Film on Maine Avenue Fish Market

The Wharf: A Greenhouse Film from Southern Foodways on Vimeo.

From Southern Foodways Alliance:

Our latest Greenhouse Film, The Wharf, is a portrait of the Maine Avenue Fish Market in Washington, DC. Filmmakers Emily Hilliard and Ashley Melzer explain the history of the market and their motivation for making the film.

The Maine Avenue Fish Market, or The Wharf, as it’s referred to by most locals, is not a place you are likely to stumble upon. It’s tucked away under the I-395 overpass and sits on floating docks on DC’s southwest waterfront. It wasn’t always so hidden.”

You can read more about it here.

18 Comment

  • It’s the weirdest place. It’s like DC has its own mini Pike Place market that nobody thinks about much.

    • huh? it’s almost always crowded.

      • i suppose — it’s just not as famous as one would expect it to be IMO

        • i dunno. other places that have famous markets have far fewer tourist attractions than we do, so tour guides had to come up with something to make their city seem more interesting.

          • I agree with this – given the sheer volume of sites to see and other things this town is famous for, it’s not really surprising that a fish market isn’t too high on the list. (DC isn’t much of a “water” town either, despite its situation at the confluence of two rivers.)

  • Long time locals know this place well. It’s my personal fave when I’m in the mood for seafood. Actually, the market here on good days it gets way too crowded for the current people that know it. Jesse Taylor owns most of the shops, so prices are pretty fixed all around, but you can haggle a bit for non-tourist prices. It’s basically DC’s best fresh fish market, one of the few places where you can buy live seafood. Hopefully the reconstruction accounts for more parking, it’s very hard to carry a big bag of steamed crabs on the metro.

  • I find this place to be pretty marginal in almost every way. The seafood is of average quality and priced at Whole Foods levels. Seriously, make a mental note sometime of what you are paying per pound for your purchases and compare it to a Whole Foods.

    Atleast at Whole Foods I have some assurances as to where it came from and its base quality. I’ve seen the stock guys down at this market drive in with restock in the middle of the day with a box of fillets in a carboard box from someones pickup truck, sharing the back with jugs of opened antifreeze and motoroil.

    • Do you work at the fish counter at whole foods? Not even a fraction of what you posted is accurate.

    • If seeing a box of fish in the back of a truck with jugs of unopened antifreeze and motor oil bothers you, I’d advise you to never eat anything that wasn’t raised or cultivated under your total supervision.

    • I was there on Saturday, and then went to Whole Foods on P Street. I bought a whole farmed salmon for $5.49/lb. The price at Whole Foods as $14.99/lb. Granted, that’s high for Atlantic salmon — maybe it’s a rough time of year, I don’t know — which is generally about $11.00/lb. Two weeks ago I bought a whole bonito for $2.49/lb. Spanish mackerel are about $4/each.

      While the quality down there may not be like it is somewhere on the Pacific, like in Seattle or Japan, it’s quite high if you know what you’re looking for. And the prices are relatively inexpensive. So I’m not entirely sure where you’re coming from.

  • Thank you for sharing our film!

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