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- Best Overall: Fulton Fish Market
- Best for Monthly Subscription: Wild Alaskan Company
- Best for Stocking Your Freezer: Salmon Sisters
- Best for Dayboat Scallops: Downeast Dayboat
- Best for Shellfish: Taylor Shellfish Farms
- Best for Sushi Grade/Sashimi: Honolulu Fish Company
- Best for Domestically Sourced: Sea to Table
- Best for Caviar and Smoked Seafood: Browne Trading Co.
In order to minimize frequent trips to the grocery store, people are turning to the web more and more for online retailers that deliver straight to their doorstep. Now, it's possible to get practically anything you want sent on-demand, including high quality fresh and frozen seafood. To make the process smoother for you, we've compiled a list of the top seafood retailers in the country that are providing home delivery of fish that is even fresher than what is typically found in a grocery store.
Best Overall: Fulton Fish Market
Since 1822, Fulton Fish Market fishmongers have been working to deliver fresh seafood to your door. After ordering through the online marketplace, fish will be delivered to you directly from the actual market in New York City—the largest fish market in the country—cutting out the middleman and added transit time normally involved when purchasing seafood from a retail grocer.
Notable for both variety and quality, Fulton Fish Market offers more than 50 different species of seafood, including whole fish, fillets of fish, fish steaks, shellfish, and specialty seafood such as octopus, sea urchin, and caviar. In the Seafood Bundle section of the website, you can purchase mixed boxes of seafood based on a theme such as Summertime Grilling (around $84), Seafood Lovers (about $267), or stock up on value bundles of select fish including halibut, salmon, and swordfish.
A large and impressive recipe archive is available on the Fulton Fish Market website as an additional resource for those wanting some inspiration from other chefs or guidance on how to cook what they order at home. Fulton Fish Market offers transparent sourcing and provides sustainable seafood logos on all sustainable seafood products. Products are also clearly labeled to indicate whether they are wild or farmed.
Best for Subscriptions - Wild Alaskan Company
For those wanting to get fresh fish on a regular basis, Wild Alaskan Company is a monthly seafood membership that delivers wild-caught sustainable product to your home, all caught and processed in the U.S. Wild Alaskan Company offers species caught in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, including sockeye salmon, coho salmon, pacific cod, pacific halibut, and Alaskan pollock.
Seafood is sourced in small batches guided by the number of active members as well as availability. Choose from three different boxes: wild salmon, wild combo, and wild white fish, and get individually wrapped portions delivered to your door every month. Continuing to keep sustainability in mind, all packaging is either recyclable, compostable, or dissolves in water.
Delivery dates can be easily changed or skipped but all members get notified via email prior to delivery about exactly what’s coming in the next box. Seafood is delivered frozen, individually sealed in 6oz portions, and subscriptions are either for 12- or 24-pack boxes (about $11/$10). Wild Alaskan Company is so confident in the quality of its catch that it offers a 100% money-back guarantee if you aren’t totally satisfied with their product.
Best for Stocking Your Freezer - Salmon Sisters
Stock up on wild sockeye salmon, pacific cod, and wild halibut with Salmon Sisters’ 10-pound boxes of flash-frozen, vacuum-sealed Wild Alaskan fish fillets (40 to 45 portions of cod for roughly $239, 40 to 45 portions of salmon for about $300, and 16 to 21 assorted portions of halibut for around $389).
Choose a box of your favorite species and your fish will be packed with dry ice in a fully recyclable cooler and shipped by air to your doorstep. All fish has been sustainably caught during the 2020 season—salmon was sustainably caught during the summer season in Western Alaska; Pacific cod was line-caught in the 2019/2020 season by a notably progressive, vertically integrated hook and line Alaskan fishing company; and halibut was harvested by a family-operated fishery in the Gulf of Alaska during the 2020 longline season.
Additional traceability information is provided for each species on the company’s website. Orders are batched in overnight or express daily shipments leaving Monday through Wednesday, but if you would like a specific delivery date, you can email customer service and make a request. The cost of shipping and handling is already included in the price of the box so you will not incur additional surprise shipping costs on checkout. All purchases come with a complimentary copy of The Salmon Sisters' cookbook.
