Our Five Faves

Best fresh seafood

Posted April 21, 2014

The N.C. Seafood Restaurant always draws a crowd at the farmers' market for fresh, fried food.

There is a seafood dinner served with flair – chefs, waiters and maybe even your dress-up clothes. And then there is fresh seafood, the kind that fries up in a flash or steams in a pot at the tailgate.

The Triangle's proximity to the coast keeps a constant pipeline coming to these quick places where you can stock up.

In eastern Wake County, it's worth it to follow the signs to A'Net's Katch in Knightdale. The strip-mall storefront is snug. There's just enough room for the refrigerated case, a couple of tables and the kitchen in the back. By the pound or off the board, you can even order online and schedule your pickup.

Earp's is a Raleigh staple, resurgent on South Saunders street after suffering damage in the 2001 tornadoes. There you will find a variety that ranges from the freshest in whole fish to prepared crab cakes by the piece (99 cents) or by the box.

The NC Seafood Restaurant on the grounds of the State Farmer's Market won't sell you uncooked seafood. Instead, downtown Raleigh workers line up there on weekdays for the bountiful,Calabash-style platters with a choice of shrimp, scallops, oysters, trout, flounder, clams and even deviled crab. The meals are easy on the wallet but not on the waistline. These are huge portions!

In Durham, Fishmongers Restaurant and Oyster Bar offers dine-in prepared service (that includes barbecue selections) and a full market of fresh fish and shellfish. Prices vary with availability.

This Brightleaf Square staple also offers comedy open mic on Saturday nights.

Finally, for the truly adventurous and truly fresh, you can pick your seafood right from the tank at Grand Asia Market on Buck Jones Road in Raleigh. One minute they are swimming, the next they are cleaned and wrapped for you by the expert butchers who can slice and dice to your liking. 


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  • North Carolina Cutie Apr 21, 2014

    I'm with you any fish market smells like fish. There is a good one on capitol Salt Water Seafood it is very good fressh n cooked.

  • UpChuck Apr 21, 2014

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    So, you've actually never been in a real fish market then, correct?

  • Clayton Mack Apr 21, 2014
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    No Saltbox? I can't count this as legitimate. *shrug*

  • Todd Jenkins Apr 21, 2014
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    Not going to call names..however I've always been taught that if you go into a fish market and it smells fishy it is fishy and one of the names reaks...