Discover the Best Seafood Markets in Fort Lauderdale (2024)

Finding a place that offers fresh local catch is often easier said than done. While most people buy their seafood at their local grocery store, that’s not necessarily “fresh fish.”

When you buy from a supermarket or grocery store, you run the risk of getting mislabeled items, which will often get you stale fish. This will affect any dish you make, whether it’s a seafood salad, fish dip, or even salmon burgers.

I’ve had my share of bad experiences when trying to get a fresh catch, so I took the job of going to the most popular seafood markets near Fort Lauderdale. After going to so many, I can already tell you that buying from a seafood market is 10 times better than going to the supermarket.

If you truly want to get the perfect seafood experience, I’ll help you. Here are my top 10 markets to buy fresh seafood in 2024. Whether you want to buy fresh fish to make a salad to complement sweet potato fries or crab cakes (or any other dish), any of these will be perfect.

How Do You Pick the Perfect Seafood Market?

There are many places where you can get the freshest seafood. Whether it’s the Sea Salt Fish Market or any of the places I’ll mention today, you must be prepared.

The thought process may work similarly to going to your favorite seafood restaurant. You must pick the option that has the food you enjoy and unbeatable prices.

I recommend you take your time and try out a few options from this list before deciding anything. The “perfect” market is the one that best adapts to your needs and wallet.

What’s the Best Time to Buy Fresh Seafood?

Technically, you can go to your local fish market at any time of the week and expect amazing food.

According to my research, most markets are the busiest from Thursday to Sunday, so that’s when you can get the most variety. If you’re looking for standard items like salmon or tuna, you’re free to go at any time.

However, if you’re planning to make things more interesting with specific fish species, I recommend you go from Thursday to Sunday. You’ll likely find more options.

Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Buying Experience

If I were to put it in simple terms, I’d say that you should look for fresh fish; that would be the only requirement. Some people, however, may struggle on their first trip to their seafood market.

Here are some tips to make your experience much smoother:

  • Take a sniff test. Fresh fish shouldn’t smell “fishy” or have a strong odor.
  • Look for fish with glowing and shiny skin. The eyes should look bright and plump.
  • Fresh fish often have clean red gills.

What if you have no other option and have to go for frozen fish? Most of the time, whole fish is stored on ice. Look for clean and drained packages.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something in a regular package, consider those in dry packaging materials. Even though frozen fish isn’t “as good” as the fresh variety, it’s still a good option depending on where you get it.

What Are the Best Seafood Markets in Fort Lauderdale?

I went to a lot of seafood markets so that you don’t have to. Here’s a list of my top 10 options for 2024!

Fish Depot

Location/Contact: 1022 N. Federal Hwy – Boynton Beach. 561-375-8363.

Finding the Fish Depot building in Boynton Beach is very easy. Once you go there, you’ll find plenty of options when it comes to fresh fish.

Fish is packed and stored in huge ice bins, so you can easily smell and look at them to make sure you’re getting the right thing. I heavily recommend the crab cakes from this place; you can get them from the “prepared food” department.

If you want to get a “first-hand” experience of what you can achieve with these ingredients, you can go to “The Twisted Fish.” It works with the market’s own products.

Finster Murphy’s

Location/Contact: 1497 SE 17 St. – Fort Lauderdale. Website.

You have two options here: Pick from the company’s special selection of seafood, or buy one of its delicious dishes. As you may have guessed by now, this is a market that’s also a restaurant.

Something I love about this place is that you can pick the seafood you want and let the staff cook something. This is one of the best ways to discover if the place is worth your time.

I recommend this market if you want premium-quality materials. On the other hand, if you plan on eating there, you have to try out the seafood salads; they’re among the best I’ve had!

The Fish Peddler

Location/Contact: 2805 E. Commercial Blvd. – Fort Lauderdale. 954-491-1441.

The Fish Peddler is great if you’re looking for a variety of ingredients besides seafood. You’ll find different spices, sauces, and other things that will take your dishes to the next level.

If that isn’t enough, you can also buy different “tools and materials” to make the most of your fresh fish, including cedar wood planks and high-quality kinds of vinegar. Feel free to ask the staff for guidance if you don’t know what to get.

The market itself has a cozy interior with beautiful decor, so you can stay for a bit and try out some of its homemade food. I recommend the fresh-fried shrimp and the Key Lime pie for dessert. It’ll be the perfect way to finish your meal.

