Fresh Seafood Markets

Love seafood like lobster, tuna, king and blue crab?

Fresh seafood markets online are the place to buy online to  ensure the best quality and low price. We have researched, summarized, and did the "compare food prices and compared seafood prices" for you on the Pacific, Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

Every seafood lover has their favorite fish and shellfish they desire. Be it buying from a grocery store or having it shipped to your door knowledge is key.

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It is wise to have gain a basic understanding in selection and buying of the oysters, fish and crustaceans you love.

Learn as we take you through the insiders view of fresh seafood markets and their fare. By the end of this voyage herein you will be able to select fresher, larger, tastier seafood but at a more reasonable price.

While we at Grocery411 are the original grocery price comparison company, we view fresh seafood as a very important part of grocery price comparison. 

When Buying Seafood
Questions Will Surface

  • "Seafood is expensive so how do I buy the best food at a fair price?"
  • "How do I know my lobster will arrive fresh undamaged?"
  • "Should even have seafood shipped or is it wiser to buy at the grocery store?"
  • "Will my crab arrive alive or does it matter?"
  • "How do I discern types of seafood and know I am being charged appropriately?
  • "Should I buy fresh or frozen?"
  • "Buy a whole fish or only fillets, and why?

These are obvious questions for some but not for all thus we will attempt in these articles to bridge the gap between fresh seafood markets and the family of buyers afloat.

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Here, you will find everything you need to know about shopping at fresh seafood markets so you can bring the bounty of the sea to your dinner table while still saving money on your grocery bill.

Simply navigate the links on this page to help narrow down your search for information, location, and where to buy your particular catch.

We will travel the three main United States bodies of water to help you in your quest of the best fresh seafood markets with the fairest prices closest to your family:

  • The Pacific Ocean states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California. This one-of-a-kind Pacific Seafood page is ready to visit.
  • The Atlantic Ocean and it's East Coast Seafood buys.
  • The Gulf of Mexico's five coastal states: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
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We have meticulously researched to ensure these prices are accurate yet keep in mind that prices fluctuate depending on origin, season, and quantity of catches. 

Our aim is to provide you with an excellent starting point and reference guide from which to make wise purchases. Just like our Grocery411 Guide aims to provide.

What Is A Fresh Seafood Market?

Fresh seafood markets are independently owned businesses that sell seafood that have been purchased directly from boat captains or local seafood distribution centers where fishing boats unload their daily catches.

Since seafood usually go to the markets the same day they are caught, these type of markets allow you to purchase the freshest fare possible.

Fresh seafood markets can be found in virtually every port in the country as well s the world and are brimming with great selections of lobster to crab, oysters, tuna, salmon, or whatever rich and tasty treats can be found in local waters.

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Large Seafood Markets

Larger fresh seafood markets will typically have a greater selection and can often offer lower prices since they buy in volume. 

However, due to large shipments and turnovers they are not as able to carefully hand select or inspect each item, so damaged and less desirable pieces have a greater chance of ending up in your particular order.

Small Seafood Markets

Smaller markets may not have a wide selection of the oceans bounty, but you can bet these small business people carefully examine the catches for freshness, smell, texture, color, and for damage very, very closely.

Since these smaller markets are often able to hand-select your order individually, you may receive better quality; however, prices may not be quite as low as those found at the larger markets.

Think about this,

Might it be smart to try a small market first. You may pay a few extra dollars, but might the King crab legs be larger, the oysters fresher, the King salmon more firm?

If you developed a good relationship with this fresh seafood market albeit smaller might the owner be more apt to call you first when the collossal king crab legs arrived.

To let you in on a great sale because this seasons lobster or tuna haul was large? Developing relationships, getting to know names can really pay off down the road or during the holiday season.

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Compare Seafood Prices

Comparing prices at fresh seafood markets can be a bit of a challenge since they are a rather tight-lipped bunch and not very forthright with information as we found writing this series.

So we learned a few thing we want to share with you. Seafood is a luxury item especially when it comes to lobster or King crab. You might be in competition with restaurateurs or grocery stores for the days catch!

This is especially true with the larger fresh seafood markets. Depending on who they are selling too and with what regularity prices change accordingly.

Some owners will not list any prices on their websites, but rather leave contact information so you can “call for quotes”. When we called, we found that they often wanted to know what other prices we had been given so they might undercut their competitors. 

In a highly competitive low haul season, prices can vary, so it is a good idea to know what prices are acceptable for particular items. While you want to get the best seafood price comparison possible, you will want to undeniably get the best quality available on a particular catch.

