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About The Author


Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: July 1, 2014

Independent Portland-area fish markets offer the best and freshest selection

Knowledgeable staff will help you choose what’s freshest and best and even offer cooking suggestions.

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Clockwise from top: Browne Trading Co.; Free Range Fish and Lobster; Harbor Fish Market. Press Herald file photos


Harbor Fish Market

9 Custom House Wharf |
Shopping at this family-owned market is an experience; if it’s your first visit, allow enough time to take it all in, perusing the cases of fish, the lobster tanks, the oysters on ice and the general vibe, which is as authentic as it gets. The knowledgeable staff will help you choose what’s freshest and best and even offer cooking suggestions. The “fish medley” — chunks of various fish packed in bags — is a terrific deal, especially if you’re making a dish like this Fish Stew. The market has its own parking, too.

Browne Trading Co.

262 Commercial St. |
Yes, they sell fish, but also a large variety of other products: including Maine’s largest selection of caviar, plus smoked fish, wine, breads, olive oils and more. Wholesale customers include big name chefs Eric Ripert, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller.

Free Range Fish & Lobster

450 Commercial St. |
Some may not realize that this busy wholesale operation also offers fish and seafood for retail sale.

Know before you go

Want to find out which fish and shellfish are sustainable? Check out National Geographic’s Seafood Decision Guide, compiled by National Geographic Fellow Barton Seaver, a South Freeport resident and sustainable seafood expert.

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