Old Dixie Seafood

Location/Contact: 7000 N. Dixie Hwy. – Boca Raton. Website.

Are you looking for fresh and frozen seafood sourced globally? Old Dixie will be the greatest pick from the list. Even though this is one of the oldest places on the list, it still offers some of the best fish you can find locally.

The market opened in 1995, so it has been around for almost three decades. It was even named “Best of Boca” in 2008’s “Boca Magazine.” Even though the store may look small and old from the outside, rest assured you’ll get some of the greatest ingredients to make a unique dish.

Old Dixie Seafood is known for having a unique mustard dipping sauce (which I love). I recommend you pair it with Florida stone crab when in season for an unforgettable taste. If you want more variety, you can use the dip for any prepared food, including fish tacos.

Pop’s Fish Market

Location/Contact: 131 W. Hillsboro Blvd. – Deerfield Beach. 954-427-1331.

Pop’s Fish Market is even older, but don’t let that fool you. It was founded back in 1957, and it’s a family-owned business. Even though it started as a market, it’s now a place to eat and order to-go items too.

You’ll find a huge selection of fresh fish, and if you don’t know where to look, you can ask the staff. The market’s team is one of the friendliest ones I’ve encountered, so I can assure you that you’ll get a great experience (and prices too).

Something that makes this market unique is that it has a team of personal fishermen and divers who are responsible for sourcing local fresh catches. This is another sign that you’ll get truly fresh fish.

Captain Clay and Sons Fish Market

Location/Contact: 308 NE Fourth St. – Delray Beach. 561-266-2068.

This is another small market that will surprise you. It’s a family-owned business that offers a wide range of fresh seafood. “Captain Clay” is the name given to Clay Brand, a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain who specializes in catching and preparing seafood.

The entire staff of this market is outstanding, and you will get great service from the moment you step inside. Also, most of the items you’ll buy there were caught by the captain.

Cod & Capers Seafood

Location/Contact: 1201 U.S. 1 N – Palm Beach. Website.

The following market is owned by Steve Gyland, a Florida fisherman. Not only does it offer delicious, fresh fish, but it also has one of the largest selection of products in the state.

Something unique I loved about this business is that you can look up information about where Steve buys his fish. Also, if you’re interested in trying out some recipes, the market has a restaurant where you can get delicious dishes (I recommend the Blue Bird potato salad).

Seafood World

Location/Contact: 4602 N. Federal Hwy. – Lighthouse Point. 954-942-0740.

Seafood World opened in 1976, so it has quite a few decades of experience. You’ll check out the day’s fresh catch as soon as you walk in, which will already give you an idea of what to expect.

If you’re looking for a retro market/restaurant that offers a decent selection of fresh fish, try it out. Sometimes, I go there to buy fresh fish and end up staying at the restaurant because of the staff’s friendly service!

Captain Mike’s Seafood

Location/Contact: 4501 SW 44 Ave. – Dania Beach. 954-791-2955.

Keep in mind that the building’s sign reads “Two Bills Seafood” and not “Captain Mike’s Seafood,” but it’s the same place. I recommend it if you’re looking for local and fresh seafood.

Even though there’s a great selection of frozen items, you can also find plenty of fresh ingredients like frog legs, sepia, gator, etc.

Triar Seafood

Location/Contact: 2046 McKinley St. – Hollywood. 954-921-1113.

Triar Seafood is one of the most reputable markets in the country, being featured in important outlets like the New York Times.

The only downside to this place is that you should place your order and pick it up instead of ordering there. If you don’t call before going, you may have to wait plenty of time to get your order.

Other than that, Triar Seafood offers an unbelievable selection of fresh fish that you won’t regret. There are also some premium items you may not find in other places like caviar and tobiko.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Now, you know where to buy fresh seafood in Fort Lauderdale.

Those are the greatest markets to go to if you want an unbelievable seafood experience. Remember, you don’t have to settle for the first market you see; take your time, try out different items from each place, and pick the best one based on what you want.

You can find hundreds of markets in Fort Lauderdale, so I hope I made your search easier by narrowing the list down. Let me know what amazing recipes you create with your tasty and fresh fish!

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Peter is a digital nomad who largely writes from Asia, Europe, and South America. Always following the "vibe," he sets up shop in hostels and AirBNB's and continues to entertain us with wild stories from life abroad.

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