FAQs at the fish market
How to find a great seafood counter, and what to ask them when you get there. Plus: Some great fish markets we found around the West
These are some places meet at least two of our criteria for smart fish shops.
1. A variety of sustainable seafood choices.
2. A person behind the counter who can answer your questions.
3. A label on each fish, listing source; whether farmed or wild; and how it was caught.
4. Lots of brochures from sustainable seafood suppliers and organizations on the counter.
In many areas, Whole Foods Market and Walmart have the best selection; both companies have sustainable seafood programs that are continually improving. Several of the stores we list sell seafood that's not sustainable along with the sustainable, but they can direct you to their best choices (and at least they have them).
Also, remember that buying directly from your local fisherman ― usually at the farmers' market ― is often a great option, because who better to tell you exactly how the fish was caught? California is the first state to have a regional guide to direct-from-fisherman purchases, at the Institute for Fisheries Resources. We hope that the institute will offer guides for other states soon.
Anchorage 10th & M Seafoods 800/770-2722
Juneau Jerry's Meats & Seafood 907/789-5142
Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona New Frontiers Natural Marketplace 928/774-5747
Vancouver Blue Seas Fish Market 604/983-3474
Vancouver (Victoria Drive location) South China Seas Trading Co. Closed Mon; 604/254-5403
Berkeley Monterey Fish Market 510/525-5600
Boulder Creek, Capitola, Felton, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz New Leaf Community Markets
Costa Mesa, Santa Monica Santa Monica Seafood Co.
Davis Davis Food Co-op 530/758-2667
El Cerrito Natural Grocery Company 510/526-1155
Fairfax Good Earth Natural & Organic Foods 415/454-0123
Grass Valley BriarPatch Co-op Natural Foods Community Market 530/272-5333
Gualala Surf Supermarket 707/884-4184
Menlo Park Cook's Seafood Closed Sun; 650/322-2231
Sacramento Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op 916/455-2667
San Francisco Bi-Rite Market 415/241-9760
San Francisco Fish Company 415/399-1111
San Luis Obispo New Frontiers Natural Marketplace 805/785-0194
Santa Barbara Kanaloa Seafoods Closed Sun; 888/526-2562
Denver Marczyk Fine Foods 303/894-9499
Fort Collins Fish Restaurant (and market) 970/224-1188
Kihei Eskimo Candy Seafood Market & Café Closed Sat–Sun; 808/879-5686
North of Lahaina The Fish Market Maui 808/665-9895
Boise Boise Consumer Co-op 208/472-4500
Ketchum Mountain Pride Closed Sun; 208/725-5600
Missoula Good Food Store 406/541-3663
Whole Foods Market is your best bet
Albuquerque, Santa Fe La Montanita Co-op
Portland area New Seasons Market
Salt Lake City Aquarius Fish Co. Closed Sun; 801/533-5653
Seattle area PCC Natural Markets
Jackson Jackson Whole Grocer 307/733-0450
Pearl Street Meat & Fish Co. 307/733-1300
Vital Choice 800/608-4825
Wild Planet Foods 800/998-9946
Tell us about your favorite sustainable seafood shops.
More: Seafood buying tips