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
FAQs at the Fish Market
Thomas J. Story
Fishmonger Paul Johnson holds a white seabass caught off Seal Rock in San Francisco.

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

British Columbia

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 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

New Mexico

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

Mail Order

Vital Choice 800/608-4825

Wild Planet Foods 800/998-9946

To search for additional markets in your area that sell sustainable seafood, try FishWise and Greenpeace.

Tell us about your favorite sustainable seafood shops.

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