An Undercover Fish Market in Brooklyn


On an industrial block of Douglass Avenue between Third and Fourth Avenues in Gowanus, Brooklyn, you might notice a sign for DeMartino’s Wholesale and Retail Fish Market outside one of the warehouses. Retail, sure, but it doesn’t seem very welcoming–the one door into the warehouse is unmarked and locked.

But on Chowhound the other day, I read the secret to getting into the fish stash. Go before 10:30am Monday through Friday, ring the bell and say you’d like to buy some fish. Simple. And because DeMartino’s does a high turnover, supplying to many restaurants and shops in the area, the fish is very fresh (I checked out one whole snapper with a very clear eye and shiny skin, both signs that it hadn’t been out of the water long). But always ask what’s fresh, as the guy was willing to tell me what had just come in today. It’s also very cheap–wholesale prices–especially considering the good quality.

My loot, after the jump.

This is some beautiful sashimi-grade yellowfin tuna (also known as ahi), $12.90 a pound. It smells faintly and sweetly of the sea–so fresh you could just eat it like an apple. For comparison, buy the same thing at Whole Foods and you’ll pay $28.99 per pound.

These are dry (not treated with chemicals) wild-caught sea scallops, $10 per pound. At Whole Foods, they’re $17.99.

And finally, a perfectly nice fillet of salmon, for $8 a pound. On second thought, I believe this is farmed salmon, which is not a sustainable seafood choice, so I probably wouldn’t buy it again. Next time, I’ll ask if they have wild-caught salmon.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 22, 2009

DeMartino Wholesale and Retail Fish Market
315 Douglass Street, Brooklyn

For retail: Go before 10:30am, Mon-Friday


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