Best for Dayboat Scallops: Downeast Dayboat
Downeast Dayboat Scallops, based in Portland, Maine, will ship what are likely to be the freshest scallops you've have ever had right to your doorstep.
These dayboat scallops are not harvested until you order them; at that point, steps are taken to coordinate with local fishermen to fulfill your order. Unlike most scallops in the U.S., which come from "trip boats" that are caught and stored on the boat for several days, per Maine law, Maine Dayboat scallops are harvested and brought back to shore within a matter of hours and then packed and shipped via FedEx to you, arriving one to two days later.
Downeast Dayboat ships on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, so it is recommended to place your order by Sunday night of the week you want your scallops. Advance ordering is also an option; just select the delivery week you prefer upon checkout.
Note: scallops are a seasonal catch, harvested only for a few months out of the year during winter months. Founder Togue Brown is wholly committed to supporting the health of fisheries; any fisherman who partners with Downeast Dayboat and abides by all regulations that are designed to protect the scallop resource will get a sustainability bonus at the end of the season.
Best for Shellfish: Taylor Shellfish Farms
Founded in the Pacific Northwest, Taylor Shellfish Farms offers a variety of shellfish available for home delivery. For those who are local, they also operate several oyster bars and markets around Washington state. Taylor Shellfish Farms has been a leader in sustainability to ensure a healthy marine environment; all shellfish products are certified by Food Alliance, a sustainable agriculture third-party certifier.
Fresh products for delivery include oysters, mussels, clams, and geoduck. Oyster varieties include the Kumamoto, Sumo Kumo, Shigoku, and Taylor Pacific Petites, and most are sold in quantities of 40 to 60. Frozen "Top Off" oysters and shucked oysters are also available in various quantities. Mussels and Manila Clams come in 5-pound sacks (about 20 mussels or 25 clams each), and Geoduck is sold by the piece.
Orders of perishable items are shipped via FedEx for free in Western Washington and Northwest Oregon but incur a roughly $30 flat rate for anywhere else in the U.S.; free shipping nationwide is available on orders of $300 or more. (Note: non-perishable items such as canned smoked oysters have no minimum for free shipping.) Dozens of beautiful recipes featuring Taylor Shellfish Farms products are also available on the company blog.
Best for Sushi Grade/Sashimi: Honolulu Fish Company
Want to make your own poke bowl or sushi roll? Honolulu Fish Company is recognized for its exceptionally high quality, sustainably-caught Hawaiian fish and will ship anywhere in the contiguous U.S.
Founded in 1995 by a trained marine biologist, Honolulu Fish Company offers more than 30 varieties of eco-friendly Pacific water fish and is the only direct U.S. distributor that offers more than 14 species of sashimi-grade fish. The company is a favorite among top chefs around the country, and now customers at home can experience the same exceptional fish as found in a Michelin-starred restaurant.
The high quality does come with a higher price tag, so this isn’t the place to go for a weekly virtual grocery run, but if you are looking for the best fish for a raw preparation, this is it. Each fish is exclusively caught by hook instead of nets in order to preserve the environment and are all hand-selected and inspected personally by sashimi experts before packaging fish to ship for delivery within 24 to 48 hours.
One-time ordering is available and comes with free shipping on orders over 2 pounds. There are also three- or six-month subscriptions available, which deliver 3 pounds of fish the first Thursday of every month.
Best for Domestically Sourced: Sea to Table
Sea to Table connects directly and exclusively with sustainable fisheries around the country to offer a variety of species for home delivery and restaurants. The company is known for promoting underutilized species, also known as "trashfish" or "bycatch," referring to species that are harvested when catching other fish that would normally go to waste but are sustainable and delicious.
The online marketplace offers both one-time orders and a monthly subscription service. Seafood for home delivery is flash frozen and individually packaged for easy portioning and thawing (i.e. a 10-ounce portion of scallops and shrimp or two 6-ounce portions of fish fillets). Unlike some other companies that require large delivery minimums or only offer boxes of seafood in large sizes, Sea to Table has no minimum. However, note that you will incur shipping charges on orders less than $99.
