Tuna Harbor Dockside Market In San Diego California USA

Tuna Harbor Dockside Market In San Diego California USATuna Harbor Dockside Market In San Diego California USA

This Early Morning Fish Market Setting Up On The Dock

It is very early on Saturday Morning and it is time to head to Fish Harbor Pier located near Seaport Village. There is still some low fog hanging over the harbor. The scene is quite picturesque. The merchants at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market are still buying fish from the local fisherman. The different sellers are setting up for business. Though it is early, we join those in line waiting for the market to open. This is an open air market where the fish are right off the boat. Truly we will leave with the freshest fish in town.

One Of The Fishing Boats Unloading The Catch Of The Night At The Pier

Some of the boats are still unloading fish to the waiting merchants, while others are leaving the area to get their boats cleaned and their nets checked. Most of the fisherman have families that will help with the cleaning and mending of the nets, while the fisherman get a few hours sleep.

The Last Of The Boats Leaving The Doc Area

The Last Of The Merchants Setting Up And Putting Their Fish On Ice

The merchant is holding a rather large Pacific Crevalle Jack (Caranx Caninus). This fish is found in the warm waters from California to Peru.

With the fish now rinsed and laid out on the table for sale, the market is now open for business. We begin to go from fishing table to fishing table. The Saturday morning regulars come early, so as to get first pick of the nights catch.

The Bright Colorful California Sheephead Fish

Because of the deep color of most of the fish on the table, we can only assume that most are at least five or six years old. All California Sheephead are born female and change to males about two-thirds through their nine year life span.

The easiest way to cook sheephead is to fillet the fish. Make an herb butter with herbs, salt, pepper,  and fresh lemon. Spread on the fish. Cook on a lightly greased pan at 400 degrees until the fish flakes from the testing fork. Should be between ten and twelve minutes.

While many do not know this fish, or how to cook it,  it is a very good fish when cooked in this way.

A Table Of  Pacific Crevalle Jack (Caranx Caninus) On Ice And Ready To Sell

This fish can be easily boned and then cubed.  Make a marinate of Ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, garlic, fresh lemon juice, scallions, salt, and  pepper. Marinate for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator. Put on a pan and grill it until flakes from the testing fork. Good served with a salad.

Fresh Caught Tuna Are A Market Favorite And Go Fast

Table Of Fresh Pacific Red Rock Fish

The Pacific Red Rock Fish is different than the one found on the East Coast of America. The Pacific Red Rock Fish is usually marketed as Pacific Red Snapper, however it is not a true Red Snapper. True Red Snapper is found only in the Atlantic Ocean near Mexico.  Both fish are cooked in a similar way.

California Two-Spot Octopus

Octopus is not one of the most widely cooked fish among Europeans and Americans. It is considered a delicacy among the countries of Asia. Asian Americans are usually first inline at the fish market to bring this fish home and prepare it extremely well. Several local restaurants that specialize in fish also have Octopus on the menu. While in San Diego, you will find that there are many places that serve Octopus in extremely delicious ways. Almost every Japanese Restaurant has an Octopus dish on the menu.

Fresh Caught King Crab

Crabs are caught and are sold alive. Crab cakes are a favorite in California. You will find many fish shacks along the beach with delicious crab cakes.

California Spot Prawn/Shrimp Is A Market Favorite

If you enjoy shrimp, what could be better than fresh shrimp? Visit the Restaurant at the end of the Pier for for a large selection of shrimp entrees.  All around the park and village are fish and specialty restaurants.


Fresh Farmed Oysters From San Diego Bay

 Sea Urchins Are The Treasure Of The Sea In San Diego California 

People come from all over the world to taste these tiny tasty sea creatures. While at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, be sure to stop by the small fish shop that serves Sea Urchins in the half shell. Eating fresh out of the shell is like nothing else! It is almost like a custard, not too fishy, and a great experience.

Sweet Creamy Sea Urchin ~ A Mysterious Delicacy Of The Sea!  

Close Up View Of The Inner Custard Of This Outstanding Treasure

San Diego Pier Cafe

The San Diego Pier Cafe is a San Diego landmark and has served lunch and dinner since 1980. It is a full service restaurant has a different featured local fish selection daily. The view is excellent, the atmosphere is amazing, and liquor, beer, and wine are also served.

Small Fish Shack Located At The Market

Loaf & Fish sells some of the best fish sandwiches in San Diego.  The fish can be different weekly, as they use the fresh catch from the fishing boats.

Just One Of Several Delicious Fish Sandwiches At Loaf & Fish

California Sea Lion Can Smell The Fun

A morning at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market is a fun and interesting adventure. Ours was made perfect as we spent time looking at the bay. As we were watching, this little fellow came swimming by. He didn’t want to miss out on anything.

If you are in San Diego on a Saturday morning, be sure to check out the fish market on Harbor drive. The market opens around 8:30 am, but the earlier you get there , the more you will see. The line starts forming around 7:30 am. While you are there, take time to explore the park and village market place.  Lunch at the Dockside Market and dinner at one of the Harbor restaurants would be the perfect end to a perfect day. Eat at one that has nice big windows looking out over the bay. San Diego is known for it’s amazing sunsets.





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