By Cortney Mohnk
If you are craving fish, there are plenty of places in Minnesota to snap up locally sourced or flown-in fresh seafood. (Having a Great Lake, the Mighty Mississippi and a major airline hub help.) These fish markets and seafood restaurants make it their business to serve up high-quality, tasty fish. Here are our top picks to get your fresh fish fix.
Dockside Fish Market
418 W. Highway 61
Grand Marais, MN 55604
This family-owned and operated fresh fish market is open seasonally, and locals and out-of-towners eagerly anticipate the reopening each spring. One of the big draws is the lake trout, smoked with sugar maple wood using a brine of brown sugar. The market also smokes herring, whitefish, and salmon. Freshly caught walleye is also popular, as is the pickled herring (wine, dill or cream), seafood chowder and the fish-n-chips. Dine-in, take-out or enjoy your locally caught meal outside on the deck overlooking the harbor.
Sea Salt Eatery
4825 Minnehaha Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55417
In the heart of Minnehaha Park and right next to the falls, sits Sea Salt Eatery. The chance you’ll see a line of people waiting out the door is high but don’t let that scare you away. This super casual, order-at-the-counter noshery is a must-do when visiting Minnehaha. Try the scallop taco with corn salsa, Cajun catfish or the soft-shell crab sandwich. Wash it down with a Minnesota-brewed beer on the patio and top it off with Sebastian Joe’s ice cream for dessert, both proudly served at Sea Salt.
806 S. 2nd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Sea Change has a lot going for it – the river-view patio inside the Guthrie Theater, the Instagram-worthy plate presentations, and the fact that they focus on sustainably sourced seafood and support ethical fisheries. All of that is fantastic but takes a backseat to the menu. Seafood lovers will enjoy the raw bar favorites like oysters, salmon and tuna carpaccio. Come for happy hour, weekend brunch or dinner before a show.
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74 Snelling Ave. S.
St. Paul, MN 55105
Coastal Seafoods, with their St. Paul and Minneapolis locations, is the go-to source for restaurant chefs, grocers and anyone wanting extraordinarily fresh fish for their at-home cooking. Founded by a local seafood-loving entrepreneur and staffed by her personable and knowledgeable team, you’ll get the guidance you’re looking for, complete with samples, classes, and talk-throughs. The company was purchased in 2017 by Fortune Fish & Gourmet, one of the largest fresh fish purveyors in the Midwest. Stop in for some Mediterranean stone bass, king crab, Atlantic salmon, triggerfish or smoked haddock. Be sure to join their email list or follow them on social media for daily deals and specials.
Northern Waters Smokehouse
394 S. Lake Ave., Suite 106
Duluth, MN 55802
Locals will tell you that this specialty market and restaurant in the Dewitt-Seitz Marketplace on Lake Superior smokes some fantastic fish and creates drool-worthy gourmet sandwiches. Try the Cajun Finn sandwich with smoked salmon, onion cream cheese, red peppers, and pepperoncini. Can’t stop in? Have it delivered if you are in downtown Duluth. Those really outside of the Duluth boundary can mail order smoked treats including salmon pate’, Lake Superior lake trout or whitefish, and salmon with coriander and pepper.