place Market, but it has amassed great success. When you see its electric blue storefront, you know you’ve found the place. Inside is a wine room, fancy cheeses, a kitchen where you can order meals on-site, and an organized case full of specialty caviar and fresh sea-food. Browne Trading sources its seafood from local fishermen, sustainable fisheries, and other traceable catchers. Though we’ve only talked about five locations here, there are many more seafood markets to explore. Some may be smaller and more localized while others may be like these five, sporting local-ities while also importing from other seafood hot spots. Most of the markets we’ve talked about empha-size their sustainable business practices and their sup-port for local businesses. If you are unable to visit any of these markets for a while but are feeling hungry, all of these markets offer online ordering!


Jana Wilde