Miami's Best Fish Markets

2. Captain Jim's Seafood

Mid-morning on a Monday, the skins on Spanish mackerel and yellowtail snapper were shimmering at Captain Jim's Seafood in North Miami. The shop on West Dixie Highway had just opened its doors for the day. The market was quiet and empty. A single employee loaded an expansive rectangular container with ice. He flung whole fish atop one another and scattered them across the cooler.

A neighboring refrigerator held fillets of yellowfin tuna, dolphin, Chilean sea bass, wild salmon, farmed salmon, and basa — a type of catfish native to Vietnam. The dolphin and tuna had vibrant scarlet blood lines, an indication of a good, fresh fillet.

Whole yellowtail snapper at Captain Jim's Seafood.
Whole yellowtail snapper at Captain Jim's Seafood.

Location Info

Map

Casablanca Seafood Bar & Grill

404 N. River Drive
Miami, FL 33128

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Downtown/Overtown

Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish Market

398 NW North River Dr.
Miami, FL 33128

Category: Restaurant > Seafood

Region: Central Dade

Captain's Tavern

9625 S. Dixie Highway
Pinecrest, FL 33156

Category: Restaurant > Brewery

Region: East Kendall/Pinecrest

Details

Casablanca Seafood Fish Market: 305-371-4107; casablancafishmarket.com. Monday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Captain Jim's Seafood: 305-892-2812; captainjimhanson.com. Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish Market: 305-375-0765; garciasmiami.com. Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Captain's Tavern Seafood Market: 305-666-5979; captainstavernmiami.com. Monday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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The selection was small, and offerings like whole yellowtail snapper, at $8.99 a pound, were a dollar or two above other markets' prices. But Captain Jim's has something that some fisheries lack: guts. That weekday at the market, many whole fish were still loaded with their innards.

Because guts are an indicator of freshness, and because this fish market also carries a solid selection of whole catches, Captain Jim's earns a spot as the number two fish market in town.

1. Casablanca Seafood Fish Market

On a recent Sunday there were six or seven employees cleaning and filleting whole fish behind a counter at Casablanca Seafood Fish Market. And on weekends the place bustles with so many customers it's hard to believe that any seafood sits around icy containers for more than a few days.

Yet there are whole fish like branzino — Mediterranean sea bass — that surely weren't caught yesterday or the day before. There's a section devoted to fillets of tilapia and farmed salmon. But there are also loads of local fish, such as yellowfin tuna and red grouper. And most important, prices are among the best around — including whole yellowtail snapper for only $6.99 a pound.

Whether Casablanca is on par with markets in other coastal cities is debatable. By many standards, it's a small place. But for its extensive inventory, cleanliness, high turnover, and all-around rowdiness, Casablanca is the champion of fresh local fish in Miami.

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3 comments
snookrwoman
snookrwoman

Casablanca's  is a true Miami staple, been going there since the old watson island days. Can't beat a seafood market with their own fishing  fleet. Go before noon, you don't want fish sitting on ice all day.Nice to see these guys get their dues, great article!

antonion
antonion

this is a good start for a list. i also love mariner's in south miami. tiny selection, they sell out quick. i've never, ever seen anything other than top quality there. 

 
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