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Kitchen & Cooking

You can order seafood online from Fulton Fish Market, but should you?

This is the delivery service I didn’t know I needed.

On a tray filled with crushed ice, there lies a half lobster and three little bowls of dipping sauces. Credit: Fulton Fish Market

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It’s officially summer, which means my schedule is getting busier and busier. In an effort to minimize errands, I shop for almost everything online, from pantry items to fresh produce. When seafood delivery services began popping up on my social feeds, I was tempted by the convenience. And after my positive experience testing a fish subscription from another popular seafood purveyor, I was drawn to Fulton Fish Market, a famous wholesale distribution center in New York that has since added an online presence.

About Fulton Fish Market

In a well-lit room, a plate of cooked shrimp is on display, accompanied by a fork and a glass of beer.
Credit: Fulton Fish Market

From shrimp caught in South America to sea snails (periwinkles), Fulton Fish Market has them all.

First opened in 1822, Fulton Fish Market is located in New York City with a 400,000-square-foot footprint in Hunts Point in the Bronx. The giant facility acts as a wholesale center for wild-caught and farm-raised seafood from around the world, which explains why its online store has such a large selection of offerings.

Unlike other seafood services that only deliver frozen seafood, Fulton Fish Market is one of the few places that delivers live or fresh seafood—this means nothing arrives frozen thanks to speedy shipping.

What’s it like to order from Fulton Fish Market?

In a padded cardboard box, there's a smaller cardboard box that keeps two lobsters inside.
Credit: Reviewed / Valerie Li Stack

Most of the packaging materials are recyclable.

I ordered an assortment of seafood that included shellfish, whole fish, and a fish steak to get a feel for a variety of Fulton Fish Market’s offerings.

It was easy to navigate the website and place an order. My total was over $99, which meant it qualified for free two-day shipping fulfilled by FedEx. Unfortunately, weather disruptions delayed my shipment for one day. Fulton Fish Market was quick to send me an email, assuring me that the ice packs should keep the seafood fresh even with the delivery delay.

What I like

In the center of the image, two lobster rolls were surrounded by Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Potato Chips in a wicker tray.
Credit: Reviewed / Valerie Li Stack

Despite the shipping delay, the lobster rolls I made were yummy.

Packaging kept the seafood relatively fresh despite shipping delay

The box was insulated with recyclable, biodegradable spun cotton and a thermal liner to keep things cool. The whole fish was surrounded by gel packs that kept it cool in its own sealed plastic packaging to prevent cross-contamination. The fish eye, which is typically a key indicator of freshness, was clear and not cloudy at all. This suggests that it was killed and cleaned right before shipment.

The lobsters were still alive—one was particularly feisty and the other less so. They were packed in a cardboard box separate from the rest of the items.

The seafood I tried was all high quality

All items arrived as described. Upon receiving the lobsters, we weighed them on the scale (they were 1.29 pounds and 1.22 pounds) so they matched the approximate weight (1.25 pounds) described on the website. We cooked the lobsters immediately and took out the meat to make three delicious lobster rolls the next day.

The barramundi fish was tender and fresh. It was a bit over the 2.5 pounds described on the website. Since it was a big fish, I filleted it and made fish stew.

What I don’t like

Delivery could be more flexible

Ordering live fish means you’d better be there when the shipment arrives to inspect it immediately and to transfer the products from the cardboard box to the fridge. In the rare case of weather conditions disrupting the delivery, it feels like Fulton Fish Market should have a contingency plan (such as offering to send a replacement item if the lobster dies) so that consumers have less to worry about.

I wish there was more information available for each product

I wish there was more information about the items I received. For instance, I’d like to know when and where the barramundi fish was killed. And for the king salmon, it would be nice to know where the fish was caught.

Should you order fish from Fulton Fish Market?

Three pieces of rainbow trout steaks on a table surrounded by salt, pepper, and other sauces.
Credit: Fulton Fish Market

Fulton Fish Market offers a massive selection of freshly caught seafood.

If you enjoy seasonal seafood on rotation, Fulton Fish Market is probably the best place for a wide variety of fresh fish, shellfish, and more. For folks looking to cook something other than the typical fillet, you’ll also be able to fetch a gutted whole fish of your choice.

If freshness is important to you, the biggest benefit of Fulton Fish Market is its live seafood offerings, as well as freshly cleaned fish and shellfish choices. The only downside is that you’ll need to plan your schedule according to its delivery and make sure to be physically present when delivery is made.

Order from Fulton Fish Market starting at $5.75 per portion

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