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The Dish: The “Fresh” Fish Market

If you like seafood, make it a point to visit your nearest Fish Market. Started in 1976 by a sport fisherman and a boat captain plus gourmet cook, there are now six fresh locations to serve you in the Bay Area and San Diego. The Market in Santa Clara opened its doors in November 1979.

If our incredible waitress, who incidentally has been working at The Market for 32 years since its inception in 1979, is any indication of the caliber of staff hired at The Fish Market, you will be pleased with the service you receive at any location. Her favorite entrée, the fresh line caught Hawaiian swordfish, is extremely tender, flavorful and juicy. The tartar sauce is perfectly blended and compliments the filet nicely. The Panko-Breaded Fish and Chips is a plate of tender fish with a flaky crust. Neither entrée is fishy-tasting and portions are generous.

The sides are amazing and they offer items not generally found on other menus. Sides like Cucumber Salad (with a hint of dill), Basil Cherry Tomatoes, and Steamed Artichoke might grace the menu. The cabbage in the Cole Slaw is firm and crisp, and the spices compliment, not compete with the cabbage. Every table is given traditional San Francisco-style sourdough bread with real butter. The New England Clam Chowder is a heavenly soup with large chunks of clams in a creamy, butter-laden sauce. I had to stealthily dip my spoon into my husband’s bowl to get a bite before it was all gone.


Apparently, the Key Lime Pie is a customer favorite and I can see why. I am not normally a fan of Key Lime and even I thought it was amazing. The best part is that it is not green. It incorporates real lime flavor, sans the fake green food coloring. Cheers to The Market for keeping it real. It was both tart and sweet at the same time and was delightfully rich. My husband loves that Espresso and Cappuccino are some of the items on the after dinner drinks menu.

The thing to remember about The Market is the commitment to freshness. To ensure quality seafood, the founders own and operate their own federally-inspected and certified seafood facility, Farallon Fisheries. There they purchase, process, cure, smoke and distribute all of their yummy seafood. Speaking of which, while you are at The Market, purchase some Smoked Fish to take home for later. Farallon Fisheries cures and smokes salmon, trout, swordfish and albacore using hickory and sugar maple woods in traditional mild European fashion.

The seafaring, maritime décor is fun and I was extremely impressed with the cleanliness of the dining room. The back of the restaurant is a quieter environment while the front is more lively and energetic. The Fish Market is in a prime location and parking is convenient and extensive.

The Fish Market
(408) 246-3474 (FISH)
3775 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95051
Entrées range from $8.75 – 43.75

Note: All reviews are conducted anonymously and are typically based on one visit. The Santa Clara Weekly pays for all meals. For comments, questions or suggestions, email April Jones at


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