Species will change seasonally, but options include Maine Redfish, Atlantic Skate, Atlantic Sea Scallops, Wild Salmon, Gulf Shrimp, Pacific Halibut and Cod, West Coast Dover Sole, and even Maine Lobster Tails. Themed boxes are also available such as the Grill Master’s Kit (about $166 to $179) or the Salmon Lover’s Box (around $117 to $127) for those wanting to order a large mix. Recipes and cooking tips are also available online.
Best for Caviar and Smoked Seafood: Browne Trading Co.
Another favorite purveyor among top chefs around the country is Browne Trading. Located in the Commercial Fishing District of Portland, Maine, the company imports fish from around the globe and is also recognized for its robust caviar selection and in-house smoked seafood, such as smoked salmon, smoked trout, and even smoked scallops.
Utilizing high-quality seafood and all-natural ingredients, it offers some of the most delicious smoked seafood on the market, available to buy for next day delivery. Its caviar program prioritizes traceability and quality and is the only company in the U.S. that co-brands directly with caviar producers around the world. In addition to specialty products such as smoked seafood and caviar, Browne Trading Co has an extensive variety of local and imported seafood, both wild and farmed, fresh and frozen.
With regard to sourcing standards, Brown Trading gives preference to line-caught wild fish (in place of nets) and sustainable fisheries when farmed. All seafood is available for next day delivery on orders placed before 11 a.m., but it is recommended to order two to three days in advance to account for any potential delays. Free shipping is available on orders of $300 or more (or over $150 of caviar only).
How We Chose the Best Places to Buy Seafood Online
The companies on this list were chosen based on a variety of considerations, including first and foremost the quality of each company’s fresh and/or frozen seafood selection, as well as the variety of seafood offered, the companies’ sourcing criteria and transparency, order minimums, and shipping costs. We also considered options for one-time orders vs. subscriptions and specific areas of specialty.
For example, Fulton Fish Market and Browne Trading Company both offer a large variety of seafood, while Taylor Shellfish Farms specializes in shellfish and Downeast Dayboat features scallops. Wild Alaskan Company is a great option for those looking to become members of a monthly subscription, while Salmon Sisters is perfect for anyone with an extra freezer who wants to stock up in advance.
What Are the Benefits of Buying Seafood Online?
When you buy seafood from a regular retail shop or grocery store, even if labeled fresh, it has likely been well over a week since it was caught and harvested. Buying from reputable seafood retailers online can cut out the middleman distributor between the fisherman, fish market, and grocery store. For example, the scallops from Downeast Dayboat are caught based on the demand of orders that come in and will arrive at your doorstep within two days of being out of the water.
And, buying fish directly from the Fulton Fish Market online marketplace will be fresher than fish that was purchased there by a distributor or retailer and then held in a seafood case before being sold to a customer. This also highly reduces the chance of seafood fraud and mislabeling, which is a significant issue in the seafood industry. Lastly, many of the options for buying fish online include frozen seafood that is flash-frozen on boats while still at sea, preserving the seafood when it is as fresh as possible, so it locks in all of that great flavor and makes it even fresher than actual “fresh” fish. This is ideal for seasonal seafood such as wild salmon that is not available fresh year-round (you are better off buying high-quality, frozen wild salmon than fresh, farm-raised Atlantic salmon).
How Much Does Buying Seafood Online Cost?
Cost will vary depending on the species, volume ordered, and distribution model. The biggest added expense for any order is the shipping cost, so many companies offer free shipping after certain price minimums are met; subscription programs will give discounts if a larger volume is ordered in each monthly box.
When Should You Buy Seafood Online?
You can buy seafood online any time of year if you don’t live in an area with direct access to local fish markets or shellfish farms. Buying seafood online is also particularly good for specific species that are caught seasonally and frozen while fresh so that you can still enjoy them during their off-season (i.e. wild salmon, halibut, scallops, lobster, and crab).