Miami’s Best Seafood Markets
photo credit: Emily Schindler
There’s an ocean nearby, in case you haven’t noticed. And sure, that means that on any given Saturday you can go hang out at the beach, drink seven hard seltzers, and take a little nap. But it also means that we have access to a ton of wonderfully fresh seafood. There are plenty of places around town selling (and sometimes also cooking) that seafood. So the next time you want to be reminded why living next to an ocean can be a good thing, check out one of these nine markets.
This Allapattah market/restaurant is a staple in the Miami seafood scene. It’s been around since 1980 and still serves some of the city’s best seafood - in soups, ceviche, and fried to crispy perfection. You’ll find their market just a few steps away from the outdoor dining area. It’s a narrow room that smells like a fishing pier and has fresh snapper, grouper, lobster, shrimp, and more sitting on ice, ready to come home with you. If you’re not in the mood to cook, go order the fried shrimp and fried fish butterfly from the counter. Get a side of tostones and rice and whisper a small prayer of gratitude to Poseidon while you dip all of the above into the house “pink sauce,” which tastes like it was specially designed by NASA scientists to go with fried seafood.
Blue Runner is a seafood truck that sets up at 11338 Biscayne Blvd in North Miami, Tues-Sun from noon-6pm. Inside that truck you’ll find a helpful employee or two and a whole lot of fresh seafood. Their selection changes based on availability, but you can generally find shrimp, fillets of local fish, squid, fish dip, stone crabs (when in season), and a few other options they have written down on a whiteboard. They also make their own ceviche here and it’s marvelous. There can be a line on the weekends, but we’ve really never had to wait more than 15 minutes.
This Coral Gables market is lined with various types of seafood lying patiently on beds of ice. They have your typical Florida snapper selection as well as different options like yellowfin tuna loin, branzino, grouper, and more. Point to any of it and they’ll be happy to bag it up for you. But they also have a kitchen and will cook your choice of fish (for $2 a pound) or other seafood (for $4 a pound) to your liking. They have other menu items like lobster croquetas, conch fritters, and a minuta sandwich too.
Captain’s Tavern is a South Miami spot that’s been around since the ’70s. They have a full service restaurant that’s endearingly old school, with lots of dark wood and red tablecloths, and they serve all kinds of seafood dishes - everything from sushi to fried oysters to seafood risotto. Next door to the restaurant, though, is their seafood market, where you can find an equally impressive amount of shellfish, lobster, and pretty much anything else that swims in the Atlantic Ocean and is legal to eat.
If, for some reason, you still haven’t been to Garcia’s, we have a question for you. Why? The old school Cuban spot is a Miami classic, with waterfront seating and a big menu full of seafood prepared in many different and delicious ways. Though, even if you have been to Garcia’s, you may have been too excited about the fried shrimp you were about to eat to notice their seafood market. It’s not huge, but it does usually have most of the Miami seafood greatest hits, including Florida lobster and stone crabs during season.
This Little Havana spot is another member of the Garcia’s family, and the food here is outstanding. We don’t necessarily recommend you come here just for the seafood market - if you’re within 100 yards of this place, you’re pretty much obligated to order a pan con minuta. But on your way out, after consuming a large portion of fried seafood, stop by the market to knock out some quick shopping. They have Florida lobster and stone crabs during season, as well as a selection of fresh snapper.
This Palmetto Bay market and restaurant has been operating since 1946, back when South Florida’s biggest demographic was alligators. They’re still going strong today, and are a great option whether or not you want to sit down and eat inside a huge tiki hut or get some seafood to eat at home underneath your own tiki hut. (You have a tiki hut? Can we come over some time?) The seafood selection here is pretty huge. Name a Florida fish, they probably have it.
The third child of the mini Garcia’s seafood empire is another reliably delicious spot for seafood. We always go with the Captain’s Combo here: it’s the catch of the day, conch, and shrimp, which you can have either grilled, blackened, or fried. In case you think you can do it better at home (we absolutely can not), they also have a seafood market inside where you can buy all of the above (and more) to-go.