How To Buy Fish:
Whole, Steaks or Filleted?

If you know how to use a fillet knife, and if you have a vacuum bag sealer or extra room in your freezer, then you may want to consider ordering a whole fish rather than fillets. 

This is especially beneficial for larger fish such as a fresh King salmon or halibut. Our research has shown that the price per pound drops as much as 50%, so the huge savings may be worth a little extra effort to fillet.

Interestingly enough while cutting and packaging your fish you may find it reminiscent of when you did catch the “big one” or give you more a sense of involvement. Who knows, maybe teach the kids how to prepare fish?

Live gulf blue crab ready to cook and feast! Want to buy blue crab? Be sure to compare food prices at
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Should I Buy Fresh or Frozen?

Many people want seafood that is fresh, never frozen. Which is perfect there is nothing quite like fresh seafood. Perfect buy fresh when you can and when you cant other options are frozen and cooked.

Flash freezing food nowadays can be almost as good as fresh. In fact to save a few extra dollars, many buyers will opt to have their fresh seafood usually fish flash frozen.

Some markets will coat the fish in a brine solution and then freeze it on tall racks at 55 degrees below zero.

These brine solutions do not affect taste and of course melt away upon thawing prior to cooking.

This brine is and additional way to protect the fish frozen in your freezer for months. Blast or flash freezers are used to quick freeze your fresh order very quickly so optimal freshness is maintained.

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When placing an fresh order, make sure to ask when the fish you will be receiving was caught.

Freshness is important, even when buying frozen. Ideally, you want products that were caught, frozen, and then shipped out to you right away.

There are always a few shortsighted marketeers who will try to send you last year's catch that has been sitting in their freezers for months.

To avoid this look for signs of freezer burnt food, dry bone white dehydrated sections of the item.

They will get away with it if you don't specify what you want. More and more buyers are asking the fresh seafood markets to snap a photo and instant message or email it.

Of course, you have to trust that you are actually getting the seafood that is in the photo, unless you buy the whole fish. Most reputable markets will do their best to meet your requests because they want your return business.

Packing Seafood for Shipping

If you choose to have your fish filleted, be sure that the pieces are packed in high quality vacuum bags.

Ask specifically for packaging that is around 4 millimeters thick to ensure that it will resist cracks, freeze burn, or punctures. 

You may be storing the seafood in your freezer for several months, and good quality vacuum packaging will keep your investment fresh and tasty. No one wants freezer burned anything, so don't be afraid to ask about the thickness and they type of packaging materials used.

We have seen the gel packs added and the seafood wrapped in newspaper as additional insulation which works well.

"Please Guarantee My Seafood Arrives Safe?"

We could not find any fresh seafood markets which would guarantee that your order will arrive alive.

If you are concerned, then it may be best to have lobsters or crabs steamed before shipping so the issue is null. 

Although it doesn't happen very often, spoilage can occur so make sure that you are ordering from a reputable market and using a reliable form of shipping such as UPS or FedEx. 

If there is an issue typically it can be worked out between the market and the shipping company. Once it arrives also be sure to open, visually inspect and smell its contents right away.

Seafood is At the Door!

Most seafood, especially salmon and halibut, will keep in the freezer up to 12 months. Lobster, however, will only keep for about 9 months before it looses its rich, buttery sweet flavor. When your lobster arrives, check to make sure that the meat is white rather than grey.

Grey meat means that the lobster went to the big ocean in the sky before it was cooked, and in this case, you may want to consider buying from a different market in the future. Better yet tell them “no grey lobster.”

You may have to try a few online fresh seafood markets and experiment until you find the one that delivers the freshest seafood at a continually competitive price.

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Fresh Seafood Markets in Summary

Good markets are meticulous about their packaging and will deliver very high quality products that exceed your expectations.

Their seafood will be fresher, larger, arrive sooner, will be well packaged, and the prices will be competitive.

This will be one of the fresh seafood markets you want to keep and tell your friends about. 

Call the fresh seafood market after you have dined on the fare and let them know how it arrived and your experience it’s feedback they need to perfect their business.

A live Maine lobster plucked from its tank! What's your favorite seafood, whatever it is to enjoy regularly compare seafood prices at
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Check these pages out:

  1. Save when buying Pacific Seafood.
  2. Savvy East Coast and Atlantic Ocean seafood buys.
  3. Gulf coast shrimp prices compared. 
  4. Explore other types of grocery stores.
  5. Return to the top of fresh seafood markets page.

Return to this page and keep an eye out for blue links which signify new pages built with seafood prices and where to buy and much more. *We promise they will be worth the return visit.