Dear PoPville – Anyone Know of a good Fish Monger?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

“Dear PoPville,

Any recommendations on a good fish monger, or store selling a good selection of high quality, fresh caught fish, in D.C., preferably in the Logan/CH/DuPont/Adams Morgan area? I’m a little tired of buying my fish from Whole Foods, where much of the “fresh” fish has been previously frozen or farm raised, but I’ve yet to find a better option. And I would love to support a local small business.”

I don’t know about in NW but how about the Maine Avenue Fish Market at 1100 Maine Ave SW? Any other recs?

37 Comment

  • Hands down Black Salt on McArthur Blvd.

  • I just like saying “Fish Monger”

  • austindc

    I don’t know how good they are for everything else, but I once got some tasty oysters from Canon’s Fish Market in Georgetown. If you’re in DuPont, you can take the circulator straight over there.

  • claire

    +1 million to PoP’s suggestion of the Maine Ave Fish Market. Even if it’s a bit out of the way for you, totally worth it to at least check it out once.

  • Eastern Market. also a couple of the latin stores in Mt Pleasant and the 11th st (near P) supermarket seem to have decent well-priced fish. it’s better if you go to Annapolis, though.

  • Arthur Treachers just opened.

  • What ever happened to the once-rumored Barton Seaver seafood restaurant and fish market expected to open on 14th Street NW in the Logan neighborhood. See, e.g.,

  • The tart with the cart, surely? For so were her father and mother before.

  • Canon’s or the fish market up on Connecticut Ave just short of Chevy Chase Circle.

    • The Fishery is the market on Connecticut, just south of Chevy Chase circle. It’s excellent. Also, the fish counter at Eastern Market is really great.

  • I agree with the others here. Black salt is excellent as is Eastern Market. You can find good stuff at local supermarkets, even at the CH Giant. Most of the offerings are subpar, like farmed shrimp and farmed salmon, but there’s usually something for sale that’s fresh, local or relatively so, sustainably caught and not loaded with contaminants. For instance, haddock (probably from New England) has been plentiful recently and goes for $9 a pound.

    For the really good stuff, I order flash-frozen seafood from Alaska and get it fedexed. My favorites are: black cod/sablefish, troll-caught, white-fleshed king salmon, scallops and halibut cheeks.

    • Dude you totally lost all credibility with your reference to flying in white kings from Alaska. I lived in AK for 22 years. White kings taste almost identical to regular kings. No need to import them. And you’re also willing to get your seafood at Giant? I think that probably speaks more to your true seafood acumen.

    • The best-tasting Alaskan King Salmon is the one you caught yourself. Back in the 90s, I landed a 55-pounder and my dad landed a 48-pounder. We had the fish flash frozen and brought it back with us in our checked luggage. I swear we were eating salmon for a year after that.

      Damn, that was almost 20 years ago now.

  • Serious question…isnt most seafood (fish, shrimp) flash-frozen on the boat anyway? In other words, there is no ‘fresh’ fish.

    • austindc

      I think you may be right. I seem to recall seeing that when I watched 17 straight hours of Deadliest Catch. Man, what am I doing with my life.

  • About the Maine Avenue Fish Market–these days isn’t most of their stuff frozen and trucked in, too, from the same distributors as the grocery stores? I heard that somewhere, don’t know if it’s true but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Question — which is better, over on Georgia Ave — Morgan’s or Fish in the Hood? I like Morgan’s. (Wish he’d start his lobster tank up again.)

    Maine Avenue offers pretty decent supply, but what a pain to drive all the way across town from up in the hills of DC.

  • I spoke to someone recently who has lived in SW for 10+ years and she said the Maine Ave fish market gets most of the seafood they sell from a wholesale distributor in MD. So, it may be local(ish), but you don’t know for sure where it’s coming from.

  • The Maine avenue place is completely disgusting and significantly overpriced.

    Yes, its frozen before it gets there. They aren’t catching it out of the Atlantic that morning or anything.

    So in the end you get unverified or inspected fish that is as old or older than the stuff you get in places like Whole Foods, but pay a 30% markup over Whole Foods prices.

    All in all, an astoundingly bad deal

    • If you’re paying a 30% markup over Whole Foods at Maine Ave – you’re doing it wrong. I go there b/c it’s the cheapest place around (you need to barter) and I’m not super hung up on whether or not its sustainable. And I usually only buy crabs, shrimp and/or crawfish down there. For everything else, it’s Eastern Market. But Maine Ave is the cheapest by far.

  • clevelanddave

    For the money, the best thing for fresh fish is to go to some of the Asian specialty markets- H Mart is a favorite-fresh fish they gut, clean and cut to order at a great price. For something more expensive, try googling Salt River Lobster and catch them when they are close to you- excellent lobster and other seafood at about 2/3rd the price of Blacksalt which is overpriced but fresh IMHO

  • Wagshal’s Market on Massachusetts Ave. Their fish selection is on the smaller side (my guess: strictly a space issue) but they are willing to special order if you need something specific.

  • Though it’s mostly farmed, Harris Teeter has decent fish at a reasoanble price.. but I encourage anyone to eat sustainable fishies from Whole Foods or Black Salt

  • Eastern Market fish mongers

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