Best Fresh Seafood - 2006
Casablanca Fish Market
When this extraordinary seafood market was evicted from its long-time Watson Island location, Miami lost not only a small piece of its past but also an equally microcosmic yet very pleasant few moments of its multicultural present. Gone are the hordes that used to gather in the scruffy but spacious field that was Casablanca's parking lot, washing down the market's zesty conch salad with juices sold at nearby stands. At its new location next to Joe's and Garcia's, there are a few parking spaces but no room for hanging out. And the freshly paved road out front and new condo building across the street minimalize any old Miami feel. What fortunately has not been lost: wooden boxes piled high with the most floppin'-fresh fish in the county, at prices that are low to near-miraculous. There is still extraordinary variety -- the selection a veritable primer of local seafood. Patrons continue to grab their own mangrove snappers, jacks, bluefish, drums, groupers, yellowtails, et cetera, whole, to be custom-filleted by the veteran counter staff. And if you wipe the frost off the counter's glass, you will see that the conch salad, though harder to find, is still the same too.